The Gaffer an’ Bonfires

 

Is it bonfires tha’s in? Well, I navar!
It seems only yesterday
I was sayin’ “Go away!”
To the childer that was comin’ las’ year pesterin’
“Penny for the guy!”
Aw my! Aw, my!
Well, these days what with all their schoolin’
They’re so sharp an’ quick an’ clavar
They’re not jus’ foolin’,
It’s no manner of use whatavar jus’ blesterin’
An sayin’ this an’ sayin’ that;
They’ve got it off all pat.
An’ if ye’re not mighty slippy
The’ve stripped the house of anythin’ that’ll burn,
An’ befoor ye can even spit or turn
They’ve gorn, they’re that nippy.

I’s not right, ye know, larnin’ ‘em all about this Guy Fawkes,
An’ how he got down in the cellar,
The schemin’ mischeevious falla,
For to blow up the King an’ Parliament – lawks,
Theer’s no tellin’ what they’ll be doin’,
An maybe all of us goin’ up lek a balloon.
I’s bad enough
Without all this stuff.
When we’re gerrin’ this ‘ere bald-headed Crush Choff
Lettin’ all them Maggot ‘uns off.

Aw’ well, I suppose boys’ll be boys,
All wantin’ to play with peculiar toys;
An’ anyway theer’s nothin’ finer
On a nice dark winter’s night
Than lookin’ arra a bonfire bright,
An’ seein’ all them Catherine wheels,
An’ dodgin’ flip-flops at y’r heels.
They tell me that they’re doin’ it in China
To skeer away the avil sperrit,
An’ lerrin’ off these cracks an’ squibs
To kick the demons in the ribs;
An’ if it plazes them, well lerrit!

But dogs – well now, they say they don’ lek them rockets,
An’ at the first bang they’re gone
Lek as they were jet-propelled
Rockets themselves, an’ navar held
But tearin’ off, avary one,
With all their eyes poppin’ out of their sockets,
Cruel it is, theer’s not much doubt
To let off fireworks when theer’s dogs about.
I lek to see a Roman Candle
An’ Golden Rain, the kind ye can handle.
But them tha’s goin’ off with a bang
Ye can keep away from me, an’ all that gang.

I knew a lot of gomerils once
Who figured a bonfire was a fine chance
Of finishin’ once an’ for all with school.
So when it was dark,
For a bit of a lark
They piled all the stuff up agin the school door,
Hopin’ it would burn an’ run in on the floor.
They were goin’ to throw on a gallon can
Of paraffin, then run to a man;
An’ the can was to be brought by a boy Jimmy Cooil.
But this was what they were boghs to forget
That Jimmy was often the teacher’s pet
An’ tho’ with the others he j‘ined in the plot
He wasn’t so ager to hev it too hot.
Howavar at all
When the time came to light it
Flames shot up the wall
An the boys were delighted.
But when they give a shout
For Jimmy with the can to make himself busy,
The fus splash he flung made the fire all fizzy,
The next made it dark, an’ the las’ put it out.
Which their schamin’ completely did spoil.
Then Jim disappeared
Very quick, for he feared
They’d be out for the slaughter
When they found that instead of the oil
He had thrown on a canful of water!

17.10.61