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The Infidelities Of Janet The Gannet

by Mickey 

Posted: 20 May 2006
Word Count: 538
Summary: Another piece that I have been reminded of by a recent item in the national press

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The news that the father of Radio One DJ, Emma B, had been taken to court for shooting a herring gull, reminded me of the following poem that I wrote following RSPB reports of an explosion amongst the sea gull population a few months ago. As a regular visitor with family living in Grimsby, I felt it incumbent upon me to defend the morality of Grimsby gulls who might otherwise be considered as no more than a flock of randy breeders. The thought of these air-borne ‘Likely Lads’ having a better nature and living by a code of moral conduct therefore amused me. As this poem progressed, I was surprised at how many names of sea birds lent themselves to rhyme, and the idea of Met Office sea areas having a ‘des res’ snobbish cachet also appealed.

The Infidelities Of Janet The Gannet

Henry Skull the Herring Gull
was friends with Petrel Pete.
They flew around the docks at Hull,
where Gull friends they would meet.

One was a former socialite
who’d married ‘neath her class,
to Albert Ross, the Albatross -
The marriage didn’t last!

Her father was a Manx Shearwater,
and Janet was his one dear daughter.
But, soon the beaks began to talk –
She’d had a fling with Eddie Auk!

For, ‘tho she’d been a debutante,
and could have bagged a Cormorant,
she’d married Albert ‘on the hop’
They lived above a Hull fish shop.

But when Bert heard she’d ‘flown off course’
he got the hump – then got divorced!
Whereupon, now fancy free,
she flew up to the Arctic Sea

Where soon she met a rich old bird,
and married him without a word.
(Her married name’s now Janet Scott –
her husband’s Billy Guillemot)

But, when she’s with her friends at Hull,
(like Petrel Pete and Henry Skull)
of husband Billy? – not a word!
She is a mighty flighty bird!

To Pete and Henry she’s just Janet
(a highly fanciable Gannet)
but, if they knew her married state,
to Finisterre they’d both migrate.

For, ‘tho the two lads thought they knew her,
it took a word from Sidney Skua
to put these lovelorn ‘likelys’ straight
(he’d heard the rumours from his mates)

That Janet’s infidelities,
were known across the seven seas.
She’d Booby boy friends by the number –
and this would never do in ‘Humber’!

(Sidney’d heard that she’d think nuffin’
of picking up a lonely Puffin.
Or, fancying a ‘bit of rough’,
she’d even flown with Cornish Chough!)

What might be fine in ‘Thames’ or ‘Tyne’
would scandalise the flocks
of handy, randy Razorbills,
who fancied both these cocks.

And – let’s be frank – on Dogger Bank
a bird’s life’s Bacchanalian.
(And anything goes on the far Faeroes –
it’s ‘cos they’re Scandinavian!)

But, in Grimsby, Gulls’ adultery,
is never taken lightly.
So, when they knew she was a floozie
They ‘took their leave’ politely.

They headed north – from that day forth
they never more flew near her.
But now relax with Great Black-Backs
just east of South Utsire.

For ‘tho a pair of gigullos
Their morals didn’t stoop that low –
and, knowing how a Hull tongue wags,
they drew the line at married Shags.

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Comments by other Members

NinaLara at 09:58 on 20 May 2006  Report this post
this is fantastic fun -
I may try reading to my son
... though perhaps he is a little young
for all these saucy goings-on.

joanie at 17:40 on 20 May 2006  Report this post
Hi Mike. I love your rhymes; I love all rhymes! This is very clever, as always, but I wondered why you changed the rhyming pattern towards the end. It jarred with me, I'm afraid. Perhaps you could have a re-think of those four(?) verses. The closing verse is great!

Keep writing - keep rhyming, Mike! Brilliant.


Brian Aird at 07:49 on 22 May 2006  Report this post
The end of line and inner rhyming patterns add interest to a well devised piece:

'One was a former socialite
who’d married ‘neath her class,
to Albert Ross, the Albatross -
The marriage didn’t last!'

'And – let’s be frank – on Dogger Bank
a bird’s life’s Bacchanalian.
(And anything goes on the far Faeroes –
it’s ‘cos they’re Scandinavian!)'

And each verse is a gem, so it would be hard to lose a few, but I felt less could also be more. The reference to Scandinavian works on two levels, with 'avian' making the obvious link to the theme of the poem, but with the race/sexual innuendo for me, at the expense of being 'cliché'.


Tina at 18:23 on 25 May 2006  Report this post
Great Rhymes - like a hornpipe!!
Enjoyed very much


Mr B. at 20:23 on 29 May 2006  Report this post
This was fantastic - right up there with Stanley Holloway and the 'Albert' stories!

Nice one!


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