Welcome to Britain: A Poem
Friends, welcome! Have a Union Jack:
It's red! It's white! It's blue!
And for your first induction test,
Please join the nearest queue.
I know you want to learn our ways,
But please don't start to chat;
Discuss the weather if you must,
But don't say more than that.
I'm sure that you will learn to love
The left side of the road;
And all the rest you need to know
Is in this useful ode.
You may have heard that British food
Will turn your stomach sick;
This nation that invented scouse,
Black pudding, spotted dick,
And HP Sauce, and shepherd's pie:
The mind, the stomach, reels;
But these are all delightful fare!
(Don't try the jellied eels).
The greatest dish the British make
Is somewhat named in code:
Despite the name, it's really not
A hole containing toad.
We may not quite be Hollywood,
But, this side of the pond,
Our actors are the best around
And four of them played Bond.
So learn their names! There's Connery,
Craig, Dalton – wait, there's Moore!
But we have other actors, too:
Kate Winslet and Jude Law,
Day-Lewis, Chaplin, Judi Dench,
The Grants (Cary & Hugh),
And Brian Blessed, and of course
The main guy from Grease 2.
One year in every four we see
Olympic joy abound
(But mostly at the BBC –
That's next year's dancers found).
The football season runs all year,
From August through to May,
So pick a team and cheer them on
One hundred miles away;
There's cricket too, if you prefer
A drawn-out kind of pain,
And tennis happens once a year
For two weeks in the rain.
We have so many channels here,
But don't get up your hopes:
It's mostly home improvement shows
And badly-written soaps.
Dad's Army, though, is lots of fun,
And Fawlty Towers too,
And when they're not repeating those,
There's always Doctor Who.
The Bake-Off's loved by young and old,
By poor folk and by rich,
And everyone loves Ant and Dec,
Not knowing which is which.
The Beatles are the greatest band
The world has ever seen,
From Rubber Soul to Abbey Road,
To Yellow Submarine;
We also have the Rolling Stones,
Led Zeppelin, Sting, Adele,
Pink Floyd, and Lethal Bizzle (though
He doesn't ring a bell).
There's Elgar, Holst and Britten, if
The old stuff's more for you,
And Handel came and lived here, so
Let's say he's British, too.
If you prefer your literature
To have more light than dark,
Jane Austen wrote six lovely books
(Well, five plus Mansfield Park);
The works of P.G. Wodehouse are
As witty as can be;
And Dickens' books, though rather long,
Are all on DVD.
Read Hamlet, Tess, and Middlemarch;
Jane Eyre, The Waves, Wolf Hall;
Or buy them, at the very least,
And claim you've read them all.
In politics, it's fair to say,
We don't agree on much,
But everyone agrees, it seems,
MPs are "out of touch".
There's Boris Johnson, who was once
A much-beloved clown
But now he's just as popular
As poor old Gordon Brown.
It's safest not to state a view;
Someone will get the hump,
But on one thing we all agree –
At least we don't have Trump!
If you remember nothing else,
Remember this for me:
The most important thing in life;
A nice hot cup of tea.