The Birds and the Bees

(Some work in progress ahead of the storytellers Christmas Party, 2018. A rehearsal of this song is posted on my FB page. Jude once asked an apiarist why there weren’t any Kings in hives)

Male honey bees when mating feel foreboding,

Their privy parts are famous for exploding.

The Queen thinks all her Kings are Fools,

She gets a grip of their Crown Jewels…

And tears them off just after their uploading.

These facts of life will teach you how to please,

When you learn about the birds and bees.


I’m glad I wasn’t born a Praying Mantis,

For He is half the size of Her he fancies.

But after He has pleasured Her,

She says, ‘You haven’t got a prayer…’

And then bites off the parts of Him he fancies!

These facts of life will teach you how to please…

When you learn about the birds and bees!…


The courtship of Giraffes is quite a staggerer.

On dates her Urine flows just like Niagara.

Her Handsome Beau says, ‘What the heck!?’

She answers ‘Get it down your neck!

A pint of this and you won’t need Viagara!’

These facts of life will teach you how to please,

When you learn about the birds and bees!





Some very brief reviews!

Peter Riley’s Collected Poems

The extraordinary in the ordinary. (but I’m only 60 pages in)

‘There was always something wrong with the words,

They were elsewhere, while we sat here in the room

as we are, neither typical, nor exceptional,

but particular.’

Acre Mill (song)

(I’ll write about the background to Acre Mill in the near future. Heartfelt thanks to audience members at The Puzzle Poets in Sowerby Bridge and the Wednesday writers group in Todmorden – as part of the town’s Literature Festival – for their warm response to the song in recent weeks)

A thousand feet up to the sky a road runs through Old Town,

Where Acre Mill below the moor wor once its blackened crown,

An’ Stoodley Pike across the way still warns that war will kill,

But no one warned the workers not to work at Acre Mill.


For 30 years at Acre Mill the workers gave their trust,

But t’ bosses lied an’ thousands died who breathed asbestos dust.

An’ students who worked summer months at 50 wrote their will,

They lost the autumn of their days, who worked at Acre Mill.



Sing their chorus,

Gone before us.

It’s a great crime,

Gone before time.

Grandkids not seen

Laik on t’ town green.

It’s an outrage,

Robbed of old age.


An’ should you walk on t’ old Causeway, soon after days begun,

When valleys are all full of clouds an’ hills stand proud in t’ sun,

An’ larks exalt in t’ skies blue vault and silver glints in t’ rill,

Think of those who trod that road to work at Acre Mill.




Or when the valley bustles, but snow slows life on t’ tops,

An’ bells ring clear from Heptonstall, but t’ Causeway traffic stops,

Take a walk down to Lane Ends, wrapped up ‘against winter chill,

An’ raise a glad to ‘Absent Friends’, who worked at Acre Mill.








Song: Falling

[This being a one week task set by the Ukulele Songwriters’ Alliance]

Some are spellbound by love’s beauty,

In their lover’s thrall –

They can’t help it when they fall.


Others climb love in a frenzy,

Up Love’s Eiger Wall –

Lose their grip and then they fall.


I was falling unawares,

I woke up and thought –

I’m her’s…


Some go seeking Royal darlings,

Climb their palace walls,

Featherbeds may break their falls.


Some go hunting for love’s danger,

Hear its bugle call –

Shots ring out and then they fall.


You walked past the lovers’ zoo,

Saw a human –

Thought I’d do.


Some think it’s appalling,

They’re not good at falling,

They’ll wait till they meet someone nice.

But they get a surprise

When their temperatures rise

And they hear a loud crack in their ice!


Some say love is always flying,

Grounded love appals,

Fairy wings might slow their falls.


Back on Earth the terror’s firmer,

As we hit the ground,

Love’s the balm that nature’s found.


Though the Earth’s a spinning ball,

I will catch you if you fall.




Cautionary Tales for Adolescents: Theresa

Cautionary Tales for Adolescents: Theresa, whose life was sweet, till she became obsessed by feet.

Theresa was a Vicar’s Daughter,

Who only did what Daughter’s oughta.

For she knew it was important,

Not to do what Daughter’s oughtn’t.


Till one day, not quite 16,

She bought a Fashion Magazine,

And asked for a gift, from Bromley and Beales:

Leopard Skin Slingbacks, with 5 inch Heels!


Her Father, whose Watchword was Austerity,

Replied to his Daughter with Utmost Severity:

‘A well bred Daughter should never appeal,

For Leopard Skin Slingbacks, with 5 inch Heels!’


But beyond that Vicarage Garden neat,

Had grown a Field of Golden Wheat.

Her Parents snoozing with the Telly on,

Theresa decided upon a Rebellion.


The sign said she’d be Prosecuted,

But over the Garden Wall she scooted,

Kicked off her Old Shoes and ran like a Faun,

Cutting a swath through Golden Corn!


But Oh Lor’ and Heavens Above!

She’d never heard of the Summer of Love.

And alas, whom did she see,

But that Diane and Jeremy!


Those Oiks who lived on the Estate!

She shut her Eyes, but much too late!

She saw them playing Doctors and Nurses,

Then ran away from Diane’s curses!


She muttered, ‘Oh Gosh!’…and ‘Crikey!’

They’d quite disturbed her Inner Psyche.

Her Teenage Brain had turned chaotic,

Her Smiles and Snarls became Robotic!


The Doctor said, ‘It’s plain to see,

You’re getting Flashbacks of Jeremy!’

Say after me, ‘I’m strong and stable.’

She tried as best as she was able.


But she couldn’t pull it off,

For now she had a ‘Nervous Cough’.

And caused her Parents Great Alarm

By falling back into their arms!


They said, ‘How can we help, darling Daughter?’

Theresa Gasped…between sips of Water…

‘Buy for my Birthday…from Bromley and Beales…

Leopard Skin Slingbacks…with 5 inch Heels!






Song: Slow Dancing

I’ll add the music to this at some point. I’ve had a go at adding the chords for a GCEA ukulele.

(C) On the coast there’s a dance hall

(G) And I think that it’s seen better (C) days.

(C) When the band starts a tune up

(G) I notice you’re starting to (C) sway.

(C) And the couples are (Am) dancing,

(Am) And it’s lovely to (C) see.

(C) Though work owns our (Am) day time

(Am) Our night times are (C) free.

(C) And I hold out my (C7) hand

(G) And you start slow dancing with (C) me.


(C) Though the band are beginners

(G) Tonight they can do nothing (C) wrong.

(C) Though we don’t know the (G) words,

(G) We’re certain they’re singing our (C) song.

(C) And everyone’s  (Am) dancing,

(Am) In this fine com (C) pany

(C) And like others before (Am) us

(Am) Our dance sets us (C) free.

(C) And I’m glad that you’re (C7) dancing

(G) Glad you’re slow dancing with (C) me.

[Middle 8]

(C) And far below our dancing feet

(G) The Earth’s a fiery (C) ball

(C) But your lips are soft and (G) sweet

(G) As Eve’s before the (C) fall.

(F) And the footprints on the beach

(D) The tide will wash (C) away.

(C) But the love that we can reach

(D) Might last another (C7) day.


(C) Outside on a hoarding

(G) The words say our ending is (C) nigh.

(C) But tonight we don’t (G) care

(G) ‘Cos you’re my girl, I’m your (C) guy.

(C) And if we’re on (Am) Titanic

(Am) And there’s ice in the (C) sea.

(C) If the band’s playing on

(Am) We know our destin (C) y.

(C) And I’m glad that you’re  (C7) dancing…

(G) Glad you’re still dancing with (C) me.


(C) Da da dah, (G) da dah da, (C) da dah da (G) Da dah da (C) da dah!













Cautionary Tales for Adolescents: Miss Tina Crumb who met her end from chewing gum

Avoid the Fate of Tina Crumb

Who loved to chew on Chewing Gum.

As Muscles in her Face Rotated

It made her Parents Irritated,

But they’d been told by Dr Hayes

‘Don’t Rise to it, it’s just A Phase.’


But when that Gum had lost its Taste

She did not seek a Bin for Waste,

But Secretly, if she wor able,

Stuck Balls of Gum beneath the Table

Till some adhered to Aunty Hilda –

On her Best Dress – she would have Killed Her.


But Mother, seeing t’ Situation

Banned forthwith Gum Mastication,

And Banished Tina to her Room –

A Punishment that Sealed her Doom!

For Tina had a Secret Hoard

And Chewed on it when she wor Bored.


And in Self Pity Tina Wallowed

Two Dozen Sticks of Gum she Swallowed!

But Chewing Gum, each time we Swallow

Fills up bits that should be Hollow.

And after her Unhealthy Feast

Miss Tina Crumb was quite Deceased.


The Doctor told her Tearful Mum,

‘Her Innards are Gummed Up , by Gum!


Twinning Society! Le Grand Depart

Dear Twinners! Here is the Chorus to Le Grand Depart:

When we had our Grand Depart,

On your bikes, au revoir, big Ta Ra,

Le Peloton went past in a glance,

Some folks took t’ chance for a weekend romance,

But we all said that Yorkshire wor t’ star!

When we had our Grand Depart.

[Dear French guests: the definite article t’  (for ‘the’) is lightly voiced and forms the ending of the preceding word: e.g. wor t’ is voiced as wert.]

Some people from the song: Norah Batty was a fictional character from a comedy series set in Yorkshire. Sacha Distel was a famous French singer, who was popular over here, Alan Bennett is a famous Yorkshire writer and General De Gaulle, amongst many other things was famous for saying ‘Non!’ when the British wished to join the Common Market!




Hippy Valley Paperback

Hippy Valley is due to be published before Christmas by Fantastic Books, a family owned firm from East Yorkshire, with a back catalogue of reputable authors. This will be a paperback version of the ebook published by Pennine Pens, plus some Cautionary Tales and other stories and songs written since Heb Web brought out the 2016 book.


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