Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Young Farmers Balls

I promised you a poem. I thought I would try something inspired by the Westcountry. I was aiming for William Barnes but it came out a bit Wurzels.


For those of you unfamiliar with the Westcountry dialect: "droi zoider" is an alcoholic drink made from apples; "on the scrump" is the act of drinking droi zoider over a period of hours or days and "zummer" is a great time of the year to go on the scrump. The Young Farmers are an unimaginatively named social society and their balls are enormous: the highlights of the social calendar in agricultural communities.

This is the story of a young Westcountry lass who longs to join her older brother and his friends on the scrump and what happens when she does. 

'Ot Zummers

When I was a young girl, my brother would go
With all the Young Farmers to the Dorchester Show
They’d sit sippin’ zoider and judgin’ the hens
An’ the cows an’ the bullocks in the sheepdoggin’ pens.
As I grew up older, I begged to take part
But he said, “You are too young, not ready sweetheart
For ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.
A zummer without balls ain’t no fun at all!
When you’re ready to scrump, we will give you the call...”
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.

One night, the Young Farmers a prank went to play
They rolled in molasses, then rolled in the hay.
The rumpus awoke me, I looked out and saw:
Ten men runnin’ bare-arsed and covered in straw.
When I asked my brother to explain all the fuss
He said, “Soon you’ll be ready to come out with us
For ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and and Young Farmers’ balls.
A zummer without balls ain’t no fun at all!
When you’re ready to scrump, we will give you the call...”
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.

My brother, he taught me the ways of the farm;
I looked up to him and he kept me from harm.
But they other young farmers, I wanted to know.
Like that old zinderella: to the ball I would go
An’ sit sippin’ zoider and dance through the night.
I knew I was ready: the timin’ was right
For ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.
A zummer without balls ain’t no fun at all!
I was ready to scrump, just awaiting the call...
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.

I sat for an hour on a bale made of straw
A-watchin’ the dancin’, I liked what I saw.
Just when I thought I ‘ad missed my last chance,
Young Billy approached me an’ asked me to dance.
He waltzed me around somewhat inexpertly,
An’ offered to show me, if I’d like to see,
More ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.
For a zummer without balls ain’t no fun at all!
With him holdin' me close, I could feel it an’ all...
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.

The hour it grew late, and my face it grew red
Young Billy leaned closer and ‘ere’s what ‘e said:
“Meet me at midnight, t’will be just thee and me
And I have a treat you’ll be wantin’ to see.”
When I told my brother this plan in the rough
He told me: “Young lady, you ‘ave ‘ad enough
Of ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.
‘Tis definitely time f‘you to ‘ead ‘ome to bed  
This ball be your first ball, what’s gone to yer ‘ead...
Is ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ Balls.”

The years they went by and the zummer’s stayed ‘ot
Young Billy ‘e taught me what my brother could not.
When the ‘eat of the zummer is getting too much
When that tankard of zoider gets too ‘ot to touch
An’ the zoider inside ‘er is too ‘ot to sup
A jump in the sheep dip will perk you right up!
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.
A zummer with no balls ain't no fun at all!
When we're out on the scrump, come and give us a call...
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers' balls.

But there will come a time now in every man’s life
When he’s settled to workin’ and taken a wife.
Well the dreams of ‘is youngself, they never quite left
But the toilin’ and children has left him bereft
He’ll still sip a zoider, still sing the old songs
But you’ll see in his eyes, just how much he longs
For ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls
For a zummer without balls ain’t no fun at all!
When you’re ready to scrump, we will give you a call...   
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.

My brother grew old and swapped days in the fields
For spreadsheets of data revealing crop yields.
I moved to the city, got a teachin’ degree
An’ now I train kids for their GCSE.
When the work gets me down, I can still reminisce
But it hurts me to think of just how much I miss
Those ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls
A zummer without balls ain’t no fun at all!
If you fancy a scrump, you can give me a call...
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers' balls.

Old Billy is married and works all the day
A-haulin’ the straw: no more rolls in the hay.
The zummer’s are colder, the world it ‘as changed
And from what’s replaced it we all feel estranged.
On a Zaturday night, we will drink like they fish
For we knows it’s all gone now, but we can only wish
For ‘ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers balls
These zummers without balls ain't no fun at all...
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.
‘Ot zummers, droi zoider and Young Farmers’ balls.





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