(These poems work best if read out loud in a broad Yorkshire accent. Give it a try!)
The ballad of Adolf and Winnie
"Winnie," said young Churchill's mother As they sauntered along by 'canal "You don't seem right settled at 'arrow I think what you need's a pen pal." "There's a boy from a nice Austrian fam'ly As I'm told that is looking for fame You're sure to have plenty in common Adolf 'itler's the little lad's name." "I don't want a pen pal," sulked Winston His mouth turning down in a pout "Besides, I don't speak any German And he won't know no English or nowt." "It will better your school education" Insisted mother, a woman called Jen "Your CV will look well impressive When you become a great leader of men." So Winston began to write Adolf Of the 'I am well, hope you're well' kind To which Adolf responded politely "Yes, I'm tickety-boo you will find." At first it went all nicey-nicey They'd write once a month, thereabouts But as'itler grew up he grew dafter And Churchill began voicing doubts. Things worsened between them right sharpish When Winston became the P.M His letters to Adolf censorious Using words that were quick to condemn. "You can't blame the Jews for your problems How dare you say, all is their fault? And as for invading poor Poland Your armies should grind to a halt." The Fuhrer were quick to respond though Not scared to call 'shovel a spade So Winnie gave him 'V is for vict'ry' To show 'Germans as we weren't afraid. The battle swung one way then t'other As things tend to do in a war With 'absence of good refereeing It was hard keeping track of the score. Dunkirk, Winston claimed was a vict'ry And 'Battle of Britain an' all But Adolf 'ad u-boats and Nazis So really, it was more like two-all. Churchill demanded surrender Sick to his teeth of the wars "If you don't then I'll bring in the allies And my mates are bigger than yours." Then up stepped the Yanks with their money Glenn Miller in 'mood wi' his swing Big guns, bigger wallets, biggest voices Nylon stockings 'as made the girls sing. Their boss were called Eisen 'Ower Or Ike to his pals, such as Winnie He insisted on being in charge like Leaving Winston in iger-nominy. Thousands of brave men in ships Were sent off to Normandy, France Many lost their lives in the fighting But the allies left nothing to chance. They sent over food, tanks and soldiers Who the French ladies met with a cheer When 'itler saw 'size of this army He knew he had plenty to fear. Adolf scurried away from the fighting And whilst Germany was turned upside down This coward, who Winston stood up to Wed his lover and mistress Frau Braun. 'Allies found Adolf's bunker in Berlin The place were a bit of a mess Churchill's letters were lying on 'doormat Stamped, "No longer at this address." So, if someone suggests you a pen pal As they're bound to do sooner or later Be sure to check out their credentials Don't get stuck with a nasty dictator.
Something just snapped
This, an historical story Bits of which, might ring a bell Of a well famous engineer feller Called Isambard Kingdom Brunel. As a child he were awfully clever By the time this young lad had reached eight Given tough geometrical problems The answers he'd soon calculate. He drove his mum barmy at mealtimes By sculpting his mash into ships Tunnelling through his potatoes Or building a bridge wi' his chips. Izzy clearly was showing potential But 'is parents left nothing to chance For exceptionally good qualifications He were sent to a Uni' in France. For his first job he worked wi' his father Ambitious their mission and aims Folk commented,"This can't be done Tunnellin' through 'mud under 'Thames." "Something just snapped,"foreman shouted Dirty water came flooderin' in Leaving many poor kids wi' no parents And mothers wi' no next of kin. It took them a couple of weeks like To clear up the mess wi' some mops Then Izz took a look at the problem Said 'workers,"Lad's brain nivver stops." 'Fuffle valve in the wotsit 'ad jammed Causing 'shank shaft on 'giggler to shake Which led to a build up of pressure And the thingummy bobby to break. Izzy soon 'ad the thingummy mended By binding it up wi' duct tape WD40 was sprayed on the giggler And everything functioned ship-shape. Next job were the Great Western Railway From London right through to welsh Wales Something's just snapped said 'same foreman As carriages slid from their rails. This time it were 'multiplicator On 'camshaft 'ad had too much choke Bending 'needle in 'oojamaflip thing Meaning 'silly mid-on rod 'ad broke. Izzy sorted the problem right sharpish Getting hands and face covered in grime Though long before great British Railways His engines were seldom on time. Clever Izzy designed several projects At a work rate that could not be capped And always wi' duct tape kept 'andy As precaution, least something else snapped. When his ship the Great Britain were finished He became a celebrity star Sporting dirty great mutton chop sideburns And a big fat Havana cigar. Izzy'd taken to carrying a knapsack To keep all his bits an' his bobs Screwdrivers an' spanners an' duct tape An emergency repair kit for knobs. Izzy's photo were always in 'papers Not Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram His missus did not like the coverage "That bag makes you look like your mam." "I've made you a titfer," she told him "You resemble an aristocrat." Mr Brunel were 'ighly delighted "Now that's what I call a top 'at." The chapeau were all he could wish for No need any more, for his sack He could fill it with all sorts of gubbin's And still 'ave some room for a snack. So, wi' Clifton Bridge under construction When something just snapped once again He'd fish in the 'at for the answer This Brit with his ginormous brain. Then, when the problem were sorted He'd dig in his 'at, as you do Bring out a pork pie, or a sarnie And an 'ot flask of strong Yorkshire brew.
Shaken, not stirred
Stanley, a butcher's assistant Lived at home with his mum, and his gran A dog, fifteen cats and a budgie And a lodger from Uzbekistan. The dag was a mongrel, named Scruffy Stan fed him 'scrag end' from the store 'Cats got bits of fish from the chippy 'Bird, seed, from the pet shop next door. They all rubbed along pretty nicely And 'lodger 'elped out wi' his keep They'd sit round 'gas fire watching telly Until granny and mum fell asleep. From his gran, Stan had picked up a problem Shaking hands, like the leaves on a tree This made eating and drinking a problem And soup were a catastroph-ee. 'Butcher's patience had finally run out When young Stan cut his hand, with a yelp "That's umpteenth time, only this week lad I think you need medical 'elp." Before he could visit the doctor's His mum checked out how he were dressed "We don't want no tittlin' or tattlin' I've laid out on 'bed 'Sunday best." Stanley sat doodlin' in 'surg'ry A bit feeling down in the dumps Wi' 'coughers and 'sniffers and such like And a boy wi' a bad case of mumps. His first diagnosis was Parky's Which came as a bit of a shock But after some prodding and poking He was sent to a specialist doc. "You've something called ee-senshul tremor," Stan was told,with some justification "It's not a life threatening condition We'll put you on strong medication." The specialist prescribed him three tablets One yellow, one white and one red Two to be taken at mealtimes And one with his cocoa at bed. Medicated, he shook like a jelly More discussion, and consideration The hospital theatre were beckoning For a bit of a brain operation. At the hozzie they gave him a checkup His ticker was tocking so slow That knocking him out for the surg'ry Was a lux'ry he'd have to forego. Six hours with no anaesthetic! Two big 'oles in his 'ed, Stan were stressed Sticking 'lectrodes and probes in his noggin And a pacemaker thing in his chest. A fancy remote he were given Big improvements is what he were hoping 'Operation did help him a bit And with eating his food, he was coping. Soon, Stan was back at the butcher's Let loose with this 'uge boning knife A 'glass half full' kind of person Who looked on the bright side of life. So, pleased with the little improvements He gave 'budgie a peck on its beak Granny's bird had the avian flu though Stanley curled up his toes within 'week. His mum, mortified at his passing Had checked Stan's insurance again One payment short on the premium She'd have to make do wi' free pen. The family were very upset Played his favourite song at the wake The group were 'The Swinging Blue Jeans,' The record was 'Hip' Hippy Shake.' Shakin' Stanley it said on his 'eadstone Shook his last, no more 'Rattle and Roll' 'All shook up' on a permanent basis And may God rest his shiverin' soul. To his wonderment, Stan went to 'eaven Passed the Man in the Moon and the stars Gave Orion the 'unter his belt back And took a sharp right after Mars. When he reached 'pearly gates, Stan were baffled Saint Peter had asked for a word "I've got you a job in the bar, son God's Martinis are shaken, not stirred."
The icing on the cake
Bill Ogden adored his girl Annie Loved her with all of his 'eart They'd only been courting for six months When he promised 'Till death do us part.' The way to man's 'eart goes the saying Is feeding him good things to eat And when William got married to Annie He knew he were in for a treat. See, Annie loved cooking and baking 'Twas truly her passion and pride A bit of a gourmand was William What more could he want from 'is bride? She conjured up pasties and pastries Cooking food that was fit for a king Baked cakes that were light as a feather Sweet puds that could make 'is 'eart sing. As William grew fatter and fatter Annie's expertise started to grow She began by exhibiting wares Near to Thirsk, at the Borrowby Show. The cheese and onion pie got a mention Her chutneys came in with two thirds First prize for her Dutch apple pie though And Annie was strugglin' for words. Her signature dish was established Perfecting it show after show This pie always nabbed the top prize Leaving contenders with nowhere to go. Bill worshipped his wife's home-made cooking In the kitchen, he'd often be found Feeding his face with her goodies As his belly grew ever more round. Of all of the shows held up North The biggest, and so most prestigious Annie pursued the 'Great Yorkshire' With a drive that were almost religious. This show is the Creme de la creme A real agricultural force To exhibit your baking or jams Your gin, or your spuds, or an 'orse. It was an era, post 'foot and mouth' Many livestock were tragically dead But also a time before Covid Had raised up its 'orrible 'ead. Annie knew that she could have played safe With her old apple pie reci-pee But Victoria Sponge was her choice To broaden her cook's repartee. Practice makes perfect they say And Bill was in 'throes of delight Each cake tasted hot from the oven Until Annie had got it just right. Come the big day, she were nervous 'Reputation had drawn a big crowd 'Judge frowned when she say Annie's offering "Icing on 'cake's not allowed." A dusting of sugar's permitted But paragraph three clearly stated Victoria sponge is not iced And poor Annie was 'umiliated. "I'm afraid rules are rules," preached the judge "It is something we cannot re-visit. I'll still try a small slice or two My dear, this is simply exquisite." Gutted and crying was Annie Bill tried of his best to placate "Get your coat on my treasure, we're leaving You're coming with me. Harro-gate." Now Harrogate's a beautiful town Like Leeds,only smaller and posh Bill escorted his wife into Betty's And treat her to well fancy nosh. Their high tea were served silver service The waitresses pampered and fussed Served fancies all smothered in icing And sandwiches shorn of their crust. Holding hands, Bill met his wife's eyes "My darling, please make no mistake I love you with all of my 'eart You are my icing on 'cake.
Where there’s a will
You'll have heard of Albert and 'lion At the zoo, how he poked in its ear With 'is stick with its 'orses 'ead 'andle And 'ow 'lion made 'lad disappear. It was penned by one Marriott Edgar Not sure that it's totally true A British tradition the monologue For telling a tall tale or two. This then, is the story of Doris A frail little lady from 'ull And Joseph, her fisherman 'usband 'Andsome when younger, but dull. When Doris met Joe in her twenties She thought him 'a bit of a dish' But since working away on the trawlers All he could talk of was fish. Sadly, Joe passed away in the Autumn They'd been married for fifty six years Though she'd not miss his moods, or his washing She managed to shed a few tears. He'd left her no money or nothing Joe was 'ardly a millionaire And Doris had toasted their parting With a small glass of vin ordinaire. What he had left her though, were a parrot Called Polly, an African Grey This parrot could swear like a sailor Vocab'lary badly astray. The bird was some comp'ny for Doris They'd sit and they'd have a good chat Until Doris developed arthur-itis And the council coughed up wi' a flat. "No pets," council lady insisted Handing 'keys to her new maisonette 'Where there's a will, there's a way' though So t'old lady were not too upset. She covered Poll's cage in a blanket And smuggled her into the flat What with gas central 'eating and carpets Doris treasured 'er new 'abitat. Old 'abits die 'ard with a parrot Who soon took to swearing again When 'neighbours began to ask questions Doris guessed, they were going to complain. But, at just passed three in the morning Doris fell out of bed, on t'floor "Get up, get up," Poll' was squawking As smoke trickled through 'bedroom door, Doris weren't a girl given to panic (The parrot were 'ighly impressed) Pulling clothes quickly over her nightie She rushed from the flat, barely dressed. She managed to wake all her neighbours The firemen brought cheering throughout But standing there, bird cage a danglin' Doris knew that her secret were out. The fire had been caused by her cooker. Commented senior fireman, Paul "Thanks to Doris's lightening reactions The extent of the damage is small." The neighbours rolled up their shirt sleeves As the clean up immediately began Elbow grease, and Fairy, (original) Soon had Doris's flat spic and span. Poor Doris was all of a dither When 'council called later that day "I'll see what I can do," said the lady "Because, where there's a will, there's a way." Guide dogs are let in by the council From the rules, they are simply excluded Whilst a dog for a dis-abled person Is allowed, and expressly included. These pooches are called 'elper canines Doris still has her pet, to this day It is 'ull's very first 'elper parrot Because, "Where there's a will, there's a way."