Gawd strewth, there ain't no bluebirds round 'ere,

no whippoorwills neither,

the sparrers are getting rarer too,

though I did see one in Waterloo.

What with the flyovers taking to the sky

there's only pigeons that seem to fly.


Why O why can't we hear the bells

get our East End back agin'

with the corner pubs, the rub a dub dubs

as we used to call 'em.


It's all in the mind is what I say,

now nurse has arrived wiv me morning tea.

She don't speak much English,

but she's so good to me.




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Mon 14th Jan 2019 14:24

Just as a point to make, I like to offer an audio if I think it can be lifted in some way - solemn stuff I don't even try generally, as I am no Richard Burton or Dylan Thomas, sadly. I do the quirky really!

Thanks for your comment Martin. Lots of alternative colloquialisms have gone, but we have an influx of new and vibrant alternatives from such as the street rapper urban stuff and Asian phrases. To old fogies such as me, and those with fond memories, it's nice to enjoy a bit of old cockney cobblers.

Brian, yes I had that sheet music as a kid and was forced to play it for my dad. The music hall was a rich source of material for social mores of the day!

Cheers, Po. Glad you liked it , the old slang of the swept away streets!

Hi David. So much I could go into; you have it all there. That favourite spot syndrome is a key factor as you say. I remember whole families in those pubs who knew songs long lost. It did feel a bit like the wrong end of a telescope for me, a suburban lad. No doubt communities will always find their happiest level together and be either inclusive or exclusive; we're all different mate.
Routes into London from the coast have a long and colourful history as you know.

Nice to hear from you Cynthia. Glad you liked my tone.

Hi Mark, you make a salient point, as the Jewish shopkeepers did migrate to North London ; in your case it seems it may have been in reverse! Thanks for enjoying...

Jennifer, it's not Shakespeare you quote but if it works then I applaud it!! I dare say children may be taught this little lot in future history lessons. Damn fine thing too, I call it, don't you know. etc...

Anya, thanks for your like !


jennifer Malden

Sun 13th Jan 2019 17:58

Gor blimey Ray, wiv you 'ere! All those bl...y jam jars farting around in the streets too. Reel good pome. Must get 'ome to me bubble 'n squeak hopin' the trouble 'n strife is out.


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M.C. Newberry

Sat 12th Jan 2019 16:29

Cor, luv a duck! Good accent for the theme. Mind you, when I
was in the London docklands of the 1960s, the East End had already
seen the onset of upwardly mobile moves. My Cable Street E1 tailor
came in from North London to the small solo premises that was a
remnant (suitable material analogy?) of the highway of pre-war
years. What people have in common will have always draw them
tightly together and that is still the case.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sat 12th Jan 2019 15:57

Excellently captured - IMO - layers deep in intent. The opening line/expression with the accent is superb, setting a superb 'tone'.

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Wolfgar Miere

Sat 12th Jan 2019 08:36

Hi Ray,

a bit of nostalgia and a little social commentary maybe.

It's almost ingrained within historic migrant communities like the old east end that they ultimately embrace outsiders taking them into the fold. I think this is part of what made them solid communities (obviously not without their problems, nostalgia can become too rose coloured)

I think pockets of those old style communities still exist. I was in a hospital over some of the Christmas period, almost without exception all the nursing staff were non-brits and exceptional. I don't know what point if any that is's merely an observation, no-one was complaining.

There are still some pubs on the Mile End Road where if you take the wrong chair you will be quickly told to vacate it.



Fri 11th Jan 2019 22:53

Well voiced Ray I loved it.

Brought the poem to life it did.

I tip my titfer to yer!


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Brian Maryon

Fri 11th Jan 2019 22:50

The cockney feel reminds me a bit of 'If it wasn't for the 'ouses inbetween'

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Martin Elder

Fri 11th Jan 2019 22:47

I suspect that there is more than element of truth in this poem and very nicely read Ray. It's good to still hear any sort of local colloquialisms that have not become metropolised. ( Not sure that it is a word) But I am using it anyway. Although said words and phrases themselves would not doubt have been seen as bastardisations of the mother tongue.

Love it Ray

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