IN Competition No. 1479 you were given the first line of an old song and invited to carry on.
I'm reliably told this was a favourite song of Evelyn Waugh. People wrote to tell me that I quoted the third line, not the first, that it should be 'twin' rather than 'father', that the lyric was written by A. P. Herbert, but nobody was kind enough to supply the text. I should be grateful to anyone who can (come in, come on, Auberon). There was a huge entry and at least a dozen fine runners-up, headed by Rhoda Koenig, Len Wellgerbil, Jeanne Fielder, William Guest and Roger Woddis. The prizewinners be- low get I11 each and the bonus bottle of 904 Gran Riserva from La Rioja Alta, the gift of Mr David Balls of Wines from Spain, goes to Ginger Jelinek.
Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin—
It's a terrible fault in a monk. In, other respects I'm not troubled by sin. It s just getting out of my bunk That causes my legs to feel wobbly and weak,
My whole moral fibre to fail,
Till I've had a small swig to restore my physique And my mental control, which is frail.
I stay in the chapel from Matins to Lauds, Then work in the kitchen till Prime, I garden till Terce, I'm not one of those frauds Who's half asleep most of the time.
I supervise novices daily till Sext, Then, drawing on self-discipline, Illuminate Bede's or Erasmus's text . . • But I cannot get up without gin.
(Ginger Jelinek) Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin, Or yet that I have it for tea, For gin's his own favourite tipple — He says it's quite wasted on me.
I've a brother in Bognor on brandy, And another in Rochdale on rum, I've a sister in Ventnor on vodka, While the one on malt whisky is Mum.
So you see there's no family likeness; We all of us drink what we please, And what is bad news for the ganders May well be quite good for the geese.
So I'll stick to my breakfast of gin, Dad, And hope that you'll come to agree That, if gin is wasted on anyone, It had better be wasted on me.
(David Heaton) Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin And finish the bottle at dinner, He knows I'm no saint but he hasn't found out That in fact I'm the ultimate sinner.
You can say that I'm hooked on hashish and cocaine, That I've done seven years in the clink.
You may publish my shame and blacken my name And I bet that he won't even blink; But telling the pater I breakfast on gin Would be fatal, a double-sure killer, You don't give such news about that kind of booze To a man who's a whisky distiller.
(Philip A. Nicholson) Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin; He fancies he's pure and devout, Tending to harp on the spirit within While I like my spirit without. I'm not alcoholic, but when I was three I started to wake in the night.
Nanny would dope me with gin and cold tea, And then mask the shade of my light.
What is ironic, but plainly a fact, Is Daddy's large share of the blame, Since Nanny and he were caught in the act Which split up the household in shame.
Thus came the habit I never could lose, Though one he would swear could be broken, Of starting the day on a tumbler of booze The moment the blackbird has spoken.
(Rodney Burke) Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin, Neat as a rule, but some fizziness Creeps in at times when resources are thin. Tell him to mind his own business.
Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin.
Like a flash he'll be round here to share it.
I don't want the silly old sod rushing in With his tongue hanging out — I can't spare it.
Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin. If you think he'll be shocked you're mistaken. He'd certainly sit himself down and tuck in- To the last of my rashers of bacon.
Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin Or tell me life isn't all roses, Or that thorns are the ultimate wages of sin And the wages of gin are cirrhosis.
(Arthur Oliver) Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin; The old boy would have forty fits.
In these parts Wincarnis is looked on as sin, And nobody even says `tits'!
A chocolate gateau is 'naughty but nice'. When you talk to your friends, be discreet. If word got around that mixed nuts were my vice, They'd all cut me dead in the street.
So, Mother, I have to rely on your tact And your natural prudence too.
For if your let slip even one naughty fact. . . Well, there's lots I could say about you!
(Keith Norman) Don't tell my father I breakfast on gin. Pa's the most critical one of my kin. 'Gentlemen breakfast on champagne or beer. Only a trollopy tart or a queer
Tipples on spirits before twelve o'clock,' He declares. Me, I'm the sort a light hock Fails to encourage to face a poached egg. Hard stuff alone'll make me show a leg: Whisky on waking and feeling like death; Gargling in grappa to sweeten the breath; Sambucca soap for that glow to the face; Dry sherry aftershaves tingle and brace; Tots of tequila then back between sheets; Breakfast in bed is the best of life's treats— Toast and a bottle of gin on the tray. Fortified thus one can start the new day.