Some ladies like soldiers in uniform
Or rich guys donned out in posh suits
But there’s nothing more sexy than criers in costume
And a pair of buckled boots.
Some costumes are braided in silver and gold
With curlicues and with tassels;
Michael Wood was gonna sew sequins on his
But gave up – it was far too much hassle.
There are costumes of red and of black, blue and green
There’s even a costume of purple,
Which is not a good word at the end of a line
Unless you can rhyme it with "burble" -
And no crier I know wants their loquacious flow
To trip from their lips in a jumble,
So once bells have peeled out
Then they’re in with a shout
With a bellow and not with a mumble.
Remember the practice you all did at home
Flexing your lips, teeth and tongues,
So pull back your shoulders and thrust out your chest
Make the best of a good pair of lungs.
And then there’s the judges – What do theyknow?
Competitions you’ve won – Ay, and plenty!
(If you thought 10 quid each might secure you a place,
Next time you’d best drop us a 20.)
You may not have won an award (such is life);
Someone else has walked off with the prize,
But you’ve watched the performances, picked up some tips
And you’ve nicked the best lines from their cries.
You’ve watched how they played with their bells and their scrolls,
How they stood with arms akimbo
Alongside their partner or wife to make sure
That they don’t consort with a bimbo.
So, somebody else walked off with the prize -
It’s gutting (I won’t tell a lie) -
Throw your scroll at the wall, chuck your bell on the floor
And give vent to a jolly good cry!
Having spent a delightful two days judging the Town Crier competition (organised by Michael Wood, the East Riding's very own Champion Town Crier) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the East Riding of Yorkshire (1st April 2016), I wrote this poem to be performed to the assembled competitors and their consorts at the Awards Dinner. I must have made a reasonable job of judging the competition as my poems were very well received.