Songs of Education, History (A Few Words for Wednesday)

G.K. Chesterton wrote poems too, and songs, of course. I found this neat little example of satirical verse that could become a quite compelling earworm, when set to a jaunty tune. This is a selection that can be found in Chesterton’s The Ballad of St. Barbara, And Other Verses. This one sounds like it could have come from the comedic masters of Monty Python.

SONGS OF EDUCATION:
I. History
Form 991785, Sub-Section D

THE Roman threw us a road, a road,
And sighed and strolled away:
The Saxon gave us a raid, a raid,
A raid that came to stay;
The Dane went west, but the Dane confessed
That he went a bit too far;
And we all became, by another name,
The Imperial race we are.

Chorus,
The Imperial race, the inscrutable race,
The invincible race we are.

Though Sussex hills are bare, are bare,
And Sussex weald is wide,
From Chichester to Chester
Men saw the Norman ride;
He threw his sword in the air and sang
To a sort of a light guitar;
It was all the same, for we all became
The identical nobs we are.

Chorus,
The identical nobs, individual nobs
Unmistakable nobs we are.

The people lived on the land, the land,
They pottered about and prayed;
They built a cathedral here and there
Or went on a small crusade:
Till the bones of Becket were bundled out
For the fun of a fat White Czar,
And we all became, in spoil and flame,
The intelligent lot we are.

Chorus,
The intelligent lot, the intuitive lot,
The infallible lot we are.

O Warwick woods are green, are green,
But Warwick trees can fall:
And Birmingham grew so big, so big,
And Stratford stayed so small.
Till the hooter howled to the morning lark
That sang to the morning star;
And we all became, in freedom’s name,
The fortunate chaps we are.

Chorus,
The fortunate chaps, felicitous chaps,
The fairy-like chaps we are.

The people they left the land, the land,
But they went on working hard;
And the village green that had got mislaid
Turned up in the squire’s back-yard:
But twenty men of us all got work
On a bit of his motor car;
And we all became, with the world’s acclaim,
The marvellous mugs we are:

Chorus,
The marvellous mugs, miraculous mugs,
The mystical mugs we are.

Have a look at the book on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf.


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