The_Lion_and_Albert_by_Marriott_EdgarIt was Albert that started the problem,
With his ill-fated ‘osses ‘ead stick
And Wallace, the somnolent lion,
Who swallowed the lad double quick.

I grew up on Marriott Edgar,
And the musket Sam wouldn’t pick up,
And Lady Jane’s ghost with the cold dripping toast
Not to mention the Chippendale Mupp.

Dr Seuss was a firm childhood favourite,
Spike Milligan took up the rear,
But I always returned to young Albert
And the stick stuck in Wallace’s ear.

Yet it wasn’t a frivolous pastime,
As history seeped in as well
And I learned about t’ Battle of Hastings
In a way only Edgar could tell.

It isn’t from school I remember
All the glorious tales of my land,
But from reading of Harold at Hastings
“On his ‘oss with his ‘awk in his ‘and.”

And then there was Magna Carta
The first ever human rights bill,
That was signed there on Runnymede Island
With King John who was looking quite ill.

“And it’s through that there Magna Charter,
As were signed by the Barons of old,
That in England to-day we can do what we like,
So long as we do what we’re told.”

So I learned all the words to recite them,
And for Granddad and Grandma I’d stand
And tell of old Sam and his musket,
Then they’d smile and say, “Eeh, that were grand.”

‘Cause poetry’s rhyming and rhythm
Just takes up its home in your head,
And I’ll probably still recite Albert
On the day I’m supposed to be dead.

I’ll never be Wordsworth or Shakespeare,
But I notice a similar beat
In my verses to Marriott Edgar
And somehow that’s really quite neat.

For the bards would have always shared laughter
As well as the history and stuff.
And if one of my ditties can stick in a brain
For the poet in me… that’s enough.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Books, History, Humour, Life, Love and Laughter, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Homage

  1. This is such a great poem, Sue. Struwwelpeter had a big influence on me as a child. I bought if for Greg and my MIL nearly had a heart attack but we still have it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struwwelpeter

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Darlene says:

    The Magna Carta video is very funny!! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TanGental says:

    Oh how that takes me back to dad reciting
    ‘When Francis Drake was a warrior bold
    The curse of the Spanish main…”
    I went looking for it in 2016 and found it eventually but no idea where it really came from… (i even did a post on the hunt!)
    And then there were the Ingolsby Legends from which he’d recite the Smuggler’s Leap, set around the villages of north Kent where we holidayed every year… thank you Sue for that memory trigger with your splendid poem

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Everyone could recite verses, once upon a time. I have fond memories of great grandad…
      “I will admit ‘e ‘ad a nice black tie,
      Black fingernails and a nice black eye;
      But yer can’t see people orf when they die, In brahn boots!”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. V.M.Sang says:

    Sue, that’s wonderful. I remember Albert and his stick, and can still recite it. The rhythm helps no end to remembering.
    My Mum wrote humerous poems, too, and she often used that rhythm for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jenanita01 says:

    I love a good poem… and these were wonderful!


  6. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    A History Lesson – Yorkshire style 😃


  7. memadtwo says:

    We can do what we like as long as we do what we’re told…that’s just perfect. (K)


  8. This was a fun post. I enjoyed it. Learned something, too! I didn’t know that the Magna Carta was signed in jam.


  9. Mary Smith says:

    Brilliant, Sue. I remember Albert and his stick. When did kids stop learning to recite these?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      It was probably the advent of widespread TV ownership. The need to make your own entertainment disappeared. I bet my lads could still recite most of Albert though, purely from having listened to me so often as small boys 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love it. Stanley Holloway and his monologues are close to my heart as I grew up with my father reciting them. A long time ago I put together a show about life on the Home Front during WWII – Business as Usual – and we did Albert Evacuated. I say ‘we’ but it was one of the male actors although I would have adored doing it myself! I’m able to comment again by using Firefox.


  11. Thank you for this amazing summary on poetry, Sue! I also learned a lot out of it. This with the jam and the Magna Carta is so funny. :-)) Have a beautiful weekend! Michael


  12. I keep hearing about these wonderful childhood poems and stories that were unheard of in the U.S. We had good material too, mind you, but I think this would have been a winner for us, too.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      We all had to have our ‘party pieces’… things we could recite, like Alice reciting to the Caterpillar.
      You can still find all the Marriot Edgar poems… as well as Stanley Holloway’s classic recordings of them… online and and Youtube 🙂


  13. noelleg44 says:

    I hadn’t seen this before – it reminds me of a Jumbly – we have a book of jumblies, nonsense rhymes that are fun. And I don’t blame that lion for swallowing young Albert double quick!


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