Trev's Twitters


The ponderings of a nonagenarian.
by - Trevor Whitely


TREV AND HIS TWITTERS


Trev and Kath Arscott
at Barn Cottage

Trevor was born in Elland in Yorkshire in 1913 and after attending secondary school there gained a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at Manchester University College of Technology.

Various jobs with Metropolitan-Vickers, Record Electrical Co. Ltd. of Altrincham and the firm of Industrial Energy Costs at Lytham St. Anne's followed until his retirement in 1978. Sadly, his wife Lilian died just three years later and with his family having flown the nest, Trevor found himself alone. Leaving North Wales, to where he had retired and after various moves, he found himself in North Devon where on joining the Ilfracombe Walkers he met Kathy, who kindly took him into Barn Cottage. Here he stayed for over 20 years, becoming a real member of the village and where with many friends and neighbours he celebrated his 100th birthday.

Trevor began writing for the Newsletter in 2006 and his Twitters began in 2007, his December contribution was No. 44.

Always ahead of any deadlines, he would hand me, with his winning smile, poems he had remembered, written in his spidery hand-writing and on paper torn from a notepad! So I have just a few left for this issue - Twitters from Beyond No. 45!

Bless you, Trev.

Ed.


TREV'S TWITTERS - No.45

Triolet

I intended an Ode,
And it turned to a Sonnet.
It began a la mode,
I intended an Ode:
But Rose cross'd the road
In her latest new bonnet;
I intended an Ode;
And it turned to a Sonnet.
 

Henry Austin Dobson
1840-1921

Henry Austin Dobson was an English poet, critic and biographer, whose love and knowledge of the 18th century lent a graceful elegance to his work and inspired his critical studies. In 1856 he entered the Board of Trade where he remained until his retirement in 1901. He married in 1868 and became the father of 10, living in the London suburb of Ealing until his death in 1921.


Wilderness


 
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread - with Thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness -
Oh, wilderness were Paradise enow!

 

An excerpt from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1048-1131, the Middle Eastern poet and translated by Edward Fitzgerald.


Come to the Fair

The sun is a-shining to welcome the day,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
All the stalls on the green are as fine as can be!
With trinkets and tokens so pretty to see,
So it's come then, maidens and men,
To the fair in the pride of the morning.
 
So deck yourselves out in your finest array,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
The fiddles are playing the tune that you know:
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
The drums are all beating, away let us go,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
 
There'll be racing and chasing from morning till night
,And roundabouts turning to left and to right,
So it's come then, maidens and men,
To the fair in the pride of the morning.
So lock up hour house, there'll be plenty of fun,
And it's Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
 
For love-making too, if so be you've a mind,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
For hearts that are happy are loving and kind,
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
If 'Haste to the wedding' the fiddles should play,
I warrant you'll dance to the end of the day;

Come then, maidens and men,
To the fair in the pride of the morning.
The sun is a-shining to welcome the day,
With a Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
Maidens and men, maidens and men,
Come to the fair in the morning.
Heigh-ho! come to the fair!
image009

[Trev's message at the end of this says: 'I can't recall who wrote this, please help my faulty memory.'
The song was written in 1917, the lyrics by Helen Taylor and the music by Easthope Martin.]

 


Under the Greenwood Tree

From As You Like It, William Shakespeare [1564-1616]

Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat.
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
Here shall he see
no enemy
But winter and rough weather.
 
Who doth ambition shun,
But loves to lie I' the sun.
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets.
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
Here shall he see
no enemy
But winter and rough weather.
 


Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Trev

8



TREV'S TWITTERS

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked 
And figs grew upon thorn, 
Some moment when the moon was blood 
Then surely I was born; 

With monstrous head and sickening cry 
And ears like errant wings, 
The devil's walking parody 
On all four-footed things. 

The tattered outlaw of the earth, 
Of ancient crooked will; 
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb, 
I keep my secret still

Fools! For I also had my hour; 
One far fierce hour and sweet: 
There was a shout about my ears, 
And palms before my feet.

G.K. Chesterton [1874-1936]


Sonnet XII

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time removed was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lords' decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me
But hope of orphans and unfather'd fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or, if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.

William Shakespeare [1564-1616]


Winter Nightfall

The day begins to droop,-
Its course is done:
But nothing tells the place
Of the setting sun.
 
The hazy darkness deepens,
And up the lane
You may hear, but cannot see,
The homing wain.
 
An engine pants and hums
In the farm hard by:
Its lowering smoke is lost
In the lowering sky.
 
The soaking branches drip,
And all night through
The dropping will not cease
In the avenue.
A tall man there in the house
Must keep his chair:
He knows he will never again
Breathe the spring air:
 
His heart is worn with work;
He is giddy and sick
If he rise to go as far
As the nearest rick:
 
He thinks of his morn of life,
His hale, strong years;
And braves as he may the
night Of darkness and tears.

Robert Bridges [1844-1930]


 

Robert Bridges was born in Walmer, Kent, and educated at Eton College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He went on to study medicine in London at St Bartholomew's Hospital, intending to practise until the age of forty and then retire to write poetry.

He practiced as a casualty physician at his teaching hospital and subsequently as a full physician to the Great [later Royal] Northern Hospital. He was also a physician to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Lung disease forced him to retire in 1882, and from that point on he devoted himself to writing and literary research. However, his literary work started long before his retirement, his first collection of poems having been published in 1873. In 1884 he married Monica Waterhouse, daughter of Alfred Waterhouse R.A., and spent the rest of his life in rural seclusion, first at Yattendon in Berkshire and then at Boars Hill, Oxford where he died.

He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1900. Appointed Poet Laureate in 1913, he is the only medical graduate to have held the office.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Trev

15



TREV'S TWITTERS

AUTUMN

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn; --
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.

Where are the songs of Summer? -- With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the South,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds? -- Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skies,
Lest owls should prey
Undazzled at noon-day,
And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes.

Where are the blooms of Summer -- In the west,
Blushing their last to the last sunny hours,
When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest
Like tearful Proserpine, snatched from her flowers
To a most gloomy breast.
Where is the pride of Summer, -- the green prime, --
The many, many leaves all twinkling? -- Three
On the mossed elm; three on the naked lime
Trembling, -- and one upon the old oak tree!
Where is the Dryad's immortality? --
Gone into mournful cypress and dark yew,
Or wearing the long gloomy Winter through
In the smooth holly's green eternity.

The squirrel gloats on his accomplished hoard,
The ants have brimmed their garners with ripe grain,
And honey-bees have stored
The sweets of summer in their luscious cells;
The swallows all have winged across the main;
But here the Autumn melancholy dwells,
And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
Alone, alone,
Upon a mossy stone,

She sits and reckons up the dead and gone,
With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
Whilst all the withered world looks drearily,
Like a dim picture of the drowned past
In the hushed mind's mysterious far away,
Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
Into that distance, gray upon the gray.

O, go and sit with her, and be o'ershaded
Under the languid downfall of her hair:
She wears a coronal of flowers faded
Upon her forehead, and a face of care; --
There is enough of withered every where
To make her bower, -- and enough of gloom;
There is enough of sadness to invite,
If only for the rose that died, -- whose doom
Is Beauty's, -- she that with the living bloom
Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light; --
There is enough of sorrowing, and quite
Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear, --
Enough of chilly droppings for her bowl;
Enough of fear and shadowy despair,
To frame her cloudy prison for the soul!

Thomas Hood [1798-1845]


NOVEMBER

Red o'er the forest peers the setting sun;
The line of yellow light dies fast away
That crown'd the eastern copse; and chill and dun
Falls on the moor the brief November day.

Now the tired hunter winds a parting note,
And Echo bids good-night from every glade;
Yet wait awhile and see the calm leaves float
Each to his rest beneath their parent shade.

How like decaying life they seem to glide
And yet no second spring have they in store;
And where they fall, forgotten to abide
Is all their portion, and they ask no more.

Soon o'er their heads blithe April airs shall sing,
A thousand wild-flowers round them shall unfold,
The green buds glisten in the dews of Spring,
And all be vernal rapture as of old.

Unconscious they in waste oblivion lie,
In all the world of busy life around
No thought of them-in all the bounteous sky
No drop, for them, of kindly influence found.

Man's portion is to die and rise again:
Yet he complains, while these unmurmuring part
With their sweet lives, as pure from sin and stain
As his when Eden held his virgin heart.

John Keble [1792-1866]


OLD AGE
Edmund Waller [1606-1687]

THE seas are quiet when the winds give o'er;
So calm are we when passions are no more.
For then we know how vain it was to boast
Of fleeting things, so certain to be lost.
Clouds of affection from our younger eyes
Conceal that emptiness which age descries.

The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time hath made:
Stronger by weakness, wiser men become
As they draw near to their eternal home.
Leaving the old, both worlds at once they view
That stand upon the threshold of the new.


CROSSING THE BAR
Alfred Lord Tennyson [1809-1892]

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Trev

7



TREV'S TWITTERS

The Castle by the Lake

Have you seen the castle?
The tall castle by the lake?
With the rosy golden clouds
Of evening high above?
Oft have I seen it thus.
Also by bright moonlight,
With mist far out spread.
It sometimes seems to bow
To its image down below,
And then to stretch and strain
To the cloudy evening glow.
Do the wind and the water's lapping
Take on a fresher note?
Or is it the sound of lute strings
From the halls and festive song?

 

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

[A rough translation from one of Germany's 3 major poets - Schiller perhaps.]


The Dragonfly


 

I wish no happier one than to be laid
Beneath a cool syringa's scented shade,
Or wavy willow, by the running stream,
Brimful of moral, where the dragon-fly,
Wanders as careless and content as I.
Thanks for this fancy, insect king,
Of purple crest and filmy wing,
Who with indifference givest up
The water-lily's golden cup,
To come again and overlook
What I am writing in my book.
Believe me, most who read the line
Will read with hornier eyes than thine;
And yet their souls shall live for ever,
And thine drop dead into the river!
God pardon them, O insect king,
Who fancy so unjust a thing!

Walter Savage Landor [1775-1864]


Youth and Age

Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee-
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
 
When I was young?-Ah, woful When!
Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flashed along:-
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in't together.
 
Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
O! the joys, that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!
Ere I was old? Ah woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
'Tis known, that Thou and I were one,
I'll think it but a fond conceit-
It cannot be that Thou art gone!
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd:-
And thou wert aye a masker bold!
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe, that thou are gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size:
But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.
 
Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,
When we are old:
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist;
Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.
Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee-
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
 
When I was young?-Ah, woful When!
Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flashed along:-
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in't together.
Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
O! the joys, that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!
Ere I was old? Ah woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
'Tis known, that Thou and I were one,
I'll think it but a fond conceit-
It cannot be that Thou art gone!
 
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd:-
And thou wert aye a masker bold!
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe, that thou are gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size:
But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.
 
Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,
When we are old:
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist;
Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.
Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee-
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!
 
When I was young?-Ah, woeful When!
Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flashed along:-
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,
That ask no aid of sail or oar,
That fear no spite of wind or tide!
Nought cared this body for wind or weather
When Youth and I lived in't together.
 
Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree;
O! the joys, that came down shower-like,
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,
Ere I was old!
 
Ere I was old? Ah woeful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here!
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,
'Tis known, that Thou and I were one,
I'll think it but a fond conceit-
It cannot be that Thou art gone!
 
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd:-
And thou wert aye a masker bold!
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe, that thou are gone?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size:
But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.
Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
 
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,
When we are old:
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist;
Yet hath outstay'd his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge [1772-1834]


The Cuckoo

There are many rhymes about the cuckoo and its length of stay. Here are just a few. Do you know another one?

In April come I will,
In May, I sing night and day.
In June, I change my tune.
In July, away I fly.
In August, go I must.

The cuckoo comes in April
And sings his song in May.
He stays for June, July and August
And then he flies away.


The cuckoo comes in April,
He sings his song in May,
In June he has another note,
In July he flies away.

In April, come he will.
In May, he sings all day.
In June, he changes his tune.
In July, he prepares to fly.
In August, go he must.

Trev

14



TREV'S TWITTERS

Hail Smiling Morn
Reginald Spofforth

This was a favourite piece of music for the local brass band when I was young.

Hail, smiling morn, smiling morn,
That tips the hills with gold,
that tips the hills with gold,
And whose rosy fingers open wide
The gates of heav'n,
And whose rosy fingers open wide
The gates of heav'n!
 
And all the green fields,
That nature does enfold,
All the green fields, That nature does enfold.
At whose bright presence,
Darkness flies, darkness flies away,
Flies away! Flies away!
 
Hail, Hail, Hail, Hail,
Hail, Hail, Hail, Hail!
image003  

Reginald Spofforth [1769-1827], was an English musician, active as an organist, conductor and music teacher, but mainly remembered as a composer. His best known works are the glees Hail Smiling Morn [written in 1810 and described as having been 'possibly the most popular glee in the entire repertory'] and Hark! the Lark at Heaven's Gate Sings.

He composed about 75 glees, also three books of nursery rhyme settings and many songs and duets, including songs for various stage performances at Covent Garden in the 1790s and two elaborate hymns. It is thought he never composed any instrumental music.


Written at an Inn at Henley
William Shenstone

To thee, fair Freedom, I retire
From flattery, cards, and dice, and din;
Nor art thou found in mansions higher
Than the low cot or humble inn.

'Tis here with boundless power I reign,
And every health which I begin
Converts dull port to bright champagne:
Such freedom crowns it at an inn.

I fly from pomp, I fly from plate,
I fly from falsehood's specious grin;
Freedom I love and form I hate,
And choose my lodgings at an inn.

Here, waiter! take my sordid ore,
Which lackeys else might hope to win;
It buys what courts have not in store,
It buys me freedom at an inn.


This poem was written in the Red Lion Inn in Henley. It is said that Shenstone scratched it on a window pane of the Inn with a diamond. A reproduction of the original pane of glass is now in situ.

The Red Lion was probably built in 1531, though it incorporates even older buildings including a 14th century Chantry House. Famous guests include Samuel Johnson (and his friend Boswell), Charles I and the Duke of Marlborough, who used the Inn as a stopping point on his way to and from Blenheim Palace.

Son of Thomas Shenstone and Anne Penn, Shenstone was born in 1714 at the Leasowes, Halesowen. He received part of his formal education at Halesowen Grammar School. In 1741, Shenstone became bailiff to the feoffees [trustees] of Halesowen Grammar School. He went to Pembroke College, Oxford in 1732 but took no degree. While still at Oxford, he published poems on various occasions and in 1741 he published The Judgment of Hercules.

Shenstone inherited the Leasowes estate, and retired there in 1745 to undertake what proved the chief work of his life, the beautifying of his property. He embarked on elaborate schemes of landscape gardening which gave The Leasowes a wide celebrity but sadly impoverished the owner! Not a contented recluse, he desired constant admiration of his gardens, and never ceased to lament his lack of fame as a poet. Shenstone died unmarried.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Trev

17



TREV'S TWITTERS

For Exmoor Jean Ingelow [1820-1897]

For Exmoor -
For Exmoor, where the red deer run, my weary heart doth cry:
She that will a rover wed, far her feet shall hie.
Narrow, narrow, shows the street, dully the narrow sky.
- Buy my cherries, whiteheart cherries, good my masters, buy!
 
For Exmoor -
O he left me, left alone, aye to think and sigh -
'Lambs feed down yon sunny coombe, hind and yearling shy
Mid the shrouding vapour walk now like ghosts on high.'
- Buy my cherries, blackheart cherries, lads and lasses, buy!
 
For Exmoor -
Dear my dear, why did nye so? Evil day have I,
Mark no more the antler'd stag, hear the curlew cry.
Milking at my father's gate while he leans anigh.
- Buy my cherries, whiteheart, blackheart, golden girls, O buy!

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


What Bird So Sings

Now at heaven's gate she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.
Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat
Poor robin redbreast tunes his note!
Hark how the jolly cuckoos sing
Cuckoo! to welcome in the spring!
Cuckoo! to welcome in the spring!

What bird so sings, yet so does wail?
O 'tis the ravish'd nightingale.
Jug, jug, jug, jug, tereu! she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
Brave prick-song! Who is't now we hear?
None but the lark so shrill and clear;

John Lyly

John Lyly 1553/4? - 1606 was an English poet, writer, dramatist and politician. He was born in Kent, the first of eight children, and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford. He sat in parliament as member first for Hindon, then Aylesbury and later Appleby. Although he sought her patronage, he was not favoured by Elizabeth I. He died neglected and in poverty in the reign of James I. The proverb 'All is Fair in Love and War' has been attributed to John Lyly.


Spring

Lenten ys come with love to toune,
With blosmen & with briddes roune,
That al this blisse bryngeth;
Dayes eyes in this dales,
Notes suete of nyhtegales;
Uch foul song singeth.
The threstelcoc him threteth oo;
Away is huere wynter wo,
When woderove springeth.
This foules singeth ferly fele,
Ant wlyteth on huere wynter wele,
That al the wode ryngeth.

The rose rayleth hire rode;
The leves on the lyhte wode
Waxen al with wille.
The mone mandeth hire bleo;
The lilie is lossom to seo,
The fenyl & the fille.
Wowes this wilde drakes;
Miles murgeth huere makes,
Ase strem that striketh stille.
Mody meneth, so doth mo;
Ichot ycham on of tho,
For love that likes ille.

The mone mandeth hire lyht,
So doth the semly sonne bryht,
When briddes singeth breme;
Deawes donketh the dounes,
Deores with huere derne rounes
Domes forte deme;
Wormes woweth under cloude,
Wymmen waxeth wounder proude,
So wel hit wol hem seme,
Yef me shal wonte wille of on,
This wunne weole y wole forgon
Ant wyht in wode be fleme.

Anonymous: Old English c1300

Spring has come with love to town,
With blossoms and with birds' rounds,
Which all this bliss bringeth;
Daisies in these dales,
Notes sweet of nightingales;
Each fowl a song singeth.
The threstlecock he scoldeth aye;
Away is their winter woe,
When woodruff springeth.
These fowls singeth fairly much,
And look back on their winter weal,
So that all the wood ringeth.

The rose puts on her red;
The leaves on the trembling trees
Grow forth with eagerness.
The moon sends forth her brightness;
The lily is lovely to see,
The fennel and chervil.
Woo these wild drakes;
Beasts entertain their mates,
As streams which ever flow.
Sad ones moan, so do many more;
I know I am one of those,
Who are ill-pleased with love.

The moon sends forth her light,
So doth the pleasing sun bright,
When birds sing lustily;
Dews drench the hills,
Lovers with their secret songs
Their own laws to make;
Worms woo underground,
Women grow wondrously proud,
Which seems so becoming to them;
If I shall lack the goodwill of one,
This wondrous wealth I will forgo
And this wight in the woods be banished.


Spring is Coming

The spring, the spring is coming,
'Tis goodbye to all the snow.
Spring is coming, for the swallows
Have come back to tell me so.
Spring is coming, for the swallows
Have come back to tell me so.
 
In a corner of my window,
They have built a tiny nest;
Where the rosy sun can see it
As she sinks each night to rest
As the rosy sun can see it
As she sinks each night to rest.

 

[I don't know who the poet is, or if I can remember it correctly. Can anyone help?]

Trev


Looking this up on the internet I found many others asking the same question, and in fact Trevor has remembered more than anyone else. It would seem to be one of those ditties, probably sung and at mothers' knees, that has been passed down over the years.

Ed

13



TREV'S TWITTERS

A Tragedy

The story goes, as I've heard said,
A man had his nose cut off from his head.
An operation was performed
But then t'was found he was deformed.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, deary me
Then it began to rain, you see.
His nose was on the wrong way round;
The rain came in and he was drowned.

A Tommy Handley song from ITMA - It's That Man Again], part of the BBC's contribution to keeping the nation cheerful during WWII.


Blow, blow, thou winter wind

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
-Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

William Shakespeare

Captain Stratton's Fancy

Oh some are fond of red wine, and some are fond of white,
And some are all for dancing by the pale moonlight;
But rum alone's the tipple, and the heart's delight
Of the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
 
Oh some are fond of Spanish wine, and some are fond of French,
And some'll swallow tay and stuff fit only for a wench;
But I'm for right Jamaica till I roll beneath the bench,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
 
Oh some are for the lily, and some are for the rose,
But I am for the sugar-cane that in Jamaica grows;
For it's that that makes the bonny drink to warm my copper nose,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
 
Oh some are fond of fiddles, and a song well sung,
And some are all for music for to lilt upon the tongue;
But mouths were made for tankards, and for sucking at the bung,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
 
Oh some are fond of dancing, and some are fond of dice,
And some are all for red lips, and pretty lasses' eyes;
But a right Jamaica puncheon is a finer prize
To the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
 
Oh some that's good and godly ones they hold that it's a sin
To troll the jolly bowl around, and let the dollars spin;
But I'm for toleration and for drinking at an inn,
Says the old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
 
Oh some are sad and wretched folk that go in silken suits,
And there's a mort of wicked rogues that live in good reputes;
So I'm for drinking honestly, and dying in my boots,
Like an old bold mate of Henry Morgan.
 

John Masefield



 

John Edward Masefield, O.M. [1878 - 1967] was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, and poems, including Sea-Fever and Cargoes.

Trev

31



TREV'S TWITTERS

Jolly Good Ale and Old

I can but eat a little meat,
My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I can drink
With he that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take you no care,
I nothing am a-cold;
I stuff my skin so full within
Of jolly good ale and old.
Back and side go bare, go bare;
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.
 
I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,
And a crab laid in the fire;
A little bread shall do me stead;
Much bread I not desire.
No frost not snow, no wind, I trow,
Can hurt me if I wold;
I am so wrapp'd and thoroughly lapp'd
Of jolly good ale and old.
Back and side, etc.
And Tib, my wife, that as her life,
Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she till you may see
The tears run down her cheek;
Then doth she trowl to me the bowl
Even as a maltworm should;
And saith, 'Sweetheart, I took my part
Of this jolly good ale and old.'
Back and side, etc.
 
Now let them drink till they nod and wink,
Even as good fellows should do;
They shall not miss to have the bliss
Good ale doth bring man to;
And all poor souls that have scour'd bowls
Or have them lustily troll'd,
God save the lives of them and their wives,
Whether they be young or old.
Back and side, etc.

William Stevenson
[1530-1575]

William Stevenson was an English clergyman and presumed playwright of the early English language comedy Gammer Gurton's Needle.

Born in Durham, he studied at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1553, his Master of Arts degree in 1560 and his Bachelor of Divinity degree, also in 1560. Account books at Christ's College list him in 1550-1553 and again in 1559-1560 as involved in putting on plays, though they do not mention Gammer Gurton's Needle explicitly. He became a prebend at Durham Cathedral in 1561.


The Means to Attain a Happy Life

MARTIAL, the things that do attain
The happy life, be these, I find :
The riches left, not got with pain ;
The fruitful ground, the quiet mind :

The equal friend, no grudge, no strife ;
No charge of rule, nor governance ;
Without disease, the healthful life ;
The household of continuance :
 
The mean diet, no delicate fare ;
True wisdom join'd with simpleness ;
The night discharged of all care,
Where wine the wit may not oppress:
 
The faithful wife, without debate ;
Such sleeps as may beguile the night.
Contented with thine own estate ;
Ne wish for Death, ne fear his might
 

Henry Howard
Earl of Surrey


Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey [1516/17 to 19th January 1547] was an English Aristocrat and one of the founders of English Renaissance poetry.

He was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and his second wife, the former Lady Elizabeth Stafford He was reared at Windsor with Henry VIII's illegitimate son Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset, they became close friends and, later, brothers-in-law. He became Earl of Surrey in 1524 when his grandfather died and his father became Duke of Norfolk.

His first cousin, Anne Boleyn, was executed on charges of adultery and treason. Henry VIII consumed by delusions and increasing illness, became convinced that Surrey had planned to usurp the crown from his son Edward and had him imprisoned - with his father - sentenced him to death and beheaded for treason on the 19th January 1547. His father survived execution as it had been set for the day following the King's death, but remained in prison. Surrey's son Thomas became heir to the Dukedom of Norfolk instead, inheriting it on the 3rd Duke's death in 1554.

Henry Howard is buried in a spectacular tomb in the church of St. Michael the Archangel in Framlingham.

Trev

24



TREV'S TWITTERS

Hunting Songs

The Blush of Aurora

The blush of Aurora now tinges the morn,
And dew-drops bespangle the sweet scented thorn;
Then sound brother sportsman, sound, sound the gay horn,
Till Phoebus awakens the day.

And see now he rises! in splendour how bright!
O Peanl O Peanl For Phoebus, for Phoebus the god of delight,
All glorious in beauty now banishes night.
Then mount, boys, to horse and away.

What raptures can equal the joys of the chasel
Health, bloom and contentment appear in each face,
And in our swift coursers what beauty and grace,
While we the fleet stag do pursue.

At the deep and harmonious sweet cry of the hounds
Wing'd by terror he bursts from the forests wide bounds.
And tho' like lightning he darts o'er the grounds
Yet still, boys, we keep him in view.


Bright Phoebus

Bright Phoebus has mounted the chariot of day,
And the hounds and the horns call each sportsman away,
Through meadows and woods with speed now they bound,
Whilst health, rosy health, is in exercise found.

Hark away is the word to the sound of the horn
And echo, blithe echo, makes jovial the morn.

 

Each hill and each valley is lovely to view,
While puss flies the covert and dogs quick pursue,
Behold where she flies o'er the wide spreading plain,
While the loud open pack pursue her again.

Hark away is the word to the sound of the horn
And echo, blithe echo, makes jovial the morn.

 

At length puss is caught and lies panting for breath,
And the shout of the huntsman's the signal for death,
No joys can delight like the sports of the field,
To hunting all pleasure and pastime must yield.

Hark away is the word to the sound of the horn
And echo, blithe echo, makes jovial the morn.

 

Tally Ho

Ye sportsmen draw near and ye sportswomen too,
Who delight in the joys of the field;
Mankind, tho' they blame, are all eager as you,
And no one the contest will yield,
His Lordship, his worship, his honour, his grace
A-hunting continually go,
All ranks and degrees are engaged in the chase.
With, hark forward! huzza! tally ho!
 
The lawyer will rise with the first of the morn
To hunt for a mortgage or deed;
The husband gets up at the sound of the horn
And rides to the common full speed;
The patriot is thrown in pursuit of the game;
The poet, too, often lays low.
Who, mounted on Pegasus, flies after fame,
With, hark forward! huzza! tally ho!
 
While fearless o'er hills, and o'er woodlands we sweep,
Tho' prudes on our pastime may frown,
How oft do they decency's bounds overleap,
And the fences of virtue break down.
Thus public, or private, for pension, for place,
For amusement, for passion, for show,
All ranks and degrees are engaged in the chase.
With, hark forward! huzza! tally ho!

The Moment Aurora

The moment Aurora peeped in to my room
I put on my clothes and I called for my groom;
And my head heavy still, from the fumes of last night,
Took a bumper of brandy to set all things right:
And now we're all saddled, Fleet, Dapple and Grey;
Who seemed longing to hear the glad sound, hark awayl
 
Will whistle, by this, had uncoupled his hounds;
Whose ecstasy nothing could keep within bounds
Twas now, by the clock, about five in the morn;
And we all galloped off to the sound of the horn;
 
Jack Garter, Bill Babbler and Dick at the gun;
And by this time the merry Tom Fairplay made one,
Who, while we were jogging on blithesome and gay
Sung a song, and the chorus was - hark, hark away!
And no signs of madam, or trace of her feet;
And now Jemmy Lurcher, had ev'ry bush beat,
nay, we just had begun our hard fortune to curse,
When all of a sudden, out starts Mistress Puss;
 
Men, horses, and dogs, not a moment would stay.
And echo was heard to cry, hark, hark away!
The chase was a fine one, she took o'er the plain;
Which she doubled, and doubled and doubled again;
 
Till at last she to cover returned out of breath,
Where I and will Whistle were in at the death;
Then, in triumph, for you I the hare did display;
And cry'd to the horns, my boys, hark, hark away!

These songs are selected as typical from the Edinburgh Miscellany of 1808, which is crammed with many more, showing how popular the pursuit was at the time. Note the emphasis on early rising and healthy exercise!

Illustrations by:Paul Swailes

Trev

25



TREV'S TWITTERS - IN PRAISE OF WINE

Had Neptune

Had Neptune when first he took charge of the sea,
Been as wise, at least been as merry as we,
He'd have thought better on't, and instead of the brine
Would have filled the vast ocean with generous wine.
 
What trafficking then would have been on the main,
For the sake of good liquor as well as for gain!
No fear then of tempest, or danger of sinking,
The fishes ne'er drown that are always a-drinking.
 
The hot thirsty sun would drive with more haste
Secure in the evening of such a repast;
And when he'd got tipsy would have taken his nap
With double the pleasure in Thesis's lap.
 
By the force of his rays and thus heated with wine,
Consider how gloriously Phoebus would shine.
What vast exhalation he'd draw up on high,
To relieve the poor earth as it waited supply.
 
How happy us mortals when bless'd with such rain;
To fill all our vessels and fill them again;
Nay even the beggar that has ne'er a dish
Might jump in the river and drink like a fish.
 
What mirth and contentment on everyone's brow,
Hob as great as a prince, dancing after the plough,
The birds in the air as they play on the wing
Altho' they but sip would eternally sing.
 
The stars, who I think, don't to drinking incline
Would frisk and rejoice at the fume of the wine;
And merrily twinkling would soon let us know
That they were as happy as mortals below.
 
Had this been the case then what had we enjoy'd,
Our spirits still rising, our fancy ne'er cloy'd;
A pox then on Neptune when t'was in his pow'r
To slip, like a fool, such a fortunate hour.

 

This lovely 8-verse piece of nonsense was written by Joseph Ritson who was born in humble circumstances at Stockton, near Durham, in 1752. In 1775 he settled in London where he practiced law at Gray's Inn and pursued his literary studies at the British Museum. He was high bailiff of the liberty of the Savoy, complementing his antiquarian interests. He was one of the first to study local poetry and popular legends but was notorious for his fierce attacks on some of the literary leaders of his day. Formerly a Jacobite sympathiser, he became a republican during the French Revolution. He died, impoverished and insane, in 1803 after making a bonfire of manuscripts in his rooms at Gray's Inn.


My Temple with Clusters

My temples with clusters of grapes I'll entwine
And barter all joys for a goblet of wine,
In search of Venus no longer I'll run
But stop and forget her at Bacchus' tun.
 
Yet why thus resolve to relinquish the fair?
'Tis folly with spirits like mine to despair;
For what mighty charms can be found in a glass
If not filled to the health of some favourite lass?
'Tis woman whose charms every rapture impart,
And leads a new spring to the pulse of the heart;
The miser himself, so supreme in her sway,
Grows a convert to love and resigns her his key.
 
At the sound of her voice Sorrow lifts up her head
And Poverty listens, well pleas'd from her shed;
While Age, in an ecstasy, hobbling along,
Beats time, with his crutch, to the tune of her song.
 
Then bring me a goblet from Bacchus's hoard,
The largest and deepest that stands on his board;
I'll fill up a brimmer and drink to the fair;
'Tis the thirst of a lover - and pledge me who dare!

 
 

Greedy Midas

O greedy Midas, I've been told
That what you touch'd you turn'd to gold.
Oh had I but a power like thine,
I'd turn, I'd turn whatever I touch to wine.

Each purling stream should feel my force,
Each fish my fatal power mourn,
and wond'ring at the mighty change
Should in their native regions burn.

Nor should there any dare t'approach
Unto my mantling sparkling shrine,
But first should pay their vows to me
And style me only God of Wine.


Illustrations by Paul Swailes

Trev

29



TREV'S TWITTERS - SONGS OF THE SEA

The Wandering Sailor

The wand'ring sailor ploughs the main
A competence in life to gain;
Undaunted braves the stormy seas
To find at last content and ease;
In hopes, when toil an danger's o'er
To anchor on his native shore.
 
When winds blow hard and mountains roll,
And thunders shake from pole to pole;
Tho' dreadful waves surrounding foam,
Still flattering fancy wafts him home;
In hopes, when toil and danger's o'er
To anchor on his native shore.
 
When round the bowl the jovial crew
The early scenes of youth renew,
Tho' each his favourite fair will boast,
This is the universal toast:
May we when toil and danger's o'er,
Cast anchor on our native shore!


Blow High, Blow Low

Blow high, blow low! let tempest tear The mainmast by the board!
My heart [with thoughts of thee, my dear!
And love well stored]
Shall brave all danger, scorn all fear.
The roaring wind, the raging sea,
In hopes, on shore, to be once more
Safe moored with thee.
 
Aloft, while mountains high we go,
The whistling winds that scud along,
And the surge roaring from below,
Shall my signal be, to think on thee.
And this shall be my song,
Blow high, blow low! let tempest tear
The mainmast by the board!
 
My heart [with thoughts of thee, my dear!
And love well stored]
And on that night [when all the crew
The memory of their former lives,
O'er flowing cans of flip renew,
And drink their sweethearts and their wives],
I'll heave a sigh, and think of thee.
 
And, as the ship rolls through the sea,
The burden of my song shall be.
Blow high, blow low! let tempest tear
The mainmast by the board!
My heart [with thoughts of thee, my dear!
And love well stored]

Come, Come my Jolly Lads

Come, come, my jolly lads, the wind's abaft,
Brisk gales our sails shall crowd;
Then bustle, bustle, boys, haul the boat,
The boatswain pipes aloud.
All hands on board, our ship's unmoored,
The rising gale fills ev'ry sail,
Our ship's well manned and stored.
Then sling the flowing bowl, then sling the flowing bowl,
Fond hopes arise, the girls we prize, shall bless each jovial soul;
Then the can, boys, bring, we'll drink and sing,
While the foaming billows roll.
 
Now to the Spanish coast we're bound to steer,
To see our rights maintained;
Then bear a hand, be steady boys,
Soon we shall see
Old England once again.
From shore to shore loud cannons roar,
Our tars shall show the haughty foe
Britannia rules the main.
Then sling the flowing bowl, then sling the flowing bowl,
Fond hopes arise, the girls we prize, shall bless each jovial soul;
Then the can, boys, bring, we'll drink and sing,
While the foaming billows roll.

This broadside was a favourite with sailors. It is said to have been written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan [1751-1816]. An English dramatist and politician, Sheridan is better known for his works 'The Rivals' and 'School for Scandal'.

A broadside ballad is a descriptive or narrative verse or song usually in a simple ballad form and on a popular theme. Sung or recited in public places it was also printed on broadsides for sale in the streets. They were one of the most common forms of printed material between the 16th and 19th centuries, particularly in Britain, Ireland and North America.


Davy Jones's Locker

When last honest Jack, of whose fate I now sing,
Weigh'd anchor and cast out for sea;
For he never refuse'd for his country and King
To fight, or no lubber was he;
To hand, reef and steer, and house everything light,
Full well did he know every inch;
Tho' the top lifts of sailors the tempest should smite,
Jack never was known for to flinch.
 
Aloft from the masthead one day be espied
seven sail which appear'd to his view.
Clear the decks, sponge the guns was instantly cried,
And each to his station then flew;
They fought until many of their fellows were slain
And silenc'd was every gun;
Twos then that old English valour was vain,
For by numbers, alas! they're undone.
 
Yet think not bold Jack, though by conquest dismayed
Could tamely submit to his fate;
When his country he found he no longer could serve,
Looking round, he address'd thus each mate:
What's life d'ye see when our liberty's gone,
Much nobler it were for to die,
So now for old Davy - then plunged in the main
E'en the cherub above heav'd a sigh.
 

These four songs are selected as typical of the period - early 19th century - from the Gentleman's Song Book, which contains almost as many sea songs as hunting ones. What I find rather strange is that none of them mention a captain or other officer apart from brief references to a bo'sun. They must have had some!

llustrations by : Paul Swailes

Trev

17



TREV'S TWITTERS

Thank You One and All

Many thanks to those dozens of friends and neighbours who popped in to help celebrate my 100th Birthday [Sunday February 10th in case you've forgotten!], also for the lovely cards and presents. To those who didn't come, I can only say you missed a treat. It was a wonderful event, if a bit tiring, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Great to see you all.

I mustn't forget a special thank you to Kath and her family who arranged the refreshments, liquid and otherwise.

Trev


Cock a Doodle Do

Cock a Doodle Do
My dame has lost her shoe.
The master's lost his fiddling stick,
And doesn't know what to do.

Artwork: Debbie Cook

Old Wooden Walls of England

Thro' winds and waves, in days that are no more,
I held the helm, and ne'er ran foul of shore;
In pitch-dark nights my reck'ning prov'd so true,
We rode out safe the hardest gale that blew.
And when for fight the signal high was shewn,
Thro' fire and smoke old Boreas straight bore down;
And now my timbers are not fit for sea,
Old England's wooden walls my toast shall be.
 
From age to age, as ancient story shews,
We rul'd the deep, in spite of envious foes;
And still aloft, tho' worlds combine, we'll rise,
If all at home are splic'd in friendly ties.
In loud broadsides we'll tell both France and Spain,
We're own'd by Neptune sov'reigns of the main.
Oh! would my timbers were now fit for sea!
Yet England's wooden walls my toast shall be.
 

from The Fair American, a comic opera in 3 Acts by Frederick Pilon, 1750-1788. Performed to universal applause at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

The first two lines were used in a murder pamphlet in England, 1606, which seems to suggest that children sang those lines, or very similar ones, to mock the cockerel's "crow". The first full version recorded was in Mother Goose's Melody, published in London around 1765. By the mid-nineteenth century, when it was collected by James Orchard Halliwell, it was very popular and three additional verses, perhaps more recent in origin had been added [Wikipedia]:

Cock a doodle do!
What is my dame to do?
Till master's found his fiddlingstick,
She'll dance without her shoe

Cock a doodle do!
My dame has found her shoe,
And master's found his fiddling stick
Sing cock a doodle do!

Cock a doodle do!
My dame will dance with you,
While master fiddles his fiddlingstick,
And knows not what to do.

Trev

28



MY 100 YEARS - BY TREV

Born: 10th February 1913 in Elland, Yorkshire Parents: Albert and Emily. I was educated first at Elland Primary School and then Elland Secondary School passing my 11+ and School Certificate [now G.C.S.E.] before gaining a B.Sc. Tech [in Electrical Engineering] at Manchester University College of Technology.

I began work as a Probationary College Apprentice with Metropolitan-Vickers at Trafford Park, Manchester, and after Sales Correspondent in their Meter Department. Then followed ten years as Assistant Sales Manager for the Record Electrical Company Limited at Altrincham, Cheshire, makers of electrical measuring equipment before being promoted to Technical Executive and staying with the company a further twenty-six years. In this position I represented the company at the British Standards Institution in London and later, the BSI at International Organisation conferences which were held in various countries including France, Sweden, Hungary, Slovenia and Russia [St. Petersburg]. This position was terminated by redundancy following a takeover.

After various temporary and freelance work, I secured the job of Tariff Consultant with the firm of Industrial Energy Costs of Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire, which lasted six years until my retirement in February 1978.

On the 17th December 1936, after a two-year courtship, I married Lilian Newton, a specialist silk weaver and an orphan from Macclesfield. On the 19th December 1943 she presented me with our daughter Anthea, followed on the 1st April 1947 by our son Victor.

Unfortunately, my dear wife contracted bowel cancer which was not detected soon enough and in spite of the removal of a tumour the condition was too widespread and after a long struggle on 15th March 1981 she succumbed. We had been married for over 44 years. By then both our children had flown the nest and got married, producing in their turn four girls and two boys between them, so I was left alone save for an old and ailing Labrador.

How I left North Wales, to where I had retired and finally, by various moves, landed up in Ilfracombe is too long a story! Suffice to say that by joining the Ilfracombe Walkers I met Kathy and she very kindly took me into Barn Cottage where she has been my guardian angel ever since.

Trev

31



TREV'S TWITTERS

Winter Nights

    Now winter nights enlarge the number of their hours;
    And clouds their storms discharge;  Upon the airy towers.
    Let now the chimneys blaze and cups o'erflow with wine;
    Let well-toned words amaze with harmony divine.
    Now yellow waxen lights shall wait on honey love
    While youthful revels, masques and courtly sights
    Sleeps tender spells remove.
     
    This time doth well dispense with lovers long discourse;
    Much speech hath some defence, though beauty no remorse.
    All do not all things well; some measures comely tread;
    Some knotted riddles tell, some poems smoothly read,
    The summer has his joys, and winter his delights
    Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
    They shorten tedious nights.

Thomas Campion, 1567-1620

Born in London, Campion was an English composer, poet and physician, writing over a hundred songs for the lute, masques for dancing and an authoritative technical treatise on music, He was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge but left without a degree, entered Gray's Inn to study Law but was never called to the bar; but received his Medical Degree from the University of Caen in 1605. It is possible that he died of the plague and is buried at St. Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street.



Mortal Man

Oh mortal man that lives by bread,
What is it makes thy nose so red?
Thou silly fool, that looks so pale,
'Tis supping Sarah Jenkins' ale.

I believe there is somewhere up north a tavern with this intriguing title and a signboard showing a suitably endowed gentleman. Sarah Jenkins was, no doubt, one of many ale wives of the day, possibly more skilful than most. I doubt if she was ever the pub landlady.

When Once the Gods

    When once the Gods, like us below, to keep it up design,
    Their goblets with fresh nectar flow, which make them more divine.
    Since drinking deifies the soul, let's push about the flowing bowl,
    Since drinking deifies the soul, let's push about the flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, a flowing bowl,
    Since drinking deifies the soul, let's push about the flowing bowl.
     
    The glitt'ring star and ribbon blue, that deck a courtiers breast,
    May hide a heart of blackest hue, though by a King caress'd.
    Let him in pride and splendour roll; we're happier or'er a flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.
     
    For liberty let patriots rare, and damn the courtly crew,
    Because, like them, they want to have the loaves and fishes too!
    I care not who divides the cole, so I can share a flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.
     
    Let Mansfield Lord Chief Justice be, Sir Fletcher speaker still,
    At home let Rodney rule the sea, and Pitt the Treasury still;
    No place I want throughout the whole; I want an ever-flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.
     
    The son wants square toes at old Nick.   The miss is made to wed;
    The doctors want us to be sick;  the undertaker dead:
    All have their wants from pole to pole, I want an ever-flowing bowl.
    A flowing bowl, etc.

[This drinking song from the Musical Miscellany of 1808 has more than a hint of politics in it, no doubt reflecting those of the time. T.]


A Drinking Song

    Bacchus must now his power resign - I am the only God of Wine!
    It is not fit the wretch should be in competition set with me.
    Who can drink ten times more than he, make a new world, ye powers divine!
    Stacked with nothing else but wine: let wine be earth and air and sea and let that wine be all for me!

Henry Carey [1693-1743]

Probably better known for his longer poem 'Sally in our Alley', Carey was a poet, dramatist and songwriter, an anti-Walpolean and a patriot. His melodies continue to be sung today and were widely praised after his death, although due to his anonymity, some of his works have been credited to others.



[

Give me Ale

When as the chilly Charokko blows,
And winter tells a heavy tale;
When pyes and doves and rooks and crows
Sit cursing of the frosts and snows,
Then give me ale.
 
Ale in a Saxon runkin then,
Such as will make grimalkin prate;
Bids valour burgeon in tall men,
Quickens the pelt wit and pen,
Despises fate.
 
Ale the absent battle fights,
And frames the march of Swedish drums,
Disputes with princes, laws and rights,
What's done and past tell mortal wights,
And what's to come.

Ale, that the plowman's heart up keeps
And equals it with tyrants throne,
That unifies the eye that over weeps,
And lulls in sure and dainty sleeps
The over wearied bones.
 
Grandchild of Ceres, Bacchus' daughter,
Wine emulous neighbour, though but
Enabling all the nymphs of waterstale,
And filling each man's heart with laughter -
Ha!  Give me ale.

*Charokko = Scirocco

Anon

Trev

33



TREV'S TWITTERST

Drake's Drum

Drake he's in his hammock and a thousand miles away,
(Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?)
Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay,
And dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.
Yornder looms the Island, yornder lie the ships,
Wi' sailor lads a-dancing' heel-an'-toe,
And the shore-lights flashing, and the night-tide dashing,
He sees it all so plainly as he saw it long ago.

Drake he was a Devon man, and ruled the Devon seas,
(Capten, art tha' sleepin' there below?)
Roving tho' his death fell, he went with heart at ease,
And dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.
"Take my drum to England, hang it by the shore,
Strike it when your powder's running low;
If the Dons sight Devon, I'll quit the port of Heaven,
And drum them up the Channel as we drummed them long ago."

Drake he's in his hammock till the great Armadas come,
(Capten, art tha sleepin' there below?)
Slung atween the round shot, listening for the drum,
And dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.
Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound,
Call him when you sail to meet the foe;
Where the old trade's plying and the old flag flying
They shall find him ware and waking, as they found him long ago!

Sir Henry Newbolt
[1862-1938]

English poet who wrote Drake's Drum in 1897 which has been set to both classical and folk tunes.

Drake's Drum can be seen at Buckland Abbey [NT], the 700-year old home of Elizabethan seafarers Drake and Grenville.


Your Mountain Sack

Your mountain sack, your Frontinae,
Tokai and twenty more sir;
Your Sherry and Perry
That make men merry
Are Deities I adore sir.
And well may Port our praise extort,
When from his palace forth he comes,
And glucks and gurgles, fumes and foams,
Gluck, gluck, gluck, gluck,
Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle, gurgle,
Gluck, gluck, gluck, gluck,
Hickup, hickup, hickup, gurgle and gluck,
Hickup, gurgle and gluck.

The Briton, Sir John Barleycorn
Stands highly in my favour;
His mantling head may well adorn
His valour and his flavour.
Nay, Cyder-an
Is a potent man,
When from his palace, etc.

Madeira monarch, him I sing!
And old Hock is another!
Champagne is my most Christian King;
And Burgundy his brother.
Bordeaux too,
Shall have his due,
When from his palace, etc.

Old Rum, Arrack and coniac,
Are known for men of might, sir;
Nor shall Sir Florence Flasket lack
A place among my knights, sir;
Don Calcavallo
Is a noble fellow,
When from his palace, etc.

If singly thus, each champion may
So many laurels gather,
Gods! What a congress they,
When all are met together!
When high in state,
Each potentate
Forth from his spacious palace comes!
And glucks and gurgles! Fumes and foam?

Another from the Musical Miscellany, this one a catalogue of alcoholic drinks, some unknown to me.


Sweet Poll of Plymouth

Sweet Poll of Plymouth was my dear,
When forc'd from her to go,
Adown her cheek rained many a tear,
My heart was fraught with woe.
Our anchor weigh'd for sea we stood,
The land we left behind,
Her tears then swell'd the briny flood,
My sighs increas'd the wind.

We ploughed the deep, and now between
Us lay the ocean wide,
For five long years I had not seen
My sweet, my bonny bride.
That time I sailed the world around,
All for my true love's sake;
But press'd as we were homeward bound,
I thought my heart would break.

The press-gang bold I asked in vain
To let me once on shore;
I longed to see my Poll again,
But saw my Poll no more.
"And have they torn my love away,
"And is he gone?" she cried.
My Polly! sweetest flower of May!
She languished, drooped, and died.

This little tragedy, again from the Musical Miscellany of 1808. is typical of the press-gangs of the Napoleonic Wars who let nothing stand in the way of keeping warship crews up to strength.

Trev

10



TREV'S TWITTERS

Nothing Like Grog

A plague on those musty old lubbers,
Who tell us to fast and think,
And patient fall in with life's rubbers
With nothing but water to drink.
A can of good stuff, had they twigg'd it
Would have sent them for pleasure agog;
And in spite of the rules.
And in spite of the rules of the schools.
The old fools would have all of 'em swigg'd it
And swore there was nothing like grog.

My father, when last I from Guinea
Return'd with abundance of wealth,
Cried, "Jack, never be such a ninny
To drink." Says I, "father, your health."
So I pass'd round the stuff soon he twigg'd it,
And it set the old codger agog
And he swigged it and mother
And sister and brother
And I swigg'd, and all of us swigg'e it,
And swore there was nothing like grog.
One day, when the Chaplain was preaching,
Behind him I curiously slunk,
And, while he our duty was teaching,
As how we should never get drunk,
I tip't him the stuff, and he twigg'd it,
Which soon set his rev'rence agog.
And he swigg'd; and Nick swigg'd,
And Ben swigg'd, and Dick swigg'd,
And I swigg'd, and all of us swigg'd it,
And swore there was nothing like grog.

Then trust me, there's nothing as drinking
So pleasant on this side the grave;
It keeps the unhappy from thinking,
And makes e'en more valiant the brave.
For me, from the moment I twigg'd it
The good stuff has so set me agog
Sick or well, late or early
Wind foully or fairly,
I've constantly swigg'd it,
And dam'me there's nothing like grog.


Charles Dibdin 1745-1814

A British musician, dramatist, novelist, actor and song-writer, Charles Dibdin was born in Southampton, the son of a parish clerk and the youngest of 18 children.

He had a colourful life with connections to many of the London theatres and playhouses and wrote in excess of 360 songs. Married early in life he deserted his wife leaving her destitute. Two illicit relationships followed, marrying the second, Miss Wild, on the death of his wife. Father to numerous children, his two sons, Charles and Thomas John, were also popular dramatists in their day.

There is a memorial plaque to Dibdin on the tower of Holyrood Church Southampton, and one at the Royal Hospital Greenwich. Michael Heseltine, MP, is a distant relative. A fan of Dibdin's works, he was responsible for the Government's erection of a statue in Greenwich.


An Irish Drinking Song

Of the ancients it's speaking my soul you'd be after,
That they never go, how come you so;
Would you seriously make the good folks die with laughter;
To be sure their dogs tricks we don't know.
With your smallilou nonsense and all your queer boddens,
Since whisky's a liquor divine;
To be sure the old ancients as well as the moderns
Did not love a sly sip of good wine.
 
Apicius and Aesop, as authors assure
Would swig 'till as drunk as a beast.
Then what do you think of that rogue Epicurus,
Was not he a tight hand at a fest.
With your smallilou, etc.
 
Alexander the Great at his banquets who drank hard,
When he no more worlds could subdue,
Shed tears to be sure, but t'was tears of the tankard,
To refresh him and pray would not you.
With your smallilou, etc.
 
Then that other old fellow they call Aristotle,
Such a devil of a tippler was he.
That one night having taken too much of his bottle,
The thief staggered into the sea.
With your smallilou, etc.
 
Then they made what they call of their wine a libation,
Which as all authority quotes;
They threw on the ground, musha what baderation,
To be sure 'twas not thrown down their throats.

Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

[Taken from the Musical Miscellany, 1808 Edition]

Trev

15



TREVOR'S TWITTERS

The Brown Jug

Dear Tom, this brown jug that now foams with mild ale,
[in which I will drink to sweet Nan of the Vale]
Was once Toby Fillpot, a thirsty old soul,
As e'er drank a bottle, or fathomed a bowl;
In boozing about 'twas his praise to excel,
And among jolly topers he bore off the bell.
 
It chanced as in dog-days he sat at his ease,
In his flower-woven arbour, as gay as you please,
With a friend and a pipe puffing sorrows away.
And with honest old stingo was soaking his clay
His breath-doors of life on a sudden were shut,
And he died full as big as a Dorchester butt.
 
His body when long in the ground it had lain,
And time into clay had resolved it again,
A potter found out in its covert so snug,
And with part of fat Toby he formed this brown jug;
Now sacred to friendship, and mirth, and mild ale,
So here's to my lovely sweet Nan of the Vale!
 

Francis Fawkes
[1721-1777]

By the Gaily Circling Glass

By the gaily circling glass,
we can see how minutes pass;
By the hollow cask we're told
How the waning night grows old.
Soon, too soon, the busy day
Drives us from our sports away.
What have we with day to do?
Sons of care t'was made for you!
 
By the silence of the owl;
By the chirping on the thorn,
By the butts that empty roll,
We foretell the approach of morn.
Fill, then, fill the vacant glass,
Let no precious moment slip,
Flout the moralising ass:
Joys find entrance at the lip.
 

John Milton
[1608-1674]

These two ditties are taken from the Edinburgh Musical Miscellany of 1808.


Old John Braddelum - A Number Song

Number one, number one,
my little song has just begun.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number two, number two,
some boots pinch, so give I a shoe.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number three, number three,
some likes coffee and some likes tea.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number four, number four,
some says nowt but thinks the more.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number five, number five,
some folks die when they can't keep alive.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number six, number six,
some use crutches when they can't use sticks.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number seven, number seven,
some likes t'other place, give I heaven.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number eight, number eight,
some folks drink till they can't walk straight.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number nine, number nine,
some drinks beer 'cos they can't get wine.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number ten, number ten,
there baint no women where there baint no men.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number eleven, number eleven,
'bout the same as number seven.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.

Number twelve, number twelve,
If you want any more you can sing it yourself.
With a rum-tum-taddelum, Old John Braddelum
Hey, what country folk we be.


The Man Who Wasn't There

The other night, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today
I really wish he'd go away.

The Fly and the Flea

A fly met a flea in a flue,
And they tried to decide what to do.
"Let us fly" said the flea.
"Let us flee" said the fly.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

36



TREV'S TWITTERS

All remembered by Trev

The Brook

I come from haunts of coot and hern
I make a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down the valley;
 
By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.
 
Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come & men may go,
But I go on forever.
 
I chatter over stony ways
In little sharps and trebles;
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles;
 
With many a curve my banks I fret
By, many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow;
 
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come, & men may go,
But I go on forever.
 
I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling.

 

Illustrated by: Peter Rothwell

And here and there a foamy flake,
Upon me as I travel,
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,
 
And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come, & men may go,
But I go on forever.
 
I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers;
 
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows;
 
I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars,
I loiter round my cresses;
 
And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come, & men may go,
But I go on forever.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleas'd with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

William Shakespeare

1564-1616

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

 

Song of a Traveller

I will make you brooches and toys for your delight
Of bird-song at morning and star-shine at night,
I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests, and blue days at sea.
 
I will make my kitchen, and you shall keep your room,
Where white flows the river and bright blows the broom;
And you shall wash your linen and keep your body white
In rainfall at morning and dewfall at night.
 
And this shall be for music when no one else is near,
The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear!
That only I remember, that only you admire,
Of the broad road that stretches and the roadside fire.
 
Robert Louis Stevenson
1850-1894


from 'Through the Looking-glass', Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898


"The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright -
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done -
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun."

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead -
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
If this were only cleared away,'
They said, it would be grand!'

If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
That they could get it clear?'
I doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

O Oysters, come and walk with us!'
The Walrus did beseech.
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head -
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat -
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more -
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

The time has come,' the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes - and ships - and sealing-wax -
Of cabbages - and kings -
And why the sea is boiling hot -
And whether pigs have wings.'

But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!'
No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed -
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.'

But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!'
The night is fine,' the Walrus said.
Do you admire the view?

It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf -
I've had to ask you twice!'

It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,
To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
The butter's spread too thick!'

I weep for you,' the Walrus said:
I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none -
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one."

17



TREV'S TWITTERS

SPRING

Description of Spring

The soote season, the bud and bloom forth brings.
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale;
The nightingale with feathers now she sings;
The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs,
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes float with now repaired scale
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;
The busy bee her honey now she wings;
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey [1516-1547]

Welcome to Spring

What bird so sings, yet does so wail.
O! 'tis the ravished nightingale.
Jug, jug, jug, jug, tereau, she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
Brave prick song!   Who is't now we hear?
None by the lark so shrill and clear;
Now at heaven's gate she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.
Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat
Poor Robin Redbreast tunes his note;
Hark how the jolly cuckoos sing
Cuckoo, to welcome in the spring!

John Lyly [?1554-1606]


Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

Spring

Spring, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring.
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
 
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
 
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning fit;
In every street these tunes our dear do greet;
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we,to-witta-woo!
Spring, the sweet spring!

Thomas Nashe [1567-1601]
[This poem first appeared in the April 1991 issue]

To Spring

O Thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Through the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!
 
The hills tell one another, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turn'd
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth
And let thy holy feet visit our clime!
 
Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our lovesick land that mourns for thee.
 
O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languish'd head,
Whose modest tresses are bound up for thee.

William Blake [1757-1823]

38



TREV'S TWITTERS

Three Clerihews
[by Mr. Clerihew 'Himself']

Sir Christopher Wren
Said "I am going to dine with some men.
If anyone calls,
Say I'm designing St. Pauls."
 
What I like about Clive,
Is that he's no longer alive.
There's a great deal to be said
For being dead.
 
Daniel Defoe,
Lived a long time agol
He had nothing to do, so
He wrote Robinson Crusoe

E.C. Bentley [10th July 1875 - 30th March l956] was a popular English novelist and humourist of the early 20th Century, and the inventor of the 'clerihew', an irregular form of humorous verse on biographical topics.

He was born in London and educated at St. Paul's School and Merton College, Oxford. His father was a civil servant but also a rugby union international, having played in the first ever international match for England against Scotland in 1871.

Bentley worked on several newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph and published his first collection of poetry in 1905, which popularised the clerihew form. His detective novel, Trent's Last Case [1913] was much acclaimed, numbering Dorothy L. Sayers among its admirers, and was adapted as a film in 1920 and again in 1929 and 1952. From 1936 to 1949 he was President of the Detection Club. Bentley died at the age of 80 in 1956. His son, Nicholas Bentley, an illustrator, famous for his humorous cartoons died in 1978.

Edmund Clerihew Bentley


Four Limericks

There was an old man of St. Bees,
Who was stung in the arm by a wasp.
When asked 'Does it hurt?' He replied 'No, it doesn't
I'm so glad it wasn't a hornet.'
 
W.S. Gilbert
A rare old bird is the pelican
Its beak holds more than its bellycan.
He can take in his beak, Food enough for a week,
I'm darned if I know how the hellican.
 
Dixon Merritt [1879-1972]

A sleeper from the Amazon
Put nighties that were his gra'mazon;
The reason? That he was too fat
To get his own pyjamazon.
 
Anon
A major, with wonderful force
Called out, in Hyde Park, for a horse.
All the flowers looked round, But no horse could be found,
So he just rhododendron, of course.
 
Anon.

Two Parodies
by Lewis Carol

How doth the little crocodile, Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile on every glistening scale.
 
How cheerfully he seems to grin! How neatly spreads his claws!
And welcomes little fishes in, with ghoulish smiling jaws!
 
[A parody on 'How doth the little Busy Bee, Isaac Watts 1674-1748]
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat, how I wonder what you're at;
Up above the world so high, like a tea-tray in the sky.
 
[A parody on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star written by sisters Ann and Jane Taylor, 1783-1824]

Cork and Work and Card and Ward

Extracted from The Children's Library produced by Simon & Schuster of New York, this anonymous poem illustrating many of the problem words for English spelling is believed to have first appeared in The Times 1936.


I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
 
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through?
 
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps:
 
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
 
And dead: it's said like bed, not bead;
For goodness sake don't call it 'deed'!
 
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
 

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
 
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
 
And then there's dose and rose and lose,
Just look them up -- and goose and choose,
 
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
 
And do and go and thwart and cart --
Come, come, I've hardly made a start!
 
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I'd mastered it when I was five!

Trev

15



THE LION AND ALBERT
Edgar Marriott

There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was young Albert,
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

They didn't think much of the ocean:
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded,
Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.

So, seeking for further amusement,
They paid and went into the Zoo,
Where they'd lions and tigers and camels,
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big Lion called Wallace;
His nose were all covered with scars -
He lay in a somnolent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.

Now Albert had heard about Lions,
How they was ferocious and wild -
To see Wallace lying so peaceful,
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.

So straightway the brave little feller,
Not showing a morsel of fear,
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And pushed it in Wallace's ear.

You could see that the Lion didn't
like it, For giving a kind of a roll,
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im,
And swallowed the little lad 'ole.



Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence,
And didn't know what to do next,
Said 'Mother! Yon Lion's 'et Albert',
And Mother said 'Well, I am vexed!'

Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom -
Quite rightly, when all's said and done -
Complained to the Animal Keeper,
That the Lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it;
He said 'What a nasty mishap.
Are you sure that it's your boy he's eaten?'
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!'

The manager had to be sent for.
He came and he said 'What's to do?'
Pa said 'Yon Lion's 'et Albert,
'And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too.'

Then Mother said, 'Right's right, young feller;
I think it's a shame and a sin,
For a lion to go and eat Albert,
And after we've paid to come in.'

Then off they went to the P'lice Station,
In front of the Magistrate chap;
They told 'im what happened to Albert,
And proved it by showing his cap.

The manager wanted no trouble,
He took out his purse right away,
Saying 'How much to settle the matter?'
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?'

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said 'No! someone's got to be summonsed' -
So that was decided upon.

The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing,
'And thank you, sir, kindly,' said she.
'What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy Lions? Not me!'


The monologue, the Lion and Albert, written by Edgar Marriott was immortalised by the late Stanley Holloway. Edgar Marriott [1880-1951] was born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland, the fourth child of Richard and Jenny Edgar and half-brother of the novelist Edgar Wallace, a descendant of the Marriott family theatre group.

He was a poet and writer who excelled once he had joined up with Stanley Holloway, the pair going to Hollywood at the start of the 1930's. Marriott died in London in 1951. The fact that the lion is called Wallace is generally believed to be a fraternal joke at his half-brother.

Stanley Holloway. OBE, was born in London in October 1890. A stage and film actor, singer, poet and monologist, he was famous for his comic and character roles on stage and screen, and renowned for his characterisation of the part "Married in the Morning!" in My Fair Lady, a role he played on Broadway, in the West End and later on film. Married twice, with five children including Julian Holloway, he continued to make films into his eighties. He died in Littlehampton, West Sussex, in January 1982.]

Trev

29



TREV'S TWITTERS

Happiness and Despondency

I've Got Sixpence

I've got sixpence, jolly, jolly sixpence,
I've got sixpence to last me all my life.
I've got tuppence to spend and tuppence to lend
And tuppence to take home to my wife.
No cares have I to grieve me,
No pretty little girls to deceive me.
I'm as happy as a king, believe me,
As I go rolling home.

I Wish I Was Single Again

I wish I was single again, again,  I wish I was single again,
For when I was single, my pockets did jingle,
I wish I was single again!
 
I married a wife, oh then, oh then, I married a wife, oh then.
I married a wife, the bane of my life,
I wish I was single again.
 
My wife she died, oh then, oh then, my wife she died, oh then,
My wife she died, I laughed till I cried,
With joy to be single again.
 
I married another, oh then, oh then, I married another, oh then,
I married another, far worse than the other
I wish I was single again!

[And serve him jolly well right!]


The sixpence, known colloquially as the tanner or half-shilling was a British pre-decimal coin, worth six [pre-1971] pennies or 1/40th of a pound sterling. In England, the first sixpences were struck in the reign of Edward VI in 1551 and continued until they were rendered obsolete by decimalisation in 1971. Sixpences were originally supposed to be demonetized upon decimalisation in 1971. However, they remained legal tender until 30 June 1980.

As the supply of silver threepence coins disappeared, sixpences replaced them as the coins put into Christmas puddings. They have also been seen as a lucky charm for brides and as a good luck charm by Royal Air Force Aircrew who have them sewn behind their wings or brevets, a custom dating back to the Second World War. Brian May, the guitarist with the rock group Queen, uses a sixpence piece as a plectrum.

Trev

26



CROSSWORD CORNER

Solution in Article 39.

7



LADIES

Sigh No More Ladies

Sigh no more ladies, ladies sigh no more,
Men where deceivers ever
One foot in seas and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into heigh nonny nonny.

Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing


Shall I Wasting in Despair

Shall I wasting in despair
Die because a woman's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May,
If she be not so to me,
What care I how fair she be?

Shall a woman's goodness move
Me to perish for her love?
Or her well-deserving known
Make me quite forget mine own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of best
If she be not such to me,
What care I, how good she be?

Be she good, or kind, or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;
For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be?

This version of an old song is taken from the Edinburgh Musical Miscellany of 1808 which unfortunately does not name poet or composer for any of its items. Can you help?

The composer of the music is not known, but the poem was written by George Wither 1588-1667. Born at Bentworth in Hampshire and educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, he fought under Cromwell as a major general during the English Civil War. He was arrested after the Restoration but the poet, Sir John Denham, interceded on his behalf. Wither had earlier tastes of prison on two occasions, at Marshalsea in Southwark and later in Newgate for his Wither's Motto [1621].


Contributed by Trev

8



THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN
William Cowper [1782]

John Gilpin was a citizen of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said her dear, "Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we no holiday have seen.

"To-morrow is our wedding-day, and we will then repair
Unto 'The Bell' at Edmonton, all in a chaise and pair.

"My sister and my sister's child, myself and children three,
Will fill the chaise, so you must ride on horseback after we."

He soon replied, "I do admire of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear, therefore it shall be done.

"I am a linen-draper bold, as all the world doth know,
And my good friend the Calender will lend his horse to go."

Quoth Mistress Gilpin, "That's well said, and for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own, which is both bright and clear!

John Gilpin kissed his loving wife, o'erjoyed was he to find
That though on pleasure she was bent, she had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was brought, but yet was not allowed
To drive up to the door, les all should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was stayed, where did they all get in,
Six precious souls, and all agog to dash through thick and thin.

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, were never folk so glad;
The stones did rattle underneath as if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse's side seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride, but soon came down again.

For saddle-tree reached had he, his journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw three customers come in.

So down he came, for loss of time, although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew, would trouble him much more.

'Twas long before the customers were suited to their mind.
When Betty, screaming, came downstairs, "The wine is left behind!"

"Good lack!" quoth he; "yet bring it me, my leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword, when I do exercise."

Now Mistress Gilpin [careful soul!] had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved, and keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear, through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side, to make his balance true.

Then over all, that he might be equipped from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brushed and neat, he manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones with caution and good heed!

But, finding soon a smoother road beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot, which galled him in his seat.

So, "Fair and softly," John he cried, but John he cried in vain;
That trot became a gallop soon, in spite of curb and rein.

So stooping down, as needs he must who cannot sit upright,
He grasped the mane with both his hands, and eke with all his might.

His horse, who never in that sort had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or naught, away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out, of running such a rig.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly, like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both, at last it flew away.

Then might all people well discern, the bottles he had slung;
A bottle swinging at each side, as hath been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children screamed, up flew the windows all;
And every soul cried out, "well done!" as loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin - who but he? His fame soon spread around -
He carries weight! he rides a race! 'Tis for a thousand pound!

And still, as fast as he drew near, 'Twas wonderful to view
How in a trice the turnpike men their gates wide open threw.

And now, as he went bowing down his reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back were shattered at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road, most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke as they had basted been.

But still he seemed to carry weight, with leathern girdle braced;
For all might see the bottle-necks still dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington these gambols did he play,
And till he came unto the Wash of Edmonton so gay.

And there he threw the wash about on both sides of the way,
Just like unto a trundling mop, or a wild goose at play.

At Edmonton, his loving wife from the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wondering much to see how he did ride.

"Stop, stop, John Gilpin! - here's the house!" they all at once did cry;
"The dinner waits, and we are tired." Said Gilpin, "So am I!"

But yet his horse was not a whit inclined to tarry there;
For why? - his owner had a house full ten miles off, at Ware.;

So like an arrow swift he flew, shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly - which brings me to the middle of my song.

Away went Gilpin, out of breath, and sore against his will,
Till at his friend the Calender's his horse at last stood still;

The Calender, amazed to see his neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate, and thus accosted him:

"What news? What news? Your tidings tell: tell me you must and shall -
Say why bareheaded you are come, or why you come at all."

Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit, and lovely a timely joke;
And thus unto the Calender in merry guise he spoke:

"I came because your horse would come; and if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here, they are upon the road!

The Calender, right glad to find his friend in merry pin,
Returned him not a single word, but to the house went in.

Whence straight be came with hat and wig, a wig that flowed behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear, each comely in its kind.

He held them up, and, in his turn, thus showed his ready wit -
"My head is twice as big as yours, they therefore needs must fit.

"But let me scrape the dirt away that hangs upon your face;
And stop and eat, for well you may be in a hungry case."

Says John, "It is my wedding day, and all the world would stare,
If wife should dine at Edmonton, and I should dine at Ware."

So turning to his horse, he said, "I am in haste to dine;
'Twas for your pleasure you came here, you shall go back for mine."

Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast! For which he paid full dear;
For while he spake, a braying ass did sing most loud and clear;

Whereat his horse did snort as he had heard a lion roar,
And galloped off with all his might, as he had done before.

Away went Gilpin, and away went Gilpin's hat and wig;
He lost them sooner than at first, for why? They were too big.

Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw her husband posting down
Into the country far away, she pulled out half-a-crown.

And thus unto the youth she said, that drove them to 'The Bell',
"This shall be yours when you bring back my husband safe to and well."

The youth did ride, and soon did meet John coming back again,
Whom in a trice he tried to stop by catching at his rein;

But not performing what he meant, and gladly would have done,
The frightened steed he frighted more, and made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss the lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear, they raised the hue and cry:

"Stop thief! stop thief! - a highwayman!" Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way did join in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike gates again flew open in short space,
The tollmen thinking as before, that Gilpin road a race.

And so he did, and won it too, for he got first to town;
Nor stopped till where he had got up he did again get down.

Now let us sing, "Long live the king, and Gilpin, long live he;
And when he next doth ride abroad, May I be there to see!"

Contributed by Trev


William Cowper [1731-1800]

Educated at a local boarding school and Westminster School, William Cowper was the son of a Hertfordshire rector. Although he studied law at the Inner Temple in London, he never practised it as a career.

He suffered from depression all his life and his mental health was frail. Unfortunately, his father's decision to ban him from marrying his first love, his cousin Theodora, made matters worse.

In 1763, when applying for a job in the House of Lords, Cowper suffered a breakdown and attempted suicide. Nursed back to health by a clergyman, Morley Unwin, and his wife Mary, Cowper continued to board with them. After Morley's death, he and Mary remained close friends and she encouraged him to write a series of moral satires published in Poems in 1782, and in happier frame of mind, he wrote several poems including The Journey of John Gilpin, the story for which was provided by another friend, Lady Austen.

In 1795, Cowper and Mary moved to East Dereham in Norfolk, where after several years of ill health, Mary died in 1796. Cowper himself died four years later in 1800. Like Mary, he is buried in East Dereham Church.

9



A LONG WHITE BEARD

The following tale is allegedly true, though I cannot vouch for it.

It concerns a local historian who was seeking information about an event in the locality many years before. He was told of a very old man living nearby who would certainly remember it. Following directions, he followed a narrow, rutted lane out of the village. At the end stood an old cottage at the edge of a wood and, sure enough, leaning on the gate was an old man with a long white beard. Going up to him, he introduced himself and explained his errand. "Nay," said the old man, "Sorry I can't help ye, it were afore my time. You'll have to ask my father. He's in bed upstairs reading the paper. He'll know. Go in, call out and go up to him. He'll be glad to see yer." So, upstairs he goes and finds a very old man with a long white beard, sitting up in bed reading the morning paper. Once again he introduces himself and puts his question. The old man shakes his head, "I'd help ye if I could", he says, "But it were afore my time. You'll have to ask my father. He's out in back garden cutting firewood, he'll know for sure." So he goes downstairs again and out of the back door and yes, there stands an incredibly old man with a long white beard, briskly chopping up sticks. And, at last, his question is answered.

Trev

28



THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT!

This is the house that Jack built.
This is the rat that ate the malt ...
This is the cat that killed the rat ...
This is the dog that worried the cat ...
This is the cow with the crumpled horn
that tossed the dog ...
This is the maiden all forlorn,
that milked the cow with a crumpled horn ...
This is the man, all tattered and torn,
that kissed the maiden ...
This is the priest all shaven and shorn
that married the man ...
This is the cock that crowed in the morn
and woke the priest ...
This is the farmer, sowing his corn, that owned the cock ...
that crowed in the morn,
that woke the priest all shaven and shorn,
that married the man all tattered and torn,
that kissed the maiden all forlorn,
that milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
that tossed the dog,
that worried the cat,
that killed the rat,
that ate the malt,
that lay in the house that Jack built.

Illustration by Debbie Cook

This bit of our folk heritage popped out of my memory the other day without any recollection of how it came there! Of course the full recital goes back to the beginning at every 'this is'.

Trev

30



TWO OF ARIEL'S SONGS FROM 'THE TEMPEST'
William Shakespeare

Where the Bee Sucks

Where the bee sucks, there suck I,
In a cowslip's bell I lie,
There I couch when owls do cry,
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.


 

Come Unto these Yellow Sands

Come unto these yellow sands,
And then take hands:
Curtsied when you have, and kissed
The wild waves whist,
Foot it featly here and there;
And sweet sprites, the burden bear.
Hark, hark!
Bow, wow
The watch-dogs bark,
Bow, wow,
Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting Chanticleer
Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.

The original 'Dancing the Night Away'!

Contributed by Trev

12



SING-A-LONG-A-TREV!

Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill

On Richmond Hill there lives a lass
More bright than May-day morn,
Whose charms all other maids' surpass,
A rose without a thorn.
 
This lass so neat, with smiles so sweet,
Has won my right good will:
I'd crowns resign, to call her mine,
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill!
 
Ye zephyrs gay, that fan the air,
And wanton through the grove,
Oh whisper to my charming fair
I die for her I love.
This lass so neat, etc.
 
How happy will the shepherd be
Who calls this nymph his own!
Oh may her choice be fix'd on me!
Mine's fix'd on her alone.
This lass so neat, etc.

I enjoyed singing this at school many years ago, so I was delighted to come across it in a very old song book inherited through my father. Unfortunately, it omits the names of lyricists and composers. It must be well over 200 years old, as the book is in its second edition dated 1808!

Trev


Looking this up on the internet I was interested to learn from one source that the song has been the official song of the Green Howards Regiment of Yorkshire since 1789, and celebrates a young lady who lived in Richmond, Yorkshire. However, speaking with someone from the Green Howards, he was completely unaware of this fact!

According to Wikipedia the tune was written by James Hook [1746-1827], an English composer, and was published about 1790. Words are by Leonard McNally [1752-1820] and were written in honour of Miss Janson of Richmond Hill, Leybourne, Yorkshire, who was engaged to McNally. They married in January 1787. McNally was an Irish political informer who joined the United Irishmen and unsuccessfully defended several of them in court. After his death, it was discovered that McNally had been in the pay of the British Government.

The music was once attributed to the Prince of Wales, later George IV. The subject was said to be Mrs. Fitzherbert, wife to George IV, who was set aside when he married Caroline of Brunswick.

Ed.

25



TREV'S TWITTERS

Sing-a-long-a-Trev

The following is a song remembered from campfire sing-songs of long ago. Each verse is sung to a different tune, finishing on a rousing 'Rule Britannia'.

The Tale of an Egg

Maxwellton Braes are bonny,
Where stand the White Swan Hotel,
And 'twas there I'd an egg for my breakfast
And I knew as I opened the shell . . . .
 
That the egg was an egg of the old brigade,
Though it had changed and altered.
There it stood quite undismayed
As in accents low it faltered . . . .
 
"I'm humming, I'm humming,
I'm not new-laid, I know."
Then turning to the gasping waiter,
I said, "Joe . . . .
 
"I don't suppose this egg has been laid
For months and months and months.
Its call up papers have been delayed
For months and months and months.
It was laid, I s'pose you know, by some extinct dodo
Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years ago."
So I threw it through the window,
I threw it through the window.
There it lay, ' till next day,
Till the dustman came to clear the bits away.
 
He wrapped it up in his tarpaulin jacket,
He thought for his tea it would do.
He ate it and, early next morning,
His widow his club money withdrew.
So please remember
No matter what you've paid,
Eggs are never, never, never
Quite new-laid!


Clementine

In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Dwelt a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter, Clementine.
 
Chorus - between each verse:
Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling Clementine,
Thou art lost and gone for ever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.
 
Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine.
Herring boxes, without topses,
Sandals were for Clementine.
Drove she ducklings to the water,
Every morning just at nine.
Caught her foot against a splinter,
Fell into the foaming brine
 
Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles, mighty fine,
But, alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine
 
How I loved her, how I loved her,
How I loved my Clementine.
When alive I used to hug her,
Now she's dead, I draw the line.
 
In a corner of the churchyard,
Where the myrtle boughs entwine,
Grow the roses in the posies,
Fertilised by Clementine.
 
Then that miner, forty-niner,
He began to peak and pine,
Thought he oughter join his daughter,
Now he's with his Clementine
 
How I missed her, how I missed her,
How I missed my Clementine.
But I kissed her little sister
And forgot my Clementine.

I learnt this song from my dear mother, who said she first heard it sung by a clergyman, which rather shocked her, I think. I believe it to be a parody on the rather slushy sentimentality of late Victorian days, but have no idea who the poet was.

Wikipedia says: Clementine is an American western folk ballad usually credited to Percy Montrose [1884] although it is sometimes attributed to Barker Bradford. It is believed to have been based on another song, 'Down by the River Liv'd a Maiden' by H.S. Thompson [1863]. The miner forty-niner refers to the 1849 Gold Rush.

 


Little Brown Jug

This is another from my mother. I have no idea who wrote it or when, but it sounds traditional.

Little Brown Jug is a song written by Joseph Winner in 1869. It was originally published by Eastburn, Winner's middle name. A drinking song, it remained well known as a folk song into the early 20th century and like any songs that refer to drinking alcoholic beverages, it enjoyed new popularity during the Prohibition era. In 1939 Glenn Miller recorded and broadcast his swing instrumental arrangement of the tune with great success.


 
My wife and I live all alone
In a little log hut we call our own.
She loves gin and I love rum.
I tell you what, we've lots of fun.
Ha, ha, ha, you and me
Little brown jug, don't I love thee!
Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee,
Little brown jug, don't I love thee!
 
Tis you who make my friends my foes,
Tis you who make me wear old clothes.
But seeing you're so near my nose
Tip her up and down she goes.
Ha, ha, ha, you and me
Little brown jug, don't I love thee!
Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee,
Little brown jug, don't I love thee
 
2 of several verses

Trev

15



LITTLE MISUNDERSTANDINGS
[and corny gags]

  • "Could you lend me a tenner for a week, old boy?" "What could a week-old boy do with a tenner?"

  • "My wife's got a terrible bad chest." "Dear me, is that her coughing?" "No, I'm making a rabbit hutch."

  • Paddy sets off to go bear-hunting. On the way to the hunting ground he comes to a road sign 'Bear Left'. So he turns round and goes back home.

  • Moses and Ike are sitting on the seaside promenade when a huge wave washes them off. As they float around waiting for rescue, Moses supports Ike as best he can until, tiring, he asks, "Ike, do you think you could float alone?" "Yoi, yoi," says Ike, "At a time like this you can talk business!"

    Trev

    39



    TREV'S TWITTERS

    Merry June

    Hey ho for merry June,
    Hey ho hey!
    All the earth is now atune,
    Hey ho hey!
     
    The birds now sing their sweetest lays
    Among the verdant leafy sprays.
    Soft music fills the summer air
    And harmony is everywhere.
     
    Hey ho for merry June, etc.
    Remembered [I hope] from school-days many years ago!]

    Aria

    from Handel's Opera Semele [1744]

    Jupiter
    Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade;
    Trees where you sit, shall crowd into a shade.
     
    Where'er you tread, the blushing flow'rs shall rise,
    And all things flourish where'er you turn your eyes.
     
    Da Capo
    [Italian term meaning from the beginning].
     
    Semele is beloved of and in love with Jupiter.    Words by
    Newburg Hamilton, the Irish-born librettist of several works by
    George Frederic Handel.



     
     Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

    Trev

    29



    TREV'S TWITTERS

    There is a Tavern in the Town

    There is a tavern in the town, in the town,
    Where my true love sits him down, sits him down,
    And drinks his wine with merry laughter free,
    And never, never thinks of me, thinks of me.
     
    Chorus:
     
    Fare thee well, for I must leave thee,
    Do not let this parting grieve thee,
    And remember that the best of friends must part, must part.
    Adieu, adieu, kind friends adieu, adieu, adieu,
    I can no longer stay with you, stay with you,
    I'll hang my harp on a weeping willow tree,
    And may the world go well with thee, well with thee.
     
    He left me for a damsel dark, damsel dark,
    Each Friday night they used to spark, used to spark,
    And now my love, once true to me,
    Takes that damsel on his knee, on his knee.
     
    Chorus:
     
    Oh!  dig my grave both wide and deep, wide and deep,
    Put tombstones at my head and feet, head and feet,
    And on my breast carve a turtle dove
    To signify I died of love, died of love.
     
    Chorus:
     
    Anon

    Trev says that he learnt this song more years ago than he cares to remember but doesn't know its origin.The following is the only bit of information that I have found.Can anyone else help, especially the followers of folk songs amongst us?

    Ed.

    A Tavern in the Town first appeared in the 1883 edition of William H. Hill's Student SongsSome sources attribute its origins to a traditional miners' song from Cornwall.  This is no doubt the case in regard to certain turns of phrase in the text.  The melody, however, identifies itself as a late nineteenth-century American 'popular' tune and the lyric is evidently the utterance of an abandoned female.The song itself was, historically speaking, usually sung by young males bonding with the aid of drink.



    WHY WORRY?

    In life there are only two things to worry about.

    You're either rich or poor. If you're rich, you've nothing to worry about, if you're poor, you've only two things to worry about. You're either well or ill.

    If you're well, you've nothing to worry about. If you're ill, you've only two things to worry about. You'll get better or you'll die.

    If you get better, you've got nothing to worry about. If you die, you've only two things to worry about. You'll go to heaven or to hell.

    If you go to heaven, you'll have nothing to worry about. If you go to hell you'll be so busy greeting all your old friends you won't have time to worry! So why worry?


    This little gem was circulated round the office where I worked in the '60's by the draughtsmen, always the first to latch on to anything of this nature!

    Trev

    29



    LITTLE MISUNDERSTANDINGS
    [Illustrated by some old chestnuts]

    • "My wife's off to the West Indies for a fortnight,"
      "Jamaica?"
      "No, she's going of her own accord."

    • "I've booked us a holiday in Spain for this summer."
      "July"
      "No, I'm telling the truth."

    • Two old gaffers meet on the village green. "Spring in the air George" says one, shaking his stick.
      "Hey, what's that you say?" says deaf old George.
      "Spring George, in the air."
      "Spring in the air yourself, if so be you've a mind, I be too old for such.

    • "I had a smashing holiday in North Italy with a lovely girl I met in that big port."
      "Genoa?"
      "Never set eyes on her before."
    • Three slightly inebriated men sitting together on the London
      tube. As the train draws in to a station, one says "Is this Wembley?"
      "No," says the second, "It's Thursday."
      "Sho'm I" says the third, "Let's get out and have a drink."

    • "What's your profession?"
      "I'm a naval surgeon."
      "Golly, don't chaps specialise nowadays!"

    • "I had a lovely holiday in Eastern Europe."
      "Russia?"
      "No, it was quite reasonable."

    • "My dog's got no nose."
      "No nose? How does he smell?"
      "Abominable!"


     

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


    Trev

    47



    FATHER WILLIAM
    [Contributed by Trev]

    "You are old, father William," the young man said,
    "And your hair has become very white;
    And yet you incessantly stand on your head
    Do you think, at your age, it is right?"
     
    "In my youth," father William replied to his son,
    "I feared it might injure the brain;
    But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
    Why, I do it again and again."
     
    "You are old," said the youth, "As I mentioned before,
    And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
    Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door
    Pray what is the reason for that?"
     
    "In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
    "I kept all my limbs very supple
    By the use of this ointment one shilling a box
    Allow me to sell you a couple?"
    "You are old," said the youth, "And your jaws are too weak
    For anything tougher than suet;
    Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak
    Pray, how did you manage to do it?"
     
    "In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
    And argued each case with my wife;
    And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
    Has lasted the rest of my life."
     
    "You are old," said the youth, "One would hardly suppose
    That your eye was as steady as ever;
    Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose
    What made you so awfully clever?"
     
    "I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
    Said his father, "Don't give yourself airs!
    Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
    Be off or I'll kick you down stairs."

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

     

    This poem, as recited by Alice to the Caterpillar in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, was written by Lewis Carroll [1832-1898] and first published in 1855. It is a parody of an earlier poem written by Robert Southey [1774-1843] in 1799, which reads:


    THE OLD MAN'S COMFORTS
    and how he gained them

    You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
    The few locks which are left you are grey;
    You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man,
    Now tell me the reason I pray.
     
    In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
    I remember'd that youth would fly fast,
    And abused not my health and my vigour at first
    That I never might need them at last.
     
    You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
    And pleasures with youth pass away,
    And yet you lament not the days that are gone,
    Now tell me the reason I pray.
     
    In the days of my youth, Father William replied,
    I remember'd that youth could not last;
    I thought of the future whatever I did
    That I never might grieve for the past.
     
    You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
    And life must be hastening away;
    You are cheerful, and love to converse upon death!
    Now tell me the reason I pray.
     
    I am cheerful, young man, Father William replied,
    Let the cause thy attention engage;
    In the days of my youth I remember'd my God !
    And He hath not forgotten my age.


    Robert Southey was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the 'Lake Poets' whose work was and is still overshadowed by his contemporaries and friends Wordsworth and Coleridge. From 1813 until his death in 1843, Robert Southey was Poet Laureate. He was, however, also a prolific letter writer, literary scholar, essay writer, historian and biographer. His biographies include John Bunyan, John Wesley, William Cowper, Oliver Cromwell and Horatio Nelson. He was also fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and translated a number of works from those countries into English. But perhaps to most of us his most enduring contribution to our literary history is the children's classic, The Story of the Three Bears, the original story about Goldilocks, which was first printed in 1834 in his novel The Doctor.

    20



    TREV'S TWITTERS

    WINTER

    William Shakespeare

    When icicles hang by the wall,
    And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
    And Tom bears logs into the hall,
    And milk comes frozen home in pail;
    Then nightly sings the staring owl
    Tu-whit, tu-whoo!  a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
     
     
    When all around the wind doth blow,
    And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
    And birds sit brooding in the snow,
    And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
    When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl;
    Then nightly sings the staring owl
    Tu-whit, tu-whoo! a merry note,
     

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes


    CHRISTMAS 2009

    'Tis the seaon to be jolly,
    So away with melancholy.
    Up with mistletoe and holly,
    At this festive time.
     
    What if funds are in the red?
    Let's not live in fear and dread.
    Let's just raise a glass instead,
    At this festive time.
     
    Though the outlook may be murky.
    Let's be lively, bright and perky,
    And enjoy our sprouts and turkey,
    At this festive time.
    Though the weather may be chilling,
    Let our hearts be warm and willing,
    Little stockings to be filling,
    At this festive time.
     
    When it's one more Christmas past,
    Memories will surely last,
    And our worries vanish fast,
    From this festive time.
     

    Trev

    48



    THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT
    Edward Lear

    Choice of Trev

    The owl and the pussycat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea-green boat.
    They took some honey
    And plenty of money
    Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

    The owl looked up to the stars above
    And sang to a small guitar,
    "O lovely Pussy, O Pussy my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are, you are
    What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

    Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
    How charmingly sweet you sing!
    Oh let us be married;
    Too long we have tarried;
    But what shall we do for a ring?"

    They sailed away, for a year and a day
    To the land where the bong-tree grows,
    And there in a wood, a Piggy-wig stood
    With a ring at the end of his nose, his nose,
    With a ring at the end of his nose.

    "Dear Pig, are you willing, to sell for one shilling,
    Said the Piggy, "I will."
    So they took it away and were married next day
    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
    They dined on mince and slices of quince
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
    And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand
    They danced by the light of the moon, the moon,
    They danced by the light of the moon.


    The 20th child of Jeremiah Lear, a London Stockbroker, and his wife Ann, Lear grew up to be a prolific writer as well as a talented artist of landscapes and birds and gave drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. He was particularly enchanted with nonsense rhymes and devoted a number of his books to collections of these poems.

    Just prior to his death and left incomplete, he began to pen the sequel to The Owl and the Pussy Cat - The Children of the Owl and the Pussycat:

    Our mother was the pussycat,
    Our father was the owl,
    And so we're partly little beasts
    And partly little fowl.
    The brothers of our family, have
    Feathers and they hoot,
    While all the sisters dress in fur
    And have long tails to boot.

    Illustrations by Debbie Cook

    25



    BIRDS

    "Come pretty one, come pretty one,
    Come, come, come, come.
    Come to my garden and whistle and hum
    Come to my window and pick up this crumb.
    Come pretty one, come pretty one,
    Come, come, come, come."

    We all enjoy the sight and sound of our little feathered friends in our gardens and most of us encourage them by putting out nuts, seeds and other titbits. At Barn Cottage our chief 'clients' are blue, cole, great and occasional long-tailed tits. We also have occasional nuthatches, jays and spotted woodpeckers. We used to have green finches, but these seem to have disappeared. Less welcome are the jackdaws [because less colourful?] but they only seem to take the odd nut before flying off. The odd magpie appears not to take anything. I must not forget our two resident robins [we have had more] who come to our picnic table for the crumbs we put out for them.

    It is also a delight to hear the song of the blackbird, though we shall shortly be paying for it in soft fruit.

    We don't begrudge them their share, so long as they leave a reasonable amount for us! "And what about the thrushes?" I hear you ask. Sadly, we have no residents, just the odd one passing through. Why they shun our garden is a mystery, as I am sure we have as many snails and slugs as anyone.

    Over the years, two small episodes come to mind. I was once watching two robins squaring up to each other over a peanut on the ground between them. While they were debating who should have it, down flew a blue tit, picked it up and flew off with it!

    On a hot summer's day, I was in the workshop with the door and window wide open. In through the window flew a blue tit with a sparrow hawk in hot pursuit. The latter appeared to catch a wing against the window-frame, as it perched on a shelf looking slightly dazed and giving me a marvellous close-up. The tit made good its escape through the door. After blinking a few times, the hawk recovered itself and flew off through the window. I like to think it survived many months longer.

    I wonder if any other readers have bird stories to contribute?

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

    Trev

    23



    CUCKOO!

    Summer is icumen in
    Lhude sing cuccu!
    Groweth seed and bloweth med
    and springeth the wood nu.
    Sing cuccu!

    Awe bleateth after lamb
    Lhouth after calve cu
    Bulluc sterteth
    bucke verteth
    Murie sing cuccu!

    Cuccu, cuccu, well singes thu cuccu:
    Ne swike thu naver nu!
    Sing cuccu nu, sing cuccu!
    Sing cuccu, sing cuccu nu!

    Vocabulary:

    • Lhude = loud
    • Lhouth = loweth
    • Sterteth = leaps
    • Verteth = grazes
    • Swike = cease

    According to the Oxford Book of English Verse, this is the earliest known poem in English, and is dated around [sic] 1226. Today it is printed in many forms, and below is a modern version.


    Trad

    Summer is a-coming in
    Loudly sing cuckoo
    Groweth seed and bloweth mead
    and springs the wood anew
    Sing cuckoo!

    Ewe bleateth after lamb,
    Calf loweth after cow,
    Bullock starteth, buck verteth,
    Merry sing cuckoo!

    Cuckoo, cuckoo! Well singest thou cuckoo:
    Nor cease thou never now!
    Sing cuckoo now, sing cuckoo!

    Sing cuckoo, sing cuckoo now!

    In April come I will
    In May I sing night and day
    In June I change my tune
    In July I fly away.

    William Shakespeare

    When daisies pied and violets blue
    And lady-smocks all silver-white
    And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,
    Do paint the meadows with delight,
    The cuckoo then, on every tree,
    Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
    Cuckoo!
    Cuckoo, cuckoo, O, word of fear!
    Unpleasing to a married ear.
     
    When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
    And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
    When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
    And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
    The cuckoo then, on every tree,
    Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
    Cuckoo!
    Cuckoo, cuckoo! O, word of fear,
    Unpleasing to a married ear.

    Trev

    5



    A LOVER AND HIS LASS

    From 'As You Like It' - William Shakespeare

    It was a lover and his lass
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
    That o'er the green cornfield did pass
    In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
    When birds do sing hey ding a ding ding
    Sweet lovers love the spring.
     
    Between the acres of the rye,
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
    These pretty country folk would lie,
    In the spring time, etc.
     
    This caro they began that hour
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
    How that a life was but a flower
    In spring time, etc.
     
    And therefore take the present time
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
    For love is crowned with the prime
    In spring time, etc.

    As recently reported, after several years of analysis, x-rays and infrared imaging, experts believe this to be the only surviving portrait of William Shakespeare painted during his lifetime. It is thought to have been painted in 1610 when he was about 46. The portrait will go on display at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon on the 23rd April



    Trev

    21



    COCKNEY MUSIC HALL

    Waiting at the Church

    There was I, waiting at the church
    Waiting at the church, waiting at the church,

    When I found he'd left me in the lurch
    Lor how it did upset me.
    All at once he sent me round a note,
    Here's the very note, this is what he wrote:

    "Can't get away, to marry you today,
    My wife won't let me."

    The Little Dicky Bird

    She was a sweet little dicky bird,
    "Tweet, tweet, tweet", she went.
    Sweetly she sang to me
    Till all my money was spent
    Then she went off song.
    We parted on fighting terms,
    She was one of the early birds
    And I was one of the worms.

    Old Iron

    Any old iron, any old iron,
    Any, any, any old iron!
    You look sweet, talk about a treat,
    You look dapper from your napper to your feet.
    Dressed in style, with a brand new tile,
    Your father's old green tie on,
    But wouldn't give you tuppence for your old watch chain,
    Old iron, old iron!

    The Old Kent Road

    Wot cher", all the neighbours cried,
    "Who yer gonna meet Bill?"
    "'Ave yer bought the street Bill?"
    Laugh, I thought I should've died
    Knocked 'em in the Old Kent Road.

    The Hat

    Where did you get that hat?
    Where did you get that tile?
    Isn't it a nobby one
    And what a proper style?
    I should like to have one,
    Just the same as that;
    Where'er I go, they shout "Hello,
    Where did you get that hat?"

    Boiled Beef and Carrots

    Boiled beef and carrots,
    Boiled beef and carrots.
    That's the stuff your Derby kell
    Makes you fit and makes you well.
    Don't live like vegetarians
    On food they give to parrots
    From morn 'til night blow your kite
    On boiled beef and carrots.

    Illustration by: Debbie Cook

    The above and many other songs, sung by artistes like Marie Lloyd, Albert Chevalier and Nellie Wallace, exemplify the cockney sense of humour, which saw them through hard times, when work was scarce and money scarcer. It also saw them through the London Blitz.

    Trev


    Flora Thompson was born in North Oxfordshire in a cottage in a tiny hamlet in 1877. Brought up in poverty, her skill in writing about country life over a hundred years ago ensured her fame. Her best known work is the trilogy Lark Rise to Candleford, describing life in the last twenty years of the 19th Century. After leaving Oxfordshire, she moved first to southern England before living finally in Devon.

    Her work is mostly seen through the eyes of the fictional girl Laura, in many respects a portrait of herself.

    Meals in those days had to be not only cheap but nutritional and one she describes [and given in the Lark Rise Recipe Book by Mary Norwak] is Boiled Beef and Carrots!

    Here is today's 'credit crunch' lunch:

    Boiled Beef and Carrots

    • 3lbs Salt Beef Brisket
    • 8oz Onions
    • 8oz Carrots
    • 6 Peppercorns
    • Sprig of Parsley
    • Sprig of Thyme
    • 1 Bay Leaf

    Dumplings

    • 6oz Plain Flour
    • 3 oz Shredded Suet
    • 1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
    • 1 teaspoon Salt
    • 1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Mixed Herbs

    Soak the meat overnight in cold water. Drain well and put into a large, heavy saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and skim well. Cut the onions and carrots in quarters and put them in the pan with the peppercorns and herbs. Cover the pan and simmer for 2.5 hours.

    Make the dumplings by mixing together all the ingredients and adding enough cold water to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and form each one into a ball. Add the dumpling to the pan, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve the beef sliced, with the vegetables and dumplings, and some of the cooking liquid.

    26



    CAMPTOWN RACES

    De Camptown ladies sing dis song - Dooh-dah! doo-dah!
    De Camptown racetrack five miles long - Dooh-dah,doo-dah-day!
    I come down day wid my hat caved in - Dooh-dah! doo-day!
    I go back home wid a pocket full of tine - Dooh-dah, doo-day-day!

    Gwine to run all night! Gwine run all day!
    I'll bet my money on de bob-tail nag - somebody bet on de bay!

    De long tail filly and de big black oss - Dooh-dah! doo-dah!
    Dey fly de track an dey both cut across - Dooh-dah, dooh-dah-day!
    De blind hoss sticken in a big mud hole - Dooh-dah! doo-dah!
    Can't touch bottom wid a ten foot pole - Dooh-dah! doo-dah-day!

    Gwine to run all night! Gwine to run all day!
    I'll bet my money on de bob-tail nag - somebody bet on de bay!

    Trev

    'Camptown Races' was one of the many songs written by Stephen Colins Foster and with 'Beautiful Dreamer', probably his best and best known, are still popular today more than 150 years after their composition.

    Foster was born in Pittsburg in 1826, the youngest of ten children in a relatively well-off family. He had little formal music training, but had several songs published before he was 20, when he moved to Cincinnati to become bookkeeper with his brother's steamship company. There he had his first 'hit' song, 'Oh! Susanna', later the anthem of the Californian gold rush in 1848-9.

    In 1849 he returned to Pennsylvania, formed a contract with the Christy Minstrels and so began the period on which the majority of his best-known songs were written, amongst them 'Camptown Races' [1850], 'Nelly Bly', 'Old Folks at Home', 'Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair [written for his wife Jan McDowall, from whom he became estranged as his life spiralled downhill], and 'Beautiful Dreamer'. His songs were in the minstrel show tradition, poking fun at the slaves and provoking merriment. However, he never lived in the South and only visited the Deep South once on a river-boat on the Mississippi in 1852 whilst on his honeymoon.

    His life unfortunately went from bad to worse and the impoverished Foster died at the age of 37 in Lower East Side Manhattan in 1864, following an accident when he collapsed with a persistent fever. In his worn leather wallet were 37 cents and a scrap of paper that simply said, 'Dear friends and gentle hearts', these words are now the title of a book of the Songs of Stephen C. Foster. He is buried in Alleghenny Cemetery in Pittsburg.

    25



    CHEERS!

    [A guide to festive drinking]

    Here's to good old ale,
    Drink it down, drink it down.

    Here's to good old ale,
    Drink it down.

    Here's to good old ale,
    It will never fail,

    Drink it down, drink it down,
    Drink it down.

    Here's to good old beer,
    It fills you with good cheer.

    Here's to good old brandy,
    It keeps you fine and dandy.

    Here's to good old cider,
    It warms you up inside yer.

    Here's to good old gin,
    Not to drink it is a sin.

    Here's to good old mead,
    It's very good indeed.

    Here's to good old perry
    It keeps you feeling merry.

    Here's to good old rum,
    It stops you feeling glum.

    Here to good old sherry
    [see perry] It keeps you feeling merry.

    Here's to good old whiskey,
    It makes you feel quite frisky.

    Here's to good old wine,
    It makes you feel just fine.

    [With acknowledgements to the original]
    Anyone brave have a good rhyme for vodka?

    Trev

    40



    OLD YULETIDE CUSTOMS

    The Mummers - An amateur band of players going from house to house at Christmas time and performing 'St. George and the Dragon', etc., in a dumb show - hence the name [Brewer].

    As time went by, words in rhyme were added, also extra characters, for example 'Bold Slasher'. The object was, of course, to raise money. When I was 8 or 9, my elder brother and some of his pals got together to do the same, and I was included. My part was 'Little Devil Doubt' and I had to rush in with a broom and cry:

      "Here I am, Little Devil Doubt,
      If you don't give me money, I'll sweep you all out.
      Money I want and money I crave,
      If you don't give me money,
      I'll sweep you to the grave."

    The Waits - People who sing carols outside houses at Christmas time, especially on Christmas morning. The name originated from the watchmen of former times who blew a horn to mark the passing of the night hours. They later developed into uniformed town bands [ Brewer]. I well remember hearing them on Christmas morning while lying in bed and opening my stocking. My father maintained that our own band used to swap places with a band from another town and for that reason, refused to contribute. I don't suppose it occurred to him that people in the other town were supporting our own!

    Wassail [old English Waes Hael - Be Well]

      Here we come a-wassailing,
      Among the leaves so green.
      Here we come a-wassailing
      So plainly to be seen.
      Love and joy come to you
      And to you your wassail too,
      And God bless you and send you
      A Happy New Year,
      And send you a Happy New Year.

    The Wassail, or more exactly the Wassail Bowl, containing spiced ale, was carried from house to house by young women on New Year's Eve and presented to the inhabitants, together with a song as above, expecting a small tip in return [Brewer].

    Trev

    41



    'TEAS'

    • Aciditea - a bitter but refreshing brew
    • Adversitea - a very poor brew, not recommended
    • Alacritea - a quick brew for those in a hurry
    • Anxietea - keeps you awake at night - avoid it
    • Austeritea - another poor brew
    • Capacitea - a generous brew, suitable for tea urns

    • Charitea - rather tasteless and soon goes cold
    • Dexteritea - a drop of the right stuff
    • Diversitea - varies considerably, you may be lucky
    • Eternitea - long lasting
    • Extremitea - the last resort
    • Felicitea - will cheer you up
    • Fragilitea - rather weak
    • Gaietea - even more so
    • Garulitea - promotes conversation
    • Gratuitea - don't refuse it
    • Hilaritea - makes you laugh
    • Luciditea - nice and clear
    • Notorietea - well known
    • Popularitea - everyone's favourite
    • Propertea - highly recommended
    • Prosperitea - ditto
    • Realitea - plain and wholesome
    • Rigiditea - a good, stiff brew
    • Scarcitea - keep for special occasions
    • Sinceritea - good honest brew
    • Societea - for convivial occasions
    • Stupiditea - thick and heavy brew
    • Tenacitea - long lasting
    • Temeritea - strong nerves required for this
    • Timiditea - much too weak
    • Trepiditea - drink with caution
    • Vanitea - fancy brew - may suit some
    • Varietea -never the same twice

    Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

    Trev

    28



    OPTIMISM

    A Gypsy

    'Life is sweet, brother.'
    'Do you think so?'
    'Think so! There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon,
    and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath.
    Life is very sweet, brother, who would wish to die?'

    George Borrow

    A Japanese Gentleman

    The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la,
    Breathe promise of merry sunshine.
    As we merrily dance and we sing, tra la,
    We welcome the hope that they bring, tra la,
    Of a summer of roses and wine,
    Of a summer of roses and wine.
    And that's what we mean when we say that a thing
    Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
    Tra la la la la, Tra la, la, la,
    The flowers that bloom in the spring.

    W.S. Gilbert

    A Young Girl

    The year's at the spring,
    And day's at the morn;
    Mornings at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled;
    The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn:
    God's in His Heaven -
    All's right with the world

    Robert Browning

    A Jockey

    I've gotter motter -
    Always merry and bright!
    Look around and you will find
    Every cloud is silver-lined;
    The sun will shine
    Although the sky's a grey one.
    I've often said to meself, I've said,
    "Cheer up, Cully, you'll soon be dead!
    A short life and a gay one!"

    [From the Ascot scene in The Arcadians]
    Monckton & Talbot

    Trev


    Robert Browning and W.S. Gilbert are household names, but George Borrow and Monckton and Talbot are probably less familiar.

    The writer George Borrow was born in Dumpling Green near Dereham in Norfolk. His father was a soldier in the West Norfolk Militia and as a young boy, George's family were constantly on the move, a pattern that may have contributed to his unsettled behaviour in later life.

    He was a rebellious youngster and spent much of his time wandering around Norwich, going to fairs and spending time with the gypsies on Mousehold Heath. He was tall, over six foot, and energetic, but he suffered from bouts of manic depression. Ill at ease in polite society, he was drawn to wild places, often in the company of bandits and robbers, he was fearless and physically strong. At the age of 50 he plunged into 30 foot waves in Yarmouth to rescue a sailor in distress.

    A skilled linguist, he taught himself Welsh and Romany and he is perhaps best known for his semi-autobiographical novel Romany Rye [1857]. As a member of The Bible Society, he travelled extensively on the Continent and after retiring married Mary Clarke, whom he had had met in Spain. They eventually settled at Oulton Broad in Suffolk, although they spent time in Great Yarmouth and London, but it was at Oulton that most of his books were written.

    His critics were not kind to him and he became, in later years, a lonely figure. He died at the age of 78 at Oulton, but is buried in the Brompton Cemetery in Kensington.

    What are EdMusComs? Edwardian Musical Comedies are, perhaps, the most neglected series of musical comedies today. Those shows that delighted a previous generation with robust humour, carefree atmosphere and catchy tunes, are rarely heard or seen. They are the shows from about the period in the late 1890's when Gilbert and Sullivan began to lose their dominance, and before the rise of the American musicals by Gershwin and Porter following the First World War.

    Lionel Monckton was born in London in December 1861 and educated at Charterhouse and Oriel College, Oxford, where he played a prominent role in the formation of the University Dramatic Society. He married the Gaiety Star, Gertie Millar in 1902. Following his death, in London, in February 1924, Gertie became a real 'society lady' on her marriage to the Earl of Dudley.

    Howard Talbot, the conductor and composer, whose real name was Richard Lansdale Munkittrick, was born of Irish descent in New York in 1865, moving to London when he was just four years old. He planned to enter the medical profession but changed course to pursue a career in music, attending the Royal College of Music.

    It was in 1909 that he teamed up with Lionel Monckton to produce 'The Arcadians', considered to be one of the most successful Edwardian Musical Comedies. Talbot died at the age of 63 in Reigate in 1928.

    5



    OPTIMISM

    A Gypsy

    'Life is sweet, brother.'
    'Do you think so?'
    'Think so! There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon,
    and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath.
    Life is very sweet, brother, who would wish to die?'

    George Borrow

    A Japanese Gentleman

    The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la,
    Breathe promise of merry sunshine.
    As we merrily dance and we sing, tra la,
    We welcome the hope that they bring, tra la,
    Of a summer of roses and wine,
    Of a summer of roses and wine.
    And that's what we mean when we say that a thing
    Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
    Tra la la la la, Tra la, la, la,
    The flowers that bloom in the spring.

    W.S. Gilbert

    A Young Girl

    The year's at the spring,
    And day's at the morn;
    Mornings at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled;
    The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn:
    God's in His Heaven -
    All's right with the world

    Robert Browning

    A Jockey

    I've gotter motter -
    Always merry and bright!
    Look around and you will find
    Every cloud is silver-lined;
    The sun will shine
    Although the sky's a grey one.
    I've often said to meself, I've said,
    "Cheer up, Cully, you'll soon be dead!
    A short life and a gay one!"

    [From the Ascot scene in The Arcadians]
    Monckton & Talbot

    Trev


    Robert Browning and W.S. Gilbert are household names, but George Borrow and Monckton and Talbot are probably less familiar.

    The writer George Borrow was born in Dumpling Green near Dereham in Norfolk. His father was a soldier in the West Norfolk Militia and as a young boy, George's family were constantly on the move, a pattern that may have contributed to his unsettled behaviour in later life.

    He was a rebellious youngster and spent much of his time wandering around Norwich, going to fairs and spending time with the gypsies on Mousehold Heath. He was tall, over six foot, and energetic, but he suffered from bouts of manic depression. Ill at ease in polite society, he was drawn to wild places, often in the company of bandits and robbers, he was fearless and physically strong. At the age of 50 he plunged into 30 foot waves in Yarmouth to rescue a sailor in distress.

    A skilled linguist, he taught himself Welsh and Romany and he is perhaps best known for his semi-autobiographical novel Romany Rye [1857]. As a member of The Bible Society, he travelled extensively on the Continent and after retiring married Mary Clarke, whom he had had met in Spain. They eventually settled at Oulton Broad in Suffolk, although they spent time in Great Yarmouth and London, but it was at Oulton that most of his books were written.

    His critics were not kind to him and he became, in later years, a lonely figure. He died at the age of 78 at Oulton, but is buried in the Brompton Cemetery in Kensington.

    What are EdMusComs? Edwardian Musical Comedies are, perhaps, the most neglected series of musical comedies today. Those shows that delighted a previous generation with robust humour, carefree atmosphere and catchy tunes, are rarely heard or seen. They are the shows from about the period in the late 1890's when Gilbert and Sullivan began to lose their dominance, and before the rise of the American musicals by Gershwin and Porter following the First World War.

    Lionel Monckton was born in London in December 1861 and educated at Charterhouse and Oriel College, Oxford, where he played a prominent role in the formation of the University Dramatic Society. He married the Gaiety Star, Gertie Millar in 1902. Following his death, in London, in February 1924, Gertie became a real 'society lady' on her marriage to the Earl of Dudley.

    Howard Talbot, the conductor and composer, whose real name was Richard Lansdale Munkittrick, was born of Irish descent in New York in 1865, moving to London when he was just four years old. He planned to enter the medical profession but changed course to pursue a career in music, attending the Royal College of Music.

    It was in 1909 that he teamed up with Lionel Monckton to produce 'The Arcadians', considered to be one of the most successful Edwardian Musical Comedies. Talbot died at the age of 63 in Reigate in 1928.

    5



    TWO AUBADES

    Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
    Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
    And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
    The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

    Edward Fitzgerald
    [from the Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam]

    Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
    And Phoebus 'gins arise,
    His steeds to water at those springs
    On chaliced flowers that lies;
    And winking Mary-buds begin
    To ope their golden eyes:
    With every thing that pretty is,
    My lad sweet, arise!
    Arise, arise!

    William Shakespeare
    [from Cymbeline]

    Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

    Trev


    I have to confess that I did not know the meaning of aubades. According to my Oxford dictionary, it originates from the French and is music for singing or playing at dawn. The 'Free on Line' dictionary describes the word as [1] a song or instrumental composition concerning, accompanying or evoking daybreak, and [2] a poem or song of or about lovers separating at dawn.

    Persian astronomer, mathematician and poet, Omar Khayyam [1050-1123] was born in Nishapur, where he founded a school of astronomical research and assisted in reforming the calendar. It is thought that as a result of his observations, the jalali calendar era was begun in 1079. He wrote a study of algebra, which was known in Europe as well as in the East.

    Here in the west he is chiefly known as a poet through Edward Fitzgerald's version of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 1859.

    Edward Fitzgerald [1809-1883] was born in Suffolk on the estate of his Irish landowning family, and educated at the King Edward VI Grammar School in Bury St. Edmunds before going up to Trinity College, Cambridge. Here, his friends included Thackeray and Tennyson to whom Fitzgerald became patron, granting him an annual gift of £300 for many years.

    A younger, intimate friend of his, Edward Cowell, sparked Fitzgerald's interest in collating and translating the Persian Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. He adapted the source material so freely that it could almost be regarded as his own work and there is some doubt as to whether the entire original can be attributed to Khayyam.

    Ed.

    9



    BLACKPOOL 1921

    A Childhood Memory

    Not the one in South Devon but the big, brash one on the Lancashire coast. It was our first family seaside holiday - father, mother, my elder brother [12] and myself [8].

    I, at least, had no idea where we were bound when we left home that sunny September Sunday morning, all dressed in our best. To the best of my knowledge, travel agents did not then exist and advance booking was for the well-to-do only.

    Why was it Sunday? Because, like everyone else, father had to work Saturday mornings and this was no exception. You may remember that it was Attlee's post-war government that abolished regular Saturday working. Why September? Because father, as a skilled electrician, had to take his single week's unpaid holiday during what was known as Engineers Week, and this was always in September.

    Anyway, there we were having arrived by tram at the station from which the excursion trains departed for various seaside resorts. We joined one of several queues which snaked their way across the station yard and it turned out to be the one for Blackpool.

    I have little or no recollection of the journey, but once arrived we had to find digs. This involved tramping up and down Talbot Road where most of the boarding houses were, father humping two heavy suitcases, until we found a house with a suitable vacancy.

    Now in those days there was no B and B, you provided your own food and the landlady cooked it and put it on the table. Mother would not have been allowed in the kitchen. There was a small charge for the use of the cruet [salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar] and crockery and cutlery were provided. So every day had to be partly spent shopping for the day's lunch, tea, supper and tomorrow's breakfast. As there was no Sunday shopping, we must have taken some food with us.

    As luck would have it, we left the sun back home and the week turned out damp and drizzly. If we saw the sea at all, it made little impression on me. It was certainly no weather for the beach.

    My chief remembrance is of trailing around window-shopping, with father's nose seeming endlessly glued to the windows of hardware shops, especially those selling hand tools, and impatiently dragging mother away from dress shops. As a silver lining to a dark cloud, she did persuade him to buy my brother and me a badly needed new raincoat each.

    We visited the famous Tower and I badly wanted to go into the zoo, then located in the base, but for some reason father vetoed this. We did, however, go into the Winter Gardens which was quite interesting.

    In what must have been an evening visit, we watched a variety show. The only item I recall was a tenor in evening dress serenading a lady in tights seated on the tip of a cardboard moon. What we did on the other evenings I have no idea as there were no 'lights' in those days. As we would not have been encouraged to sit around at the digs, we probably went to bed early!

    During a rare, fine interval, we watched the making of Blackpool Rock on stalls along the seafront. It was fascinating to see how the letters were formed out of yard-long strips of red caramel shaped, where required, round equally long strips of white before being correctly positioned inside a huge slab of rock. This was then rolled into a cylinder and finally coated with more of the red stuff. Then the whole mass was rolled and rolled, becoming longer and thinner until the correct size was reached. It was then chopped into short sticks and wrapped ready for sale.

    Father bought lavishly and we arrived home with half a suitcase full of rock in various shapes, sizes and flavours, which lasted us almost until Christmas.

    Trev

    25



    THE ORDERLY DAY
    [A Slice of Army Life]

    Oh orderly, orderly,
    Oh the orderly day.
    Poor sore orderly
    Tralalalalalalalalalala

     

     

    At six o'clock on a shining morn,
    We start our little day.
    And all day long
    We're making meals
    And clearing meals away.
    We stoke the stoves
    And butter the loaves
    Then tenderly spread the squish,
    And gently drop a porridge flop
    In every waiting dish.
    And it's "Orderly squish", "Orderly tosh",
    "Orderly tea this way."
    Oh who would be an orderlee
    Upon an orderly day!

    When breakfast's done, we've but begun
    Our weary round of work
    And evil light upon the wight
    Who tries his job to shirk.
    One cheery ray lights up his day
    If labour he would spurn,
    That when he's played the scullery maid
    The others will have their turn.
    And its "Orderly squish", "Orderly tosh",
    "Orderly tea this way."
    Oh who would be an orderlee
    Upon an orderly day!

     

    [Sung to the tune of 'Solomon Levi']
     
    'Squish' is presumably jam, but what is 'Tosh'?
    Could some ex-squaddie enlighten me [and others]?

    Trev


    BODY LANGUAGE

    We all use it, to a greater or lesser extent, to reinforce or replace speech. For instance, we nod our head to signify agreement or recognition. What else do we nod? Nothing, can we? Because the word 'nod' is limited to a particular movement of our 'noddle'. Thinking along this line, led me to realise how many special words there are to describe particular movements of various parts of the body. The following list is doubtless an incomplete one and you can probably add several more to it, but here goes.

    16



    SEA SHANTIES

    Some of you may remember these grand old songs had quite a vogue between the wars, when the 'Great Days of Sail' were still a living memory. My own acquaintance stems from a series, given by the BBC Male Voice Choir, I believe.

    Sea Shanties evolved as a means of keeping the crew in synchronisation when hauling on the ropes or other duties requiring a concerted effort, thus achieving maximum efficiency. Besides this, I believe, they had a social side, establishing a mood of good humour and ensuring even the slackers pulled their weight. They were led by the Shantyman who set the key and tempo, often to the accompaniment of his concertina or other instrument. They varied from quick and lively to slow and steady, and below are three different examples:

    Oh! Blow the man down, bullies. Blow the man down.
    Way! Hey! Blow the man down!
    Oh! Blow the man down bullies. Blow him right down.
    O give me some time to blow the man down!

    Oh we'll blow the man up and we'll blow the man down,
    Way! Hey! Blow the man down!
    We'll blow him away into Liverpool Town,
    Oh give me some time to blow the man down.

    As I was a-walking down Paradise Street,
    Way! Hey! Blow the man down!
    A charming young damsel I chanced for to meet,
    O give me some time to blow the man down.

    I says to her, "Sally, and how d'ye do?"
    Way ! Hey! Blow the man down!
    She says, "None the better for seeing of you!"
    Oh give me some time to blow the man down.

    Oh we'll blow the man up and we'll blow the man down,
    Way! Hey! Blow the man down!
    We'll blow him away into Liverpool Town,
    Oh give me some time to blow the man down.

    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

    Trev

    9



    THE COBBLER'S SONG

    from Chu Chin Chow

    I sit and cobble at slippers and shoon
    From rise of sun till set of moon.
    Stitch and cobble as best I may
    Cobble all night and cobble all day
    And I sing as I cobble this soulful lay.
     
    The stouter I cobble the less I earn
    For the soles ne'er crack nor the uppers turn.
    The better my work the less my pay
    But work can only be done one way.
     
    And as I cobble with needle and thread
    I judge the world by the way they tread.
    Heels worn thick and soles worn thin
    Toes turned out and toes turned in
    There's food for thought in the sandal's skin.
    For prince and commoner, poor and rich,
    Stand in need of the cobbler's stitch.
    Why then worry what lies before?
    Hangs this life by a thread no more.
     
    I sit and cobble at slippers and shoon,
    From rise of sun till set of moon.
    Stitch and cobble as best I may
    Cobble all night and cobble all day
    And I sing as I cobble this soulful lay.

    Footnote 1:

    Oscar Asche's musical fantasy, based on the Arabian Nights tale of Ali Baba, was first staged I believe during World War I, and an immediate success, being especially popular with troops on leave, to whom, no doubt, it was a welcome escape from the horrors of the trenches.

    Some of you may remember the TV version which the BBC produced [in mono-colour] soon after World War II, with Jetsam [Malcolm McEachern] as the Cobbler.

    Footnote 2:

    Cobblers have enjoyed a reputation [well deserved in my view] as philosophers. Some years ago, when I bought a holiday cottage in North Wales, I was told of a cobbler who plied his trade in a wooden hut at the bottom of the garden. The village children used to come and watch him at work while he enlightened their minds from his store of wisdom. Later on I took my shoes to a cobbler in Corwen and had many interesting discussions with him. He was a philosopher without a doubt.

    'Mr. Oscar Asche
    En Chu Chin Chow'

    Trev

    19



    HATCHED

    Somewhat belated, we have two new babies to welcome and one very new one! Congratulations to Ann and Brian Bailey on the birth of their third grandchild. Benjamin Francis Beer, son of Jenny and Lee, was born on the 19th July, weighing 8lbs 4oz., a beautiful little brother for Louis.

    We also congratulate Juliette and Pyers Cameron on the birth, on 9th August, of their daughter Isabella. A sister for Alex, Isabella weighed in at 6lbs 4oz.

    Our Ron is delighted to announce that he has just become a Great Grandfather! His first great-grandchild, Sophie May, was born in Swindon on Monday, 12th November. Weighing 6lbs 3oz, a daughter for Darren and Jane, granddaughter for Sheila and Tony [Bolt] and niece for Craig. Our congratulations and very best wishes to you all.

    16



    CHRISTMAS PAST
    [Reminiscences of Childhood]

    My father, a true Yorkshireman - albeit half Welsh - was careful with his brass, for most of the year that is! But, as Christmas approached a kind of spending madness took over and he would lavish a veritable cornucopia of gifts on his family, mother, my elder brother and me. All in the name of Father Christmas, of course.

    My brother and I would wake to find bulging pillowcases by our bedside [stockings would have been hopelessly inadequate], crammed with books, toys, games, toffees, chocolate, boiled sweets, etc. To support the deception, father and mother also had pillowcases containing gifts, though never so full as ours. Mother would usually get some much-desired item of finery, a silk blouse perhaps which had previously been beyond our means, but became suddenly affordable. We boys also might receive items of clothing, no doubt at mother's insistence.

    Boylike I would have to sample the various sweeties and, although never actually sick, I had no appetite for breakfast.

    Besides the largest available goose or turkey, father would also buy a large joint of spare rib pork. Not for the day itself, but for later. Mother would be up half the night preparing the bird for the oven and would be up early lighting the fire to get the oven hot and start off the bird on its slow roast. She always made 5 puddings - one for Christmas, the others for each of our birthdays which conveniently were all in January and February.

    On mother's shopping list were always a bottle each of brandy [for cakes and puddings], rum [for the sauce], and whisky, all at 7/6d. [36p] each. When our milkman came with the morning milk, he was offered a choice of drink. I think he usually had whisky, which he drank neat. As no doubt he was offered similar hospitality at other homes, I imagine he relied on his faithful nag to get him home safely in the milk float to his hill farm.

    Dinner was usually ready about 3 o'clock, by which time my appetite would have recovered enough to tuck in heartily. My brother and I would have whiled away the morning playing with our new games and toys. The pudding contained various silver 'charms' - a lucky horse shoe, a donkey, etc., as well as several threepenny 'bits'. None of the latter ever appeared in my portion, always turning up in father's. Mother said father knew just where he had put them, which I found hard to believe. After dinner we would all relax over a few hands of whist or some other card game. Later on, about 7 o'clock, there would be 'high tea', with a trifle, jellies, blancmange, etc., and, of course, mince pies and the cake. We never had wine with our meals, but some time or other, mother would bring out the elderberry wine and we boys would get a small glass each. Under age drinking indeed! But it never did us any harm to my knowledge.

    I went on believing in Father Christmas [we never called him Santa Claus] until I was 12 or so, because my brother kept up the pretence and I strongly contended anything my pals said about him being just father.

    Ah, the innocence of youth! Happy Days!

    Trev

    47



    DECIMALISATION

    Since the introduction of the florin a century and a half ago [1/10th of £1], we've come a long way along this road. Now our cash is fully decimalised [having abandoned the 1/2p] although, thank goodness, we have as yet refused the Euro.

    We have [almost] abandoned Fahrenheit in favour of Centigrade [I refuse to use that silly word Celsius, which commemorates an idiot who wanted 100 Deg as freezing point and 0 Deg as boiling point.

    We have learnt to cope with grammes, kilos, litres, etc., and even hectares.

    Can decimalisation go further?

    It can, if what I hear from Brussels is correct. A proposal is now before the EU Commission to decimalise Time!

    Of course we have had decades, centuries and millennia and at the other end of the scale tenths of a second, as well as milli-seconds and nano-seconds, so Time is already partly decimalised, but these proposals go much further.

    The standard unit of time will remain the Day, i.e. the average period of the earth's rotation, but will be renamed the Jour to please the French and secure their co-operation. The Jour will be divided into 10 decijours, replacing hours - so now we'll have still more cause to complain there aren't enough in a day! The decijour will be divided into centijours replacing minutes, these again sub-divided into millijours, replacing seconds, while tenths of a second become microjours. Expanding the other way, 10 Jours will make a Decajour, replacing the week - no complaints now that there aren't enough days in the week - and 10 Decajours a Hectojour, replacing the months - too much month at the end of the salary! Naturally, this will affect the calendar, which will now only have 10 sheets in a Kilojour, saving a considerable amount of paper and thus benefiting the ecology.

    On the other hand, astrologers must do some complicated calculations to readjust the Zodiac. Another effect will be on the date. If we go back to nought, according to my calculations, we are now in Kilojour 735 AD or thereabouts, so there's a long wait before we can celebrate the first millennium, never mind the second.

    And if by now you are beginning to feel one leg slightly longer, let me apologise for gently pulling it!

    Illustrations by: Paul Swailes

    Trev

    The above is an elaboration of a spoof from a draughtsman colleague at the time of currency decimalisation.

    27



    ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG

    A favourite Poem - Trev




    Good people all, of every sort,
    Give ear unto my song;
    And if you find it wondrous short,
    It cannot hold you long.

    In Islington there lived a man,
    Of whom the world might say,
    That still a godly race he ran,
    Whene'er
    he went to pray.

    A kind and gentle heart he had,
    To comfort friends and foes;
    The naked every day he clad,
    When he put on his clothes.

    And in that town a dog was found,
    As many dogs there be,
    Both mongrel
    , puppy, whelp and hound
    And curs of low degree.

    This dog and man at first were friends;
    But when a pique began,
    The
    dog, to gain some private ends,
    Went mad and bit the man.

    Around from all the neighbouring streets
    The wondering neighbours ran,
    And swore the dog had lost his wits
    To bite so good a man.

    The wound it seemed both sore and sad
    To every Christian eye;
    And while they swore the dog was mad,
    They swore the man would die.

    But soon a wonder came to light,
    That showed the rogues they lied:
    The man recovered of the bite,
    The dog it was that died.




    Oliver Goldsmith


    OLIVER GOLDSMITH

    Oliver Goldsmith was born in Roscommon, Ireland, in 1728 and died in London in 1774. An ungainly and bad mannered young man, Goldsmith studied at Trinity College, Dublin, after which he was on the point of emigrating to America but missed his ship! Had that not happened, school students over the years might not find that their course prescribed reading The Vicar of Wakefield or play-lovers enjoy the absurdities of She Stoops to Conquer.

    After his failed departure for America, he was first given money to study law, but gambled it away, and then to study medicine, at which he pretended interest but wanderlust took over and he became a tramp, barely existing on the pittance he raised from playing his flute!

    He became a literary hack in London in 1756, but carelessness, intemperance and gambling put him into debt when he should have been prosperous. It was at this low time in his life that his famous comedy was written, inspired, it is believed, by an incident in his own youth.

    26



    THE CARRION CROW

    This little ditty was learnt at primary school, long ago, and surfaced in my mind recently. If you think it lacks a final verse, I have to agree, but can recall no single word of any such. Does anyone else remember it and if so, can they help?

    A tailor kept a fine fat sow,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow.
    And she was plagued by a carrion crow,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow,
    Hey derry down derry dido.

    Oh wife, oh wife bring me my bow,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow.
    And I will shoot that carrion crow,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow,
    Hey derry down derry dido.

    The tailor shot but he missed his mark,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow.
    And saw his old sow lying stiff and stark,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow,
    Hey derry down derry dido.

    Oh wife, oh wife bring brandy in a spoon,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow.
    For our old sow is lying in a swoon,
    Caw, caw the carrion crow,
    Hey derry down derry dido.


    Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

    Trev

    8



    AUSTRIAN FOLK SONG

    Heard on the radio many years ago, this poignantly beautiful tribute lay buried in some deep recess of memory to surface recently, without prompting, complete with its simple, plaintive melody. I can't reproduce the latter but here the words, attributed to that great poet Anon and translated by another of the same name [not myself].

    Illustration by: Paul Swailes

    How can I leave thee?
    How can I bear to part?
    That thou hast all my heart,
    Dearest believe.

    Thou hast this soul of mine,
    So wholly is it
    That I can love no-one
    But thee alone.

    Were I a bird love,
    Soon would I fly to thee.
    Falcon nor
    hawk tone
    Would terror bring.

    If slain by huntsman's hand
    I at thy feet lay dead,
    If thou one tear didst shed
    Gladly I'd die.

    Blue is the flow'ret
    Called the forget-me-not.
    Oh lay it on the heart
    And think of me.

    Should fate be too unkind,
    Hope gone faith out of mind,
    Love shall remain with us,
    Dearest, believe.

    Trev

    22



    FUNNY ALPHABET

    [with acknowledgements to Clapham and Dwyer]

    A - for 'osses
    B - for honey
    C - for th'ighlanders
    D - for salmon fishing
    E - for sigh
    F - for vescence
    G - for putting your shirt on
    H - for experience
    I - for a pretty girl
    J - fa oranges
    K - for a cuppa
    L - for leather
    M - pha sis
    N - for a penny n for a pound
    O - for the wings of a dove
    P - for soup
    Q - for a bus
    R - fa mo
    S - for certain
    T - for two
    U - for mutton
    V - for l'amour
    W - for a tenner
    X - for breakfast
    Y - for goodness sake!
    Z - pher breezes

    [like C & D, I had to resort to the American 'zee' - couldn't find anything to go with zed].

    Trev

    29



    CHRISTMAS EVE

    Illustrated by: Debbie Rigler Cook

    "Twas the night before Christmas
    And all through the house
    Was confusion and chaos,
    Because of a mouse.

    It scampered around
    Both upstairs and down.
    It shot up the sleeve
    Of mother's nightgown.

    It tasted the turkey,
    It sampled the cake,
    It nibbled the mince pies
    Aunt Ethel did bake.

    "I'll catch him" sang father,
    "I'll give him what for!"
    And went for his stick
    Which was hung by the door.

    He searched every nook
    And he prodded each cranny
    But cute mousey was safe
    Neath
    the bed where slept granny.

    Which all goes to show,
    That where food is concerned,
    Mice are cuter than men
    As no doubt you have learned.

    Trev

    With apologies to Clement Clark Moor, a professor of Religion, who published his one celebrated poem in time for Christmas 1823.

42



A LIST OF 'ISTS'
[not to be taken seriously]

Activist - PE enthusiast
Alienist - friend to little green men
Apiarist - keeper of chimps
Archivist: maker of pergolas
Anarchist - assist maker of pergolas
Arsonist - Woolwich fan
Baptist - regular at Burger King
Cellist - hermit
Communist - vulgar person
Conservationalist - Tory
Conventionalist - nun
Cornettist - ice cream seller
Dentist - maker of beaten copperware
Flautist - quality control expert
Illusionist - someone badly treated
Oboist - fat person
Pacifist - South Sea Islander
Pharmacist - agricultural worker
Physicist - dealer in soft drinks
Romanticist - teller of 'porkies'
Sadist - sorrowful person
Socialist - member of high society
Spiritualist - dealer in rum, gin, etc.
Taxidermist - opener of cab doors
Trappist - setter of snares
Violinist - low down inn keeper

Trev

18



STREET TRADERS

Street traders. I don't know if any such visited Berrynarbor, but when I was a wee nipper, Long ago, we had a variety of them parading our streets. The most colourful was the man who cried his wares thus:

"Hot peas and warm pies, Parkin pigs with curran' eyes."

The peas, of the mushy variety, were carried in an enamel pail with a lid, while pies and pigs were on a covered tray carried on the head. I don't remember sampling peas or pigs, but the pies [pork] were delicious.

Then there was the vinegar seller who wore a blue and white striped apron and announced his arrival by ringing a hand-bell. The vinegar was in an enamel pail with lid and was ladled into your jug or whatever, as required. We used a lot of vinegar for pickling, so he was a frequent visitor.

Salt was sold in blocks about the size and shape of a modern sliced loaf and was brought round, piled high on a horse-drawn flat cart. A block would last for months, although mother used a lot for cooking. She would carve off a slice with the carving knife and then pound it with the rolling pin to fill the salt cellars.

I don't remember any other food bought at the door, apart from milk, of course. This came in a large churn on the dairy farmer's 'float' [horse drawn] and was ladled into your jug by the pint. No bottles in those days.

The knife-grinder often came round with his "Knives and scissors to grind" call. His grindstone was attached to the handlebars of his bicycle and was driven by a system of pulleys and belts from the pedals, the rear wheel being raised off the ground.

Another frequent visitor was the organ grinder. It wasn't an organ really, more like a player piano operated by turning a crank. As soon as he began to play, kids would appear as from nowhere and dance round in time to the music. One or two would give him a penny and I suppose that was how he earned a precarious living. Did he have a monkey? I don't think so, I'm sure I would have remembered if he had.

Lastly I must not forget the gypsy women with their baskets of clothes pegs. These were made from cleft hazel, shaped at one end to form a 'V' notch, fastened together at the other end by a metal strip wound round and fastened with a 'brad'. Very effective they were and lasted for ages. Gypsies had a reputation for theft so you never let them over the threshold, even if they offered to read your palm.

Illustrations by: Nigel Mason

Trev

33



LORELEI

[a rough translation of Goethe's famous poem]

What makes me feel so sad tonight?
What can the reason be?
An old folk tale has come to mind
And will not set me free.

The air is cool as darkness falls,
And smoothly flows the Rhine.
The mountain summits gleam
In the mellow evening shine.

High up above the river sits
A maiden, wondrous fair.
Her golden bracelets glisten as
She combs her golden hair.

She combs it with a golden comb
And sings a song meanwhile,
Which a powerful melody,
Enchanting, full of guile.

The sailor in his tiny craft
Espies her with wild yearning.
The craggy reef escapes his eye,
Forever upwards turning.

Beneath the surging waters,
The sailor meets his end,
As with her evil singing
Did the Lorelei intend.

Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Trev

8



CHILDHOOD GAMES

Cogitating, as we old codgers are wont, on the past, I began to recall the simple games and toys of my boyhood in a small West Riding mill town long ago.

Some of these, like the skipping rope, are still with us but others seem to have vanished into the mists of time.

Illustration by: Paul Swailes

TW/BC

35



LETTER FROM AN IRISH
BRICKLAYER TO HIS EMPLOYER

Honoured Sir,

I am dictating this to my kind nurse from my hospital bed to let you know how I come to be here.

When I had finished building the wall I realised there was a quantity of bricks left over at the top of the scaffolding, so I cast about for some means of returning them safely to the ground.

I came upon an old barrel, which I attached to the end of a rope, passed the other end over a pulley at the top, hoisted up the barrel and made all fast below. Then proceeded to fill the barrel with the bricks, returned to the ground and cast off.

Unfortunately the barrel full of bricks was heavier than myself and I was jerked off my feet with considerable force, dislocating my shoulder.

Halfway up I met the barrel coming down. It caught me a shrewd blow on the shoulder, fracturing my collar bone.

On arrival at the top, my hand jammed in the pulley, breaking two fingers.

When the barrel hit the ground, it burst asunder, scattering the bricks in all directions.

As the barrel was now lighter than myself, I was released from the pulley and descended rapidly, meeting the barrel again halfway. It belaboured me heavily about the shin, causing severe lacerations. I landed on the pile of bricks with such force as to break both ankles. At this point must have lost my head, for I let go the rope, whereupon the barrel descended smartly upon my head, causing multiple contusions. Request permission to take sick leave.

Yours respectfully,

[As remembered from Gerard Hoffnung's famous Oxford Union Address.]


 
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes

Trev

36



BLACK COFFEE

Personal taste is a funny thing isn't it? I mean funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha, far from it. A long time ago, as a young nipper, I was unable to drink tea, coffee or cocoa.

Tea was then the main household beverage and it was dished out strong and sweet. At least that's how it was in my family and it was the same with relatives and Sunday School treats, etc. To me undrinkable, but in my innocence I assumed that was how it should be.

It wasn't until my teens that it occurred to me to query this. What if sugar was the culprit and what would it be like without? Bingo! It was a different cup of tea, to coin a phrase. Quite pleasant in fact. So that was one hurdle over and as I matured I gradually came to terms with coffee, providing it was sweet and milky.

Many years later, I began to attend meetings as a member of the British delegation to the ISO [International Standards Organisation] of which the "Eastern Bloc" were also members. The meetings were held annually in different venues, including some behind the "Iron Curtain".

One of the first I attended was Paris. Well, we all know the French can't make a decent cup of tea! At least not then. Coffee should be all right though. Didn't the French invent café au lait? I was to be sadly disillusioned. Every café and bistro where I asked for it, it was the same. They looked at me as if they'd never heard of it. It was café noir only. To me undrinkable.

Some years later it was the turn of Budapest. I hadn't much hope there, having heard about Turkish coffee, thick and black. And so it proved.

At the weekend, our hosts laid on a coach trip to Lake Balaton and on the way we stopped at hostelry for coffee, black of course. Desperately I asked the committee secretary, a very nice chap, if I could have a little milk. When he asked "Would you like it hot?" I incautiously replied, "If possible." Off he went to see about it and I waited for the milk to arrive. And waited. And waited . . .

The others had all drunk theirs and it was time to leave, so I left my, by now, cold black coffee and went out to board the coach. Just as I was doing so, a small procession of waiters, cooks and kitchen boys rounded the corner, from the rear of the premises, each with a trayful of steaming bowls, jugs and other receptacles. Alas, we could not stop to sample this bounty. Obviously my modest request had been inflated somewhat. They must have milked a cow or two! I've often wondered what they did with all.

Two years later we were in St. Petersburg, then Leningrad. Painstakingly, I had memorised the Russian for coffee with milk. The surly waitress was not impressed. All I got was an emphatic "Nyet" and all my appeals were in vain. So I wondered if perhaps I'd been doing it wrong all these years to kill the bitterness. Remembering my youthful experience with tea, should I try it unsweetened? Well, it wasn't wonderful but at least it was drinkable and since then I quite like a cup of black coffee now and then. But I still can't abide cocoa!

Trev

26