Childhood
THE DAY B.J.T. CAME TO BOWL
by
Barry Cryer

There once was a fellow called Albert
A cricketer dashing and bold
Or to be more correct I'll say 'batting and bowled'
For there hangs a tale to be told

Now Albert was courting a lady 
A lass by the name Rose Ann Kate 
And she never stopped praising her idol 
The great B.J.T. Bosanquet.

Yes - him as invented the googly 
The off-break that's bowled as leg-break 
And Albert got fed up about it 
And used to cry: 'For heaven's sake!

'I'll acknowledge the man is a marvel 
Some would say he's a right pioneer 
But there's bowlers down here in the village 
I will claim without favour or fear

'Who can sling 'em down twisting and turning
And spinning and breaking and that'
Said Rose: 'Now then Albert, let's get one thing straight,
When you mention the master, doff hat

'B.J.T. Bosanquet is a wonder 
A man who is equalled by none 
And if he came down here to the village 
Not one of you'd muster a run'

'You're on!' cried our Albert with passion 
'Let him bowl at our lads - every one 
And when he gives up, we'll all show him 
Exactly how it should be done'

'You're a dreamer, our Albert, you're potty!' 
The sterling Rose Ann Kate then cried 
'You seem to think bowling, like life, lad, 
Is nobbut a bit on the side'

So they posted a letter to London 
Inviting the great man to tea 
Then added: 'PS If you'd like to join in, 
We're having a knock - kick-off three'

Well, imagine their trembling excitement 
When an envelope dropped on the mat 
Inside was a note from the great B. J.T. 
Saying: 'Thank you -I'll have some of that'

The great day arrived - it were sunny 
And the lads of the village stood round 
And somewhere a curlew were singing 
And the landlord's dog peed on the ground

Then up drove a car - it were splendid
And the lads all craned forward to see
'By gum!' cried the vicar, 'Have you seen t'licence plate?'
And there was inscribed 'B. J.T.'

The king of the seam then dismounted
To a spirited round of applause
And Rose cried: 'You're welcome sir- teach 'em to win!
They'll tell you that I can't stand draws!'

So the stumps were set up in the sunlight 
And then the great contest began 
B.J.T. from both ends - every over 
And the village turned out to a man

It took him ten minutes to do it 
On the Scoreboard it said: 'All out- Nowt' 
And they carried him shoulder high after 
And he said: 'Come on lads, it's my shout!'

And they laughed and they sang in The Packhorse 
And they supped the ale all night in bulk 
And only one man were nowhere to be seen 
'Cos Albert had gone home to sulk

Now the ending of this stirring saga 
Was that B.J.T. drove home to cheers 
And the lads to this day talk about it 
As they sup their Old English keg beers

'But what of our Albert?' you ask me 
'Did he make young Rose Ann Kate his wife?' 
No, she married the milkman, so he shot himself 
I know it's right sad - but that's life.
The end