Simon Kelner: Commemoration's the name of this jubilee game


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The Independent Online

If there's one thing we know how to do in Britain, it's how to put on a marvellous spectacle – and then see it ruined by the weather. Watching the river pageant on Sunday, and the crowds soaked to the skin, the Olympic organisers must have wished they'd gone the extra mile (and a few million pounds) and had a roof fitted to the stadium. Long to rain over us, indeed!

Anyway, it is fitting that, whatever the weather, occasions of national celebration should be marked with poetic flourish. Readers will know of my fondness for the limerick, popularised by Edward Lear and usually a vehicle for nonsensical verse. And given the tide of nonsensical prose from every television commentator and analyst as the Queen made her regal progress down the Thames on Sunday, I hope you agree this an appropriate way to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.

For six decades she's reigned as our Queen

A long stretch, if you know what I mean

From a time of prosperity

To the age of austerity

And everything else in between

Her duty she's done to the max

With hardly the time to chillax

The palaces, the land

The pageants so grand

And it's all settled up by our tax

It's impertinent to ask what she's for

She's done all that's required – and more

She's met heads of state

Men small and great

And even some criminals of war

But enough of that old Mr Blair

And the ones that her husband can't bear

Like the despots, the chancers

The African dancers

And the natives that just make him swear

For some, Her Maj is a star

In crowds, they all shout "hurrah"

"Three cheers for the Queen"

Who just looks serene

And asks if, in fact, they've come far

So for three score years on the throne

She's never been known to moan

Either selling the mugs

Or listening to Suggs

Or to Kay Burley, no, never a groan

On the Thames there was cause for alarm

Not the rain, but the TV hosts' smarm

But amid all the platitude

We found time for some gratitude

Two days off, what a treat, thank you ma'am

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