ROKE FROM THE RODHAMS

(Saving the countryside words) Lyrics by Roger Coghill


The Oxford Junior Diction’ry

Has words for kids to learn.

But you won’t find “acorn” in its list

Nor “cygnet”, “beech”, or “fern”.

There is no “pasture” on its page,

No “willow” can be seen:

The words describing nature

Are as if they’d never been.


Instead, we find there’s “broadband”

And “cut-and-paste” and “blogs”,

And MP3 and bullet-point,

-The words of technologs.

So here’s a song to keep the words

Of nature from decay.

But listen well, for I foretell

They may soon fade away.


A fizmer is the sound of grass

When rustled by a breeze.

A roke, it is the smokelike mist

In evenings from damp trees.

A rawky day is when you feel

Cold set your teeth on edge.

A smeuse is the trail the rabbits leave

As they pass through a hole in the hedge.




A mavis is a song thrush.

A rodham’s a bank that is raised.

When the field is too wet, the word that you get,

Is donky, but don’t be amazed.

They say that our civilisation

Is losing the species of old.

Biodiversity’s locked in adversity

All for the making of gold.


But phrases that capture the feelings

Of nature are dying as well

And the words that portray life’s natural way

Are facing their final death knell.

So go out and donk, you good people

On some cool rawky morning in May.,

And stand by a smeuse; you have nothing to lose

As from rodhams the roke fades away!


Back to GENRES