Works in the Herald 1935

In America now (says a traveller) canned beer has practically relaced the bottled product. Twelve ounce tins are sold for 15 cents in the U.S.A., and tin-openers are supplied.

Romance goes out of everything in these days of ill grace,
And even old John Barleycorn grows "standardised" apace;
Once henchman of gay gallantry, a kindlier part he played.
Scene: Tavern door.  A saucy wench.  A merry, ruffling blade.
He stops.  She smiles.  Arm round her waist.  "Could Eve be more divine?
See, a kiss, my pretty sweetling.  Then, I pray, a stoup of wine."

'Twas in a "silver tassie" that Rab Burns pledged his lass
(The current one, 'tis understood).  But days grows drab, alas.
Scene: London pub.  Tiles.  Glittering glass; and there, behind the bar,
A brass-haired goddess, proud, aloof from this meek gutter child.
"A pot o' four-'arf, thank yeh, miss.  An' please to dror it mild."

The scene shifts to Australia, "where a man can raise a thirst."
(See Kipling).  From "long-sleevers" now they drained the stuff acurst.
Back of beyond, by Clancy's run they've a had a six months' drought.
Scene: Old bush shanty.  Summer.  Flies.  Six shearers "cutting out."
A shirt-sleeved, whiskered barman.  Says Bill: "By gum, it's 'ot!
Breast up, blokes.  Name yer gargle.  Rybuck, boss; mine's a pot."

But mass-production now debunks old John, for olden sins;
They've "synthesised" him, "standardised" him, soldered him in tins.
Grog goes no more with gallantry, nor wine with poesy.
Scene: Chain store-grocer's.  Pickles, clothes-pegs, jam, tinned salmon, tea.
Smug grocer (strict abstainer).  Enter cove in working duds.
He slings a sprat across the joint: "Hoy!  Gissa tinna suds!"

Herald, 9 December 1935, p8

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-05