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Some call her Lou Lou, some Isabella
But to most fans at Palace, she was Missus Minchella.
“Peanuts forra sixpence
A tanner a bagga”
Her accent went through you
Like a sharpened up dagger.
She was boisterous and moody
and prone to a moan
and before Kane was to Tottenham
She was one of our own.
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Back in the Sixties and Seventies
her primitive bark
would compete with the chants
at pre-match Selhurst Park
“One two, three, four
Can you hear the Palace roar?
Peanuts for Sixpence”
Would mock the visiting fans
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Unlike the players who came, played and went
Missus Minchella was always there
Rain, snow. wind — sun or hail
You’d always hear her accented wail
“Peanuts forra a sixpence,
a tanner a bagga.”
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So who was the mysterious Missus Minchella?
The monkey-nut lady with the feisty demeanor
The bandanna covered head
And the olive, leathery skinned face.
A face that had memories, it couldn’t erase
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Urban legends abounded
Some said she was an Italian countess who fled the Nazis
It was whispered that she had Mafia connections.
And in her younger days was a raven haired beauty
Whose husband died
on war time duty.
That the large gold earring’s that hung down to her shoulders
would fetch thousands if sold
Some assumed she was a gypsy, who hoarded her gold
in a secret compartment, that her basket would hold.
That she lived in a mansion of luxury
Far away from the din, of match day Selhurst Park
from her boisterous persona and thunderous bark.
“Peanuts forra a sixpence – a tanner a bagga. “
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Some bought her wares, for a quick pre-match snack
Others to take aim, at the stern Peelers back.
If your aim was well practiced and you’re nut hit the cop
You felt like Jocky Wilson finishing
on double top.
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She was hated by police
And the ground staff alike
The apprentices on Monday
felt like calling a strike.
Having to clear more spent shells
than a South Bronx shot up street
Shells that had been stomped
by thousands of feet
that throughout the match
jumped up and down
and an occasional knees up to old” Muvver Brown.”
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On terraces packed
As kids were being passed
down to the front
Missus Minchella for sales with her basket would hunt.
With wicker basket, tied to her chest
She’d wade her way up the terrace
Parting the red and blue sea
of working class humanity
As easily as Victor Moses would part
the heart of an opposition defense.
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Many’s the decent pre-match terrace brawl
was rudely interrupted by the threatening call
of Missus Minchella
“Stoppa you punching, you kicks and head butts
putta you hands in your pocket and buya my nuts.”
They always did.
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She pulled a crafty substitution in Seventy – One.
Decimalization meaning we changed up our mon
She subbed the D for the P
said she was only doing her job
And now our cherished monkey nuts
cost just under a bob.
But she still said tanner.
“Peanuts forra a fourpence
A tanner a bagga.”
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Then one mid- football season around the year Eighty -Four
At Palace Missus Minchella was not seen no more.
At first no one took much notice
But soon with the rumour mill we got a bad vibe
Was Missus Minchella dead or was she alive?
She was murdered by the Mafia
She was banned by the club
But all of these stories just didn’t add up
Nowadays. “ Find Missus Minchella” Facebook groups
Would spring to life
And Twitter pages would be rife
But then there was just gossip.
More than a Coronation street corner
or a Sky studio on transfer deadline.
She was reported seen, at the Den, Millwall
and selling nuts at the Albert Hall
At a Status Quo concert at Charlton’s Valley
and even outside the Hammersmith Palais.
She was sighted at Sainsburys more times than Elvis
But sadly — never again at the Palace.