In Competition No. 2977 you were invited to submit a Christmas carol with a topical twist.
‘In the bleak midwinter’ just about captures the general tenor of the entry, although George Simmers injected a lighter note with his invitation to ‘Deck Ed Balls with boughs of holly…’ and W.J. Webster, too, was looking on the relatively bright side: ‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen,/ Let nothing you dismay;/ The world is not on course to end/ That January day…’
Commendations go to Albert Black, Gordan Macintyre, Paul Carpenter, Tracy Davidson and Ian White.The winners, printed below, take £25 each. And the festive fiver is Martin Parker’s.
Merry Christmas, one and all — I look forward to being impressed and amused by your entries over the year to come.
We the three chief Brexiteers are
Charged by May to follow a star,
Little knowing where we’re going,
Or when or quite how or how far.
Oh, oh! Great our cause and its reward.
Britain’s national pride restored.
Remoaners’ goolies served as coulis,
And each of us soon made a Lord.
Negotiations? Simply a breeze!
EU nabobs beg on their knees.
Then, each evening, Bolly at Chevening —
If Boris still has the keys.
Oh, oh! Twenty-nineteen is the date
When, we can confidently state,
Our gift to Her will make her purr —
Herr Juncker’s head upon a plate!
While Klansmen cleaned their guns by night,
All full of booze and dope,
A hero with mad hair appeared
And promised them new hope.
An orange future was his vow,
A losers’ dream come true,
Where every day was Christmas Day
And years were always new.
They shared his vision of a wall,
His pussy-grabbing zeal.
A man like them, a manly man,
How proud he made them feel.
His Christmas message spread the fear,
The loathing and the scorn.
The Klansmen lapped it up like dogs
And partied on till dawn.
Ding dong! Merrily the tills
With loads of cash are ringing;
Let’s forget about the bills —
Black Friday’s just beginning.
Gloria! For reasons to be jolly.
Gloria! For weeks of Yuletide folly
I must have that huge TV,
So I’ll just have to borrow;
And the ten-foot Christmas tree,
For party-time tomorrow.
Who knows what next year will bring,
So eat, drink and be merry;
Buy the turkey, get the bling,
And then roll out the sherry.
Virginia Price Evans
O little towns of Syria
And cities of Iraq,
Above, in constant barricade,
Aggressors still attack,
And in your dark streets shatter
More ruins through the night,
While children die in innocence
For someone else’s fight.
How stridently, relentlessly,
Rogue rockets all explode.
If angel voices could be heard,
If starlight faintly showed,
Could they bring promises of aid
A chance that strife may cease,
And in their Christmas messages
Some hope of earthly peace?
In the bleak midwinter
Such a lack of cheer
Hear remoaners cursing
Hear the traitors whingeing
Whinge on whinge
In the bleak midwinter
Hear the cultural cringe.
That is what they crave
But their stock has fallen
Just like poor old Dave.
Nigel is the people’s man.
Nigel is the most.
Now completely toast.
The holly and the ivy —
there’s not too much at hand.
Their native haunts are cleared away
and classed as ‘building land’.
Oh the snarling of the chainsaw,
and the fleeing of the fox,
the whining of the chip machines,
and chain fences, heavy locks.
The holly bore a berry;
the people’s flag was red.
But who can slow the builders’ march?
The woods are falling dead.
Oh the silencing of birdsong,
and the loss of habitat,
and sad substitutes to decorate —
all imported plastic tat.
No. 2980: comic effect
You are invited to submit an extract from a politician’s speech ghostwritten by a well-known comedian (150 words maximum). Please email entries, wherever possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday on 4 January.