Thursday, 3 January 2008

Sounds of London Town

This poem has been requested by an ex-BBGSian and I'm happy to oblige. It brings back fond memories because I first taught this poem to Mrs. Abraham's English class, 2S, who won the Junior Choral Speaking Competition in 1989.

The London day begins with
The first trains,
The first trams,
The first workers, traders and newspapers,
The first birds in Trafalgar Square,
The last lights, the last lurkers;
The sleepy heads get out of beds,
And off to work they go;

Then, the rustle hustle bustle starts,
Racing taxis, noisy carts,
Rustle hustle bustle, rustle hustle bustle,
Rushing here, rushing there
Running here and everywhere
People shopping, people looking
People eating, drinking, laughing,

And we go by Underground.
Down we go, down the escalator, down,
Down, down, down.
Follow the red light, follow the blue light,
This way! No, I'm sure it's that way.
We thunder through the hollow tunnel of the tube.

Pitter patter, pitter patter, pitter patter,
Clipper clapper, clipper clapper, clipper clapper,
Hello-o, hello-o
Keep right, keep left
Pass along the platform
More room at the front of the train.
Ch-ch-ch, ch-ch-ch, ch-ch-ch, ch-ch-ch, PSHSH...CHUNG!
Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, Picadilly Circus,
We're on our way, we'll soon be there.
We're on our way, we'll soon be there.
We're on our way, we'll soon be there. PSHSHSH

Apples, apples, lovely ripe apples.
Paper, paper, read all about it.
Choc-ices, choc-ices, lovely choc-ices.
Honk, honk! Peep, peep!

Let's have a cup of tea, cup of tea, cup of tea.
Let's have a cup of tea, cup of tea, cup of tea.
Let's have a cup of tea, cup of tea, cup of tea.
The mingled chitter chatter over plates of bread and butter
And the clink of cups of tea.

Gossip, scandal, news and views,
Dresses, cousins, friends and shoes,
And my latest operation.
Waiter! Yessir. Waiter! Coming.
Waiter! Yessir. Waiter! Coming.
Waiter! Waiter! Waiter! COMING.
Clink! Tinkle! Rattle! Chucke!

Travel in the morning or the early afternoon.
Please avoid the rush hour, if you can.
Rush hour...rush hour!
From shops and desks the people come,
Pressing, pushing on and on.
We've got to get home. We've got to get home!

Away from London's crowded streets,
Back to suburbs, country seats.
We must get away!
On the train, slam the door,
On the racks, on the floor,
Crammed like fish in an oily tin
Can't read the paper because of the din
Pushing and swaying, swaying and pushing,
Away, away, away,
Away from the smoky city they go.

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Blogger Karenyin said...

Dear Joanna,

This poem brings back a lot of memories for me as we won the choral speaking competition in 1974 with this poem. I think it was 1974 or 1976. We all loved the poem and from memory it was taught to us by Mrs Wee, an Australian born English teacher. Miss Moey was our form teacher at the time.

We all had different voices to match the words and one of the girls Catherine Mcleod who was English had one of the most perfect English accents to match.

My name is Dr Karen Yin and I was a BBGS girl from 1966 to 1976. Standard 2 to Form 5 till I migrated to Perth. I used to go to Sunday School with Miss Cooke as she lived next door to my aunt in Ampang.

I would love to catch up with my year of 1976 as I think they all have spread their wings and flown to various parts of the earth...Kon Sui Phin was the headgirl in my year who must have been the only head girl to have been in Form 5.

I am back in Singapore now and would dearly love to network with any old BBGS girls form that era.

BTW, you are doing a fantastic job.

Cheers.

Karen Yin

5 comments:

Karenyin said...

Dear Joanna,

This poem brings back a lot of memories for me as we won the choral speaking competition in 1974 with this poem. I think it was 1974 or 1976. We all loved the poem and from memory it was taught to us by Mrs Wee, an Australian born English teacher. Miss Moey was our form teacher at the time.

We all had different voices to match the words and one of the girls Catherine Mcleod who was English had one of the most perfect English accents to match.

My name is Dr Karen Yin and I was a BBGS girl from 1966 to 1976. Standard 2 to Form 5 till I migrated to Perth. I used to go to Sunday School with Miss Cooke as she lived next door to my aunt in Ampang.

I would love to catch up with my year of 1976 as I think they all have spread their wings and flown to various parts of the earth...Kon Sui Phin was the headgirl in my year who must have been the only head girl to have been in Form 5.

I am back in Singapore now and would dearly love to network with any old BBGS girls form that era.

BTY, you are doing a fantastic job.

Cheers.

Karen Yin

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen:
I came across your post while browsing the internet. I am currently living in California but visit KL regularly. I am also interested in re-connecting with old BBGS girls from our class (1976 Form 5Sc1). Joanna has my email address. Please email her to get my address.

Yip Fong

vivienne said...

Hi Karen and Yip Fong, I remember both of you. I was also in the same form, 5S2, then went on to Sixth Form in BBGS. Many of us are still in KL, we are planning a 50th Birthday Bash next year.Hope you can both join us. Karen, I was in touch with Serene for a while thru Elspeth but have lost touch wt both. Pls email me healingjourney@gmail.com. Would love to keep in touch with both of you. Vivienne Foong Lai Leong

Esther said...

HI Joanne

Thanks for this poem.
I was in 2S and remember the days of practicing this.

The choral speaking really bring back memories. I was in the 2S class and was taught by Mrs. Abraham. She really brings English alive especially reading The Animal Farm was never the same after that. We had so much fun.

Thanks for your blog as it brought back my memories, which I must confess was tucked a little behind as I am now busy balancing work, husband, kids and my other interests.
PLease keep me in touch with all the BBGS functions as I would love to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the teachers- Mrs. Lai, Mrs. Abraham, Mrs.Chia and so many more who have taught us patienly and lovingly.

Much Love,
Esther Lee Lit Hwey
(was there from STD One and grauduated in 1992)

Meng said...

I was taught by Miss Yeo (Form 3S, 1974. I now live and work in London. Would love to catch up with classmates via e-mail. I have family in KL and when over there, it will be great to meet up. Lee Meng Choo