A Bag Of Spuds And A Swede (part 1)




A Bag of Spuds and a Swede (part 1)


It was as if his birthdays had all come at once

Double family allowance, and double dole

But now he’s down to just twelve and half pence

Sat alone in the watering hole


He’d been up since the crack o’ dawn that day

And snuck down as his family all slept

And he rifled through Annie’s old handbag

Where her most prized possessions were kept


And he found it… The holy grail of prizes

He couldn’t believe his good luck

A crock of gold at the end of the rainbow

The family allowance book


It’s not really nickin’… he told himsen

I’ll pay her back when I get straight

But I’ve an appointment in’t Feathers

I’m meetin’ up mi mate


Now… fifteen hours later

Who’d have thought that he’d

Have nowt to show, for all that brass

But a bag of spuds, and a swede


Twelve and half pence in his pocket

And a family of nine to feed

And nowt to show for all that brass

But a bag of spuds, and a swede


So now he sits there alone, and ignored

Though he’d had friends aplenty that day

But fairweather friends are flighty and fickle

When the money ran out…. So did they


He was ever so popular when he was flush

Flashing his cash, the flash sod

“The drinks are on me”, he remembered saying

As he tried to impress with his wad


And “The drinks are on me” again and again

As they drank with relish and passion

And he bought everybody each round all day long

Like money was going out of fashion                                                         


He’d loved the attention that money can bring

They drank with vigour, and vim

And popular….  Everyone laughed at his jokes

Though really the joke was on him


So now he sits down, alone and dejected

Crestfallen, and all on his tod

Thumbing the twelve and half pence in his pocket

All that is left of his wad


“You can’t have regrets”, he told himsen

Though he’d be the first to concede

That he had nowt to show for all that brass

But a bag of spuds, and a swede


Twelve and half pence in his pocket

And a family of nine to feed

And nowt to show for all that brass

But a bag of spuds, and a swede


He tried to think back, where his money had gone

And how all of his giro got spent

How he’d blown two weeks dole and the family allowance

When he’d meant to be paying the rent


He remembered buying a pint for old Raz

Who picks up his pension tomorrow

But today he was short so he lowered himsen

To cadge and sponge and borrow


He remembered the lads from t’allotments

They were skint, but they came baring goods

How he’d stood them a round, and some chasers

In exchange for a swede and some spuds


That self-same bag of veggies

That he’d carried around all day long

That he’d bartered for with his meagre funds

In a desperate bid to belong


A fool and his money are easily parted

And there was no bigger fool than he

Cos now he was down to just twelve an half pence

At the end of his spending spree


He nursed his pint-pot like a lover

And he cherished his final two inches

As he joined the class of folk he despised

Pint-pot-hugging penny-pinchers


He’d twelve and half pence in his pocket

The price of a half of beer

So he sidled up to the bar, and said

“Stick us an ‘alf in here”


It was quarter-to chuckin’ out time

So he’d make that last half-pint last

As he sat there in silent contemplation

And tried not to dwell on the past


He’d stole from his own… and give it to strangers

Yet he still lacked the friendship he craved

But he felt no remorse for nicking from Annie

No regrets for the way he behaved


He weren’t goin’ home empty-handed

Nor leaving his family in need

Cos for two weeks dole, and the family allowance

He’d a bag of spuds, and a swede


Not a penny in his pocket

And a family of nine to feed

But at least he’d summet, to show for his brass

A bag of spuds, and a swede




A Bag Of Spuds And A Swede (part 2) ►


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kJ Walker

Sun 15th Sep 2019 20:59

Thanks Jason. You are too kind. I'm sure that at some point I will publish a book. Keith has very kindly given me lots of advice . If and when I eventually do get a book out I will let you know.
Glad you enjoyed this one
Cheers Kevin

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Jason Bayliss

Sun 15th Sep 2019 16:14

Brilliant, and I can't tell you how many people I've known like this. I love your poetry, so my question is when are we getting the book? ?

J. x

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Lisa C Bassignani

Sun 15th Sep 2019 13:38

Well at least the old sot had a bit of a choice for dinner!

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kJ Walker

Sat 14th Sep 2019 19:42

Thanks Brian, Keith, Lisa, and Branwell for the like.
Keith like most of my ideas this one comes from my own upbringing. I already know what happens in part 2, I've just got to get round to writing it. I'll be reciting it in Doncaster next month. 2nd Thursday in the Doncaster brewery and tap, and also in the University center (date to be confirmed)
Lisa, I was going to call this"a bag of spuds and a turnip" but struggled to rhyme it so changed it to Swede at the last minute.

Cheers Kevin

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Lisa C Bassignani

Sat 14th Sep 2019 13:44

Had no idea what a 'swede' was...rutabaga are more commonly known as turnip in the US

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keith jeffries

Sat 14th Sep 2019 09:17


Another gem. Can´t wait for Part Two. Where do you get the ideas from ? I would love to see you recite this one.

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Brian Maryon

Sat 14th Sep 2019 08:57

Classic, gallows humour-like

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