Saturday 30 March 2013

"Let's get ready to rHumble"

Another little "extra"

I hear "rumble" is wrong,
In the Ant and Dec song.
It is spelt with an "H" just for clarity.
And - isn't this great? -
The pair will donate
All the profits it makes to a charity.*


The Wars of the Roses - Part Five

Edward V 1483 (Reigned 2 months)
The fifth King Edward was a child,
Not the safest of positions
When you have an Uncle Richard,
Who has dangerous ambitions.

For reasons of their safety,
(Or so the story went),
Young Edward and his brother
To the Tower had both been sent.

What happened to the youngsters
Is not entirely clear.
People saw them less and less:
They'd later disappear.

It's thought that they were murdered,
And historians insist,
That there wasn't just one suspect -
Although Richard tops the list.

Richard now may well have thought
His hold on power was strong
Then, barely two years later,
Henry Tudor came along.

Henry was Lancastrian,
His claim somewhat remote.
At Bosworth he waged battle,
Won a victory of note.

Richard's troops were vanquished,
The king himself was felled,
And yet another Henry,
The crown of England held.

Elizabeth of York he took,
To be his wedded wife,
And in doing so thus ended
A long period of strife.

Two houses were united
And, as everybody knows,
Red and white both feature
In the famous Tudor rose.

Richard III 1483-1485
Henry VII 1485-1509

Elizabeth of York

Friday 29 March 2013

PJ and Duncan

This is an extra blog, at the special request of Vicky. The penultimate part of "The Wars of the Roses" will be posted on schedule tomorrow.

Some "hits" maybe stumble,
"..Get Ready to Rumble"
Is what, in the trade's, a "slow burner".
But now, Ant and Dec
Can say, "What the heck,
For it's proving a nice little earner.

A long time ago,
On the "Byker Grove" show,
As PJ and Duncan they played it.
With fame now accorded,
And patience rewarded,
This rap song has finally made it!

Wednesday 27 March 2013

The Wars of the Roses - Part Four

Edward IV 1461-1470 and 1471-1483
Then Edward and his entourage
Fell out with one another,
So Warwick turned to Clarence,
Who was Edward's younger brother.

But Clarence was unpopular,
So never did get crowned:
By tradition in a butt of wine
Would later on be drowned.

This scheme to oust his former friend,
Thus quickly came to nought.
The Earl then rescued Henry,
Whom he offered to support.

Her family had not fared well,
So Margaret was elated.
Her young son's hopes looked brighter
Now his Dad was reinstated.

Duke of Clarence
Once more, dynastic struggle
Was the order of the day.
The advantage went to one lot,
Then things swung the other way.

The two sides clashed at Barnet,
Where the Earl of Warwick perished,
Soon Margaret's hopes had disappeared,
Along with those she cherished.

At Tewksbury, her son was killed.
The queen was quite bereft.
The king was later murdered:
No clear red rose heirs were left.

Her cousin was the King of France,
(Her homeland was that nation),
He paid for her release, and she
Lived on, a poor relation.
Battle of Tewksbury

Peace returned to England,
With King Edward now secure,
But he died quite unexpectedly
And trouble brewed once more.....

Tuesday 26 March 2013

The Wars of the Roses - Part Three

Margaret of Anjou
The House of York, the cousins,
In thus family's affairs,
Had never quite forgotten that
The crown, by rights, was theirs.

The king, though ineffectual,
Still managed to survive.
There wasn't open battle
Until 1455.

Henry was now married,
To one Margaret of Anjou.
It was she who wore the trousers,
As she must, to see them through.

The power of York was rising:
Some Lancastrians were killed.
She rallied the survivors:
Proved determined and strong-willed.

The Earl of Warwick - The Kingmaker
The pendulum of conflict,
Was swinging back and forth.
Some major Yorkist players
Were to perish in the North....

Henry, who'd been captured,
Was eventually freed.
But his kin then failed in London,
And retreated with some speed.

Enter Earl of Warwick,
(As "the Kingmaker" now known),
Backing new King Edward
Who, for York, had claimed the throne.....

Sunday 24 March 2013

The Wars of the Roses - Part Two

Richard II 1377-1399 (deposed)
A royal prince of Lancaster
Did the first bad thing:
He deposed his cousin Richard,
And declared himself as king.

Though not the rightful next-in-line,
And never that secure,
He reigned without distinction,
As Henry number four.

His son, the fifth King Henry,
Is best known for Agincourt:
A battle waged against the French,
In which he bravely fought.

He took ill on campaign in France,
And soon this life departed.
His son was but an infant
Which is when real trouble started.

Henry IV 1399-1413
The boy was barely in his teens....
His first protector died.
A number of contenders
For the vacant role all vied.

A country needs strong leadership
And lacked this to its cost.
In France, the contest faltered:
All but Calais would be lost.

The powerful and wealthy,
Who'd sent troops to aid the cause,
Also fought against each other
In long-standing private wars.

The people were dissatisfied,
The more so over time,
With returning soldiers looting
And increasing rates of crime.

Henry V 1413-1422

The king (another Henry)
Didn't govern as he ought.
He had bouts of mental illness:
Only discord reigned at court.........

Henry VI 1422-1461 and 1470-1471

Thursday 21 March 2013

The Wars of the Roses - Part One

Queen Mathilda
What happened when a king died?
Who would normally inherit?
The crown went to the first-born son,
A system of some merit.

Daughters didn't count for much,
Which doesn't seem that fair.
A girl might be the oldest child
But wouldn't be the heir.

That ruling's only just been changed,
As on the news we've seen.
If Will and Kate's first baby is a girl
She shall be queen.

King Stephen 1135-1154
(There was once a queen Matilda,
Who was also known as Maude,
But in the list of monarchs
She is usually ignored.

A clear and named successor -
Henry One was this girl's Dad -
She was ousted by her cousin Steve,
Whose reign was very bad.)

But women could have influence,
Weren't always mild and meek,
Especially of their menfolk
Proved pathetically weak.

Officially, a king could choose
The next to have the throne.
And sometimes a usurper,
Would steal it as his own.

Edward III 1327-1377
But rules of primogeniture,
(The oldest, then next oldest),
Would be obeyed by all
Except the greediest and boldest.

Edward, King of England,
The third to bear that name,
For fathering a bunch of lads
For much must take the blame.

Two sons gave rise to dynasties -
Each the other's bitter rival,
And some men stop at nothing

To ensure their own survival.

These houses both had emblems,
Which would name their coming fight.
The red rose was Lancastrian.
The York rose was pure white.....

Monday 18 March 2013

When the tooth fairy didn't come

(This is a true story)

When Vicky was a little girl,
A tooth (the front top right)
Started getting wobbly:
Was loose, instead of tight.

She jiggled it, she wiggled it,
She waggled it about,
Then she ate a jelly teddy,
And it finally came out.

Whenever Vicky smiled now,
Her mouth looked strangely gappy,
But she didn't mind one tiny bit -
In fact, was very happy.

For she knew that, when she went to sleep,
The tooth fairy would come,
And exchange the tooth for money -
That's according to her Mum.

Next morning, such excitement...
Quickly followed by despair:
She found no shiny twenty pence.
Her tooth - it was still there!

Mummy, too, was horrified
And thinking only this:
How could a magic creature
Be so dreadfully remiss?

She sought some explanation,
Could only think - well what?
That the tooth fairy was busy?
That the tooth fairy forgot?

Or was poorly? Had to stay at home
With spots? A cold? A cough?
Or, in common with all workers,
Had a well-earned evening off?

It really was a mystery
That had them both perplexed.
Mum said, "Why don't we try again,
And see what happens next?"

That night, the fairy visited,
Was busily employed.
V woke to find a golden coin:
The girl was overjoyed.

There was glitter 'neath her pillow
And a teeny stamp-sized note.
In tiny purple printing,
This is what the fairy wrote.

"It isn't every night I do
My very special round.
For children who are extra good,
The going rate's a pound!"

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Friday 1 March 2013

A poem for football addicks (team nicknames 2012-2013 season)

The nicknames of the teams that play in England's football league,
Are sometimes very obvious and sometimes may intrigue.
Each one of them is mentioned in these rhyming acrobatics.
We'll start with one that mystifies: just what the heck are latics?

There is a range of colours, mostly patriotic hues,
Sky blues*, whites and lilywhites, the reds, two more plain blues.

Toffees...cherries...tangerines don't make for balance dinners,
Though to fend off indigestion those fine clarets may prove winners.
Or shots of something stronger may be tempting for a few,
But guess the vast majority drink what the brewers brew.

When it comes to animals, enough for sev'ral zoos,
With shrews and sheep aplenty, for the rams have got two "U"s.
Black cats, lions, tigers all fit into feline boxes,
Whilst terriers are canine types, along with wolves and foxes.
There are shrimps and a cod army, which in water all survive,
(Though they wouldn't if they couldn't breathe: their gills keep them alive.)

For budding ornithologists are lots of birds to pluck:
To start, a brace of magpies (for just one would bring bad luck).
We have the sharp-clawed eagles, which have preying on their minds,
Whilst swans and gulls and seagulls are all webbed and swimming kinds.
Next canaries, bluebirds, bantams, three robins and the owls:
We'll add flying bees* and hornets, though they're insects and not fowls.

We can classify the workers, who perform their chosen task:
The millers mill, the potters pot, the cottagers - don't ask.
We've tractor boys and railwaymen, we have the awesome gunners,
And as "goffers", we have trotters and three rovers but no runners.
Another pair of craftsmen both relate to types of seating,
Though the chairboys and the saddlers won't for custom be competing.

Of seasiders a handful, as befits an island nation:
The pirates buckle swash, and shrimpers nab the odd crustacean.
The mariners have sadly sunk to where the fish get caught,
But Pompey must mean something of a nautical import.

If the right accessory's the sort of thing that matters,
We've cobblers, glovers, baggies (but we've now lost both the hatters).
The royals can afford such things (and mansions with a pool),
And the posh with dosh go shopping, just to make themselves look cool.
Through forest, dale and borough, they will sport their trendy clothes:
Silkmen used to make their stockings, (whilst the poor man dons* plain "O"s).

The right tool spurs the will of those in heavy metal trades:
Thus the iron and the hammers and those ever-steely blades
That we put in handy Stanley knives (once opened and rescrewed),
Or the daggers (to be kept away from those in murd'rous mood).

There is a bunch of villans, crooked Spirerites and some tykes,
We've a couple of red devils and their mischief-making likes.
But, on the side of righteousness, some movers and some shakers:
Pilgrims, saints and minstermen, the valiants and quakers.

The Grecians are a mystery: they hail from who knows where?
(They may, in their two thousand form, be used to treat grey hair.)
The Cumbrians, however, have a name which gives a clue.
The superhoops (or sometimes "R"s) complete our ninety-two.

* 2 teams with same nickname

This verse is being posted at the special request of Steve B