They thought they could stay safe and sound
When Birling Day came back around
But they must play pretend
With their angry, drunk friend
That they really are on Mali ground! 

To distract you from the fact that I really can’t write limericks anymore (if I ever could), have this fun fact: apparently it’s not just us who use Timbuktu as one of those throwaway places that are 'famous for being far away’. This rather beautiful Afrikaans song shows that at least some people who share a continent with Mali still use Timbuktu as a symbol of far-away-ness…