Rhymes and poems from Hull and the places we have visited.
Hull, or Kingston Upon Hull to give it’s regal title, is a wonderful living soap opera.
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Conversing with some folkies, they lamented the fact that, mummers’ plays aside, we don’t seem to have any songs or poems about St George. This is strange as, while he has been under attack these last few years, he has had a place in the British Folk consciousness for nearly a thousand years. I offer my unworthy ode until someone does a better one.
Will Shakespeare first saw the light
Upon St George’s day,
And held it as a worthy date
On which to pass away.
But times have changed, it’s all PC
The status must be faced,
St George is out of fashion now
His name has been erased.
Some claim he’s a component
Of the xenophobic view
Of people like the BNP
A rare nefarious crew.
A symbol of intolerance,
An icon for the mean,
A jingoistic shibboleth
With no place on the scene.
The truth is that our hero
Was an international lad
With a Palestinian mother
And a Cappadocian dad.
His name is praised and honoured
From Old England in the West
To Ethiopia in the East
His memory is blessed.
He’s praised in Lithuania
Egyptians know his fame.
There’s a country in the Caucusus
That proudly bears his name.
George means “worker of the land”
An honest, worthy trade
And no one would have heard of him
If on the land he’d stayed.
He went to Nicomedeia
Where the emperor did dwell
And joined the Roman army
Where he got on very well.
He soon became a Tribune
The Empire to defend,
Respected by the people,
Diocletian’s loyal friend.
But Diocletian was prevailed upon
To make a change of law
To persecute all Christians
Poor Georgie looked done for.
Diocletian called upon his friend
To avoid his awful fate
He offered George wealth and status
To renounce his Christian state.
But George was brave and steadfast
Despite his fear and dread
And there, before the city walls
He lost his worthy head.
The dragon was just a metaphor
For mankind’s ugly crimes
But what relevance does George hold for us
In these materialistic times?
Some politicians and bankers
May realise, forsooth,
There’s more to life than grasping cash
There’s honour and there’s truth.
There’ll be no pockets in your shroud
When the reaper takes his toll
You’ll wish you’d had a heart like George
And a valiant, honest soul.
Please feel free to use the poems for non commercial purposes but please acknowledge the author and website. It is never dull in Kingston upon Hull!