Friday, 20 March 2009

Roman Baths, Aqueducts, Engineering n things

Still on the subject of creating fun and learnable history for kids, as is the mission of

a website in the course of construction and which has commisioned me to write some contributions, my piece today was inspired by two gems I was reminded of /came across

a) the bit of script in the Life of Brian which goes something like this"All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?"
and b) a funny piece of doggerel by an Australian who explained why the whole World ended up with railway carriages that run on tracks four feet eight and one-half inches wide. (The Stephenson Gauge or Standard Gauge)

Here is my poem

What the Romans Did for Us

Next time you're on a train
Notice how long and skinny they are
They're not much wider
Than your Daddy's car

You have to use a calendar
Because trains are thin
If you don't book a seat
They'll just not let you in

The Romans gave us our calendar
Which is very handy, coz
Without dates, you wouldn't know
When your birthday was

If you look out the train window
You might see tall arches over deep valleys
That's a Roman invented aqueduct
It's water that it carries

And if you're ill through overcrowding
Because the trains are thin
Say thanks to the Romans
For they brought us medicine

And the train will be safe from robbers
(Coz they're now all running banks)
For our system of law and order
The Romans deserve our thanks

If you're travelling in the Winter
You'll be cozy on the train
Because of the central heating
We can thank those Romans again

If you're travelling in the Summer
Thank the Romans for this too
For without the baths they invented
We'd all be Stinky Poo

If from the window, you see cars
And trucks with heavy loads
They'll be travelling fast and straight
Along what once were Roman roads

And in giving thanks to the Romans
Gratitude is what we say
Why, even that word is Roman
As are many, we speak today

And do you know why trains are skinny
Why they're not very fat
Well, we can blame the Romans..yes blame
We can blame them for that

Trains were made thin
To match the tramways in the street
They kept them the same width
To keep everything neat

The tramlines were that size
Because of the covered wagons before
They already had the manufacturing jigs
And they didn't want to make more

The wagons were that size
To match the ruts in the roads
Caused by the Romans with their chariots
Carrying heavy loads

The chariots were that size
Not very wide
To attach the shafts to two horses
Running side by side

The Romans should have used animals
Like an elephant or hippo or bull
If they'd had much bigger bottoms
Our trains wouldn't get so full

So next time your train arrives
And it's already full when it comes
Say loudly "All right... the Romans give us sanitation, roads, aqueducts,blah..blah...
But they should have used animals... ...with much bigger bums

Jon Bratton 2009


For the Romans in Britain...a poem in 40 words, click the link
Roman Baths, Aqueducts, Engineering n things


This 'Roman Baths, Aqueducts, Engineering n things' blog entry is copyright Jon Bratton 2009.
This material is free to use for personal use but may not be lifted in whole or part by website publishers

No comments: