Rhymes and poems by authors from Hull, even though one of them did reside in Spain. Many are inspired by news reports published on the Hull Daily Mail Website Hull, or Kingston Upon Hull to give it ‘s regal title, is a wonderful living soap opera.
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“For many the festive season doesn’t truly get underway until they first see the iconic “Holidays Are Coming” Coca Cola advert.” So crows an article (which I suspect of being a reworked press release from you know who) in a local newspaper.
For me, this one sentence sums up all that is wrong about the modern commercial Christmas, errr…. sorry, Holidays.
It sent my Humbug chip into overdrive and fused with the tune of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” to cause this aberration:
The Coca Cola truck’s arrived to trigger off the feast,
To bring our young folk cavities and keep them all obese.
They really need that caffeine boost to bring on Christmas peace,
And it’s tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh, its tidings of comfort and joy.
We’ll make the Christmas tills ring out with this year’s lucre yield
And make sure all the customers are well and truly peeled.
My poor Black Friday injuries will hopefully have healed.
The latest batch of calendars will have be reviewed
Of ancient exhibitionists, all posing in the nude.
There’s bingo wings and floppy bits to put you off your food,
I shall put the reindeer antlers securely on my car.
I’ll put up my singing Christmas tree with colour changing star
And seek my musical Christmas socks in whichever drawer they are,
And next there comes a wave of cards from folks I hardly know.
With round eyed dogs in Santa hats all drooling in the snow,
Penguins, kittens, teddy bears to set us all aglow,
I’ll inflate my 6 foot robin with the loud electric tweet
And stand it the garden with some elves around its feet.
An Argos metal reindeer, then my Christmas is complete.
Larkin didn’t exactly endear himself to the folk of Hull with references to our “grim head scarfed wives”. The resourceful, matriarchal wives of Maritime Hull, both fishing and “big boating”, are now a vanishing breed, celebrated here by Sid:
Into the local corner shop
The young wife briskly strode,
The kind of self sufficient lass
They breed on Hessle Road.
She pointed to a small display
Beneath the eggs and lard,
Of “Ex lax” chocolate laxative
And said, “I’ll take the card.”
The lady behind the counter
Showed the sympathetic look
Of those well schooled in mortal life
Not instructed by the book.
She said, “Just one small piece of that
Will ease the direst plight
A single bar is quite enough,
If not, use dynamite.”
The young wife’s face went beetroot red
She glanced from side to side
She dropped her voice and forward leaned
Her secret to confide.
“My husband got back two days ago
And God knows where he went,
Playing the three day millionaire
Till his settlings all were spent.
Once he was skint he came back home
And crashed out on the floor
I doubt if I’ll see sense from him
Till it’s time for sea once more.
But as I’m the forgiving kind,
As all good wives should be,
I’m making him a chocolate cake
To take with him, back to sea.
A knowing, sympathetic smile
Traversed the grocer’s face
Unspoken words of sisterhood
Resounded through that space.
“I can only sell you half a card
But that should suit you fine.
I’ve a cake to bake myself today
And I may need some for mine!”