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When I was young, I wanted ham

But my old mum

gave me spam, spam, spam


She gave me so much spam

I couldn’t taste the bread

For spam lay on my stomach

Like dull and heavy lead


If I complained too much

She’d sing the old refrain

About starving kids in Africa

Where spam clouds never rained

Where ham was never heard of

And they had no spam at all

For complaining about spam

I would feel very small


She’d tell me to just cherry pick

Tomato only eat

But amid the mounds of spam she gave

That always proved a feat


I often salivated

at the thought of all that ham

Locked up in some larder

While I overdosed on spam

Until one day I’d had enough

determined to go free it

Tell the world just how I felt

For surely they must see it?


Now I’ve started my own army

You can join me if you wish

I’m fighting for the freedom

Of that tasty porcine dish

This will be our slogan

I gave it so much thought

Stop, Ham, Abuse Now oKay!

(SHANK for short)


By now you’re probably thinking

This poem is a sham

It’s really not a poem

About the plight of ham

But a piece of tosh

A shambles

A total piece of shite

Written in no time at all

Then dumped upon your site


To that I hold my hands up

With one last thing to say


‘Why? You must be used to it by now…’


◄ Unwrapping Christmas

Upon Disappearing ►


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Andy N

Mon 10th Jan 2011 08:22

clever, isobel... enjoyed this also... defo a performance piece i felt this one... good to see you at jeff's the other thursday too (yeah, it was freezing and i did ask just before you did too)... A zxx

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Sat 8th Jan 2011 13:21

Thanks for your comments all. In fact - more than spam (which came in a tin with jelly round it) I remember pork lucheon meat from my childhood. That was cheaper than ham or spam and sold in nasty slices at Mace's, the local equivalent to the Co-op.

I don't think the poem is cleverly constructed at all but for once I'm not apologetic about it. I even considered injecting a few spelling mistakes for good measure ;-))

The subject matter is indeed close to home - somewhere between Showcase and Galleries, in fact.

I'm glad if it provided a bit of light entertainment and a bit of nostalgia about the good old 'strapped for cash' days.


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Cate Greenlees

Sat 8th Jan 2011 12:42

Naughty Dave... youre underestimating us! If course we did!! lolCate xx

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Greg Freeman

Sat 8th Jan 2011 10:53

I did, belatedly, to my embarrassment. My analytical skills need sharpening up in 2011. Sorry, Isobel. But I do not withdraw my praise of the other kind of spam!

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Dave Bradley

Sat 8th Jan 2011 10:50

No one seems to have twigged that this is about poetic spam

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John Aikman

Sat 8th Jan 2011 00:16

SPAM, 'Spiced Ham'

Me mam got it from the Spiced Ham man.

Just call me father.



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Fri 7th Jan 2011 20:47

can I interest you in a little chipolata ?

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Fri 7th Jan 2011 20:43

SPAM is everywhere! Does it have a centennial or bicentennial, or something like that? BTW, SPAM decreased over the hols; even the geeky wicked take a break at the winter solstice.

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Cate Greenlees

Fri 7th Jan 2011 19:00

I likes a bit a tasty ham
{Please don`t confuse with poor mans spam]
For ham`s a lean and tasy meat
And in a buttie quite a treat!
Whilst spam is padded out with fat
{I really cannot fancy that!}
It lingers heavy in your tum
Not a feast for anyone!

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Greg Freeman

Fri 7th Jan 2011 18:55

Wonderful spam! ... I used to love it at school, polished off everyone else's. Despite the final message, I think spam is a very worthy subject for a poem. Monty Python didn't have the last word on the subject, clearly.

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John Aikman

Fri 7th Jan 2011 18:45

Fabbo! Only one cavil. 'Tomato only eat' is a poetic sin.

She’d tell me to just cherry pick

'Only eat tomato'

But amid the mounds of spam she gave

my eating was 'legato'....

or something.

OK, Legato doesn't work...but anything but 'Tomato only eat'

also 'get free' and 'must see' are surely better than 'go free it' and 'must see it'?

Just MHO (again...god, I am an opinionated sod, but it's given with love)

Lovely fun performance piece.



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Dave Bradley

Fri 7th Jan 2011 17:38

The first time I read this it caught me - the ending was a very neat surprise. And the poem is also very cleverly constructed - spam indeed. You're clearly commenting on something very close to home, but I'll not spoil it for others. Nice one.

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