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.



Well, that’s the end of the sabbatical. Enjoyed watching the Poet Laureate tonight and two excellent ‘support acts’. One was Keith Hutson. At different times I’ve been told to contact Keith, who writes – amongst other things – about famous musical hall acts and women who grafted their way from poverty to fame and short lived fortune, by Peter Riley and Winston Plowes. So I introduced myself after the show, emboldened by being able to boast that I once met Ivy Benson! More on Keith later.

I will update this site in April!

OK – May then. I’m hoping to work on My Year on Facebook this summer, prepare final proofs of Hippy Valley for the publishers, write new stories and songs for performance, improve my Ukulele Performance, illustrate some stories and complete 10 to 12 Cautionary Tales!

Cautionary tales for adolescents, Fred

And now, another rhyme partly inspired by that great Roman Catholic man of letters, Mr Hilaire Belloc. Although when I was at school, we used to mispronounce his name as Mr Hilarious Bol…well, I don’t need to spell it out here. It was also inspired by my Present Wife’s cousin’s nephew…who had a look of a young Tom Hanks, util he went to the tattooist.

Fred, who had a tattoo on his head, but now he’s dead.

Folks round here remember Fred,

He had Two Faces on his Head.

T’ Front Face wor set up in t’ usual way,

But t’ Face round t’ back wor a Bird of Prey.


Now he’d got his Head Shaved – as wor t’ Fashion,

For Young Men in pursuit of Passion –

But his Facebook Friend, Beverley said,

He looked like Mr Potato Head.


So, he had some Birthday Money and Blew It!

Took his head to t’ Ink Parlour, and said ‘Tattoo It!’

Then Beverley wor all Agog

When she saw his Bird Phizzog.


They met in Blackpool, on a Weekender,

A Tattood Couple on a Bender.

‘It’s Freddy the Eagle!’ she said wit Grin.

His Front Face said, ‘It’s a Peregrine.’


Fred wor Short and Fred wor Slim,

Beverley made Two of him.

He sat on t’ Rail at t’ end of Pier,

Eating a Fish Supper and swigging Beer,


When a Flock of Seagulls swooped on Fred,

Attacking t’ Bird on t’ Back o t’ Head!

But even while her Fred wor Mobbed,

Bev made sure his Fish worn’t Robbed!


Fred Fought On and Gave No Quarter,

Until he Toppled into t’ Water!

Then Onlookers rushed to t’ end o ‘t Pier,

But saw Fred’s Bird Face disappear.


Then t’ Gulls flew off, Quite Satiated.

Bev looked at Fred’s fish…They say she Ate It!

So, don’t choose a Raptor for your Head,

Try a Budgerigar instead!






Uncle Herbert’s Machine

This is the first monologue I wrote, in 2011. I’d just retired and I was looking for a way of telling new stories in storytelling clubs. I thought there was a place for hearing tales about our recent history. We’d moved into a converted mill in Hebden Bridge. I used to think about the people who used to work there. At the same time, I was reading a biography of Einstein. I was intrigued by his discoveries about time and imagined Albert having a short break in Hebden in 1905 and befriending an amateur music hall performer. I happened to call in at The White Lion, the oldest pub around here and read again the framed newspaper report of the night when Liszt stayed at the pub on a tour around Britain. I read my new story to Kath on a sunny day in our garden, affecting a Music Hall voice. The first time I was ready to perform it the words slid right out of my head and I put it off till after the interval. Afterwards, Pam Dimbleby told me to let the audience know it was my own work.

‘This pub,’ said our local landlady,

‘Once accommodated Franz Josef Liszt.’

I said, ‘What about Brahms?

Did he succumb to its charms?’

When an old chap behind me said, ‘Pssst!


Never mind talk of fancy composers,

Nor off comers of mighty renown.

Whilst tha drinks that sherbet,

I’ll tell of a Herbert,

As wor born an’ brought up in this town.


There have been some amazing inventions,

But t’ greatest invention I’ve seen,

Wor in 1905,

I wor first one to drive,

Uncle Herbert’s Time Travel Machine!


T’ contraption wor not much to look at,

Two seats an’ some levers an’ gears.

An’ a set of dials,

Not for counting miles,

But to show distance travelled in years.


Uncle said, ‘Will tha be my co-pilot?’

An’ he helped me to set t’ target date.

So we gave t’ dials a tweak,

Months, years an’ weeks,

An’ they stopped in 1968.


Now mother wor most disconcerted,

She said, ‘Don’t fetch him back late for his tea!’

But uncle just laughed,

He said, ‘Don’t talk so daft!

Think on Einstein’s Relativity!’


So we waved goodbye to all t’ family,

An’ smoothly moved up to top gear.

An’ to my surprise,

When I opened my eyes,

We’d leapt forrard, 63 year!


When all t’ dust an’ smoke had quite settled,

I couldn’t believe what I saw,

It worn’t room I know,

No carpets or lino,

Just cavemen, sat round on our floor.


All t’ men had hair down to t’ shoulders,

An’ passed round an’ old cigarette.

An’ t’ lasses’ short skirts

Fair upset Uncle Bert

It’s a scene I shall never forget.


Then t’ leader o t’ cavemen came forrard,

Wearing bearskins, a right proper mess.

‘Good trip, man!’ he said.

Then, shaking his head,

‘What’s tha doing in that fancy dress?’


Happen uncle wor proper offended,

For he pushing on t’ levers right hard.

We leapt forrard 50 year,

All t’ way in top gear,

An’ landed outside in t’ back yard!


Then uncle stared up at t’ mill chimneys,

Saying, ‘Look lad, no smoke’s coming out!’

An’ all down our street,

Folk worn’t using their feet.

Horseless carriages took them about!


An’ some dined at pavement cafes,

Or cruised on t’ canal in a barge.

But t’ best thing of all,

Wor this hole in t’ bank wall,

That wor giving out cash, ‘Free of Charge!’


‘Bye, this is all right,’ said my uncle.

But we promised to get back for tea.

An’ when we reappeared,

All t’ family cheered,

For my uncle Herbert an’ me!


But nobbut 3 days later,

I’ll tell thee summit that’s weird,

Uncle Bert had a date,

Wit’ Barmaid’s best mate,

An’ both of them an t’ machine disappeared!


Still, there’s been some amazing inventions,

But t’ greatest invention I’ve seen,

Wor in 1905,

I wor first one to drive,

Uncle Herbert’s Time Travel Machine!’











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