Lucy Vickery

Oh! What a horrible morning!

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In Competition No. 2757 you were invited to introduce a note of unwelcome reality into a song from a musical.

Thanks to Brian Allgar for suggesting this corker of a competition, which attracted a large entry. You might have taken as your model ‘Pore Jud is Daid’ from Oklahoma!, which, as Josephine Boyle points out, is not without gritty realism: ‘He looks like he’s asleep, It’s a shame that he won’t keep. But it’s summer and we’re running out of ice.’

Frank Upton, W.J. Webster, Paul Evans and Alexander Faris just missed out on joining the winners, printed below, who are rewarded with £25 each. Alan Millard pockets the bonus fiver.

Let’s skip to the terrible ending,

A very sad place I know,

When you chance to advance then it’s back you go,

When you trip you will slip with a ti-la-so,

Ti-la-so, ti-la-so,

The backward slide is a contra-flow,

Ti-la-so, ti-la-so,

Ti-la-so-fa-me-re-do! It goes like so:

Chorus: Tee, the game I lost at golf,

La, la dolce vita gone,

Sow, the seeds I scattered once,

Farr, the girl who led me on,

Me, the fool who fell for Farr,

Ray, the cad who cuckolded me,

Dough, the sticky mess I’m in

As I sink back down to ti (she-me-he)

Alan Millard

My royal palace has no indoor plumbing.

My bedroom stinks of last night’s chamber pot.

There’s always damp and chilly weather coming

To Camelot.

My people don’t expect to live past thirty.

A few can read and write, but most cannot.

We seldom bathe; we’re mostly sick and dirty

In Camelot.

Our food’s unwholesome and unappetising.

Our grain is rife with insects, rats and rot.

Good wine or worm-free meat would be surprising

For Camelot.

To me there’s simply not

A more depressing thought

Than those I entertain about

Our lives in Camelot.

Chris O’Carroll

I have often walked down this street before,

But I’ve never seen raw sewage round my feet


This incessant rain has blocked every drain,

Such is life on the street where I live.

We’ve more pushers here than the heart of town,

And more pitbulls than in any other part of town,

Pavement cyclists race at psychotic pace,

Terrorising the street where I live.

And oh, the cowering feeling,

When you know no policeman is near,

A bleak, disempowering feeling,

That any second a street mugger may appear.

People snarl and swear, and they bother me,

There are very many places I would rather be,

But in this sheer hell you could never sell

Any house on the street where I live.

Roger Theobald

I am sixteen going on seventeen,

Future aflood with fears,

Going to uni strikes me as loony

Saddled with debt for years.

There’s no point in swottin’ and learnin’

College I will avoid,

Who values history if money’s a mystery

When you are unemployed.

Careers advisers, older and wiser,

Help me with my CV,

Point out the goodies waiting for hoodies

Who have a brain like me.

But I’m a loser, an internet user

Soon as I’m out of school.

So I’m resigned to being consigned to

Desolate days on the dole.

Max Ross

Chat shows on telly and pop songs that sicken

Red-top reporting and KFC chicken

Jeremy Clarkson and all of his mates

These are a few of my favourite hates

Charity muggers and wet summer weather

Dog turds on pavements and beefsteaks like leather

PCs that crash and a clergy that prates

These are a few of my favourite hates

Motorway gridlock and cold-calling assholes

Rats in the cellar and similar hassles

Toe-curling times when my ego deflates

These are a few of my favourite hates

When the banks fail, when the news grates,

When life’s a damp squib,

I add to my roster of favourite hates

And then I complain ad lib

G.M. Davis

There’s no business like show business

if naïve’s what you are.

One walk-on part in Hull and transatlantic

dreams of fame now beckon from afar.

But don’t be fooled by flattery. It’s frantic

how sycophantic all actors are.

There’s no people like show people

who think they’re in the know.

Yesterday they said that you would be a star.

Tonight you opened. How wrong they are!

Now there’s nothing for it but to hit the bar

and then find a new show.

Don’t ask me how I know.

Martin Parker

NO. 2760: sickly sweet

You are invited to supply an example of the kind of treacly inspirational poetry that adorns the office walls of life coaches and might be quoted by motivational speakers (16 lines maximum). Please email entries, wherever possible, to by midday on 15 August.