Commissioned Poems

I can provide bespoke poetry and lyrics on any theme. Commissioned poems cost of £1 per line plus £20 non refundable deposit. Payments can be made by paypal. Please get in touch if you would like more details about this service.

The following poem was commissioned by Wigan Performing Arts Centre and was performed by 'We Are Poets!' as part of Wigan and Leigh schools spring cluster project in March 2010:

Wigan And Leigh, One Or The Other Is Where We Want To be!


(As performed by Gabby Mouth and Penelope Page)

 

Gabby:  Listen to me! Listen to me!

I’ve got a poem about Wigan and Leigh:

 

Wigan’s got a pier without any sea,

And just down the road there’s a town called Leigh,

Leigh and Wigan have got history galore,                      

Allegiance was divided through the English civil war.

 

Penny:  Sssshhhh! Don’t mention the war!

 

Gabby: The Romans were in Wigan but probably not in Leigh,

And Wigan became a royal borough in the thirteenth century.

 

Penny: Hmmmm that’s very interesting....Did YOU know...

 

Wigan has a legend, the tale of poor old Mabel,

I don’t know how much of it’s fact or how much of it’s fable,

Sir William, Mabel’s husband, went away to fight,

But by the time he got back Mab had married a Welsh knight.

Will was furious and so he took the Welsh man’s life,

And in doing so reclaimed Mabel as his wife,

From then on Mabel walked barefoot each week to show her shame,

To the monument we call ‘Mab’s Cross’ still stood on Wigan Lane.

 

Gabby: Wigan and Leigh were built to last,

With clogs, flat caps and industrial past,

Canals, cobbled streets and cotton mills,

The chemist Thomas Beecham with his powders and pills,

Textiles, rope, pewter, silk and tons and tons of coal,

Casino all nighters where they danced to northern soul,

Haigh Hall, Mesnes Park, and also King Street,

And we don’t say ‘right’ we always say ‘reet’!

 

Penny: Right?                                    

 

Gabby: REET!

 

In Leigh we have The Spinning Gate shopping centre,

That commemorates Leigh’s best known inventor,

He designed The Spinning Jenny; Thomas Highs was his name,

Although he didn’t get paid for his water frame,

Thomas Highs was ripped off by Richard Arkwright who was stealthy;

He patented Tom Highs’ design and he became quite wealthy.

There’s another innovator from Wigan who’s renowned:

Cheese eating Wallace with his ever faithful hound...

Gromit!

 

Penny: Wigan and Leigh are linked to lots of famous names:

The Buzzcocks’ Peter Shelley and the jazz man Georgie Fame,

There’s writer Colin Welland whose screenplay won an Oscar,

And actor Ian McKellan who does Shakespeare and soap opera.

 

Gabby:  He was in Corrie!

 

Penny: Ashton born Olympian June Croft was a great swimmer,

And Richard Ashcroft from The Verve is a our best known singer.

 

Gabby: Apart from George Formby!

 

Penny: There’s author James Hilton who wrote "Goodbye Mr Chips"

And poet Gerard Manley Hopkins; what would he make of this?!

Wigan was George Orwell’s inspiration for his writing,

Cromwell paid a visit, but he only came for fighting,

Lord Joe Gormley was the leader of the N.U.M,

He didn’t want the miners to eat humble pie again,

And I swear I saw George Formby’s ukelele playing ghost,

At the corner of our street leaning on a lamp-post,

And long, long ago back in 1963,

The Beatles played at The Casino in Leigh!

 

Gabby: Sport is most important in Wigan and Leigh,

Wigan had the first branch of Dave Whelan’s JJB,

Wigan’s team of Warriors wear white and cherry red,

They’re the rugby team that other teams dread,

Though I am quite sure some of you will disagree,

If you support The Centurions of Leigh!

And of course there’s the team nicknamed as The Latics,

By their loyal following of football fanatics.

 

Penny: But if rugby or football isn’t your type of sport,

We’ve got a chess champion by the name of Nigel Short.

 

Gabby: Sport is a passion but we also love our grub,

And we’ve got lots of lovely old pubs,

Everyone in Wigan eats pies made by Pooles,

There’s a pie eating contest every year with stringent rules,

‘Leigh toaster’ cheese was one of Lancashire’s best,

Tangy and tastier than all the rest,

Oooo Lancashire cheese I could scoff it by the ton...        

 

 

Penny: Did you know it was a favourite of ‘Treasure Island’s’ Ben Gunn?

 

Wigan’s famous mint balls will keep you all aglow,

Buy them by the tin load; they’re made by Uncle Joe,

And if you don’t like pies, there’s no need to worry,

Wigan is the home of Patak’s curry,

Sit down with a dahl or a sag aloo,

Whilst listening to Limahl from Kajagoogoo !

 

Gabby: He’s from Wigan!

Too shy shy, hush hush I do I!

 

Penny: No thanks, I’d rather have a pie!

 

Gabby: Oh...

 

Penny: Despite its bygone industry, Leigh’s got lovely countryside,

At Pennington Flash where old coal mines did subside,

Holes formed in the landscape as if there’d been a quake,

Which flooded to become the Flash; an enormous lake,

Now it’s the centre piece of a country park so nice,

Filled with birds and wildlife; it’s a twitchers’ paradise.

 

Gabby: And talking of paradise, I’m sure you will agree,

Leigh and Wigan are the towns where we love to be,

Our heritage and history should fill us all with pride,

The legacy of industry here cannot be denied,

With that in mind, I call on you all to join with me,

Let’s hear a joyous cheer for Wigan and Leigh!

 

Both: Hip hip hooray! Hip hip Hoooray! Hip hip Hooray!

 

 

©Helên Thomas and Kate McGann 2010 Performance Poetry in schools

 


 The following poem was written for, and performed at The 2009 Sefton Shining Stars Awards which celebrates the achievements of Sefton's school children.


Sefton Shining Stars Rap

 

Sefton’s shining stars deserve some recognition,

They learn about diverse cultures and traditions

We’ve got a local hero who’s the bravest by far

And a special prize for Sefton’s brightest star

Responsible carers and volunteers

Will all receive awards and then we’ll cheer! 

HOORAY!


CHORUS

Sefton’s shining stars are cool

Sefton’s shining stars

They’re the shiniest stars in Sefton schools

Sefton’s shining stars

Shout out loud and celebrate

Sefton’s shining stars

Glittering achievements; they’re so great!

Sefton’s shining stars!

 

Anti bullying ambassadors show no fear

We’ll also meet Sefton’s  Achiever of the year

And those who make Sefton a fairer place

Getting young voices heard. Wow, that’s ace!

Learning English as a second language takes some dedication

That’s why we’re all here to show appreciation.

 

CHORUS

Sefton’s shining stars are cool

Sefton’s shining stars

They’re the shiniest stars in Sefton schools

Sefton’s shining stars

Shout out loud and celebrate

Sefton’s shining stars

Glittering achievements; they’re so great!

Sefton’s shining stars!

 

Sefton’s  shining stars aren’t horrid, mean or rude

They campaign for equality and change bad attitudes

Every single one of them deserves their nomination

Their work in the community’s a source of inspiration

Collectively they’re brighter than the brightest constellation

So thank you for attending this dazzling celebration! CELEBRATION!

 

CHORUS

Sefton’s shining stars are cool

Sefton’s shining stars

They’re the shiniest stars in Sefton schools

Sefton’s shining stars

Shout out loud and celebrate

Sefton’s shining stars

Glittering achievements; they’re so great!

Sefton’s shining stars!


Copyright Helên Thomas 2009 






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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