by Roger Fullilove (December 1999)

Once there was a Palace, next a fiery pit
Now there is a monster, a phoenix rising in our midst

On a hill in old south London, stood a place fit for a queen
Embodied with such majesty, such a fine Victorian scene

A master of the skyscape, and the green fields all around
Like an overlord for the city, reaching out from my home town

It had come to grace our hilltop, way back in 1854
For 80 years stood firm and true, a proud nation gazed in awe

A Crystal Palace of such crafting, lent its name to the whole place
A landmark of distinction, watching o'er the city plains

Fire tore it down in '36, snuffed out our brightest light
Grace and beauty engulfed in flames, incinerated in a single night

Some said it was poor fortune, others called it fate
Least Hitler couldn't set his sights, the cynics said of late

For 60 years the ashes lay, our once great Palace now a pit
A site of such important, what would they make of it?

As the new millennium dawned, they sat in council on our case
To tell us that we really want, a disco complex in its place

Unveiled their schemes, designs and plans, we stood as one -fixed, aghast
At the absence of their vision, and the void of their art

Where once had stood magnificence, they will raise a tragic clown
A glass and concrete rhombus, will be set forth upon the ground

They say we need ten cinemas, restaurants by the score
A giant car park thrown in for free, rock concerts plus much more

Yes that's the vote the council made, upon our hallowed site
A carbuncle will arise it seems, to beset our very lives

Even as the people cried, in such clear undying tones
They told us that they knew best, what should glorify our home

Crystal Palace was a marvel, unique in any time
A feat of Paxton's genius, this sad monster is a crime

Those fools at Bromley council, now move in for the kill
To murder our tradition, and place a blight upon our hill

They have countenanced a monster, to be built on Paxton's ground
What a mark for the millennium, to cast this curse on my home town

So we'll fight these brutalisers, until the final stone is laid
And even then we'll campaign on, ensure that monster is unmade

Once a Crystal Palace, next a fiery a pit
Let us kill this evil monster, set to rise up in our midst

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