BrummaGEM Song – 10 Birmingham Poems

BRUMMAGEM’S SONG

If you’ve never been to Birmingham then you ought ta……….

It’s a grand city made up of many a quarter………

There is jewellery to be sold, diamonds, platinum and gold

Boulton’s silver to assay, precious gems from far away.

Guns were made nearby, helping soldiers fight and die

In the English Civil War we made musket, cannon and ball

A more powerful Lewis gun helped the British beat the Hun.

Mr Webley made a revolver fired by many a pitiful soldier

On a lighter note in The Theatre Quarter

The stage is set for talented daughters

The Rep, the Alex and Hippodrome…..

Encourage performers to make Birmingham their own

Chaplin, Burton and Olivier

Travelled here to perform their plays

Musicals, ballets and pantomime

Ensure cultural visitors have a good time

The NEC and NIA have changed their names along the way

The Good Food Show, Crufts and fashion galore

Ensure our visitors come back for more

In the Symphony Hall there was often a battle

Between the CBSO and Sir Simon Rattle

The Chinese Quarter is colourful and bright

A fantastic place to go out at night

Stir-fried noodles, a tantalising odour

A grand Dragon Parade from Wing Yip’s Pagoda.

The Balti Belt, full of saris and spices

Tasty Asian food cooked with different rices

An area to visit to sample a curry,

At Adil’s or Imran’s there’s no need to hurry

Bring your own beer, share various starters

Poppadoms, Pakoras, Aloo with tomatoes

A ‘curry in a bucket’ naan size of a table

Mild, medium or hot, eat it all, if you’re able.

Our City has Cadbury, Jaguar Land Rover too,

Speedway, rugby, and cricket for you

A passion for sport, you can hear the roar

For a goal scored by Blues or Villa football.

Indoor and outdoor, The Bull Ring Markets

Sell everything from cheese to carpets

The Germans come at Christmas time

Bringing Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Gluhwein

Birmingham has ‘More Canals than Venice’

We also invented the game of lawn tennis.

The Botanical Gardens and Cannon Hill Park

Have flowers and lawns, hosting shows: ‘What a lark!’

An airport, coach and New Street Station

Make us the “Centre of our Nation”

To travel by car to any function

You may have to negotiate Spaghetti Junction!!!!!

The ‘Stroll from St Philip’s to St Paul’s’

Where Boulton and Watt occupied the pew stalls

Pugin’s St Chad’s, the Roman Catholic Cathedral

Anglican St Martin’s, on the steps to the bronze Bull

The Kennedy Memorial near Digbeth’s Custard Factory,

Healed the wounds of the Irish after the Birmingham atrocity

The Rotunda stood proud, tall and round

Blown to pieces with ‘The Tavern in the Town.’

The City recovered, no flags at half mast

Brummies look FORWARD, don’t dwell on the past

Our mixture of cultures live well together

Our heritage, our history will go on forever.

 

Birmingham Motto

 

GOLDEN RINGS FROM THE JEWELLERY QUARTER

The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

 

Is present in our Home

 

Enclosed in the Engagement Ring

 

I am pleased to call my own.

 

Twelve Diamonds round a Ruby,

 

Lovingly set in Gold

 

Handmade by Excellent Craftsmen

 

To wear till I grow old

 

Hannah Hill from Dodd & Co

 

Watched our Love flourish and grow

 

This Beautiful Ring she designed for us

 

For a Proposal made with minimal fuss,

 

Two Circles of Gold followed soon after

 

Made by her brilliant Jewellery Crafter

 

After 25 years of Married Life

 

These Rings bind us together as Man and Wife

 

Jewellery Quarter Clock

 

THE BATTLE OF BIRMINGHAM

 

Brum is Burning, Brum is Burning

 

Fire…..Fire……Fire…..Fire

 

Charles Prince Rupert

 

Was marauding

 

Throughout the Town

 

Throughout the Town

 

Brum was Roundhead

 

Not for Royalists….

 

Ride them down…..

 

Ride them down…..

 

Rupert killed them

 

Torched their houses

 

For supporting

 

Parliament…..

 

NOT the Crown

 

Many murdered…..

 

Many murdered…..

 

By Rupert’s Cavalry

 

Cut them down

 

Yet at Shireland

 

Was a Skirmish

 

Where Earl Denbigh

 

Met his end

 

Shot him down

 

Shot him down

 

No Justice

 

No Justice

 

For Brummagem

 

For Brummagem!

 

Brum is Burning

 

Brum is Burning

 

Fire….Fire…..Fire…Fire

 

Battle’s over

 

Battle’s over

 

Poor Birmingham

 

Birmingham……….

 

Prince Rupert

Keith Bracey, Roundhead rather than Cavalier

 

Southside Johnnies and Chinatown Jinks

Down ‘Olloway ‘Ed

 

To Wing Yip’s Pagoda

 

Leading the Way

 

To Chinatown’s lovely odour

 

A tasty meal cooked in a Wok

 

At Chung Ying Garden

 

We’re ‘Ready to Rock’!

 

Ming Moon Buffet

 

All you can eat

 

As you stroll down the Sidewalk

 

To Brummagem’s Beat!

 

The Fox, The Hip

 

The Back to Backs

 

All open their Doors to

 

Johnnies in Slacks

 

Southside’s Silver Rhino

 

Surveys…… all she can see

 

From the slate grey roofs above

 

The many Theatre-goers with Glee!

 

David Bintley’s Royal Ballet

 

Formerly Sadler’s Wells

 

Puts on ‘The Nutcracker’

 

For many well-heeled ‘Swells’

 

Every Christmas……..

 

David’s ‘Glittering Show’

 

Adorns Chinatown

 

With lots of fake Snow!

 

The young Bucks from Elmhurst School for Dance

 

Apprentice lithe ‘Dancers’ preen and prance……..

 

The Hip’s huge Stage

 

The Largest in the Land

 

Welcomes the UK’s biggest Pantomime

 

And Plays, Musicals and Bands

 

That Adorn Chinatown

 

On ‘Golden Pond’

 

Stir-Fried Noodles

 

And Chicken Feet

 

Fed to me by Miss Chan

 

What a Fantastic Feat!

 

To attract the Chinese

 

To assemble MG’s

 

At Longbridge

 

Premier Wen Jiao Bao

 

He came to Brum

 

In Twenty Eleven to visit the Chinamen

 

After MG Rover went ‘Belly-up’

 

In Twenty Oh Six…….

 

Mike Whitby and Dutton

 

This ‘Marvellous Man’

 

‘Mister #Birmingham Development’

 

SUCH a sad loss…….

 

As Clive Dutton reported to Mike Whitby: ‘The Boss’

 

They Launched Brum’s ‘Big City Plan’…..

 

In Shanghai…..near ‘The Bund’

 

Hoping to attract Chinese Yuan

 

To invest in England

 

To build MG’s in our land……once again!

 

To save the jobs of many a Brummie man

 

In October Twenty Fifteen……

 

Another Chinese Premier came……

 

Li Xing Ping was his name…….

 

This Time Georgie Osborne took ‘im oooooop North……

 

No visit to Longbridge……

 

This Time for ‘The Man’……

 

For Brum…..that wasn’t quite in ‘The Big City Plan’……..

 

I recall in Twenty Ten on Adrian Goldberg’s Radio WM Show…….

 

Talking with Paul Kehoe of BHX ‘Fame’ about……..

 

Birmingham’s ‘Twin City’ of Guangzhou……..

 

About ‘Marketing Birmingham’ to the Chinese……

 

Using ‘Dear Old Bill Shakespeare’ whom the Chinese love……

 

As they fly high into Brummagem

 

High ‘Up Above’…….

 

Using ‘Whitby’s new runway’…….

 

To come to the region……

 

The Chinese Love William Shakespeare…….

 

His Chinese fans are sooooo ‘Legion’……..

 

This @BrummieBard……..

 

“The Greatest West Midlander”………

 

Has the ‘Power to Attract’…….

 

More Investment to ‘Brummagem’!

 

Paul Kehoe poo-pooed mine and Ducker’s idea……

 

But in Twenty Fourteen

 

It became CLEAR…….

 

A ‘No-Brainer’ for ‘BILL’ to Market Birmingham to the Chinese…….

 

More Money for Brum!!!!!!

 

DONE IT!…….With Ease…….

 

NI HAO from this Brummie…….

 

XIE…..XIE…..on our Lips

 

Welcomes Chinese to our supermarkets……..Wonderful WING YIPS!

 

This ‘Man of Fujian’

 

Came to Brum in The Fifties……

 

Made it His Home……..

 

Brum’s Chinese sooooo ‘Thrifty’……..

 

So it is ‘ZAIJIAN’ from me……..The New @BrummieBard…..

 

HEY……!!!!!!!…. Paul Kehoe…..IT wasn’t SOOOO hard…….

 

To Market ‘Dear Birmingham’……..

 

To The Chinese………

 

Using ‘Bill Shakespeare’……..

 

WHAT A MAN from these Shires…..!!!!!!!

 

The World’s GREATEST Playwright……..

 

A “MAN FOR ALL SEASONS”………

 

OUR “BIGGEST ATTRACTION”……

 

FOR SOOOOO MANY REASONS…..

 

As “Bill’s” Plays are about…….

 

Our Common Humanity……..

 

MACBETH’s ‘Vain Death’…….

 

And LEAR’s ‘Huge Vanity’……..

 

THE PLAYERS Do ‘Strut the World’s Stage’…….

 

In Stratford Town……….

 

Just Twenty – Five Miles……..

 

From CHINATOWN……….!!!!!!!!!

Pagoda

 

Keith Bracey @BrummieBard #Shakespearean Sinophile

 

Bill Shakespeare

 

Balti Belt n Braceys

Ladypool Road or Stoney Lane

 

No two Curries are the same

 

Sizzling Tandoori, Tikka too

 

Balti ‘Buckets’ or Vindaloo

 

Kashmiri Spices, Herbs and Veg

 

Chapatis, Roti or Naan Bread

 

Adil, Imran’s, where will you go…..?

 

It’s the ‘Taste of Birmingham’ you know

 

The Colourful Shops in vibrant Streets

 

Window displays of cut-up Sweets

 

Silky Saris, Shalwaar Kameez

 

Bags and Jewellery that will please

 

Wedding venues for Love’s Celebration

 

Attended by Guests from every Nation

 

For Flavours tasted and beautiful odours smelt

 

I’ve often visited Birmingham’s Balti Belt……..

 

 

Keith Bracey Birmingham’s Balti and Curry Lover

 

Balti Karahi

 

PLAYED IN BIRMINGHAM

 

Blues, Bears, Barons

 

Villains, Wasps and Wolves

 

Harriers, Saddlers, Bullets

 

Baggies, Bees and Bulls

 

 

Four Football grounds to visit

 

Four home team strips to buy

 

Colourful scarves round cold necks

 

Or for Fans to hold up high

 

 

The oval ball pulls in the crowds at Moseley RFC

 

For mucky rucks and scrums so tough

 

Such spectacular tries to see

 

Their followers stand together

 

 

With drinks held in their hand

 

They roar and sing to urge their boys

 

Uniting Rugby in their stand

 

Against violence in the land

 

 

It’s cricket in the summer

 

To Edgbaston Fans will go

 

Watching men in white in a crease with bat

 

A five dayer seems oh……so slow

 

 

The Twenty Twenty is much more fun

 

The Ball flies everywhere

There are wickets, sixes and catches

 

As we cheer on Birmingham Bears

Keith Bracey #Villain #Bear and #MoseleyMan

 

Villa Park RWC

Brummagem’s Bands

Birmingham has produced the Biggest Bands

 

With Fabulous Songs and Adoring Fans

 

Famous in Europe and the USA

 

Outstanding Music here to stay

 

Rock from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest

 

Was Heavy and Loud, to say the least

 

The Move had ‘Flowers in the Rain’

 

First Record on Radio One, they claim

 

Dexy’s sang: ‘Come on Eileen’

 

The Dance Floor Anthem for Love’s Young Dream

 

UB40 had a Kitchen with a Rat

 

While Sabbath’s Ozzy bit the Head off a Bat

 

The Dutchie was passed by Musical Youth

 

Duran Duran: ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’

 

Led Zeppelin climbed a ‘Stairway to Heaven’

 

The World’s Greatest Band in ‘77

 

Electric Lights inspired Jeff Lynne

 

Moody Blues dressed in White Satin

 

Would Christmas be the same without Wizzard and Slade?

 

Performing the Music Midlands’ Bands Made!

 

LZ Plane & Plant

 

Keith Bracey: Led Zeppelin, The Move, ELO, Black Sabbath and The Moody Blues

 

Ozzy

BIRMINGHAM: THE UNIVERSITY OF LIFE

Back in Nineteen Seventy Six

 

When the Hot Sun baked the broiling Bricks

 

And Denis Howell MP for Small Heath

 

Was ‘Minister for Drought’ in the searing heat

 

He urged us all to bathe together

 

And not run round ‘Hell for Leather’

 

I went from Birmingham Grammar School Boy

 

To the University in Edgbaston with Unbridled Joy

 

This Bright but Callow Brummie Lad

 

Became a Birmingham Undergrad

 

Studying B.Com in the Muirhead Tower

 

Where The Paternoster Lifts ran Hour after Hour

 

Perpetual Motion taking ‘Tortured Souls’

 

To jump off this Brutalist Muirhead Coil

 

When Exams in Accounts became too much to Toil

 

Doctor Peter Cain my ancient Tutor

 

Urged this Fresh man to use the first Punch-Card Computer

 

This Student donned a Great Coat and Scarf

 

And would do anything for a ‘Belly Laugh’

 

Like Read the Communist Manifesto

 

At Peter Cain’s educated behest….Oh!

 

Marx and Engels to the Fore

 

As all us Students fought ‘The Class War’!

 

David Lodge’s ‘Nice Work’ if you can gerrit…..?

 

Made University Life seem so decrepit

 

To study Accounts was my Forte

 

Or so I often thought…..Eh….?

 

But when The Doubts began to creep in

 

And my ‘Number Blindness’ started to seep in

 

To my youthful callow consciousness

 

With such dire unfortunate consequences

 

My exam time worry started to show

 

And I was struck such a Mortal Blow

 

When I failed my Exams in Statistics and Maths

 

But Tutor Cain set me on a Different Path

 

To study Law and forget the Math

 

Peter told me I still had a Bright Future

 

No longer for me the Statistical Torture!

 

For this Rugby-Playing Muddied Oaf

 

On the Bournbrook pitches…. I used my Loaf

 

And played for the University First Fifteen

 

As an Eighteen Year Old Flyaway Flanker

 

I made my debut for my Alma Mater

 

Where my Rugby defined me as a Young Man

 

Without any sort of discernible plan

 

The First Fifteen I played in October ‘76

 

Before I even made my debut for The Old Dix!!!!!

 

Julia Honeychurch was my squeeze

 

Back in Strathcona we ‘Shot the Breeze’!

 

Mick’s Café’s Race and Carnival

 

Was what defined me as a pal

 

A ‘Belly-Buster Breakfast’ and a pint of Guinness

 

The aim not to throw up at the Breathless Finish

 

A Two Mile Run from the Student’s Union

 

Down to Heeley Road and a date with Oblivion

 

Where Bacon and Egg were downed with Glee

 

Before running back to ‘The Mermaid in The See’

 

That’s when it all went ‘Pete Tong’ for me

 

As I threw up and my Salad Days

 

Became Carrots and Peas

 

And I was in an Alcoholic Daze

 

While on my knees

 

All good fun to raise ‘Cash for Carnival’

 

I was no longer a ‘Freshman Virgin’ in High Hall….!!!!!

 

Muirhead Tower

Keith Bracey Unfortunate Birmingham University Undergraduate in 1976.

 

Old Joe Campanile

FOR REBECCA TERESA WOODLOCK

To Darling Dear Rebecca

 

A Poem just to say

 

That Santa won’t forget You

 

When He’s on His Merry Way

 

 

A Bright Light will be shining

 

To Light His Way Above

 

He will find you in The Stars

 

Surrounded by God’s Love

 

 

You changed my Life in Many Ways

 

Although our Time was Brief

 

From Autumn into Winter

 

I’ve struggled with my Grief

 

 

Now this Sad Year is Ending

 

A New One soon to Come

 

I know that you are Peaceful

 

My Duty has been Done

 

 

So ‘Merry Christmas’ to You

 

And a Happy New Year too

 

From All of Us at Hallfield

 

Who Are Deeply Missing You……..

Apologies to South African Folk Singer Whistling Roger Whitaker and his 1970’s Christmas hit: Durham Town: This is my #BrumPoem about my home town Bearwood

 

Bear Image above entry in Bearwood

 

BEARWOOD TOWN

 

I aye gunner leave ‘ole Bearwood Town…..

 

I aye gunner leave ‘ole Bearwood Town…..

 

I aye gunner leave ‘ole Bearwood Town…..

 

COZ  it aye tha sorta place ter gemme darn…..

 

 

Councillors Piper, Eling n Jaron

 

Do soo much fer are Bearwood Mon

 

Loike Billy Spake

 

Does fer thee ‘ole Black Countray

 

 

Smerrick is Richard Marshall’s patch…..

 

This local Councillor does Sooo Mutch…..

 

Fer Bearwood n Smerrick…..

 

Smethwick in a Stew n Lightwoods Park……and House…..

 

 

Juss two of ‘is projects……Ooh worra lark……!!!

 

I, and others from ‘is Bearwood Crew…..

 

Did Volunteer…..

 

Fer Smethwick in a Stew…..

 

 

As a fantastic reward fer uz all…..

 

Who Volunteer fer are Bearwood…..

 

‘N’……What’s more…..We did Volunteer…..

 

Fer tha Beer on tha Black Countray Buzz…..

 

 

Juss a few yers agoo the Sandon Road “SIX”

 

Did trundle too n fro…..

 

With thee ‘Aglee Rowd crowd

 

 

From the 6 Terminus on Sandon Rowd…..Tha Buzz

 

Past Saint Chad’s….where I was was barn

 

Way back in ’58…..

 

Lookin’ All ferlarn…..

 

 

As “A Babe in Arms”…..

 

I wuz taerken,’Ome…..

 

Ter live in a Flat…..

 

Above 67…..Three Shires Oak Road…..

 

 

The CHOP SUEY BAR…..

 

Chinese Food…..MADE IN ‘EAVEN…..!!!!

 

ME Mom n Dad Dot n Lez…..

 

Did scraerpe tergether enough CASH

 

 

Ter raise a Deposit fer BRUM MUNICIPAL BANK

 

At the top of Willow Ave…..

 

It wuz their prank…..

.

Ter buoy an ‘Owse…..

 

 

In Willow Ave…..

 

The first thee ‘ad with an indoor LAV…..

 

ME BRACEY FAMILY…..

 

Did scrimp n save…..

 

 

Me Mom n Dad did werk sooo ‘Ard…..

 

Me Mom Dot at the Midland Red…..

 

In Rutland Road doin’ overtime on a’ addin’ machine…..

 

Werkin’ till she fell in ter ‘er bed…..

 

Ter buoy this ‘Owse…..

 

THEY WERE SOOO BRAVE THA BRACEYS…..!!!!!

 

ME MOM N DAD THA BRACEYS DOT N LEZ….!!!!!

 

Windsor Theatre Bearwood

KEITH BRACEY

#BrummieBard

Bearwoodian Keith Bracey

Twitter:@1truclaretnblu

#BearwoodBard appearing on the Co-op stage at the Bearwood Street Festival on Sunday 11th June 2017 where I shall be performing some of my #BrumPoems

Email: keithbracey1@gmail.com

 

Lightwoods House Snowbound

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “BrummaGEM Song – 10 Birmingham Poems

  1. Pingback: BrummaGEM Song – 10 Birmingham Poems | keithbracey

  2. Pingback: BRUMMAGEM’S SONG – A POEM INSPIRED BY BIRMINGHAM | bearwoodbardwordpresscom

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