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SALOME OR A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY
by
Andrew Vasey

When Salome danced with seven veils
Her motives were not good;
She'd just been jilted by a lad
From her close neighbourhood.
This foolish boy, who'd slighted her
And basely led her on,
Rejoiced in the unusual name
(For that area) of John.
She told herself, "For being false
That blighter, John, will owe me -
I'll pay him back, by hook or crook,
Or my name's not Salome."

Now, in the local paper shop
She chanced to see an ad -
"Dancing lessons, by the famed
Bathsheba of Baghdad."
This caught Salome's eager eye;
She gazed at it, enrapt,
And came up with a scheme whereby
Her ex- could be entrapped.
"You have an inborn talent,
The best pupil that I've had -
Your name will live forever!"
Said Bathsheba of Baghdad.

King Herod liked the younger girls,
With lust that did not cease
(As evidence, I'll tell you
He was married to his niece)
And when a dancer came to court,
Dressed up in seven veils,
He began to sweat profusely,
And to chew his fingernails.
And that was just for starters -
When Salome doffed veil seven
That wicked old King Herod
Swore he'd reached the gates of heaven.

"For dancing so divinely,"
Said the captivated King,
"Just name your price, Salome -
I'll pay you anything."
She answered, "Fetch John's head to me,
Upon a golden platter."
He replied, "We've just got silver ones."
She said, "It doesn't matter."
Herod called his bodyguard -
"You heard the girl," he said,
"When you've found that fellow, John,
Relieve him of his head."
The bodyguard went off at once
To carry out his task,
But as to where to find this John,
He hadn't liked to ask.

The dungeon-keeper told him,
"We've got a felon, John.
The Baptist is his surname -
Perhaps he is the one.
He's in jail 'cos he criticised
Herod's marriage to his niece,
So even if he's not the bloke,
The King won't mind, at least."
The deed was done, a platter found,
And John's head placed upon it.
They took it to Salome,
And they let the hussy con it.
To their relief, she glanced at it,
And waved the thing away:
"That's taught him quite a lesson,"
Was all they heard her say.

In the kingdoms of the Ancient World,
From Palestine to Britain,
They learnt how John had lost his head
To a lass who had no kit on,
And all I'd say about this tale
Is, "Why on earth the fuss?
It only goes to show you
That the World was ever thus!"
 
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