Neither Up Nor Down

The Grand Old Duke of York

saw thirty thousand dead

he hoped that it was the top of the hill

and they’d come straight down again.

And when they went up they went up

and when they went up it was sad.

But when they started down again

He sighed and thought it was good.

And when they were up they were up

But when they were down were they down?

And when they were only half way up

Were they either up or down?

And when they were up we were sad

And when they were down we were glad

But when they were only half way down

We all gave up and relaxed.

The Grand Old Duke of York

Saw thirty thousand dead

And when they reached the foot of the hill

Would they start back up again?



Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

Where have you been?

Stuck home in lockdown

glued to a screen.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

What did you see?

Much too much netflix

Endless TV.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

Are you still there?

Pretty much yes

Still stuck in a chair.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

What happens next?

Getting out soon

They’ve developed a test.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

Will normal resume?

Not sure it will yet

Not any time soon.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

Any regrets?

How can there not be?

Too many deaths.

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

They did their best

Then how come our death rate

Is worse than the rest?

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

What can I say?

The truth will out one day

and someone will pay.

Poor Bo Peep

Little Bo Peep
has lost her youth
her best years
are confounded.

She’s all alone
stuck in at home
and can’t get out
to party.

How will love come
to one so alone?
She doesn’t know
where she’ll find it.

She’ll sit on her own
Call friends on her phone
But all of her dreams
are thwarted.

She’ll leave them alone
till better days come
and the bad days
will be well behind her.

Humpty Dumpty Fell Off A Wall

Any resemblance to recent events is unintended and purely coincidental.

Humpty Dumpty
fell off a wall
The King and his men
weren’t happy at all.

There’s too many falling
Too many ill
The numbers are rising
They’re going up still.

All the Kings horses
and all the Kings men
Couldn’t get numbers
To come down again.

There’s too many poorly
And flat on their back
It’s clearly a problem
We’ll just have to crack.

But the King said it’s simple
Here’s what we must do
Nothing gets done
If it’s left up to you.

The numbers keep rising
Because you will count
If you stop counting
The numbers won’t mount.

If Humpty’s still broken
We’ll just look away
If nobody sees
Then there’s nothing to say.

Mary, Mary

Mary, Mary quite contrary

Why do you have to go?

All the others are staying in

Everyone but you.



Mary, Mary quite contrary

Where is there left to go?

With restaurants closed

and shops as well

Where will you have to go?



Mary, Mary quite contrary

Stay watch your garden grow

There’s silver bells

And cockle shells

And pretty maids all in a row.


Mary, Mary quite contrary

Why did we not know?

There’s work to do

You have to go

You’re a key worker you.


Mary, Mary quite contrary

working in a shop

while your neighbours

In their gardens

moan about their lot.

In case you missed it…..

In case you missed it this is a round up of how Coronavirus and the lockdown has affected characters from nursery rhymes and well known stories.

To begin at the beginning Adam and Eve are fed up being locked down in the Garden of Eden and have complained to God. Eve is desperate to go shopping and the Snake has told her he doesn’t see why she shouldn’t. God’s not so sure though, He thinks Creation is getting on just fine without them. More about this in Adam’s Locked in Eden.

Rapunzel hasn’t seen her hairdresser in weeks and is wearing her hair even longer than she usually does. She was valuing the peace and quiet but the Princes have all been furloughed and one of them, with time on his hands, has been badgering her to let her hair down. He doesn’t think this should be a problem as her hair’s well over 2 metres long but she’s not so sure.

Meanwhile Lucy and the others thought they could skip lockdown rules if they went out through the wardrobe but lockdown is just as strict in Narnia where the Evil Queen is offering Turkish Delight as a spurious antidote. As for Aslan he’s been in the frontline of dealing with the virus, unfortunately without PPE. Sad to say he paid the price but they are clapping madly for him and hope that will bring him back.

Jack and Jill were both taken ill. Jack got it first and Jill came tumbling after. Fortunately they both recovered but are keen to promote the message we should wash our hands, stay at home and not end up as data.

Old Mother Hubbard is thankfully well but was disconcerted to find her cupboards bare, necessitating a shopping expedition. She couldn’t get an online slot so had to go to the shops in person. She found social distancing and the man in the mask who helped her at the checkout somewhat disconcerting but has thankfully restored her cupboards to bursting point. She’s even flush with toilet paper apparently.

The Old Woman in a shoe, who has so many children she doesn’t know what to do, has been hard hit as you’d expect. The children are restless, bored and on top of each other and her partner who has been furloughed and is also at home has been no help whatsoever.

In Banbury Cross the fine lady who rode a white horse has slipped out of the limelight and all the talk is about a fine lady in a white coat who is less accustomed to rings on her fingers and bells on her toes than to plastic gloves and a surgical mask.

Wee Willie Winkie has been running round town making sure everyone is safely locked down. He didn’t used to run but, as it’s encouraged by the guidance and everyone else seems to be doing it, he’s taken it up. He sucks his teeth and tuts at people who break or bend the rules but doesn’t think he might be one of them.