Creativity: One, two, three, four, five, A Range Rover did I drive

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The Independent Culture
THANKS to the diligence of readers, this week we are able to offer a complete compendium of modern nursery rhymes. Tim Crosbie comments: 'Nursery rhymes are supposed to be based on some mild form of political satire,' but he believes that modern children are more open, direct and frank about life than previous generations. That spirit is reflected in his contribution:

Oh galloping, galloping Major

Our problems you've failed to redress.

It's backward not forward I'll wager,

To the basics in which you profess.

And your men, like dogs in a manger

Have been caught in a state of undress.

A spirit of political incorrectness was also evident in a number of other contributions:

There was a little man

And he had a little plan,

He would fix it so the people paid less tax, tax, tax;

But his pals were naughty lads,

(There was none of 'em had dads),

And they all were economical with facts, facts, facts.

(Stuart Cockerill)

Ginny was a minister,

Ginny was a crook,

Ginny put the doctors in a big black book.

She closed seven hospitals,

She closed five more,

Then she fell off a trolley in the corridor.

(Mollie Caird)

One, two: election's due.

Three, four: promise more.

Five, six: dirty tricks.

Seven, eight: far too late.

Nine, ten: them again.

That one was from Steph and Paul, who have also produced two offerings that help reassert the fundamentally apolitical nature of this column:

Sam, Sam, the traffic man

Bungs up cars whenever he can.

Uses treacle, digging, jam,

toffee, lights and marzipan.

Half a block of gerrymander,

Half a wrong computer,

That's the way the money goes,

Pop goes the future.

We are afraid that A Greer's contribution, beginning: 'Michael had a little boy; His skin was white as snow' has had to be excluded since the matter is still sub judice. Rob Wilson's: 'Little Gill blue, come toot my horn' (which ends 'under the steering wheel, fast asleep') has also been deferred pending a possible appeal. All entrants who included the line 'my master's lost his fiddling stick,' should also feel ashamed of themselves.

Royalty, as always, provided a fertile ground for inspiration:

The Queen was out a-riding

When from her horse she fell,

So now her arm's in plaster,

I hope it's doing well.

(Margaret McCallum).

Or somewhat less sympathetically, this verse from Tom Gaunt:

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?

I've been to London, to look at the Queen.

Pussy cat, pussy cat, how did it go?

It wasn't that bad, for eight quid a throw.

Another Gaunt message from the same pen went as follows:

One, two, three, four, five,

Once I caught a fish alive.

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

I didn't like its radiant glow.

We liked James Nicholas's brief rhyme, entitled 'Market Forces':

Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?

No I haven't. Go away.

Steering clear of a geo-politico-economic scenario proved too difficult for most readers, but we end with a selection from some who rose to the challenge, starting with a Baby's Drinking Song sent by James Kirkup from Andorra:

Sip a little, sup a little, from your little cup a little;

Sup a little, sip a little, put it to your lip a little;

Tip a little, tap a little, not into your lap or it'll,

Drip a little, drop a little, on the table top a little.

Finally, an exquisite composition of existential nihilism from J Norman:

Round and round the roundabout,

Goes the little car.

If it doesn't get out of the roundabout

It won't go very far.

Next week, we'll be reporting on your ideas for used tea-bags. In the meantime, we should appreciate your suggestions for burst balloons, which will be welcome at: Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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