We've been to the Fair, my brother and me
And have had a good look at all we could see.
We were two of the kids the schoolteacher told
To dance round the Maypole like children of old.
The girls were all giggling in ribbons and laces,
But we'd knickerbockers and bright coloured braces.
The songs that we sang were ancient folk lore,
Which went on forever and seemed such a bore,
For "Let's go a-maying" and "Bring in the hops"
Are not in the slightest like "Top of the Pops".
We boys did our best, for as we all danced along,
We altered the words of each boring old song.
The pole had got ribbons which twisted around,
But something went wrong and it crashed to the ground.
The Vicar declared it a prank of us chaps
Which caused the Maypole on the girls to collapse.
Said teacher, "On Monday I'll have something to say".
So me and my brother think that we'll stay away.
There were stalls in the street, selling all sorts of things
From beautiful china to real diamond rings;
Hamburgers and sausage, canned coke and pork pies
And some very nice cakes that were covered with flies.
Seeing no one in charge, I was nicking some fruit
When I got a great kick from a number ten boot.
I pushed over the stall and then ran like a hare
With a hand of bananas, some plums and a pear.
My brother had fled to a woodland quite near
With some crisps he had pinched and some warm ginger beer.
So I was quite pleased though I still felt the boot,
Because I hadn't to share with my brother the loot.
In a rich flowing dress came a lady of pride
With pockets galore which had presents inside.
"Pick a pocket and pay", she'd repeatedly shout
"A fine gift for your girl will be yours without doubt".
I thought she smelt lovely and I wanted to try,
But since I'd no money, I just had to pass by.
Twisting high to the sky was a huge Ferris Wheel,
Causing girls that it carried with excitement to squeal.
They clung tight to the boys with whom they were paired,
And who, to be truthful, were just as much scared,
But I guessed that no boy would show he felt ill,
For his chances next day with his girl would be nil.
From somebody's pocket as the wheel made its rounds
There fell right at my feet a couple of pounds.
So I went on the Dodgems and Hoop-la stall too
And won a toy rabbit that was coloured bright blue,
Which I sold to a man who gave it his son.
Saying, "Isn't Dad clever? Just look what's he won!"
I met my young brother who'd got some cash now,
Though I thought it more tactful not to ask how.
So we pooled our resources and, because they looked nice,
Bought a string of rare pearls which we got at half price.
Then, seeing the hour for our bedtime had come,
Ran home with the necklace and gave it to Mum.
Fr. Cecil Champneys Burnham