Ten more Birmingham Poems

Birmingham Miscellany – 10 More Birmingham Poems

 

 

EDGBASTON – THE HOME OF TENNIS

 

 

Edgbaston is the place

 

Where they serve up many an Ace

 

Invented by Major Harry Gem:

 

A game for lithe athletic men

 

At 8 Ampton Road: ‘Fairlight’

 

You’d see rubber balls in flight

 

Men and women both

 

They’d hit balls with all their might

 

In clothing… Oh so bright!

 

A game played in Lilywhites

 

As played on a manicured lawn

 

In the summer of 1859

 

Young men and women courting

 

Eating, drinking, laughing

 

Eligible bachelors and young maidens

 

Playing on a mown green grass court

 

‘Good shot sir!’… they’d shout

 

With many a lascivious thought

 

The young women they did ‘Glow’

 

As they knocked balls to and fro

 

Over a rudimentary net

 

With strawberries and cream…..you bet!

 

Lawn tennis started to grow

 

Into the game that we now all know

 

Fred Perry, Bunny Austin,

 

Ann Jones, Virginia Wade

 

Andy Murray and Sue Barker

 

Grand Slam Champions were made

 

So next time you’re in Birmingham

 

Recall Edgbaston’s Major Gem

 

And the Great Game that he gave us:

 

‘Game, Set and Match: Amen!’

 

 

 

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

 

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….!!!!!

 

THE STORY OF ADAM AND EVE

 

 

GOD made Adam from a ‘Handful of Dirt’,

 

GAVE him Animals to name……not to Hurt,

 

PLACED him in a Garden that was PARADISE,

 

ADAM said EDEN was very NICE,

 

 

THE problem was……he was SOOOO Alone,

 

SO GOD made EVE from HIS rib bone,

 

THE couple Loved GOD and did obey,

 

THEY listened hard when HE had HIS say,

 

 

THE food in EDEN is good to eat,

 

EVERYTHING is ripe, fresh and sweet,

 

THE fruit from THAT tree shows GOOD and BAD

 

IF you eat THAT fruit, IT will make me MAD,

 
EVE went walking in THE GARDEN one day,

 

WHEN SATAN, The Serpent came and had HIS say,

 

THE fruit from THAT tree will make YOU wise,

 

TRY IT and share some, he did advise,

 

 

EVE and ADAM both ate the FRUIT,

 

THEN realised they were in their BIRTHDAY SUIT,

WHEN GOD called they were SOOOO ashamed,

 

EVE and The Serpent were BOTH blamed,

 

 

GOD was SAD and gave HIS command,

 

From this PARADISE you BOTH are banned.

 

THISTLES and WEEDS will grow from the EARTH,

 

EVE you will suffer, when you give BIRTH.

 

 

SNAKES and HUMANS will always FIGHT,

 

FEET will STAMP and FANGS will BITE,

 

ADAM and EVE were banished to their FATE,

 

GOD placed ANGELS to guard EDEN’S GATE,

 

 

NOT allowed to forget what they had DONE,

 

THE COUPLE worked HARD and HAD two SONS,

 

A FARMER called CAIN and HIS BROTHER ABEL,

 

BUT the LIVES of these TWO MEN is another SAD FABLE.

 

 

 

 

 

BEAUTY IS…….?

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Does it diminish as the eye gets older?

Is it a catwalk model, size ten or sixteen?

Or a holiday-camp teenager crowned Pageant Queen?

 

A thoroughbred horse

Or a Kennel Club hound?

Beauty like our Faith

Is indeed all around

 

A faceted diamond

Or a late vintage wine

The food on a table

Set ready to dine

 

A clear coastal view

Or the prettiest flower

The image of beauty

Can change by the hour

 

A newborn baby

Or a bright blushing bride

Looked at by a husband

With love and such pride

 

A beauty spot here

Or a fine freckle there

The glint of an eye

Or the colour of hair

 

With clear skin or wrinkles

As a face gets older

Beauty indeed

Is in the eye of the beholder

 

 

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……..

 

 

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

 

For ‘Grand Designs’ or ‘The Motor Show’

 

Where in Birmingham does one go?

 

The NIA or NEC?

 

Look around: So much to see!

 

The Hippodrome for Pantomime

 

The Alex for Musicals with Song and Rhyme

 

Orchestral Music at Symphony Hall

 

Or a Play at The Rep, which is just next door!

 

For Concerts performed after dark

 

Visit St Andrew’s or Villa Park

 

Cultural Events at Aston’s ‘Drum’

 

Or Birmingham Royal Ballet for Dance and Fun

 

Art Exhibitions at Birmingham Museum

 

Join Long Queues to go and see ‘em

 

The Magnificent Organ in Hansom’s Town Hall

 

Played for the ‘Three Choirs Festival’

 

Venues to View, Places to Stay

 

Birmingham’s THE City to visit TODAY!

 

 

 

 

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: THE UNIVERSITY OF LIFE

 

 

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……….!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

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

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