One Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog

Hi Guys
I hope you are all well and coping with the lockdown okay? We’re certainly going to need our name badges when we return – I can’t even remember who I am! I’ve spent the last few weeks uploading some of my poems onto my Facebook page and I came across this one which I wrote back in 2004 as an entry to the Burgess Hill Festival’s poetry competition. The theme was ‘The day the Queen came to Burgess Hill’ but the organizer asked me to change the title which she considered irreverent to HM. I declined to accept her censorship and she in turn declined to accept my entry. Nevertheless, I later sent it to the Palace direct on the occasion of the Queen’s diamond wedding anniversary and received a lovely letter back thanking me on behalf of HM and the Duke.

One Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog

The day that the Queen came to Burgess Hill
was back in the summer of ‘55
She’d said to Prince Philip “Now listen up Phil,
One dearly would love to learn how One should Jive”

The Duke replied “Lizzie, Society Balls
never go in for these modern delights –
but I’ve heard, down in Sussex, that most Village Halls
hold Rock n’ Roll sessions on Saturday nights”

And so incognito the Royal limousine
headed for Brighton ‘neath warm summer skies
with a trusted old chauffeur, while Dukey and Queen
were hid in the back under heavy disguise

In less than an hour the Royal chauffeured car
was almost in sight of the South Sussex coast,
when out of the stillness they heard from afar
a beat that got tapping all twenty Royal toes

They stopped and dispatched this discreetest of drivers
to park up the Rolls while the pair sought the Dance –
And that’s how Her Majesty joined all the Jivers
(and how she found Burgess Hill purely by chance!)

Then at last free from all sycophantic shoe-lickers,
the Queen with her hair in a back-combed beehive
and the Duke in his drainpipes and long winkle pickers
for once in their lives felt completely alive

And from that day forth there’s been nobody finer
at Rock n’ Roll dancing throughout all the Land
than our very own Monarch, one Betty Regina,
who learnt all her steps from a Burgess Hill band!

By Mike Lewis, 2004

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