The Gospel according to Saint Dave

And it came to pass

in the Year of Our Lord 1947 that a child of the female variety was born to John Francis Burland and his wife Margaret Valda née Clough in the hamlet of Horsforth in the County of Yorkshire (which has more acres than words in the Bible, thou lazy scribes…) and there was much rejoicing and imbibing of elderberry wine and they named the child Our Ruth after the Moabite woman of the book of Matthew and known for her kindness..

And the child did prosper and created great happiness to all who did encounter her.

However John (who in the tradition of the Burland tribe did call himself Frank) was greatly troubled and fretted that the Burland lineage might wither and die.

To his spouse Margaret he did say “ I knoweth that Our Gilbert (who in the tradition of the Burland tribe doth call himself Our Arthur) hath procreated a son, Our John, who is as we speak on a voyage to the Colonies and who knoweth whether he shall find an indigenous savage of the female variety to bed …errr… WED and with whom to procreate and continue the lineage. I would prefereth to cover our bets, what sayeth thou, dear wife?”

“I am verily up for it” saith Margaret “ I doth concur with thee that we should give it another crack”

And cracketh on they did and nine moons later on the nineteenth day in the month of July in the year of our lord 1952 a child was born.

And the midwives did cry “It is a child of the male variety with all the bits in the right place. Praise be to the Lord. The lineage is saved”.

And there was much rejoicing and imbibing of elderberry wine and they named the child John David and in the tradition of the Burland tribe they did call him Our David.

And the child did prosper and created great happiness to all who did encounter him.


Apart from when he puteth a teaspoon of strawberry jam in Uncle Tom’s cup of tea.

And David did wed a Vivian of the Warby tribe of Wakefield. And Vivian begat 2 children and there was great rejoicing and imbibing of pints of Tetleys in one gulp followed by a chaser of the Southern Comfort and on each occasion crieth the midwives “It is a child of the male variety with all the bits in the right place. Praise be to the Lord. The lineage is saved”.

And they called the firstborn Christopher John and named him Our Christopher, not being the tradition of the Burland tribe

And who knoweth why.

And Christopher did wed Rebecca of the Presley tribe from the county of flatness and in the tradition of the Presley tribe they did engage in much industrial strength shaking, rattling and rolling and Rebecca did become heavy with child and the midwives etc and no bits in the right place etc and they cried “the lineage is again stuffed”

And many moons passed in which much etc etc etc and another child was born and the midwives crieth bits etc and praise etc and saved etc and there was great rejoicing and imbibing of beverages of the vegetarian kind

And they did name the child after the high priest עֶזְרָא

And the second born child of David and Vivienne who was named Our Matthew did become ordained as a Bishop of the Methos and the populace called him Bish

And the years did pass until one day the heavens did open and the Lord appeared and did declare in a booming voice that all could hear

“DAVID BURLAND! What the actual @#$% art thou playing at? Thou cannot just go and changeth thy name!”

For Our David had taken to calling himself John.

Without the Our.

Which was not in the tradition of the Burland clan.

And who knoweth why.

And David saith “Of course I can! Look at my older (but not nearly as old as my sister) cousin John Anthony, son of Gilbert Arthur! Why doth he not call himself Anthony in the tradition of the Burland tribe?”

And the Lord was vexed and saith

“Zip it, thou wazzock.

Thou talketh back to the Lord thy God?

Talketh thou back to thy esteemed spouse Vivian?

No, I thoughteth not. Thou would receive a veritable clip around the lughole.

Doest thou not know that I have a SYSTEM for all this?

Doest thou verily believe that this is all random shit?

Doest thou walk around all day with thy brain at half-mast?

Thou verily art as daft as a brush, thou barmpot.”

“Doest thou not know that I have SPECIFIC NAMES for SPECIFIC WORTHY BEINGS? Thine older (but not nearly as old as thy sister) cousin John Anthony. Or John Boscawen who hath straighted the Tower of yon Pisa. Or John the minstrel from the continent Australis who singeth holy roller melodies (and who btw hath yet to pay me a single shekel in royalties, the bastard)”

“Doest thou think I have the time to dig out a card from my filing system for every brainfart like this? Not to mention that my scribes currently converteth everything to blockchain. AND all the regendering that is verily my bad and which I have verily overlooketh first time around.”

“I am verily shaggeth out and sorely in need of a cup of tea and a liedown.”

“So thy shall stick with thy name and if it be good enough for thy sister and older (bnnaoays) cousin, it shall be good enough for thee.”

“And just because thou art a Metho and thy son Matthew be a man of the cloth, thou should not expect special privileges.”

“Thou maketh me truly mardy.”

And the heavens closed and the Lord was seen no more.

But he was heard to murmur “Daft apeth”

And Bish did see that his father was unhappy and asked

“Father, why-for art thou vexed?”

And Dave saith “I cannot get my head around why the Lord thinketh I am a wazzock for having changeth what the populace doth call me”

And Bish did think “ Maybe if I puteth in a good word for the old boy…?”

And Bish did intercede with the Lord and saith “Thy servant John….” and the Lord cried “Starteth thou also not with this John shit or I shall verily thwack thy mitre from thy head. It is DAVID”

And the Bish did correct himself and saith “Thy servant DAVID wisheth not to be a wazzock in thine eyes. Is there anything that a man of the cloth can bungeth thee to sort things, like?”

And the Lord saith “No way, bro. Doth though not know that thy father hath created an electrical papyrus address like that of his older (bnnaoahs) esteemed cousin John Anthony. Doth though also not know that his electrical midden therefore filleth itself with all manner of stuff for thy father and create much work. Not to mention gobsmackedness?”

And Bish did say to the Lord

“Mmmm. But thy servant Joh…DAVE neareth thy 3 score and ten milestone and I thought…maybe just a sign? I could baketh thou a cake if thou likest. I’m quite a dab hand”

And the Lord saith “Well, I’m rather partial to a nice piece of Parkin and should thou be inclined to throw in a Fat Rascal or two…?”

And Bish did say “Done deal. (Thinks: I shall verily have to traipse over to Betty’s in the hamlet of Harrows Gate for the Fat Rascals…) And I haveth an idea! On a simple dwelling nearby hath someone painted “Jesus. No name is higher” and were I to obtain a ladder and add “DAVE” above this…?”

And the Lord saith “ I verily liketh this idea. And I believeth that I was a tad harsh on the lad. Go for it, Bish”

And Bish did obtain a ladder up which he clambered and did inscribe the word “DAVE” on the top of the wall above the graffiti and was pleased with his work

But the populace did readeth the sign.

And did declareth

“Who the @#$% is DAVE? We only knoweth him as JOHN”

And the Lord sighed and saith “Sod this for a game of legionnaires – do what thou bloody liketh…..”

Here endeth the Gospel according to Saint Dave

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