Marriott Edgar | |
One day, little Albert Ramsbottom
To see 'ow much money 'e'd got
Stuck a knife in 'is money-box slot 'ole
And fiddled and fished out the lot.
It amounted to fifteen and fourpence
Which 'e found by a few simple sums
Were ninety two tuppenny ices
Or twice that in penn'orths of gums.
The sound of the chinkin' of money
Soon brought father's 'ead round the door
He said, "Whats that there, on the table?"
Albert said it were, "Fifteen and four.
"You're not going to spend all that money.
Said Pa, in an admonitory tone
"On toffee an' things for your stomach.
Said Mother, "Why not?.
it's his own.
Said Pa, "Nay, with that fifteen shillings,
We'll buy National Savings and then.
In five years we'll have seventeen and six
And one pound and sixpence, in ten!"
Young Albert weren't what you'd call eager
He saw his sweet dreams fade away,
Ma said, "Let 'im 'ave the odd fourpence.
Pa lovingly answered, "Nay.
"It's our duty in crisis.
For every child, woman and man
To strain every muscle and sinew
To raise every penny we can!"
He said, "Even this little fourpence.
Might help us, the Germans to drub!"
Then 'e dropped the four coins in 'is pocket
And made for the neighbouring pub.
These words stirred the 'eart of young Albert
He made up 'is mind then and there
To take up 'is part in the straining
And sell everything 'e could spare.
So off 'e went down to the junk shop
With some toys and a flashlamp, he'd got.
And the stick with the 'orses 'ead 'andle
He received half a crown for the lot.
He went off to the Post Office counter
Where National Savings was bought
But found that they cost fifteen shillings
Which meant he were twelve and six short.
The little lad wasn't down 'earted
He went off without wastin' words
And sold 'is dad's smoking companion
And 'is Mother's glass case of stuffed birds.
At the Post Office counter they gave 'im
A certificate all crisp and clean
Then back 'e went 'ome, to his parents
To say what a good boy he'd been.
They didn't 'alf shout, when he told 'em
but 'e were in the wars
But at finish, they 'ad to forgive 'im
It were all done in such a grand cause.
There's a moral, of course.
to this story
That's pointing to you and to me.
Let's all be young Alberts and tend
To defend the right to be free.
Marriott Edgar | |
On young Albert Ramsbottom's birthday
His parents asked what he'd like most;
He said to see t' Tower of London
And gaze upon Anne Boleyn's ghost.
They thowt this request were unusual
And at first to refuse were inclined,
'Til Pa said a trip t' metrollopse
Might broaden the little lad's mind.
They took charrybank up to London
And got there at quarter to fower,
Then seeing as pubs wasn't open
They went straight away to the tower.
They didn't think much to the buildin'
'T weren't what they'd been led to suppose,
And the 'Bad Word' Tower didn't impress them,
They said Blackpool had got one of those.
At last Albert found a Beefeater
And filled the old chap with alarm.
By asking for Ghost of Anne Boleyn
As carried her 'ead 'neath her arm.
Said Beefeater 'You ought to come Fridays
If it's ghost of Anne Boleyn you seek,
Her union now limits her output
And she only gets one walk a week.
'But,' he said, 'if it's ghosts that you're after,
There's Lady Jane Grey's to be seen,
She runs around chased by the 'Eadsman
At midnight on th' old Tower Green.
They waited on t' green till near midnight,
Then thinking they'd time for a sup,
They took out what food they'd brought with them
And waited for t' ghost to turn up.
On the first stroke of twelve, up jumped Albert,
His mouth full of cold, dripping toast,
With his stick with the 'orses 'ead 'andle
He pointed, and said 'Here's the ghost!'
They felt their skins going all goosey
As Lady Jane's Spectre drew near
And Albert fair swallered his tonsils
When the 'Eadsman an' all did appear.
The 'Eadsman chased Jane round the grass patch
They saw his axe flash in the moon
And seeing as poor lass were 'eadless
They wondered what what next he would prune.
He suddenly caught sight of Albert
As midnight was on its last chime
As he lifted his axe, father murmered
'We'll get the insurance this time.
At that, Mother rose, taking umbridge;
She said, 'Put that cleaver away.
You're not cutting our Albert's 'ead off,
Yon collar were clean on today.
The brave little lad stood undaunted
'Til the ghost were within half a pace.
Then taking the toast he were eating,
Slapped it, dripping side down, in his face.
'T were a proper set-back for the 'Eadsman
He let out one 'owl of despair,
Then taking his ladyfriend with him
He disappeared - just like that, there.
When Pa saw the way as they vanished
He trembled with fear and looked blue,
'Til Ma went and patted his shoulder
An' said, 'Sallright lad, we saw it too.
Some say 'twere the drippin' as done it,
From a roast leg of mutton it came,
And as th' 'Eadsman had been a Beefeater
They reckon he vanished from shame.
And around Tower Green, from that moment,
They've ne're seen a sign of the ghost,
But when t' Beefeaters go on night duty,
They take slices of cold drippin' toast.
Marriott Edgar | |
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.
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.
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 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!'
More great poems below...
Marriott Edgar | |
Albert were what you'd call “thwarted”.
He had long had an ambition, which.
Were to save up and go to Australia,
The saving up that were the hitch.
He'd a red money box on the pot shelf,
A post office thing made of tin,
But with him and his Dad and the bread knife,
It never had anything in.
He were properly held up for bobbins,
As the folk in the mill used to say,
Till he hit on a simple solution -
He'd go as a young stowaway.
He studied the sailing lists daily,
And at last found a ship as would do.
Tosser:, a freighter from Fleetwood,
Via Cape Horn to Wooloomooloo.
He went off next evening to Fleetwood,
And found her there loaded and coaled,
Slipped over the side in the darkness,
And downstairs and into the hold.
The hold it were choked up with cargo,
He groped with his hands in the gloom,
Squeezed through bars of what felt like a grating,
And found he had plenty of room.
Some straw had been spilled in one corner,
He thankfully threw himself flat,
He thought he could hear someone breathing,
But he were too tired to fret about that.
When he woke they were out in mid-ocean,
He turned and in light which were dim,
Looked straight in the eyes of a lion,
That were lying there looking at him.
His heart came right up in his tonsils,
As he gazed at that big yellow face.
Then it smiled and they both said together,
“Well, isn't the world a small place?”
The lion were none other than Wallace,
He were going to Sydney, too.
To fulfil a short starring engagement
In a cage at Taronga Park Zoo.
As they talked they heard footsteps approaching,
“Someone comes” whispered Wallace, “Quick, hide”.
He opened his mouth to the fullest,
And Albert sprang nimbly inside.
'Twere Captain on morning inspection,
When he saw Wallace shamming to doze,
He picked up a straw from his bedding,
And started to tickle his nose.
Now Wallace could never stand tickling,
He let out a mumbling roar,
And before he could do owt about it,
He'd sneezed Albert out on the floor.
The Captain went white to the wattles,
He said, “I'm a son of a gun”.
He had heard of beasts bringing up children,
But were first time as he'd seen it done.
He soon had the radio crackling,
And flashing the tale far and wide,
Of the lad who'd set out for Australia,
Stowed away in a lion's inside.
The quay it were jammed with reporters,
When they docked on Australian soil.
They didn't pretend to believe it,
But 'twere too good a story to spoil.
And Albert soon picked up the language,
When he first saw the size of the fruit,
There was no more “by gum” now or “Champion”,
It were “Whacko!”, “Too right!” and “You beaut!”.
They gave him a wonderful fortnight,
Then from a subscription they made,
Sent him back as a “Parcel for Britain”,
Carriage forward, and all ex's paid!
Marriott Edgar | |
Ramsbottom went to the races,
A thing as he'd ne'er done before,
And as luck always follers beginners,
Won five pounds, no-less and no-more.
He felt himself suddenly tempted
To indulge in some reckless orgee,
So he went to a caffy-a-teerer
And had a dressed crab with his tea.
He were crunching the claws at the finish
And wondering what next he would do,
Then his thoughts turned to home and to Mother,
And what she would say when she knew.
For Mother were dead against racing
And said as she thought 'twere a sin
For people to gamble their money
Unless they were certain to win.
These homely domestic reflections
Seemed to cast quite a gloom on Pa's day
He thought he'd best take home a present
And square up the matter that way.
' Twere a bit ofa job to decide on
What best to select for this 'ere,
So he started to look in shop winders
In hopes as he'd get some idea.
He saw some strange stuff in a fruit shop
Like leeks with their nobby ends gone,
It were done up in bundles like firewood-
Said Pa to the Shopman, "What's yon?"
"That's Ass-paragus-what the Toffs eat"
Were the answer; said Pa "That 'll suit,
I'd best take a couple of bundles,
For Mother's a bobby for fruit.
He started off home with his purchase
And pictured Ma all the next week
Eating sparagus fried with her bacon
Or mashed up in bubble-and-squeak.
He knew when she heard he'd been racing
She'd very nigh talk him to death,
So he thought as he'd call in the ' Local'
To strengthen his nerve and his breath.
He had hardly got up to the counter
When a friend of his walked in the bar,
He said "What ye got in the bundle?"
"A present for Mother," said Pa.
It's 'sparagus stuff what the Toffs eat "
His friend said "It's a rum-looking plant,
Can I have the green ends for my rabbits?"
said Pa "Aye, cut off what you want.
He cut all the tips off one bundle,
Then some more friends arrived one by one,
And all of them seemed to keep rabbits
Pa had no green ends left when they'd done.
When he got home the 'ouse were in dark ness,
So he slipped in as sly as a fox,
Laid the 'sparagus on kitchen table
And crept up to bed in his socks.
He got in without waking Mother,
A truly remarkable feat,
And pictured her telling the neighbours
As 'twere 'sparagus-what the toffs eat.
But when he woke up in the morning
It were nigh on a quarter to ten,
There were no signs of Mother, or breakfast
Said Pa, "What's she done with her-sen?"
He shouted "What's up theer in t' kitchen?"
She replied, "You do well to enquire,
Them bundles of chips as you brought home
Is so damp.
I can't light the fire.
Marriott Edgar | |
I'll tell you the story of Balbus,
You know, him as builded a wall;
I'll tell you the reason he built it,
And the place where it happened an' all.
This 'ere Balbus, though only a Tackler,
Were the most enterprising of men;
He'd heard Chicken Farms were lucrative,
So he went out and purchased a hen.
'Twere a White Wyandot he called Mabel,
At laying she turned out a peach,
And her eggs being all double-yoked ones
He reckoned they'd fetch twopence each.
When he took them along to the market
And found that the eggs that sold best
Were them as came over from China
He were vexed, but in no ways depressed.
For Balbus, though only a Tackler,
In business were far from a dunce,
So he packed Mabel up in a basket
And started for China at once.
When he got there he took a small holding,
And selecting the sunniest part,
He lifted the lid of the basket
And said "Come on, lass.
make a start!"
The 'en needed no second biddin',
She sat down and started to lay;
She'd been saving up all the way over
And laid sixteen eggs, straight away.
When the Chinamen heard what had happened
Their cheeks went the colour of mud,
They said it were sheer mass production
As had to be nipped in the bud.
They formed themselves in a committee
And tried to arrive at some course
Whereby they could limit the output
Without doing harm to the source.
At the finish they came to t' conclusion
That the easiest road they could take
Were to fill the 'en's nest up wi' scrap-iron
So as fast as she laid eggs they'd break.
When Balbus went out the next morning
To fetch the eggs Mabel had laid
He found nowt but shells and albumen
He were hipped, but in no ways dismayed.
For Balbus, though only a Tackler,
He'd a brain that were fertile and quick
He bought all the scrap-iron in t' district
To stop them repeating the trick.
But next day, to his great consternation
He were met with another reverse,
For instead of old iron they'd used clinker
And the eggs looked the same, or worse.
'Twere a bit of a set-back for Balbus,
But he wasn't downhearted at all,
And when t' Chinamen came round next evening
They found he were building a wall.
"That won't keep us out of your 'en 'ouse"
Said one, with a smug kind of grin;
It's not for that purpose," said Balbus,
"When it's done, it will keep you lot in.
The Chinamen all burst out laffing,
They thowt as he'd gone proper daft
But Balbus got on wi' his building
And said "He laffed last who last laffed.
Day by day Balbus stuck to his building,
And his efforts he never did cease
Till he'd builded the Great Wall of China
So as Mabel could lay eggs in peace.
Marriott Edgar | |
I'll tell of Canute, King of England,
A native of Denmark was he,
His hobbies was roving and raiding
And paddling his feet in the sea.
By trade he were what's called a Viking,
Every summer he'd visit our shore,
Help himself to whatever he wanted,
And come back in the autumn for more.
These trips always showed him a profit,
But what stumped him to know was this 'ere.
Where the English folk got all the money,
He came and took off them each year.
After duly considering the matter,
He concluded as how his best course,
Were to have an invasion of England,
And tap the supply at its source.
He got other Vikings to join him,
With a promise of plunder and spoil,
And raked up atrocity stories,
To bring all their blood to the boil.
They landed one morning at Weymouth,
And waited for fight to begin,
While their foe, Ethelred the Unready,
Found his army and got it fell in.
When the battle were done, Crown of England,
Changed heads, so the history book states,
From Ethelred's seven-and-a-quarter,
To King Canutes six-and-five-eights.
The Vikings was cheered as the winners,
Ethelred, he went somewhere and died,
And Canute, to his lasting atonement.
Made the widow, Queen Emma, his bride.
She started to teach him his manners,
To drink without wetting his nose,
Put his hand to his mouth and say "Pardon!",
Every time the occasion arose.
She said his companions was vulgar,
His habits more easy than free,
Made him promise no more to disgrace her,
By paddling his feet in the sea.
At the time this 'ere promise meant nothing,
It were made in the cool of the spring,
But when summer came in with a heat wave,
T' were a totally different thing.
He moved his court down to the seaside,
Where they took off their shoes and their socks,
And rushed to the water and left him,
Alone on his throne on the rocks.
Said one, "Come on King, have a paddle,
I'll look after your sceptre and crown.
He replied, "Nay, I promised the missus,
And I can't let the old.
"No need to do that," said the Tempter,
"The tide's coming in, as you see;
You promised you wouldn't go to it,
But you can't stop it coming to thee!"
And that's how it happened.
When Emma came over the sands,
She found Canute knee deep in water,
Trying to shush the sea back with his hands.
For not letting on that he'd seen her,
He was chiding each wave as it came,
Saying, "Thus far, my lad, and no further!"
'Til Emma said, "What is this game?"
He replied, These 'ere flatterers told me,
That the sea would obey me, and so,
I'm giving them this demonstration,
To show what a fat lot they know.
"You're doing quite right," shouted Emma,
"It's time someone made them look small!"
Then she took off her shoes and her stockings,
And started to paddle an' all.
Marriott Edgar | |
I'll tell you the tale of an old country pub
As fancied itself up to date,
It had the word " Garage" wrote on t' stable door
And a petrol pump outside the gate.
The " George and the Dragon" were t' name of the pub,
And it stood in a spot wild and bleak,
Where nowt ever seemed to be passing that way
Except Carrier's cart once a week.
The Carrier's cart were a sturdy old Ford
And its driver were known as " Old Joe
He had passed pub each week but he'd never been in,
It's name even he didn't know.
One cold winter night, about quarter to one,
He were driving home over the moor,
And had just reached the pub, when his engine stopped dead
A thing it had ne'er done before.
He lifted the bonnet and fiddled around
And gave her a bit of a crank;
When he looked at his petrol he found what were wrong,
There wasn't a drop in the tank.
He had eight miles to go and 'twere starting to rain,
And he thought he were there for the night,
Till he saw the word " Garage" wrote on t' stable door;
Then he said, " Lizzie, Lass.
we're all right.
He went up to t' pub and he hammered at door
Till a voice up above said " Hello!"
It were t' Publican's Wife-she said,
"Now what's to do?", "I've run out of petrol," said Joe.
She said " Who are you? " He said " Carrier Joe.
" Oh, so that's who it is," she replied
You've been passing this door now for close on ten years
And never once set foot inside.
"A nice time of night to come knocking folks up,
"Away with your truck,
" You'd best get your petrol where you buy your beer.
" You only come here when you re stuck.
Said Joe, "Aye, I'll go if you'll sell me some fuel,
"I can't start my engine without.
"I'm willing to pay.
" but she told him to go
Where he'd get his fuel for nowt.
"Coom, coom, Lass!" said Joe, conci-latory like,
"Let bygones be bygones, and when
I come round next time I'll look in.
She said, "Oh, Well, your petrol can wait until then.
With these few remarks th' old girl took in her head
And slammed winder to in his face;
He took a look round and for t' very first time
He noticed the name of the place.
He picked up some pebbles he found in the road
And tossed them against winder pane,
And before very long lattice opened above
And out came the old girl again.
What d'ye want? " she enquired.
And " Not you," Joe replied,
For this treatment had fair raised his gorge
"I see George and t' Dragon's the name on the house,
"And I'd just like a word now with George.
Marriott Edgar | |
Joe Dunn were a bobby for football
He gave all his time to that sport,
He played for the West Wigan Whippets,
On days when they turned out one short.
He’d been member of club for three seasons
And had grumbled again and again,
Cos he found only time that they’d used him,
Were when it were pouring with rain!
He felt as his talents were wasted
When each week his job seemed to be
No but minding the clothes for the others
And chucking clods at referee!
So next time selection committee
Came round to ask him for his sub
He told them if they didn’t play him,
He’d transfer to some other club.
Committee they coaxed and cudgelled him
But found he’d have none of their shifts
So they promised to play him next weekend
In match against Todmorden Swifts.
This match were the plum of the season
An annual fixture it stood,
‘T were reckoned as good as a cup tie
By them as liked plenty of blood!
The day of the match dawned in splendour
A beautiful morning it were
With a fog drifting up from the brick fields
And a drizzle of rain in the air.
The Whippets made Joe their goalkeeper
A thing as weren’t wanted at all
For they knew once battle had started
They’d have no time to mess with the ball!
Joe stood by the goal posts and shivered
While the fog round his legs seemed to creep
'Til feeling neglected and lonely
He leant back and went fast asleep.
He dreamt he were playing at Wembley
And t’roar of a thundering cheer
He were kicking a goal for the Whippets
When he woke with a clout in his ear!
He found 'twere the ball that had struck him
And inside the net there it lay
But as no one had seen this ‘ere ‘appen
He punted it back into play!
'Twere the first ball he’d punted in anger
His feelings he couldn’t restrain
Forgetting as he were goalkeeper
He ran out and kicked it again!
Then after the ball like a rabbit
He rushed down the field full of pride
He reckoned if nobody stopped him
Then ‘appen he’d score for his side.
‘Alf way down he bumped into his captain
Who weren’t going to let him go by
But Joe, like Horatio Nelson
Put a fist to the Captain’s blind eye!
On he went 'til the goal lay before him
Then stopping to get himself set
He steadied the ball, and then kicked it
And landed it right in the net!
The fog seemed to lift at that moment
And all eyes were turned on the lad
The Whippets seemed kind of dumbfounded
While the Swifts started cheering like mad!
'Twere his own goal as he’d kicked the ball through
He’d scored for his foes ‘gainst his friends
For he’d slept through the referee’s whistle
And at half time he hadn’t changed ends!
Joe was transferred from the West Wigan Whippets
To the Todmorden Swifts, where you’ll see
Still minding the clothes for the others
And chucking clods at referee!
Marriott Edgar | |
Henry the Seventh of England
Wasn't out of the Royal top drawer,
The only connection of which he could boast,
He were King's nephew's brother-in-law.
It were after the Wars of the Roses
That he came to the front, as it were,
When on strength of his having slain Richard the Third
He put himself up as his heir.
T'were a bit of a blow to the Barons
When Henry aspired to the Throne,
And some who'd been nursing imperial hopes
Started pushing out claims of their own.
But they didn't get far with their scheming,
For the moment the matter were pressed
A stroke of the pen took them off to the Tower,
Where a stroke of the axe did the rest.
A feller they called Perkin Warbeck
Was the one who led Henry a dance,
To make sure that nowt awkward should happen to him
He worked from an office in France.
He claimed to be one of the Princes
As were smothered to death in the Tower.
His tale was that only his brother was killed
And that he had escaped the seas ower.
Henry knew the appeal of the Princes
Was a strong one for Perkin to make,
And he reckoned he'd best have a chat with the lad
And find out the least he would take.
In reply to his kind invitation
Perkin said he'd he happy to call,
But he'd bring his own escort of ten thousand men
And a hundred pipers an' all.
This reply put the King in a passion
He swore as he'd stop Perkin's fun,
Then he offered a fortune per annum to him
As could tell him how his could be done.
Then up spoke the bold Lambert Simne
The King's private scullion he were,
He said: "Just one word in thy ear 'ole, O King,
I've a plan as will stop all this 'ere.
Then he took the King up in a corner,
Where no one could hear what they said,
He hadn't got far when King started to laff
And he laffed till he had to he bled.
T 'were a plan to anticipate Perkin,
By getting in first with these tales,
Start another rebellion before he arrived
And take the wind out of his sails.
And so Lambert Simnel's rebellion
Made its fateful debut in the North
Experts disagree who he made out to be,
John the Second or Richard the Fourth.
T 'was surprising how many believed him
They flocked to his flag like one man,
For in them days the folk would do owt for a change,
And their motto was, " San fairy ann.
It were quite a success this rebellion
Till t'were routed by Henry at Stoke,
And Lambert were taken and made to confess
That his parents was working class folk.
The public forgave this deception,
The thing that made them proper mad
Was a twopenny increase on every one's rates
To pay for the fun they had had.
And so when Peter Warbeck came over
Expecting his praise to be sung,
He was greeted, defeated, escheated, unseated,
Maltreated and finally hung.
And the Baron went back to his castle,
The Peasant went back to his herd,
Lambert Simnel went back to his scullion's job
Because Henry went back on his word.
Marriott Edgar | |
Joe Ramshottom rented a bit of a farm
From its owner, Squire Goslett his name;
And the Gosletts came over with William the First,
And found Ramsbottoms here when they came.
One day Joe were ploughing his three-acre field
When the front of his plough hit a rock,
And on closer inspection o' t' damage he found
As the coulter had snapped wi' the shock.
He'd got a spare coulter at home in his shed,
But that were some distance away,
And he reckoned by t' time he had been there and back
He'd have wasted best part of the day.
The accident 'appened not far from the place
Where the Squire had his sumptuous abode;
He thought he might borrow a coulter from him,
And save going back all that road.
He were going to ask.
but he suddenly stopped,
And he said " Nay-I'd better not call;
He might think it cheek I borrowed from him,
I'd best get my own after all.
He were going off back when he turned to himself
And said "That's a gormless idea;
The land you were ploughing belongs to the Squire,
It were 'is rock as caused all this 'ere!"
This 'eartened Joe up, so he set off again,
But he very soon stopped as before,
And he said 'Happen Squire'II have comp'ny to tea,
Nay I'd, better go round to t' back.
Then he answered himself in a manner quite stern
And said "Here's a nice how-de-do!
You can manage without him when all's said and done,
And where would he be without you?"
Joe knew this were right and he knew it were just,
But he didn't seem happy somehow,
So he said "Well, there's no harm in paying a call,
And I needn't say owt about plough.
This suggestion that he were afraid of the Squire
Were most deeply resented by Joe;
He said "Right! I'll show you.
I'll go up at once,
At the worst he can only say 'No.
Then he said "After all as I've done in the past
He would have a nerve to decline;
He ought to be thankful to give me his plough,
Seein'' damage his rock did to mine.
Then he said "Who is he To be puffed up wi' pride,
And behave as if he were King Dick
He's only a farmer the same as myself,
As I'll tell him an' all- Jolly quick.
Then he turned round and looked himself straight in the face,
And he said "What you're scared of beats me;
Ramsbottoms was landlords when Gosletts was nowt,
And it's him should be working for thee!"
Then he said "I'm surprised at myself, so I am,
To think I should so condescend
As to come hat in hand to a feller like 'im
And ask if he's owt he can lend.
This argument brought him to Squire's front door,
It were open and Squire stood inside;
He said "Hello, Joe.
What brings thee right up here?"
"You'll know in a tick," Joe replied.
He said "P'raps you think yourself better than me,
Well, I'm telling you straight that you're not
And I don't want your coulter.
Your plough-or your farm,
You can-do what you like with the lot.
Marriott Edgar | |
I'll tell you the story of Jonah,
A really remarkable tale;
A peaceful and humdrum existence he had
Until one day he went for a sail.
The weather were grand when they started,
But later at turn of the tide
The wind started blowing, the water got rough,
And Jonah felt funny inside.
When the ship started pitching and tossing
He tried hard his feelings to smother,
At last he just leant his head over the side
And one thing seemed to bring up another.
When the sailors saw what he were doing
It gave them a bit of a jar;
They didn't mind trippers enjoying theirselves,
But thowt this 'ere were going too far.
Said one "Is there nowt you can think on
To stop you from feelin' so bad?"
And Jonah said "Aye, lift me over the side
And chuck me in, there's a good lad.
The sailor were not one to argue,
He said "Happen you know what's best.
Then he picked Jonah up by the seat of his pants
And chucked him in, as per request.
A Grampus came up at that moment,
And seeing the old man hard set,
It swam to his side and it opened its mouth
And said "Come in lad, out of the wet.
Its manner were kindly and pleading,
As if to say R.
Said Jonah "I've eaten a kipper or two,
But I never thowt one would eat me.
The inside of Grampus surprised him,
'Twere the first time he'd been behind scenes;
He found 'commodation quite ample for one
But it smelled like a tin of sardines.
Then over the sea they went cruising,
And Jonah were filled with delight;
With his eye to the blow-'ole in t'Grampus's head
He watched ships that passed in the night.
"I'm tired of watching," said Jonah,
"I'll rest for a minute or so.
"I'm afraid as you wont find your bed very soft,"
Said the Grampus, "I've got a hard roe.
At that moment up came a whale boat,
Said Jonah, "What's this 'ere we've struck?"
"They're after my blubber," the Grampus replied,
"You'd better 'old tight while I duck.
The water came in through the spy-'ole
And hit Jonah's face a real slosher,
He said, "Shut your blow-'ole!" and Grampus replied
"I can't lad, it needs a new washer.
Jonah tried 'ard to bail out the water,
But found all his efforts in vain,
For as fast as he emptied the slops out through the gills
They came in through the blow 'ole again.
When at finish they came to the surface
Jonah took a look out and he saw
They were stuck on a bit of a sandbank that lay
One rod, pole or perch from the shore.
Said the Grampus, "We're in shallow water,
I've brought you as far as I may;
If you sit on the blow 'ole on top of my head
I'll spout you the rest of the way.
So Jonah obeyed these instructions,
And the Grampus his lungs did expand,
Then blew out a fountain that lifted Jo' up
And carried him safely to land.
There was tears in their eyes when they parted
And each blew a kiss, a real big 'un,
Then the Grampus went off with a swish of it's tail
And Jonah walked back home to Wigan.
Marriott Edgar | |
When Joe Dove took his elephants out on the road
He made each one hold fast with his trunk
To the tail of the elephant walking in front
To stop them from doing a bunk.
There were fifteen in all, so 'twere rather a job
To get them linked up in a row,
But once he had fixed 'em Joe knew they'd hold on,
For an elephant never lets go.
The pace it was set by the big 'uns in front,
'Twas surprising how fast they could stride,
And poor little Aggie, the one at the back.
Had to run till she very near died.
They were walking one Sunday from Blackpool to Crewe,
They'd started at break of the day,
Joe followed behind with a bagful of buns
In case they got hungry on t'way.
They travelled along at a rattling good pace
Over moorland and valley and plain,
And poor little Aggie the one at the back
Her trunk fairly creaked with the strain.
They came to a place where the railway crossed road,
An ungated crossing it were,
And they wasn't to know as the express was due
At the moment that they landed there.
They was half way across when Joe saw the express-
It came tearing along up the track-
He tried hard to stop, but it wasn't much good,
For an elephant never turns back.
He saw if he didn't do something at once
The train looked like spoiling his troupe,
So he ran on ahead and he waggled tho buns
To show them they'd best hurry up
When they caught sight of buns they all started to run,
And they soon got across at this gait,
Except poor little Aggie-the one at the back,
She were one second too late.
The express came dashing along at full speed,
And caught her end on, fair and square
She bounced off the buffers, turned head over heels,
And lay with her legs in the air.
Joe thought she were dead when he saw her lyin' there,
With the back of her head on the line
He knelt by her side, put his ear to her chest,
And told her to say " ninety-nine.
She waggled her tail and she twiggled her trunk ;
To show him as she were alive;
She hadn't the strength for to say "ninety-nine,"
She just managed a weak "eighty-five.
When driver of th' engine got down from his cab
Joe said "Here's a nice howdedo,
To see fifteen elephants ruined for life
By a clumsy great driver like you.
Said the driver, "There's no need to mak' all this fuss,
There's only one hit as I've seen.
Joe said, "Aye, that's right, but they held on so tight
You've pulled back end off t' other fourteen.
Joe still walks around with his elephant troupe,
He got them patched up at the vet's,
But Aggie won't walk at the back any more,
'Cos an elephant never forgets.
Marriott Edgar | |
Henry the first, surnamed " Beauclare,"
Lost his only son William at sea,
So when Henry died it were hard to decide
Who his heir and successor should be.
There were two runners-up for the title-
His daughter Matilda was one,
And the other, a boy, known as Stephen of Blois,
His young sister Adela's son.
Matilda by right should have had it,
Being daughter of him as were dead,
But the folks wasn't keen upon having a queen,
So they went and crowned Stephen instead.
This 'ere were a knockout for Tilda,
The notion she could not absorb
To lose at one blow both the crown and the throne,
To say naught of the sceptre and orb.
So she summoned her friends in t'West Country
From Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and Frome,
And also a lot of relations from Scotland,
Who'd come South and wouldn't go home.
The East Counties rallied round Stephen,
Where his cause had support of the masses,
And his promise of loot brought a lot of recruits
From the more intellectual classes.
The Country were split in two parties
In a manner you'd hardly believe,
The West with a will shouted: "Up with Matilda !"
The East hollered: Come along, Steve!
The two armies met up in Yorkshire,
Both leaders the same tactics tried.
To each soldier they gave a big standard to wave,
In hopes they'd impress t 'other side.
It were known as the battle o't Standard,
Though no battling anyone saw,
For with flags in their right hands, the lads couldn't fight,
And the referee called it a draw.
The next time they met were at Lincoln,
Where Stephen were properly beat,
At the end of the scrap he were led off a captive,
With iron balls chained to his feet.
They took him in triumph to Tilda,
Who, assuming an arrogant mien,
Snatched the Crown off his head and indignantly said
"Take your 'at off in front of your Queen!"
So Stephen were put in a dungeon,
While Tilda ascended the throne
And reigned undisturbed for best part of a year,
Till she looked on the job as her own.
But Stephen weren't beat by a long chalk
His plans for escape he soon made,
For he found Tilda's troops were all getting fed up,
Having heard that they wouldn't be paid.
So when Tilda got snowed up at Oxford,
Where she'd taken to staying of late,
She woke one fine morn, to the sound of a horn,
And found Stephen outside her front gate.
Her troops gone, her castle surrounded,
She saw she hadn't a chance,
So, the ground being white, she escaped in her nightie
And caught the next packet for France.
She didn't do badly at finish,
When everything's weighed up and reckoned
For when Stephen was gone the next heir to the throne
Were Matilda's son, Henry the second.
Marriott Edgar | |
Richard the First, Coeur-de-Lion,
Is a name that we speak of with pride,
Though he only lived six months in England
From his birth to the day that he died.
He spent all his time fighting battles,
Dressed up in most rigid attire,
For he had his suits made by the Blacksmith,
And his underwear knitted of wire.
He married a lady from Flanders,
Berengaria's what they called her;
She turned out a good wife to Richard,
In spite of a name like that there.
For when he came home from his fighting
She'd bandage the wounds in his sconce,
And every time a snake bit him
She'd suck out the poison at once.
In their 'ouse they'd a minstrel called Blondel
To amuse them at t'end of the day'
And the King had but one thing against him.
He had nobbut one tune he could play.
The Queen saw nowt wrong with the number
And would have it again and again,
And when Richard said: "Put a sock in it!"
She'd give 'im a look full of pain.
The King got fed up at the finish,
And were so sick of 'earing it played,
That he packed his spare suit on a wagon
And went off and joined the Crusade.
He got fighting the moment he landed,
And though Saracen lads did their best,
He cut off their heads in such numbers,
That the hatmakers lodged a protest.
The Sultan, whose name were Saladin,
Thought he'd best try this business to stem,
So he rode up to Richard and told him
He mustn't do that there to them.
Said Richard: "Oh! Who's going to stop me?"
Said Saladin: "I will-and quick!"
So the King poked his sword at the Sultan,
Who, in turn, swiped his skimpter at Dick.
They fought all that day without ceasing;
They fought till at last they both saw
That each was a match for the other,
So they chucked it and called it a draw.
As Richard rode home in the moonlight
He heard someone trying to croon,
And there by the roadside stood Blondel,
Still playing his signature tune.
He'd worked out his passage from England
In search of his Master and Lord,
And had swum the last part of the journey
'Cos his tune got 'im thrown overboard.
This meeting filled Richard with panic:
He rode off and never drew rein
Till he got past the Austrian border
And felt he could breathe once again.
He hid in a neighbouring Castle,
But he hadn't been there very long
When one night just outside his window
Stood Blondel, still singing his song.
This 'ere took the heart out of Richard;
He went home dejected and low,
And the very next fight he got into
He were killed without striking a blow.