Last poem: an opening number

June 15, 2015

The verse-writing that I have enjoyed  most over the years has been in collaboration with musicians, producing songs for shows and cantatas. In particular, i enjoyed writing pantomimes for nineteen Christmases, knowing that they would be presented by a cast who always rose to the occasion. Here, to finish this small collection of poems, is my favourite panto opening number, the Song of the Mediaeval Peasants from Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.

The age that we are living in
Is known for grimness, plague and sin.
It’s the darkest of History’s pages.
But we sing with a cheerful grin –
We like the Middle Ages!

There’s lovely castles for the rich,
The poor get scurvy and the itch,
And the Black Death generally rages.
But once a week we burn a witch –
We like the Middle Ages!

We like fights of knights in armour.
Life’s one great historic drama.
As you’ll learn from Simon Schama,
Mediaeval’s OK!

The peasants haven’t any rights,
We’re bullied by the Lords and Knights,
And our bread is riddled with weevil.
But men look fabulous in tights –
We like it mediaeval!

We like tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
When we hear them, we cry, “More, Sir!
Make the rude ones even coarser!”
Mediaeval’s OK!

Only Barons have the vote.
It’s serfs who have to dig the moat,
And we do it for measly wages.
But beer’s two gallons for a groat –
We like the Middle Ages!

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4 Responses to “Last poem: an opening number”

  1. Ivor Murrell Says:

    Love it George, and keen to join in the chorus. Are you allowed to play The Dame?


  2. I think I hear the lute and pipes.


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