“Entertain us now” they cry,

We ask  how and wonder why.

Our tunes so dull they do not please?

Should we fly in on high trapeze?

With dancing girls in fishnet hose,

We each a clown with reddened nose?

To eat some fire and swallow swords?

Is that what the entrance fee affords?


At the Hallé and the Phil,

Do listeners get quite a thrill,

From cellists telling jokes so blue

While playing Bach and Mozart too?

And did Sir John Barbirolli

Come across as rather jolly,

Reciting limericks quite rude

As he conducted Buxtehude?


Perhaps the leader, with his fiddle,

Plays games of Piggy-in-the-Middle

Trying to intercept a pass

Between the woodwind and the brass?

Do trumpeters for their part

Display the ventriloquial art

While triple-tonguing loud and clear

Enunciate “gottle of gear”?


At Old Trafford and The Kop

Do flying wingers sometimes stop?

And lift spectators from their seats

By reciting odes from Keats?

To give the crowd some further fun

They’d ice a cake and bake a bun.

And while down by the corner flag

Do keepy-uppy dressed in drag?


We jazzers now must have a pact

To try and smarten up our act

With prestidigitation grand

(To you and me that’s sleight of hand).

Exhibitionists in our pomp

Cartwheeling during rag and stomp.

And throughout all the razzmatazz

Discerning listeners say: “THAT’S JAZZ”.


A lovely poem, if I may say,
Makes a change from the every day
Moans and groans that come my way
So maybe this will bring in time
Witty comments which actually rhyme
If not now, then later today




Wedding Jazz
by Barrie Marshall


Playing jazz at a wedding

Sometimes for boredom you are heading

Nobody at all is listening 

Those jazz ears they are missing


Friends and relatives they all chat away

They have not seen each other for many a day

You're just a noise in the far background

A sort of pleasant wedding sound


Talking between tunes is no use at all

You might as well be talking to a wall

If you decided to pack up early and go

Nobody would notice nobody would know


You get people who ask for a top ten song

They know nothing about music they are wrong 

And often someone says the drums he can play

Of course in that situation it’s definitely no way


So it’s one of those gigs you just play for the dosh

Whether it be small or a wedding that is posh

Nobody has appreciated your jazz skill

At least the money will help pay the bills



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