Sunday, 30 November 2008

Speech Disfluency uh um

I'm always searching keywords, because Search Engine Optimisation is important to my wallet.. not just the search terms themselves but how well they are catered for by the websites out there. Getting to the top of the search engines is much easier when there is not much competition.

It's hard to believe that "Speech Disfluency uh um" would be a popular search term, (it's 20 times more popular than, for example, "speech disorders") not least because the word 'disfluency' doesn't appear to exist, it's not in any dictionary I have read, hard copy or online.

What I've learnt about this popular search topic is this

1 Michael Erard knows a lot about speech disfluency uh um
Indeed he has written a book called "Um"

2 Uh is American for the British Er

3 A New Yorker Eric Mingus has a CD out called Um...Er...Uh

4 Wikipedia has an article on the subject here

5 These are related search terms according to Google- speech therapy, stammering, stutter, cluttering (also called tachyphemia), stuttering children, studdering, toddler studdering, speech therapists, speech processing, study speech therapy

6,-Stuttering,-Stammering-And-Studdering&id=413184 explains cluttering and studdering, both of which I had never heard of

is a video of Obama, President Elect stuttering, studdering, stammering and cluttering for seven minutes is another. There's lots out there

Well, I'm going to publish this now and I'll come back in a few weeks to report back where I come on Google. I'm bound to be high because mine is the only website that has the whole search term as a URL viz

BTW this topic did not arise as obscurely as it seems. The poem I started this morning is a rhyming leaving party speech and I was researching leaving speech when I stumbled studderingly upon speech disfluency

Leaving Poem

Anyway, he decided to join a choir
He'd heard singers could be fun
And besides, if he could get a Singer
He'd get more sewing done.
(..of wild oats)
This is one of a number of saying goodbye/leaving job poems I wrote and read out at leaving parties for British and American expats, leaving after a number of years working in a Middle Eastern country. In this particular one, for a horticulturist and his wife I had a second person reading the insulting lines...shown in bold

Horticulturist grows and grows

This is just a little ditty
A ma-salama poem
To say goodye to our dear friends
As they make their way back home

Yes folks here we go again
It's goodbye ditty time
We usually do this kind of thing
With insults all in rhyme

But these two people are too nice
For anything like that
So I'm striking out this next line
Dick Salisbury's getting fat?

Well, come on, let's face it
He's not exactly underweight
He's just maximising growth potential
It's his job to propagate

Well, I must say he's good at it
The evidence clearly shows
He must be eating bone meal
He just grows,,,and grows...and grows

He's like one of his tomatoes
Fed on growing stuff
Dick, it's time to ease off a bit
You've grown quite big enough

Now look we've discussed this
You're just being rude
I'm just trying to make the point
That Dick is fond of food

So what if Dick's a little..
podgey? fuller figured
Who wants him slim and slick?
Exactly, let's ask the ladies
Who likes a big fat Dick?

There's 68 more verses to come so I'll leave it there for today but stay tuned for the more to come...who was Wanda?

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Death Remembrance Poems

Daniel Brown

Death remembrance poems are commonly searched for but not well provided so I've dug out these sad words I wrote about an orphan's remembrance of an old man who took an interest in him and influenced him to the good

Daniel Brown was a dear old man
Some would say just an 'also ran'
He wore a dirty mac and an old flat cap
And I never knew him take a bath
He was a special friend of mine
I was young - he was out of time
I was drifting off the rails
He put me back in line

Nearly blind, but he could see
That an orphan boy like me
Needs a hand, not life that's planned
By society
Mr Dan was just in time
To save me from a life of crime
Perhaps, it's fate but now I'm straight
Any credit's his not mine

Middle Eight

Life had scribbled on his face
Life had worn his body down
Not a pretty sight to see
But Daniel Brown meant all the world to me

I can see his wrinkled brow
When I left, I regret it now
All he needed desperately
Was some company
He wasn't much the world would say
He was all alone when he passed away
No one noticed, no one cried
Daniel Brown, why did you have to die?
Jon Bratton copyright 1975

You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. Only when the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Friday, 28 November 2008

My Old Battered Suitcase

Photo borrowed, without so much as a 'by your leave', from Sam Houston's blog It's about books, not travel and I couldn't fail to not recommend it less. I'm hoping I just recommended it, for I do
Just follow this link to the fun. is a link I found on that blog

Last night I hit town
Not a gentle sight
Just then I saw you, in the fading light
And now it seems I've always been here holding you
And I wonder if this is the real one?
I wonder if this is the big time ?
I wonder if I can break with the past ?
And this time
Can I make it last ?

No time in one place
To watch it decline
No time with one face to watch it grow lines
And now I think I'll stick around to watch them grow old
And I wonder if this is the real one ?
I wonder if this is the big time ?
I wonder if I can break with the past ?
And this time
Can I make it last ?

Middle Eight

The same old dilemma
Should I go, should I stay ?
I don't know just what it is
That keeps driving me away
Perhaps I am searching
For what I don't know
Is this panic now ending ?
Or just running slow ?

This town, why this town ?
Why don't I pass through ?
But this town is different, the difference is you
Will my old battered suitcase take five or take root ?
And I wonder if this is the real one ?
I wonder if this is the big time ?
I wonder if I can break with the past ?
And this time
Can I make it last ?

Jon Bratton copyright 1976

You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. Only when the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

British Six Million Dollar Man

The title role of The Six Million Dollar Man was Steve Austin played by Lee Majors and was on TV from about 1974 for a good few years.
I'm going back over 30 years to 1977, the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, when, I recall, I was playing golf in a 4 ball (with neighbours I had met at our street party) and, between shots, I was composing, in my head, the following piece about Britain's answer to Steve Austin.

When I'm fully wound, I can hear the sound
Of a pin make a crater in the sand
And twenty miles away I can safely say
There's a sparrow coming down to land
My costume's red, white and blue
I'm British through and through
I'm a clockwork Superman

When my rocket crashed, they fixed me up
No expense, they said, was spared
I cost £2,000, including spare key
I can jump twenty feet in the air
I come with guarantee
And it's plain to see
I'm a clockwork Superman

Middle Eight

Bio-clockwork, tick tock, Two Grand Man
That's what I am
Doing what I can
No job is too tough for me
For the Queen (God bless her)
And the Countryyyy

If I 'm talking slow, you're sure to know
My clockwork's winding down
Wind me up but please take care
Where you put the keeeeeeey
But don't overwind
Or you'll find
I'm a clockwork.......

We lost the match and my partner blamed me...he said I wasn't concentrating!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Song Lyrics for your Tune

Technicolor Massacre

In a suburban basement flat
A wicked deed (was) performed
A sadist left a tom cat
Beaten and deformed
Clubbed him half to death
And children watched, with delight,
Cruel and bitter scenes
Delighted at the fighting
And the horrifying screams
Is this a sign of our times
Is this to be our fate
And acceptance of such violence
Could we be too late?
But it's ending now
'That's all folks' the caption reads
It will be over soon
Another technicolor massacre
On a cat and mouse cartoon

Monday, 24 November 2008

Free Song Lyrics for your Tune

My Phoenix, Bird on High

She rose from the ashes of a broken past
And crashed into my life
She was strictly 'bed me down with no strings attached'
She took me without a fight
Then she flew away with her tail of flame
And I love that girl but I don't know her name
She disappeared in the night sky
My phoenix, bird on high

Bird on high
When you reach the sky
I wonder what's going through your mind
Bird on high
If I crawled in your brain
I wonder what chaos I'd find

She was immune, she'd been hurt before
Now she couldn't settle down
She never turned her back on an open door
Her feet rarely touched the ground
I wonder girl, will you return
To share my bed and will I ever learn
What becomes of you in the night sky
My phoenix, bird on high

Jon Bratton copyright 1973

You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. Only when the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Old Durham Town

Durham is a City of contrasts and the folk who live and/or visit the City are so diverse. We had a shop in the heart of the City and I observed the contrast between the hierarchy of the university, cathedral, hospital, county hall, police headquarters, prison etc who live in this magnificent World Heritage City to study, work and pray and the folk who come in to the City from surrounding pit villages to drink, shop and play. Sitting, as it does, equidistant from the rival cities of Newcastle and Sunderland it has an equal mix of black and white and red and white stripes
This piece is about the contrasts I saw

Thinkers, Drinkers, Studiers, Staggerers, Writers, Fighters, Clerics and Clerks

Richmen, Riffraff, Craftsmen, Crackpots, Majors, Miners, Bishops and Pawns

City Peers, Pity Me'ers, Costly Lawyers, Hoi Palloiers, The Well Heeled, The Well Served, Doctors and Drunks

Lecturers, Letcherers, Artists, Artisans, Philosophers, Philistines, Coppers and Screws

County Set, County Staff, MBA's, Sweet FA's, DLI's, OAP's, Mackems and Mags

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Short Rhyming Love Poems

Further to my first post when I brought you a short rhyming love poem I thought I'd bring a few more short rhyming love poems because they are often sought but not often provided

I'd like to scuttle your puttle
Spiddle your paddle
Tickle your wickle
And twittle your taddle
Stroodle your doodle
Cromple your string
Brundle your strundle
And frondle your ding
See, I told you I'm completely nuts about you


Enjoy your birthday, Darling
Indeed, I'll see that you do
This comes with love (and a promise)
From your wife...and best friend too
This is the Happy (Daddy's) (Birthday) Day card
( Lewis ) and ( Jenny ) asked me to send
And I'm to give you something special
But was given no money to spend
What can I give you that's special
That doesn't cost a sou?
Oh well, as it's your special day
I'll leave it up to you
Whatsoever you decide
I can deal with, no fearing
Providing it doesn't involve wet fish
Or bedroom chandeliering

Yet more short rhyming love poems

Take a plump stalk of fair play
Add a head of love when hot
Put in a knob of friendship
And another knob...why not?
Sprinkle in some patience
Add generous love to taste
Stir in some affection
Spoon on tolerance, and baste
If there's anger, let it simmer down
Leave out temper,let it be
Now that my lovely naked chef
Is the perfect recipe
Lets put a bun in the oven
Cast off your oven glove
My taste buds are a-tingling
I drool for you, my love
You know how to knead my dumplings
And my buns ,and all the rest
Your meat and two veg are to die for
Your spotted dick's the best

Happy Anniversary, Chef
We must have got things right
With you around to cook my goose
I've got a healthy appetite
( And I'm quite fond of food as well )

A silly short rhyming love poem

How many ways can I describe
The love I feel for you
I thought, while idly watching
A sparrow sipping dew
Shall I write of passion
So reckless, wild and raw
Or should I speak the language of love
Ma cherie, Je t'adore
Or shall I wrap a heart around
Our names carved in a tree
And do you know, as I was pondering
The sparrow winked at me
Then it whistled, as it skipped away
Behind the lilac shrub
Then your Harry rang me up
And asked me to the pub
So I'll tell you that I love you
Like I've done many times before
"I love you very very very much
Now open the bloody door"

This the last of the short rhyming love poems...for now

The gift for you,
I pondered thus
Was a ginormous hippopotamus
So you and I could ride
His hippo hide
While sitting on our bottomus
And, perhaps, Since you've got him,
I Should get one too....
Two ...hippopotami
Or we could just do it.. normal peopleli

Adapted by me © 2004 from somewhere

All these poems are copyright of me, Jon Bratton, but you are free to use them for non commercial use

Friday, 21 November 2008

Country Boy

The song lyrics I am publishing have lain in a drawer unread for 35 years and reading them now they do seem dated. When you read something that you wrote that long ago you become a third party to yourself. Anyway, here goes

Walking in the city down a busy street
My stomach wondering when I'm going to eat
I haven't had a shave, I've got dirty clothes
The plackard man says I should "Eat at Joes"
I've got nothing to lose if I give it a try
Tomorrow he'll be telling me "The End is Nigh"

Country Boy-it's lonely in the city
Country Boy-I don't need your pity
It seems like a lifetime since I came to seek
My fortune in the city....God, it was only last week!

I came across some guys from a downtown sect
Who said "go away", well, words to that effect
It wasn't me who threw the empty bottle of wine
I tried to tell the cop from Precinct 49
You'll be taken from this place the judgeman said
And hung by the neck until you're dead


The folks back home will be talking now
About the boy who wandered from the plough
To my father in the bar, saying "Now there Tam"
While my mother cries into her homemade jam
The footsteps in the yard are such hollow sounds
To this country boy who wandered way out of bounds

Jon Bratton copyright 1973

You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. Only when the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Thursday, 20 November 2008


This was the second song lyrics I wrote

Daddy, what was it really like
When we lived on Earth
I never knew, how could I?
It happened before my birth
Did they really have rivers
And mountain streams so cool
Could children really play outside
When they came home from school


What made them do it Daddy
Cause it doesn't seem quite right
That men with all those marvellous things
Should argue and fight
What made them do it Daddy
Was it greed or hate or fear
That made them destroy all that
And forced us to live up here

Daddy if you were President
Why could you not see sense
Why sacrifice those childrens' lives
For missiles and defence
Why did you pull the lever
And scatter all the crowds
And cover all God's given Earth
With deadly mushroom clouds

Jon Bratton copyright 1973

You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. Only when the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Loving Don't Come Free

Here’s the lyrics to a song written in 1973

Loving Don’t Come Free

Under the neon street lights
When the sun’s gone down
Look at the faces of all the people
Walking round the town
One of them is my girl
The girl I left behind
Like a needle in a haystack
I guess I‘ll never find

I looked in all the places
Where we used to go
Drinkin’ heavy at our table
Hoping that she’d show
Feeling kinda lonely
Needed company
Took a walk down to the district
Where the loving don’t come free

Riding on a fast train
That was outward bound
Now there’s nothing going for me
Back in that old town
Where my search has ended
With the face I see
Under street lights in the district
Where the loving don’t come free

Jon Bratton copyright 1973

You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. Only when the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


This was penned by me in 1973

Scraped her out of the gutter
Groomed and dressed her nice
Launched her as a Superstar
But who would pay the price?
Displayed her in the window
Where people come to buy
And the people get a bargain
But the price she pays is high

Paraded in the market
Weighed upon the scales
She is worth her weight in gold
Have you seen the record sales?
Her body is an item
To be sold just like a whore’s
For 10% and a pound of flesh
They lick their lips for more

Middle Eight

Trading her life for another
On the market stalls
Taken for a ride up high
Who’ll save her if she falls
Trading the moon on the back porch
For a penthouse and bright lights
But who is in her entourage
Friends or parasites?

But come the final curtain
And people don’t want more
She is labelled up as shop soiled
In a discount store
Or dumped back in the gutter
And left to limp back home
They are smiling as they scurry
Back underneath a stone

And wasn’t I an angry young man? I suppose some of it still rings true today but the “they” nowadays is Simon Cowell who has become mega rich by discovering and promoting talent but is hardly a parasite living under a stone….unless you have a different view?

Jon Bratton copyright 1973
You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. Only when the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Monday, 17 November 2008

Insurance Claim with Humour

I was the Insurance Advisor/ Risk Manager for Newcastle City Council at Christmas 1980 when this claim came in

On Christmas Eve to our dismay
The dust cart knocked our gate away
The driver said he'd tried to park
But hit our gate 'cause it was dark
He scattered bricks both near and far
And blocked the entrance for the car
We really are in quite a stew
Because the wooden post went too
The driver was a helpful sort
And said the damage he'd report
Should we have the wall built new
And send the bill in, Sir, to you?
Or will you send some men to us
And have the wall built without fuss?
We hope prompt action you will take
And soon our garden wall remake!

As it was a requirement of my job, I naturally sought to wriggle out of it by sending this reply

It's a most unusual incident
This tale you send to me
I know that we're not perfect
We hit the occasional tree
A bus, perhaps, a van or two
Even market stalls
We've wrecked the odd 'Keep Left' sign
But rarely garden walls
You've lost your gate but not your style
I'd like to say "We'll pay"
But to admit liability
Our Insurers say "No way"
They like to take their time you see
With this kind of claim
It might not be our fault at all
Your wall might be to blame
We have to show this caution
We get the occasional gem
Our lorries get attacked sometimes
When walls leap out at them
Now you might think you've a strong case
But it may be turned down flat
You thought you had a good strong wall
Look what we did to that!
But seriously about your wall
It can't be any fun
So if you get your wall rebuilt
Justice will be done
I'm writing to our Insurers
To say your wall's a wreck
They might just send a poem
But I hope they send a cheque

Good enough the Insurers sent this response to the claimants

We've got your poetic claim
Similar claims have come our way
And happening on Christmas Eve
"Now there's a clue" we say
Around the offices up to now
Assurances have come
All of us left something
To warm up Santa's tum
These are the facts, so it's clear
Rudolph let him down
And didn't guide as he should
When Santa came to town
So our advice is send your claim
To the likeliest tormentor
We mean the one in Lapland
Not the Civic Centre!
But hang about, we've had a thought
It's pointless to pursue
Because like the dust carts, we insure
Santa's reindeer too
It's obvious we'll have to give
Consideration to this claim
So let's have some particulars
To work out who's to blame
We'd like an estimate to show
The cost of the repair
To enable us to decide
If the charge is fair

The claim was settled promptly

The lesson? Next time you need to make a claim, stay clear of those horrible ambulance chasing shiesters and conduct the claim rhyme!!

Sunday, 16 November 2008

What We Got in a Street of Shops

I was the founding Chairman of a trading group for locally run independent shops in Sunderland City Centre and the following piece catalogues all the types of goods available in the four streets. I wrote it in 1999 and already it is out of date..the giutar shop is a nightclub, the DIY store is a pub, to name but two changes. In a few years time when retailers have deserted the high street in favour of out of town retail parks and eShops, this will be quaint nostalgia

What We Got

There's computer games, picture frames
Lights, tights and holiday flights
Artist's studio, Art Garfunkel, Art Decor
Saws, doors, parquet floors
Slot machines, kiddies jeans
Bacon, sausage, chips and beans
Hoover bags, sleeping bags, twenty fags, glossy mags
Facial scrub, Italian grub
Even a widget (at the pub)
You can buy some meat, back a suite, back a horse
Get a divorce
There's dollies houses, computer mouses
Outdoor pursuits, out-size suits
Tellies and wellies
Bellies pierced, bellied pork, pork pies, hair dyes, hi-fi's
Beds for sunning, pipes for plumbing
Clairvoyancy...could you see that coming?
Driving Lessons (choice of two)
Clothing, books, old and new
Do you need a new tutu?
Howsabout a nice tattoo?
A wedding gown or tanning brown
Uniforms and unicorns
Pills for piles, office files, retro styles
Beds, nibs and broomsticks
Photo pics, compact discs, computer discs
slipped discs cured, lives assured
Condoms, popadoms, CD Roms, Last night at the Proms
(On record) very rare, beauty treatment, cutting hair
Pies prepared, flies repaired
Curtains, blinds, dentures, specs
Investing cash, cashing cheques
Diamond rings, guitar strings
Cars ( and other things with wings)
Repairs to washers, driers, fridges
Much more choice than at The Bridges
Park Lane Shopping...what a spot
What we got...we got the lot

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Give a Doggerel a Bad Name

Doggerel has a bad name in the Dictionaries of the World.

It is usually defined as a derogatory term for poetry considered of little literary value. The word probably derives from dog, suggesting either ugliness or unpalatability (as in food fit only for dogs)... trite, cliche, or overly sentimental content, forced or imprecise rhymes, faulty metre. A sort of loose or irregular verse; mean or undignified poetry. Pejorative words include rude, crude, poor, trivial

Well, with doggedness I'm going to campaign to have all the pejorativity removed and shift the meaning towards what some American dictionaries say "often of a humorous or burlesque nature". Work of the likes of Pam Ayres, Spike Milligan or Ogden Nash is not really poetry so it needs its own word....doggerel

Here's a few nice bits of doggerel

On yonder hill, there stood a coo
It's no there noo
It must have shifted

Often said to be by William Topaz McGonagall but he never used Scottish slang.
It is likely to have been by Spike Milligan in a sketch about Mc Goonagall

Howsabout this gem written by I know not

Hogamus, higamus
Men are polygamous
Higamus, hogamus
Women, monogamous

Or this by Roland Young

And here's the happy bounding flea?
You cannot tell the he from she.
The sexes look alike, you see
But she can tell and so can he. . . .

Or these by Ogden Nash

Celery, raw

Develops the jaw,

But celery, stewed,

Is more quietly chewed.

The Cow

The cow is of the bovine ilk;

One end is moo, the other, milk.

Or this by Me, inspired by Gary Larson's The Far Side cartoon, shown at the top of this page where Noah is saying "Listen up, we're going to do this alphabetically"

To all the animals waiting
At the gang plank of the Ark
Noah said "Load up alphabetically
Starting with aardvark"

The adder was very happy
The antelope said "good call"
But the yak and the zebra
Just weren't happy at all

"OK", said Noah "lets start with the ones with the fewest legs"
A centipede said "that's absurd"
"Well what a good idea"
Said a stork to another bird

So all the birds prepared to load
Filing in two by two
"I must be first " came the shout
Of a little kangaroo

"Wait your turn" said the birds
"You've got two legs just like us
Try to be patient
Stop making all this fuss"

It took a while for the little joey
To emerge from the bunch
It's not easy to hop when one of your legs
Was once a crocodile's lunch

It should be us, but we'll just swim
Said two hunch backed whales
"We must be first" said two french frogs
Assisted by two snails

All at once the heavens opened
Heavy rain came falling down
Noah said "Let's start with the smallest
Or they will surely drown

"Yippee" said the flea
"Aye, aye" said the fly
"Bah poey" was the call
Of both hippopotami

How long it took, we'll never know
But one thing's for sure
Noah spent the 40 days and nights
Shovelling manure

Friday, 14 November 2008

60th Birthday One Liners

Today is the 60th birthday of the next King of England so I thought I'd gather together some 60th birthday one liners and I'll tell you why

The most popular search term under the heading of 60th birthday is not 60th birthday gift ideas but '60th birthday one liners'. This wouldn't be odd if people generally when searching for something to say on someone's birthday used the expression 'one liners'...but they don't. They say birthday poems, birthday verses, birthday quotes, usually accompanied by the adjectives 'free' and 'funny'. When it comes to the 60th birthday it would seem that people, en masse, feel that the poor 60 year old hasn't the attention span to cope with a whole four line verse but can just about manage a one liner

If you Google 60th birthday one liners you get on the first page not a single site that's in the business of providing things to say on birthday cards..and there are many, including my own verses4cards site so, for example a candy company has exploited the popularity of the search term and the lack of attention given to it by poem/quote providers.

Well I'm a poem/verse/rhyme provider and by virtue of the following one liners, hand selected by me, we'll see whether this blog entry on this brand new blog climbs the greasy pole and gets beyond the candy company


19 days after '60th birthday one liners' was posted here it was on page one of the Google results page in 4th position just below the candy company. I've made another change so in another 20 days or so I hope to get in pole position. I'll let you know. UPDATE On 13th Dec, just 29 days after posting, this page made it to No 1 using the search term 60th birthday one liners.

So here goes

Happy 60th Birthday. My thoughts are free to go anywhere, but it's surprising how often they head in your direction.

You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely." -Ogden Nash

Happy 60th Birthday! You're not getting older...just more distinguished!

It is often said that With Age Comes Wisdom and you're One Of The Wisest People I Know!

Just like fine wine, you grow better with the years! Happy 60th Birthday!

Today, be aware of how you are spending your 1,440 beautiful moments, and spend them wisely... and since today is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun, enjoy the trip.

You're not getting older, you're getting better.

Youth is a work of nature, but age is a work of art! Congratulations on your second childhood! Happy 60th Birthday!

As William Shakespeare might have said of you
Have you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek, a white beard, a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is not your voice broken, your wind short, your chin double, your wit single, and every part about you blasted with antiquity?

"There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents and only one for birthday presents, you know." This Lewis Carroll quotation is invaluable and is my birthday present to you

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." -George Burns

God grant me the senility To forget the people I never liked, The good fortune to run into the ones I do, And the eyesight to tell the difference.

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away from them and you have their shoes.

Sixty! Now is the time to make your mark on the world – explore the Antarctic or become an astronaut. Make your mind up to take on exciting new challenges - straight after your afternoon nap.

Today, on your 60th birthday be aware of how you are spending your 1,440 beautiful moments, and spend them wisely.

Happy 60th Birthday and remember, as the Chinese say: You can not prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building a nest in your hair (added extra)
Remember hair!

How did it get so late so soon?

It's night before it's afternoon.

December is here before it's June.

My goodness how the time has flewn.

How did it get so late so soon?

Dr. Seuss

May the best of your past (and you’ve got a lot) be the worst of your future. Happy 60th

Happy 60th Birthday and by now you‘ll know: There is still no cure for the common birthday and you’ll also be aware that reaching another birthday is much better than the alternative

Happy 60th Birthday . Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending

If you cannot do great things at the age of 60, do small things in a great way

Happy 60th birthday HRH Charles
Happy 60th Birthday Phil Bex
(a dear old school pal of mine)

This 60th Birthday material was compiled by Jon Bratton 2008. It is copyright and may not be lifted and used in whole or in part by website publishers. Measures are in place to detect plagiarism. It is, so far as Jon Bratton is concerned, but not necessarily any other named copyright holder, Free to use by individuals for personal, non publishing use
60th Birthday material, comprising as it does, references to getting older and gaining wisdom applies equally to 40th Birthday, 50th Birthday, 70th Birthday

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Mr President

Here's some song lyrics I wrote influenced by the Nixon/Watergate scandal in 1974 but it's really about the most powerful man in the World being subservient to the most powerful democracy in the World

Mr President

Don't threaten me you creeps
I'm on the outside
As creator I'm above your goddam law
I've bugged you all but don't you dare to bug me
I'm Mr Big-you'll only lose for sure
Oh minions, don't point your ink stained fingers
Everything I did was for the good
I'm really Mr for the cameras
It's just that I'm a man misunderstood

My tapes will only tell you
What I want them to
As mentor, I know what is good for you
I grimmaced and you fools thought I was smiling
I lied and you mistook it for the truth
The World, you know, is full of trouble makers
The Commy must be killed before he runs
I'm really Mr Peace...ful of intentions
I've ended wars before with my big guns

Middle eight

Who's sown the seeds of disillusion?
Who's thrown the dream into confusion?
And who?
Who's wreaking havoc in my town?
Who's blown the gaff?
They'll have to change the staff
Now the people know what happens when the blinds come down

Don't take me on
You'll only suffer two fold
The farmer boy has left the plough behind
You're not man enough for live in darkness
Don't you know what farmers do to mice that's blind
Have you seen my interviews in all the papers?
The fools who put me down now pay my way
I'm really Mr in retirement
Did you catch my TV show yesterday?

Jon Bratton copyright 1975
You have the tunes, I supply you with the words. When the completed song is published and earns royalties, or any other monetary return, will appropriate royalties, per the industry standard, become payable to me, the copyright owner Jon Bratton

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The Real Architect

Although the lyrics were inspired by the building of the Byker Wall, in every repect the sentiments, while reflecting a very bad period in the 60's for social housing, did not reflect the Byker Wall project itself nor the architect Ralph Erskine
The fact that I saw houses still occupied with what seemed like another monstrosity rising up adjacently reflected Ralph Erskine's socialist values...he kept the whole community together.. values instilled in him by his father who did not have a big estate but being a Presbyterian minister lived in a modest church house .
Currently, 2008 the Byker Wall, loved by the tenants, is having a bits of plastic and extend its very successful life

The Architect

Having told you last time that comic verse is what I do best the first rhyming stuff I produced was a batch of song lyrics.
In 1973 Jack, a friend who played guitar in a group had written a tune and wanted lyrics to it. I didn't have the tune in my head then so I wrote lyrics with a view to Jack writing a tune around my lyrics. I'd write lyrics to his tune once I knew it... which I subsequently did..altho' I don't think Jack liked those
I was working for Northumberland County Council based in Newcastle upon Tyne and was in Byker where the old terraced houses were still occupied but rising up nearby was a huge concrete pile which became the Byker Wall. ( The picture above is not of merely illustrates the ...the new moon Wi'the auld moon in her arm)

Here's the lyrics

The Architect

Rows and rows of terraced houses
No one here ever grouses
They don't mind their sooty flues
They don't mind the outside loos
"Slums, decayed with neglect"
So says the architect

They're just slums, he'll pull them down
They don’t want their two-up, two-down
Flats in blocks of four
Blocks with one front door
With walls of plastic glass
And lawns of concrete grass

His birth was pre-destined fate
His father had a big estate
And he may have been a perfect fool
But he went to public school
Where he was taught to decide
Where the people should reside

They’re just slums etc

His mansion is Edwardian style
His garden stretches half a mile
His wife wears a mink fur
And she is a Councillor
In chamber walls of wood veneer
She helps to further his career

They’re just slums etc

Does he like coloured plastic
Concrete and bitumastic?
Would he swap his silk and lace
To live in a place
That he says with all his pomp
It's what the people really want

They’re just slums etc

Now, the Council all applaud
They've won a Civic Trust Award
No more pop-in neighbours, passers-by
Just concrete walkways in the sky
Who cares if the rents have soared?
Who cares if the bairns are bored?


The Byker Wall was awarded a Civic Trust Award was I prophetic or what?
In 1974 T Dan Smith the leader of the Council in the 1960's was tried and found guilty of accepting bribes from architect John Poulson. Many blocks of flats and walkways in the sky were pulled down because they were social failures, vandalised, riddled with condensation etc. never part of the original lyrics, I subsequently added the following

The plastic faded, the work was shoddy
And now, you can't find anybody
Not from the Council, nor the folks round here
That thought them flats were a good idea
They've all var nye disappeared
With huge Ratepayers' debts, still uncleared

They've got their houses back, no sooty flues
With centrally heated inside loos
When I think of all that condensation
They got no money, but the compensation
Is that the Architect that screwed this town
Was still banged up... when the flats came down

Jon Bratton copyright 1973-1993

So tunesters, if you've written a great tune, but you can't write the words you're come to the right place. These song lyrics and others in subsequent postings are free for you to use for your own tunes
All these until now unpublished lyrics are free to use with your music until royalties, or money is derived in any way from the song, become payable. Use the comments facility on each blog to say which lyrics you are using and leave your contact details
You compose the music and use my free lyrics to complete your song and when the song earns any income you need to share the royalties appropriately, per industry standards
All lyrics remain the property of the copyright holder Jon Bratton.

How It All Started

For the first 25 years of my life, I wrote not a single rhyme. At school I had no interest in poetry nor in any kind of writing because I didn’t believe I could write well, and I definitely couldn’t, when compared to a friend of mine, Elaine, who could create worthy literature just writing a note to the milkman. The only essay at school that produced a positive comment from the teacher was when the subject of the essay was satire and I wrote a very funny piece in a schoolboy sort of way, as best as I recall
When I was about 16 my cousin emigrated to Canada and I wrote her many letters which she reported back as being funny...I hope she didn't mean peculiar! I discovered I could write well…if comedy was involved. Later, my forte turned out to be the writing of funny rhymes
Looking back, I was drawn towards the monologues of Stanley Holloway …
They found 'Arold so stately and grand,
Sitting there with an eye-full of arrow
On his 'orse, with his 'awk in his 'and

.....and Flanders and Swann songs…
I'm a g-nu,
The g-nicest work of g-nature in the zoo
…which I heard on Uncle Mac’s Children’s Favourites on Saturday morning radio. I’ve always thought that the seeking of a rhyme added additional humour , as in Albert and the Lion when the Ramsbottoms thought it awful that young Albert was eaten
'And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too.'
'And after we've paid to come in.'
I'll continue this, anon, when I've found my archives

Monday, 10 November 2008

My Aardvark and Friends

I'm still loft rummaging but to keep you entertained here's a silly little thing I wrote in 2005

I already had an aardvark and an octopus
So you can imagine the almighty fuss
When I took home a hippopotamus
When I did it again next day, me Dad just cusses
"Two bloomin' hippopotamuses
They're as big as double decker buses"
"Actually", says I, "it's better to say hippopotami
Though never double decker bi
Don't ask me why"...but he did ask me why
"Grammar" was my reply
Me Dad thought I was taking the piss
He said " Hey, leave me Mother out of this"
Grandma wasn't happy at me getting a new pet
"I haven't finished the gloves for your octopus yet"
She declares
"I've only knitted 4 pairs
(She wanted spares)
And what's more,
I'm knitting bootees for your Aunt
Well, not for her, for her ele phant
It's all such a palaver
That aardvark'll wait ages for his balaclava
I'm 82, me lad, and not a fast knitter
And I don't want to sound bitter
But keeping 5 large creatures in a bedsitter..
..Is not very mature
Considering the manure"

Intro and Love Poem

Hi, I'm Jon...a blogging virgin..this is my first time blogging but not my first venture into websites. I'm the webmaster of an embarrassing number of websites. If interested, ,which I'm still developing, gives a trail to many of my other websites

For 35 years I've written rhyming material, predominantly humorous stuff and most of it I've still got, in 'back of an envelope' form, kicking about in the loft somewhere. I thought I'd publish it all in this blog, chronologically as it was written, with a bit of commentary to put each piece in context.
I need to dig it all out to know exactly how I'll proceed but I think the work will fall into phases, starting in 1973 with a bunch of song lyrics which I wrote over, I suppose, a couple of years. There would have been a few little humorous pieces for, say, a valentine card or two also in that first decade
In 1983 I went to work in the Middle East and in the next 7 years I wrote and delivered many multiple versed speeches which invariably started
This is just a little ditty
A Ma Salama poem
To say goodbye to our dear friends
As they make their way back home.
There were also a few pieces written for, and performed in an Am Dram Theatre
In 1990 I returned to the UK and within a couple of years after that I bought a Picture Framing Art Craft Shop..the most interesting shop in town..probably
With my artist pal Jim Harker we produced a product called a Doodle Ditty which was a framed up caricature, alongside a few verses about the 'victim'. I have a huge pile of the draft poems and indeed a few of Jim's draft drawings
In 2004 my son Gary launched a website which was an eShop to sell craft products, mainly for handmade card makers, as well as providing a forum, gallery, tips, techniques and verses for cards
To support that website ie to send it traffic I developed and wrote a lot of verses, as well as perloining 'author unknown' stuff already on the web.
That brings us to the present time. I'm off to rummage in the loft for my VersaTile Scribblings but in the meantime here's a Love poem I wrote for the St Valentines Verses section of the website to give you a little flavour of what to expect over the coming months

This is a love poem
What I have written
Cos with all consuming love
I've been smitten

And when I say smitten
I mean everywhere
There's one bit, particularly smit
But let's not go down there

I say this joyously
Ecstatically, euphorically and such
Cos I love you, verily
Verily, verily much

I've told everyone I love you
There's no one I didn't tell
Why, I even told the vicar
And he toll'd the bell

William Shakespeare wrote sonnetly
"Love is as a fever, longing still"
I think he's right
I've never felt so ill

Cos I'm o'er brimming with love's fever
Yet all atingle, aroused, excited
And as to the state of me troth
It's well and truly plighted

I've come over all funny
But that's your effect on me
It's cos I love you more than....
...a dog loves a tree...
a lumberjack loves a cucumber snack.
..a fish loves staying wet..
.. Romeo loved Juliet..
.an aardvark loves ants
I've a stirring in me......mind

For the right words, sentiments
I'm grasping, groping
This poem could go on forever
Like us I'm hoping