Wednesday, December 8, 2010


He played a ukulele and he cracked improper jokes;
He was one of those cabaret artists that appear as knockabout blokes.
I doubt if his name is even known outside his own U.K.
But there he was a top-notch star, a household name, in his day.
He trained to be a jockey but then he grew too tall,
So he followed his father on the stage, as a comic, after all.
His buck-teeth were a trade-mark; he had a very toothy grin,
And his voice was not melodious; it would seem he couldn't win.
But the public took him to their hearts and he topped many a bill,
Singing rather suggestive songs and  singing them with a will.
'When I'm Cleaning Windows' was a favourite with the throng;
He sang about the 'sights' he saw in this silly little song.
'Leaning on a Lampost' was another famous ditty;
Not so suggestive this time and really rather pretty.
Hollywood beckoned in the war, but he turned the offer down,
Preferring to sing for British troops and support the British crown.
He appeared as rather an idiot and yet he was very astute;
Amassing a lot of money and property to boot.
Outside his own country he had only limited fame,
But his voice was part of my childhood.
George Formby was his name.



Whenever I gaze out at this view,
Which is very close at hand,
I'm fascinated by the world
Existing so near land.
All I see is the surface,
The film of watery sea,
Chopped about by advancing waves
Rolling in front of me.
I realise a billion creatures
Swim below these waves!
Beyond my view lies teeming life
In subterranean caves.
And are the sharks and whales and crabs
As unaware of me
As I of them in their watery world
Out there beneath the sea?
Parallel universes these
Linked by a shifting tide.
Strangers to each other
Yet living side by side.

Things are hotting-up Melodrama-wise as we approach Xmas. Today four of us went into the Hunter Valley to a town called Maitland, where we performed 'Unhand Me' with Xmas tunes. (Not carols.) It wasn't the easiest of venues as it was a very large hall, and we are not used to acting with microphones. There were 98 people in the audience so our voices had to carry. In the end I rushed around holding the  single mike up to various actors. There were only two of them but they took five parts! So I was rushing backwards and forwards between the tape-deck and the mike. Still, it all went well. The hats on the floor belong to 'dead bodies' by the way!We were given a tasty light lunch, but I'm fasting ready for what is politely called 'a procedure', so I couldn't eat anything!



Sylvia K said...

What a fun post for the U Day, Brenda! And it looks as though you all did indeed have fun! Love your other piece as well. I do hope your "procedure" goes well. I'll be holding good thoughts for you! Take care!


EG CameraGirl said...

I confess I have never heard of George Formby and wish I had so will search his name via Google.

I also enjoyed your piece about the sea.

Best of luck with your procedure. It doesn't sound like fun...especially if you have to fast!

photowannabe said...

I think I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for that performance.
Fasting for your procedure is never fun.
Love the first poem though unfortunately I'm not familiar with the gentleman. He sounds like a real entertainer.

Rune Eide said...

I hope you were accompanied by a Ukulele :-)

Roger Owen Green said...

Your first pic caption's a hoot!

Boy that uke player's name is vaguely familiar...
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for this treat! I happen to know George Formby, for my mum was a fan of his. I remember his song "When I'm cleaning windows..."
Thanks for your visit and comment.

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

I love your poems.I remember George Formby too. I didn't know about the Hollywood offer, good for him to sing for the troops!

Beverley Baird said...

The name sounds familiar, but don't know whow or where I heard him.
Great poems! Love the one of the sea!
Looks like you had a fun time at the hall! those are so fun to take part in adn watch!
All the best for your procedure!

Tumblewords: said...

Nicely posted, U! Love the Formby story and the sea looks utterly delightful. The play must have been undeniably fun for all involved!

Hildred said...

Great post, - love your bit about George Formby and I remember him well! You had a great audience for your skit - almost 100 people! It looks like wonderful fun. Good luck with the reason you couldn't eat, drat it!

Shail Raghuvanshi said...

I loved your post Brenda. It was fun reading it...

mrsnesbitt said...

Hilarious as ever Brenda. By the way - would be honoured for you to use mistlethrush - she is feeding as we speak.

Jingle said...

what a fun take.
your words flow like water,
smooth and cool.
keep it up.

Francisca said...

I do so enjoy reading your poems, and the Ukulele is a nice portrait of George Fromby. I also very much like your view of the sea... I am a water baby, so probably see more of it beneath the surface. :-) I love to sing too... Hope by now your procedure is over and done with and you're back good to go!