Our treasurer and resident poet Chris Herbert performed this poem she wrote at our recent concert at Mapplewell.

If, like Albert you fancy joining us to have a go at singing, see our ‘Join Us’ page for details!


Albert Joins The Choir

In a South Yorkshire town known as Stocksbridge
Renowned for its steel works and smoke
Lived our Albert along wi’ ‘is missus
An affable, middle-aged bloke.

They got along well wi’ their neighbours,
Went shopping to t’co-op each week,
There were churches, pubs, fast food outlets
And folk who’d just stop yer an’ speak.

They’d worked reight hard on their décor
T’rooms were cream, pastel, pale blue,
T’ garden were ship-shape an’ weed-less
Now Albert ‘ad nowt else to do.

‘E sat in t’armchair fair maudlin
Changing channels each minute or two,
Caressing ‘is ‘orses ‘ead ‘andle
Reminiscing ‘bout lion at t’zoo.

His missus were getting quite shirty
‘Cos Albert were under ‘er feet
“Tha’ll ‘ave to find summat to do, lad,
That’ll get thee outdoors of a neet.”

She ‘anded ‘im ‘What’s On’ in t’paper…
Bowls, golf, tennis, art, ‘ist’ry an’ t’gym
Computers an’ crafts, scrabble, drama,
There were nowt there that int’rested ‘im.

Then ‘is eyes saw a small ad in t’corner;
‘Wanted – men for a choir, Tuesday neet.’
‘Is wife gave a scream of blind panic
As ‘e kissed ‘er an’ leapt to ‘is feet.

‘E said’ “I’m allus singing in t’shower,
In t’car an’ when mowin’ yon lawn,
I could mek mi name singing solo –
I could be the next Frankie Vaughn!”

‘Is wife ‘ad no such illusions
But wanting a quiet night in
She kissed ‘im an’ flattered ‘is ego
An’ then waved ‘im off wi’ a grin.

‘E walked into t’Venue bit nervous
An’ tentively peered around t’door
To be grabbed in a vice grip by Rachel
An’ half dragged across th‘all floor.

“It’s a man”, thought Rachel, ‘er eyes bright,
“’E’s breathing, ‘e must be alive.
I don’t care if ‘e sings bass or tenor,
I’ll sit ‘im twixt Roger an’ Clive”.

Poor Albert di’n’t know what ‘ad ‘it ‘im
‘E’d only been grabbed once or twice,
Then ‘e thought, ‘Young, strong an’ pretty –
Being grabbed were really quite nice!’

He learned that the chairman were Roger,
The secret’ry, Linda, were jolly,
Then Clive warned, “Beware o’ yon treasurer,
She’s allus after thi lolly!”

T’choir members were chatty an’ ‘elpful,
Welcoming, put ‘im at ease.
Clare’s warm-up were really amusing –
This choir lark would just be a breeze.

‘E were ‘anded some music by Carole
Which ‘e scanned with some trepidation.
Some titles ‘e knew, some ‘e didn’t,
Giving rise to acute consternation.
‘E remembered ‘is music from t’primary
Clef spaces were F, A, C, E
Then ‘e realised ‘e’d be singing from t’bass clef
An’ ‘e di’n’t know which note were a B!

There were black notes an’ white notes an’ squiggles
Albert wondered just what e’d done;
What on earth were dec, cres, an’ coda?
‘E thought singing were meant to be fun!​

He stroked ‘orses ‘ead ‘andle to calm ‘im,
An’ thought back to t’lion in t’zoo;
If I’m brave enough to face t’ruddy lion,
I’m sure I can face this lot too!

Well th’opening song were ‘Love Changes’
By Al’s favourite singer Mike Ball,
‘I know this’, thought our cocky Albert,
‘I’ll show ‘em what’s what after all.’

Well t’first bit were easy – in unison –
But then came t’four part ‘armony,
‘E’d just got the measure of that bit
When the whole blooming thing changed its key!

Poor Albert sat down all despondent
“Tha were good for a first time”, said Dan,
“If yer don’t know t’song, sit an’ listen,
Just join in wi’ t’bits that you can.”

Well t’next song were all sung in Latin,
Wi’ eyes closed, ‘e opened ‘is ears,
‘E ‘ad no idea what t’words meant
But t’sweet music near brought ‘im to tears.

They sang ‘Chattanooga’ an’ ‘Gloria’,
‘The Rhythm of Life’ an’ ‘For Good’,
There were songs ‘bout bridges an’ rainbows,
Albert joined in whenever ‘e could.

At th’end o’ t’neet ‘e were knackered!
‘Is throat were as dry as could be,
‘Is brain felt it ‘ad been through a mangle
But ‘e’d ‘ad such a good time you see.

‘E’d met such a lot of nice people
Though ‘is singing’ skills ‘e’d yet to hone.
‘E’d even won chocolates in t’raffle
Which ‘e’d gi’ to ‘is missus back ‘ome.

Albert trotted back ‘ome all elated,
‘Is spirits just couldn’t get ‘igher
‘E’d really enjoyed t’choral singing
‘E’d be back next week to join t’choir.

So men, tek a leaf from our Albert,
If you’re free Tuesday neets an’ can sing,
Come along an’ be grabbed at by Rachel
Just turn up or give us a ring.

You’ll allus be made very welcome,
You don’t ‘ave to be a musical geek,
Just let your voice out in a sing song
An’ it’s only three quid a week!

As for Albert Ramsbottom, our ‘ero,
Singing solo ‘e still does aspire
But for t’moment ‘e’s quite ‘appy singing
Wi’ t’Waldershelf Singers – our choir.
Christine Herbert – June 2015