Exclusive: The Mad Gardener’s Song, new verses

Well I never.

Upon a walk in January I looked over by a loch, and saw peeking from a rock, these titled verses do not mock, my weary eyes did flock. Preserved a million or more tick-tock, in an oak box upon them I knock-knock. Its wood gave up the ghost and its contents I did clock, I swear upon the dock.

But here is the thing, there were seven additional stanzas not detailed in any extant publication.

I did consider I would make myself a small fortune and auction them off to the highest bidding Lewis Carroll aficionado but there was all a bother of authenticity and provenance and all that argy-bargy rigmarole. Not enough just to take my word for it apparently.

So I thought I would share with the world and make not a penny from my find. That’s the kind of person I am.

The established version of The Mad Gardener’s Song starts with this stanza

He thought he saw an Elephant
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
‘At length I realize,’ he said,
‘The bitterness of Life!’

If you are not familiar or just want to remind yourself of it then the rest is here.

And now without any further fanfare or ado are the extra verses in the sequence of which I faithfully recorded them. Marvel too at the technological propheticness of one stanza.

 

He thought he saw a racing horse

Distracted with a pipe.

He looked again and found it was

A gurning butler’s gripe.

‘At length I realize’ he said,

‘The fitfulness of Skype’.

 

He thought he saw a magistrate

Bewildered by a goose.

He looked again and found it was

A spinster on the loose.

‘It really must be said’ he said,

‘That really is obtuse’.

 

He thought he saw a carpenter

A louche giraffe rebuke.

He looked again and found it was

A lone reclusive Duke.

‘Well I never’ he softly said,

‘He’s come out from his nook.’

 

He thought he saw a mannequin

A customer offend.

He looked again and found it was

A sermon without end.

‘It really ought to stop’ he said,

‘My ways I will not mend’.

 

He thought he saw a publican

A bath of tea did soak.

He looked again and found it was

A man expelled from Stoke.*

‘It is true what they say’ he said,

‘There’s nowt as queer as folk’.

 

He thought he saw a Débutante

Practising long her sigh.

He looked again and found it was

A trampolining spy.

‘To make some sense of this’ he said,

”I guess he thinks he’s sly’.

 

He thought he saw a Naturist

Defiant on the moon.

He looked again and found it was

A yodelling baboon.

‘The way now of the world’ he said,

‘This life is out of tune’.

 

* Here the writing of ‘from’ was difficult to read and it might have read ‘to’ – ‘A man expelled to Stoke’ is equally plausible.

Lewis Carroll was wont to travel widely around the world and even greater wont to leave and lose pages of his work as he went. He never talked about it as as well as causing him great anguish it caused him great embarrassment too. But this does mean you yourselves may find the odd stanza of his floating around your neighbourhood including surprisingly likely verses from this poem.

If you do then please share in the comments below. Such a venture will help bring his long, long work together, and comprehensively this compendium compile.

——-

2.4.2013 – Poem without blog content published to Wattpad.

Jeeves and Wooster – let the credits roll for Animation City

Jeeves and Wooster - Fry and Laurie

Fry and Laurie

Jeeves and Wooster, the British Television adaptation of the PG Wodehouse novels, is currently being re-aired on ITV 3.

This post though is not going to be a review of the 1990’s ITV Studios series asking whether it did PG Wodehouse justice or indeed improve upon his work.

Even though there is much that could be reviewed – the impressive ensemble cast of actors, of which led by Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster long before he became Dr Gregory House and modern polymath Stephen Fry, it would be quicker to list fields in which he is not accomplished, as Reginald Jeeves, Bertie’s Butler.

Or the music of Anne Dudley for the opening and closing credits and underscoring the show.

Or its recreation of 1930’s fashions and décors – interiors and exteriors – in the UK and the USA.

Of if you are a petrol-head historian, all the motor cars on show.

Instead I want only to focus on the opening and closing credits sequence and their graphics. Writers rightly complain about not getting enough credit for their TV work – the lead actors taking all the limelight, credit and glory – as for the graphic illustrators of the opening and closing credits, nary a thought.

This post seeks a humble contribution toward redressing that.

As ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ was first broadcast B.B. – before Blogging – I am hopeful that no-one else has taken to posting these images up.

All I know about those responsible are that they were called Animation City.

They were responsible for the The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle film graphics in which the Sex Pistols (or was it Malcolm McLaren) sold their artistic souls for filthy lucre in 1980. They also put their work to the similarly anarchic spirited ‘The Comic Strips Presents’ British comedy series from the 1980’s with Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall. But after 1993 they seem to have vanished off the face of the earth?! Perhaps they went bankrupt? Or got taken over? Or merely changed their name?

Do any of you know?

I hope at least some of you enjoy their work as much as I do.

Jeeves and Wooster Opening Credit

Jeeves and Wooster Opening CreditJeeves and Wooster Opening CreditJeeves and Wooster Opening Credit Fry & LaurieJeeves and Wooster Opening Credit

1001 Paintings I Must See Before I Die

1001 Paintings to See Before You DiI would have preferred this 2007 book from Cassell Illustrated to be a coffee-table style book with pages double the size but a great print collection of paintings both known and unknown to me from 1400 BC to 2006.

I am though a little surprised there have been no updates.

Also that there is no  digital version having as it does the advantage that it can be updated year by year or indeed as and when without the customer having to fork out for newer copies.

And a format that lends itself well to being viewed on screen if the screen is a larger one – as in my case an iMac – where also the reader can interact more with the content with for example links to further related and background content.

On the other hand I can leave books such as this lying around my home on full display – for visitors to see and share an option not so effectively achieved with a digital copy!