It was over sixty years ago that I sat by the fire,
Listening to the radio and hearing my heart's desire;
A serial on Childrens' Hour; it's name was 'Ballet Shoes';
It came on at a special time, just before the news.
I could hardly wait for Sundays; I hated the days between!
For after all, how old was I? An immature sixteen!
Last night I saw the TV show; I found it very trite,
But good enough to pass an undemanding time at night.
The plot was so predictable, the characters unreal,
And, all in all, it had a very adolescent feel.
Which is fair enough because the tale was aimed at the pre-teens,
At least it seemed that way to me, with the rather maudlin scenes.
And they didn't play Wolf Ferrari! That was an awful sin.
How I adored his music! It made the show begin!
'Jewels of the Madonna!' Was ever there such a theme;
It could spirit a dumpy girl like me into the perfect dream!
A girl could start out without much and end up with it all!
Cinderella! Sweetheart! You're going to the ball!
I'd sit there listening , engrossed, there, in the fire-light.
Knowing that, though things weren't too good, it would all turn-out alright.
I believed the story absolutely; it all felt so true!
With the music of Wolf Ferrari there was nothing I couldn't do!
I never made my mark, of course, or entered the promised land.
And isn't it a pity that the tale now seems so bland.
Jacqueline Wilson wrote a commentary which rings bells.
"I could never make up my mind which girl I liked the best: pretty, blonde Pauline who wanted to be an actress, dark tomboy Petrova who loved cars and wanted to fly aeroplanes, or perky red-haired Posy, born to be a ballet dancer.I longed to learn ballet myself but my mum wouldn't let me. I pretended my pink bedroom slippers were ballet shoes and pranced round our flat doing wobbly arabesques, copying all the steps that the girls learnt at Madame Fidolia's stage school.They were sent there because they had to earn their own livings, as money was tight at home. It didn't occur to me then that you weren't quite on your beam ends if you lived in the Cromwell Road and had a nanny, a cook, a housemaid and a parlourmaid.I agonised with the girls over getting a good velvet audition dress and felt so sorry for Petrova when she didn't get any proper presents on her twelfth birthday; though she did get a pink-and-white birthday cake and crackers with fireworks."
Better luck here: