Sunday, December 02, 2007

Further Advents: 2 December (AKA a festive tale of WOE)

Hah! Bet you'd all think I'd fail at day two, didn't you. No such luck, feckers! Even after saturday night drinks we're still here and kicking bottom. AND what's more I've mad a significant dent on my Christmas shopping today (smug).

So - the dread question - what's behind the window of day two? Well, because we're a bit cultural here at Further Advents, behind the window is POETRY. Yes, that's right, you read write, don't choke on your mince pie you'll get crumbs on your keyboard, POETRY.

There is, of course, a context.

Last year, just before Christmas, I split up with my then bloke. It being Christmas, I had been very organised (sort of) and done my shopping. When the split happened, in a fit of peak I made bloke take one of the presents I had bought him when he left (blatantly because I was rather pleased with it and was in no mood to make it easy). But the other smaller gifts (yes, plural) were left sitting on my shelf - and in fact have been for most of the year. In a bag. Avoided.

One of them - a joke present for in-joke comedy purposes which made sense at the time - was a selected poetry of Pam Ayres*.

Picture if you will, the sad scene of me, freshly singled, in my flat one lonely December evening, reading through the selected poetry of Pam Ayres and crying manfully. Oh. Dear.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, for your second piece of advent joy I give you the poetic stylings of Pam Ayres. (Over to you, Pam)

Goodwill To Men
- Give Us Your Money

by Pam Ayres

It was Christmas Eve on a Friday
The shops was full of cheer,
With tinsel in the windows,
And presents twice as dear.
A thousand Father Christmases,
Sat in their little huts,
And folk was buying crackers
And folk was buying nuts.

All up and down the country,
Before the light was snuffed,
Turkeys they get murdered,
And cockerels they got stuffed,
Christmas cakes got marzipanned,
And puddin's they got steamed
Mothers they got desperate
And tired kiddies screamed.

Hundredweight's of Christmas cards,
Went flying through the post,
With first class postage stamps on those,
You had to flatter most.
Within a million kitchens,
Mince pies was being made,
On everyone's radio,
"White Christmas", it was played.

Out in the frozen countryside
Men crept round on their own,
Hacking off the holly,
What other folks had grown,
Mistletoe on willow trees,
Was by a man wrenched clear,
So he could kiss his neighbour's wife,
He'd fancied all the year.

And out upon the hillside,
Where the Christmas trees had stood,
All was completely barren,
But for little stumps of wood,
The little trees that flourished
All the year were there no more,
But in a million houses,
Dropped their needles on the floor.

And out of every cranny, cupboard,
Hiding place and nook,
Little bikes and kiddies' trikes,
Were secretively took,
Yards of wrapping paper,
Was rustled round about,
And bikes were wheeled to bedrooms,
With the pedals sticking out.

Rolled up in Christmas paper
The Action Men were tensed,
All ready for the morning,
When their fighting life commenced,
With tommy guns and daggers,
All clustered round about,
"Peace on Earth - Goodwill to Men"
The figures seemed to shout.

The church was standing empty,
The pub was standing packed,
There came a yell, "Noel, Noel!"
And glasses they got cracked.
From up above the fireplace,
Christmas cards began to fall,
And trodden on the floor, said:
"Merry Christmas, to you all."

Thanks Pam!

I've cheated a bit because there wasn't anything on Christmas in the £5.99 book I bought**. I stole this from this website. Go and visit, buy the book etc. etc.

Which I suppose makes Our Pam the ghost of Christmas past. Which isn't very fair, is it? Poor Pam.

* Okay. Not that cultural. I mean I'm not being snobby about Pam - who certainly has a well-won place in British culture. But she's not in danger of winning the Turner Prize, is she? Bless her though.
** Last of the big spenders.

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