The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Songs (Part 2) by Ian McMillan

Ian McMillan’s association with The Shed goes back many years. Ian has collaborated with The Shed’s Simon Thackray on numerous ‘projects’ for TV and radio and live events. The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ® is one of them…

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Songs Part 2 (extract)

by Ian McMillan

Now a year has flown
since the last Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race,
flown like batter flies
across the kitchen
when you mix it too vigorously
and it sticks to the kitchen wall
like a cloud
a batter cloud…

Now a year has sailed by
since the last Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race,
sailed by like the lumps of flour
sometimes sail
in the batter, just before you’ve mixed it properly,
and they crumble like boats,
crumbling boats…

Now a year has poured away
since the last Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race
poured away like gravy,
Yorkshire Pudding gravy,
pouring into the wide open mouths
of the Yorkshire puddings,
waiting there to be fed gravy
like young birds in the nest…

And some people think this is the second race
and the first one was last year’s race
but now we know better
now we’ve searched archives and we know,
we know…

We Found
Dr. Bartholomew Young’s True Account
Of The Great Yorkshire Pudding Boat Adventure
of 1864.

And here it is,
here for you now,
Dr. Bartholomew Young’s True Account
Of The Great Yorkshire Pudding Boat Adventure
of 1864…

It rained for days, gentle reader,
it had rained for days and days

and the soaking wet people of Brawby
wandered round in a soggy haze

and the rain poured from the sky like God was pouring milk
and the sky was the darkest, darkest grey
and the puddles were deeper than John, the legendary tall man of Brawby
and he was tall,
he was tall,
but in this rain he stood in puddles up to his neck
and the people cried ‘Look at John, the legendary Tall man of Brawby,
or Rather: look at his head!’
And the rain filled up the river
like you might fill a book
with stories of rain,
words about rain
pictures of rain
songs about rain
And the rain hammered on the roofs of the houses of the people of Brawby
and it sounded like Theodore, the Brawby Bigfoot,
who sometimes walked on roofs
with his big feet
that sounded like heavy, heavy rain…

It had rained for days, gentle reader,
it had rained for days and days
and the soaking wet people of Brawby
wandered round in a soggy haze…

And as the rain poured down
from a sky the colour of sky
but not sky blue,
the oldest man in Brawby
the man simply known as Shod
because he used to be a blacksmith
did what he always did,
even though he was 102 years old,
every day
at about this time,
come rain, or sun, or fog or hail,
he mixed his Yorkshire Puddings,
without fail,

and as the rain came down he mixed
the batter, added the eggs to the flour
and a little milk
and his batter was magic,
his batter was silk

and people came from as far as York
to see the magic action of his batter fork

It had rained for day, gentle reader,
it had rained for days and days
and the soaking wet people of Brawby
wandered round in a soggy haze…

Half a mile way, on the River Rye
the rain was pouring,
the water was high
to the rising river
from the soaking sky
nowhere in Brawby was dry,
no,
Nowhere in Brawby was dry.
And by the River bank little Alice
was playing with her toy boats,
and the rain soaked through her bonnet
and the rain soaked through her coat…

Continued….

© Ian McMillan 2000

Ian McMillan Perfect Catch

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Songs (Part 1) can be found in Ian McMillan’s collection ‘Perfect Catch’ – available to buy from The Shed Online Shop.

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Songs by Ian McMillan – Part 1 (extract)

“Soon it’ll be like Woodstock: people will pretend they were there – people will want to say, ‘I was there when it all started’” Independent On Sunday.

“Certain men are notorious for what they get up to in their sheds. Simon Thackray runs an arts centre in his. For the past 19 years, The Shed, near the market town of Malton, has been responsible for some of the smallest and most inspired art events in the country.” Alfred Hickling Guardian

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race

Try cooking these: New Recipes for Yorkshire Puddings by Sarah Beattie