From the album Midsummer Market
Everyone comes to the Midsummer Market,
Riding the bus so they don’t have to park it.
Travelling from villages scattered around,
To take in the sights and the
smells and the sounds
Of the June day fair,
And perhaps give a hand to the
brass band that plays for the people there.
The cobbler is wielding his pincers and pliers
Watched by the market-day browsers and buyers
Others sell spices from over the seas
And some with balloons that escape on the breeze
Flying who knows where
Memories of Midsummer
drifting away on the morning air.
The man with the miracle cures from the hills
Has lotions and potions to banish all ills
Fainting and fever he’s sure to relieve,
But those in the crowd find it hard to believe
All the words they hear.
But if he should fail, then come sunshine or hail
he’ll be back next year.
And towering over the town
The church like a giant looks down
Casting an eye from the Midsummer sky
on the people there
And echoing sounds of the street organ
down in the market square
Here is the farmer who bought his first pig
And here, the young fiddler who played his first jig
Here are the dancers with sticks and with bells
And here, the old gypsy with fortunes to tell
If you’ll lend an ear
But poor man or king, she may say the odd thing
you don’t want to hear.
The conjurer takes her delight in deceiving
As people with candyfloss stare unbelieving.
Acrobats climb up to five men and higher,
And foolhardy jugglers with torches on fire
Light the evening sky.
And bring in a pound as they pass the hat round
and then wave good-bye.
Time to go home from the shops and the market,
Riding the bus, it’s already so dark
It seems like the town with its shimmering lights
Is a faraway galaxy piercing the night
Sky from who knows where,
Ten million stars, perhaps Venus and Mars,
and we’ve just been there.
Illustrations by Hilary James