‘A Popular Children’s Skipping Song of the Time’

Occasionally, I regret not having had child-like interests in my childhood. It may seem incredible that I became a poet at all when I never had nursery rhymes read to me at my mother’s knee and I never learned a single chant-able song from my friends. Yet it is the case.

Imagine how different my career would have been had I known the ‘popular children’s skipping song’ ‘Does Yer Maw Drink Wine?’ If most verse by and for young people is of this calibre, I can see why children’s literature and Y.A. are both enjoying more respect than ever before.

Does yer maw drink wine?
From Young James Herriot: The Making of the World’s Most Famous Vet, by John Lewis-Stempel. New York: Random House, 2012.

I wonder if poems like this can still be written in our times, but I don’t wonder if there will be powerful interpreters of them if they do get written. Consider this version of ‘Does Yer Maw Drink Wine?’ from 2011. Still relevant. Still relevant.


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