Category Archives: parody

Poor Old Santa

Written for Word Of The Day Challenge: Reflect

With apologies to the oft-disputed author of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

 It's a dim little Christmas we're having this year,
 stranded from family and friends we hold dear.
 Factions are splattered all over the place,  
 there is fear and denial, upset and rage.
 World leaders sit haggard on prickly fence
 while scientists struggle to make them see sense.
 Conspiracy geeks prittle predictable prattle
 and the papers continue to treat us like cattle.
 Mother is shielding and father is fraught
 by the dreadful cost of the gifts that he bought.
 Business is failing, his debts are a-growing,
 since Covid put paid to the seeds he was sowing.
 His children are sleeping in confident bliss
 faithfully dreaming of generous gifts.
 Santa has packed up his sleigh with great care,
 he's padlocked his storehouse and fed his reindeer.
 He's flying up high on his usual rounds;
 although visits are tricky, he won't let us down.
 Since rulings preclude him from entering chimneys
 he drops down the presents and flies away nimbly,
 with a groan in his throat and a tear in his eye;
 he'd be glad of a drink or a lovely mince pie,
 to fill his fat belly and give his heart ease -
 but he cannot risk catching a nasty disease.
 As he smoothly directs his crew through the air,
 he's pleased to be giving but filled with despair.
 He reflects that it's been a difficult year:
 There's lots of goodwill, but damn little cheer.   

©Jane Paterson Basil

You ask

You ask how much I need you, but I explained;
I wish you had more sense in your tiny bird brain.
You ask how much I love you; I told you before,
You irritate my senses, you foolish old bore.

Hold the train, I won’t be a mo.
Hold the train, can’t you see I want to go.

You ask that same old question, did you mis-hear;
I’d love you to syringe all the wax from your ear.
You ask how much I need you, I’ll tell you true,
Until the twelfth of never I’ll not be wanting you.

Hold the train, I will not be long.
Here’s the train, release my arm and I’ll be gone.

You ask that same old question, did you mis-hear;
I’d love you to syringe all the wax from your ear.
You ask how much I need you, I’ll tell you true,
Until the twelfth of never I’ll not be wanting you.

I offer my almost sincere apologies to Jerry Livingston and Paul Francis Webster, who wrote The Twelfth of Never.

Unfortunately, the following video only shows Johnny Mathis singing the original version, as I haven’t yet persuaded him to record my lyrics. However, it’s really rather good, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.

The Daily Post #Tiny

©Jane Paterson Basil

Awesome Sylvia

As #some of my followers are aware, I occasionally update an old poem, to make its meaning clearer. Today I offer you  a nice little poem by William Shakespeare – or Bill Shaky, as he’s known by all his mates – and my translation into comtemporary language.

First, Ole Shaky’s effort, which I’m sure people understood back in the day:

Who is Silvia, what is she?
That all her swains commend her?
Holy, fair and wise is she;
The heavens such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.

Is she kind as she is fair?
For beauty lives with kindness;
Love doth to her eyes repair.
To help him of his blindness;
And being help’d, inhabits there.

Then to Sylvia let us sing,
That Silvia is excelling;
She excels each mortal thing
Upon the dull earth dwelling;
To her let us garlands bring.

Now comes my own (rather more modern) take on it. I think you’ll agree it makes more sense:

who’s Silvia, what’s she got
to make all those randy guys rave about her?
well, she’s religious, blonde and clever.
she borrowed her grace
just to get blokes’ tongue’s ‘angin’ out.

ok, so is she nice as well as blonde?
‘cos good looks an’ kindness are shacked up together.
Mr Love runs over to ‘er eyes and jumps in,
so’s ‘e can see again,
an’ it works, so he goes to live there.

let’s sing a song to Silvia
about ‘ow awesome she is.
she’s better’an anyone else
living on this this boring planet,
so let’s give ‘er a bunch of flowers.

My apologies, Mr Shakespeare, if you happen to be turning in your grave. I only parody those for whom I have the utmost respect – poor writing is parody in itself.

Now I’m going be very brave – or very foolish – and click publish.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Winkle, Twinkle and Nod

goldfish-30837_1280.png

Winkle, Twinkle and Nod one night
Went to the pub for a drink
On a scorching summer evening
So hot they couldn’t think
So they took three seats by the edge of the cliff
These old companions three
but the heat sent Nod into sleepy land
Then he fell in the rippling blue sea
“Oh No! No fishing net have we”
Said Winkle
And Twinkle
And Nod sunk to the Bottom of the sea and drownded, he did, and got eaten by the fishes; who weren’t used to the beer, and they died, they did.

Winkle and Twinkle wept fat tearsgoldfish-30837_1280
until their eyes were red
Then Twinkle said, in a tinkly tone
“I want to laugh instead,”
so he clowned around and he flapped his arms
‘Til their faces glowed with glee
Then he fell in the rippling blue sea
“No fishing net! Oh my! Oh Me!”
Said Winkle
And Tinkle sunk to the Bottom of the sea and drownded, he did, and got eaten by the fishes; who weren’t used to the beer, and they died, they did.

Winkle wept for his Twinkly palgoldfish-30837_1280
Until his face was blue
All alone ‘neath the starry sky
Not knowing what to do
‘Till his eye happened on a shapely girl
and he slurred “Come home with me,”
And she pushed him in the rippling sea.
The water whispered “Goodness me!
And winkle sunk to the Bottom of the sea and drownded, he did, but the surviving fishes had been watching their little fishy friends dying from alcohol poisoning and they were wise to it, so they didn’t eat Tinkle, and they lived happily ever after, they did – isn’t that nice.

Moral: if you’re a fish, don’t taste your dinner until a few other fishes have tried it first – and survived to swim away.

With apologies to the estate of Eugene Fleld, author of Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

Written for The Daily Post #Twinkle

 

©Jane Paterson Basil

 

Guess the Poem. Answer.

For anybody who didn’t get it, this is the poem (song) which I paraphrased yesterday. I’ve gone for a bit of an overkill, and given you three different recordings. The first one is by John Otway, who I adore, the second is from the Proms, and the third is the salvation army, but the vocalist, again, is John Otway. I’ve included it because of the lovely images.

JerusalemThe Feet Song
By William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
Back in the old days, was He really in England?
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
Back in the old days, was He really in England?

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
Did He improve our weather conditions?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Is it true about what was built in those hellholes?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
I need my shiny weapons and my sharp lust.
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
Don’t forget the spear and the burning wheels.

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
I’ll fight 24/7 to stay sane
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land.
Until the building works’s completed here.

Guess the Poem

Some of you may have seen my paraphrasing posts lately. I take a classic poem and bring it up to date so that it’s easier to understand.
So far I have modernised Fear no more the heat of the sun and Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day both by William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson’s Celia.

My wonderful friend Calen came up with a great idea  a few days ago. She suggested I interpret a poem and post it without the original, and see whether anybody can guess what poem it is..
By the way, if you haven’t checked out Calen‘s blog yet I strongly recommend that you get over there and devour her fascinating thoughts and insights.

Without further ado, here is the poem. I nicknamed it “The Feet Song” when I was a child.

The Feet Song

Feet, Toes, Footprints, Black, Glossy

Back in the old days, was He really in England?
Was He really spotted in our lush fields?
Did He improve our weather conditions?
Is it true about what was built in those hellholes?
I need my shiny weapons and my sharp lust.
Don’t forget the spear and the burning wheels.
I’ll fight 24/7 to stay sane
Until the building work’s completed here.

The first person to name the original wins a trip to the moon. (Costs not included.)

© Jane Paterson Basil

What about Ben Jonson?

Why should William Shakespeare get all the attention? Here is my interpretation of Ben Jonson’s famous poem.

cup-367456_640

Celia with my interpretation in italics.

Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
shush. look at me
and I’ll make eye promises

Or leave a kisse but in the cup,
And Ile not looke for wine.
If you kiss the inside of a cup
I’ll scrap the booze

The thirst, that from the soule doth rise,
Doth aske a drinke divine:
actually, scraping your kiss out of the cup
would be great.

But might I of Jove’s Nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
even if I was offered the best drink in the world
I’d prefer to imbibe the soggy kiss-in-a-cup

I sent thee, late, a rosie wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
that lovely rose
wasn’t sent because I like you

As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
but to give it a chance to
maybe live forever

But thou thereon did’st onely breath,
And sent’st it back to mee:
but you just breathed on it
and sent it back

Since when it growes, and smells, I sweare,
Not of it selfe, but thee.
and now it’s growing, and smells,
just like you

The original:

Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kisse but in the cup,
And Ile not looke for wine.

The thirst, that from the soule doth rise,
Doth aske a drinke divine:
But might I of Jove’s Nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee, late, a rosie wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.

But thou thereon did’st onely breath,
And sent’st it back to mee:
Since when it growes, and smells, I sweare,
Not of it selfe, but thee.

My interpretation:

shush… look at me,
and I’ll make eye promises.
if you kiss the inside of a cup
I’ll scrap the booze.

actually, scraping your kiss out of the cup
would be great.
even if I was offered the best drink in the world,
I’d prefer to imbibe the soggy kiss-in-a-cup.

that lovely rose
wasn’t sent because I like you,
but to give it a chance to
maybe live forever.

but you just breathed on it
and sent it back,
and now it’s growing, and smells,
just like you.

© Jane Paterson Basil

Shakin’ up Shakespeare

For the benefit of those who find Shakespeare’s poetry too flowery and difficult to understand, I have paraphrased another of his poems, taking it entirely out of context, of course. I hope he’s not turning in his grave. This poem suggests that he didn’t expect to.

tombstone-151525_640

“Fear no more the heat of the sun” with paraphrasing

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
don’t worry about the weather
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
you’re dead.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.
everyone dies.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
the gits can’t get to you now.
care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
no point in getting togged up for dinner.
The scepter, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
everyone dies.

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone;
I mentioned the weather, didn’t I?
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
don’t take any notice of what people say about you.
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
hope you don’t mind being surrounded by snogging couples.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
magic can’t do anything now!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
nothing can,
Quiet consummation have;
And renownèd be thy grave!
you’re dead. oh! and you’re dead famous too.

This is the way William Shakespeares version looks:

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The scepter, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan:
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consummation have;
And renownèd be thy grave!

This is my interpretation, which is far less wordy, and therefore more ecological when printed onto paper. Shakespeares generation didn’t worry about wasting resources as we do:

don’t worry about the weather,
you’re dead.
everyone dies

the gits can’t get to you now.
there’s no point in getting togged up for dinner,
everyone dies

I mentioned the weather, didn’t I?
don’t take any notice of what people say about you.
hope you don’t mind being surrounded by snogging couples.

magic can’t do anything now!
nothing can.
you’re dead. Oh! and you’re dead famous too.

© Jane Paterson Basil

To Paraphrase…

or not to Paraphrase. That is the question.

Shakespeare_and_Contemporaries

I’ve been reading a bit of Shakespeare, and the language is a bit dated, so I’m paraphrasing it with contemporary lingo.

I give you
Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day by William Shakespeare
with paraphrasing

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
You’re hot
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Scorchin’ even when you’ve got a hangover
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
‘ere, the winds blowin’ them things on the branches all over the place
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
it’s like, if you blink summer’s gone
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
One minute it’s too ‘ot’
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
The next it goes all cloudy
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
Stuff never looks nice for long
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
It all gets ugly one way or another
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
I don’t reckon you’ll ever get old.
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
or ugly
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
an’ you’re not gonna die
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
‘cos, like, I’ve written this poem about you
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
as long as there are people about
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
They’ll read this poem, so you’ll be, like, alive still.

Reading them separately, this is how they look:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

You’re hot
Scorchin’ even when you’ve got a hangover
‘ere, the wind’s blowin’ them things on the branches all over the place
it’s like, if you blink summer’s gone
One minute I’m sweatin’ like a pig
The next it goes all cloudy
Stuff never looks nice for long
It all gets ugly one way or another
I don’t reckon you’ll ever get old.
or ugly
an’ you’re not goin’ to die
‘cos, like, I’ve written this poem about you
as long as there are people about
They’ll read this poem, so you’ll be, like, alive still.

© Jane Paterson Basil

Lewis Carroll Meets Spellcheck

laptop1

If spellcheck had been around when Lewis Carroll wrote Jabberwocky the outcome may have been very different.

Jabberwocky

BY LEWIS CARROLL

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Spellcheck wouldn’t have accepted his invented words. It wouldn’t have been brillig, and there would have been no toves, slithy or otherwise. There would certainly not have been any gyre-ing or even gimble-ing in the non-existent wabe. Mimsy borogoves would also have been absent, along with the mome raths, so all that outgrabe-ing would be out of the window.

There would have been no need to warn that poor lad about the Jabberwock, the Jubjub bird or the frumious Bandersnatch.

The sword would have been neither vorpal or necessary, there would be no reason to go hunting for any manxome foe, he wouldn’t have needed to rest beside a Tumtum tree, had it even existed. The young man in question would probably have been at home enjoying a cooling fruit smoothie and checking out an adult site on the laptop before his mum got home from the shops.

He wouldn’t have felt uffish, or even known how to. Those eyes of flame would not have been there. Whiffling would not have come into fashion, and no burbling would have disturbed the silence of the thankfully un-tulgey wood.

All of that bloodshed would have been avoided, as he would have been on the internet, rather than going snicker-snack with a vorpal blade; a murderous instrument that wouldn’t have existed. Naturally, there would have been no possibility of him galumphing anywhere.

When his mum came back with her bags of groceries, rather than delightedly hugging him and calling him a beamish boy, then rejoicing at the Frabjous-ness of the day and crying out “Callooh! Callay!” she would probably have had a right go at him for watching filth on the computer and leaving sticky fruit peel all over the kitchen work surfaces.

So here’s what Lewis Carroll may have ended up writing:

‘Twas Friday ,
And his mother’s voice
did grate and rumble in the room.
“I have to go and get some food
But I’ll be back pretty soon.

“Beware the laptop’s evil pull.
The sites that lurk, the tarts that lure.
Beware the internet, and shun.
I want to keep you pure.”

He took the kitchen knife in hand.
Long time the slippery fruit he fought.
Until a smoothie he had made,
And then he had a thought.

And though he’d heard the warning words,
His baser side with with warming flame,
Came pushing down his goodly self,
And tingled as it came.

Click, Click! Click click! He’d found the porn,
And he was getting excited.
He didn’t see his mum appear,
With his fervour so ignited.

“What is that on the screen!” she cried.
“Go to your room, you naughty boy!
Get out. Just go! Oh woe! Oh woe!”
He had to redeploy.

‘Twas Friday,
And his mother’s voice
did grate and rumble in the room.
“I have to go and get some food,
But I’ll be back pretty soon.”

Maybe Lewis Carroll was better off without spellcheck!

© Jane Paterson Basil