voices from the past


The Magic Pudding

Written and Illustrated by Norman Lindsay (1879 - 1969)

. . . the story continues . . .

The singing that evening was particularly loud and prolonged, owing to the satisfaction they all felt at the recovery of their beloved Puddin'. The Puddin', who had got the sulks over Sam's remarks that fifteen goes of steak-and-kidney were enough for any self-respecting man, protested against the singing, which, he said, disturbed his gravy. '"More eating and less noise" is my motto,' he said, and he called Bill a leather-headed old barrel organ for reproving him.

'Albert is a spoilt child, I fear,' said Bill, shoving him into the bag to keep him quiet, and without more ado, led off with —

'Ho! aboard the Salt Junk Sarah,
Rollin' home around the Horn,
The Bo'sun pulls the Captain's nose
For treatin' him with scorn.

'Rollin' home, rollin' home,
Rollin' home across the foam.
The Bo'sun goes with thumps and blows
The whole way rollin' home.'

'But,' said Bill to Bunyip Bluegum, after about fifteen verses of the Salt Junk Sarah, 'the superior skill, ingenuity and darin' with which you bested them puddin'-snatchers reminds me of a similar incident in Sam's youth, which I will now sing you. The incident, though similar as regards courage an' darin', is totally different in regard to everythin' else, and is entitled —


''Twas on the Saucy Soup Tureen,
That Sam was foremast hand,
When on the quarter-deck was seen
A maiding fit to be a Queen
With her old Uncle stand.

'And Sam at once was sunk all
In passion deep and grand,
But this here aged Uncle
He was the Hearl of Buncle
And Sam a foremast hand.

'And Sam he chewed salt junk all
Day with grief forlorn,
Because the Hearl of Buncle,
The lovely maiding's Uncle,
Regarded him with scorn.

'When sailin' by Barbado,
The Saucy Soup Tureen,
Before she could be stayed-O
Went down in a tornado,
And never more was seen.

'The passengers were sunk all
Beneath the ragin' wave,
The maiding and her Uncle,
The Noble Hearl of Buncle,
Were saved by Sam the Brave.

'He saved the Noble Buncle
By divin' off the poop.
The maiding in a funk all
He, saved along with Uncle
Upon a chicken coop.

'And this here niece of Buncle,
When they got safe to land,
For havin' saved her Uncle,
The Noble Hearl of Buncle,
She offered Sam her hand.

'And that old Uncle Buncle,
For joy of his release,
On Burgundy got drunk all
Day in Castle Buncle,
Which hastened his decease.

'The lovely maiding Buncle
Inherited the land;
And, now her aged Uncle
Has gone, the Hearl of Buncle
Is Sam, the foremast hand.'

'Of course,' said Sam modestly, 'the song goes too far in sayin' as how I married the Hearl's niece, because, for one thing, I ain't a marryin' man, and for another thing, what she really sez to me when we got to land was, "You're a noble feller, an' here's five shillin's for you, and any time you happen to be round our way, just give a ring at the servants' bell, and there'll always be a feed waitin' for you in the kitchen." However, you've got to have songs to fill in the time with, and when a feller's got a rotten word like Buncle to find rhymes for, there's no sayin' how a song'll end.'

'The exigencies of rhyme,' said Bunyip Bluegum, 'may stand excused from a too strict insistence on verisimilitude, so that the general gaiety is thereby promoted. And now,' he added, 'before retiring to rest, let us all join in song,' and grasping each other's hands they loudly sang —


'Let feeble feeders stoop
To plates of oyster soup.
Let pap engage
The gums of age
And appetites that droop;
We much prefer to chew
A Steak-and-kidney stew.

'Let yokels coarse appease
Their appetites with cheese.
Let women dream
Of cakes and cream,
We scorn fal-lals like these;
Our sterner sex extols
The joy of boiled jam rolls.

'We scorn digestive pills;
Give us the food that fills;
Who bravely stuff
Themselves with Duff,
May laugh at Doctor's bills.
For medicine, partake
Of kidney, stewed with steak.

'Then plight our faith anew
Three puddin'-owners true,
Who boldly claim
In Friendship's name
The noble Irish stoo,
Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurroo!'

2nd Slice pages:   one   two   three   four
previous page Book Index Next Chapter 3, page one

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