Sunday Night at Gran’s

Sunday Night at Gran’s

Give us a toon, Winnie, Grandma would say
as we settled down after our tea.
Ripples of liquid poetry flowed
from the fingers of my spinster  Aunt,
to enchant us and set the mood.

Give us a song, Joan, she’d say
and the Eriskay Love Lilt would woo us
in silvery soprano notes
from my youngest Aunt
when shivers down spines would seduce us.

Now you, Bob, would elicit
a song far too explicit
for  young ears, Gran complained
as French Uncle Bob crooned
Auprès de ma Blonde
il faut bien , il faut bien dormir.

Bob set the tone for Grandpa,
deaf as a post but still game
to warble a rude one
we all knew by heart:
Johnny with his Cam-er-a.

How about Marion? And my Mum
would groan and play with aplomb
and much too fast, her only party piece.
Hungarian Rhapsody Number two
by Liszt. Played like that, it was jolly.

Duets would follow from unwilling siblings
Sylvia and Vivienne.
London Pride we could do without squabbling
but my Grandfather’s Clock was a killer.
A veil will be drawn over vile din from fiddle.

Gran would contribute her best to the party –
the beautiful Alice Blue Gown.
Then the signal to wind up—
crashing chords from the piano
as we asked God to Bless This House,  
before we all went to bed.

I couldn’t leave Winnie’s programme uncredited – it is still one of my very favourite pieces of music, Chopin’s Fantasie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Opus 66, played on this clip by Valentina Igoshgina:

Saturday’s Music prompt at coincided with a flood of ideas and far too many posts yesterday, so I’ve saved it for Open Link Night at the Pub.


All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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23 Responses to Sunday Night at Gran’s

  1. gerry snape says:

    i love this one with it’s family and customs! I love story in my poetry and a hook to hang the poem on. but also love that it took me back to mum saying …stand there and give us a song…and of course one was Alice Blue Gown and another was My Grandfather’s clock. Now my grandchildren sing something by Lady Gaga or Pink! every thing changes and nothing changes…oh and I love the music…am listening right now. Thankyou!


  2. A fine verse 🙂


  3. Jinksy says:

    I remember similar things from when I was small – those were the days! ♥


  4. Very well done. Felt like I was right there. I probably would have sung about a blonde as well 🙂


  5. brian miller says:

    ha what a delightful piece….this brought a smile to my face and warm memories of family time…and all the characters in my own…this was a delight viv….


  6. You took me there. I felt part of the family and I knew every piece mentioned. This made me happy. Thanks for bringing me “home”.


  7. margaretbednar says:

    I looked Valentina Igoshgina up to see if she had a cd for sale. Didn’t see any. I’d love to purchase some amazing music like this for my iPod… Do YOU have a favorite – there are so many out there. Just thought I would ask to see if you had a favorite performer.


  8. margaretbednar says:

    when shivers down spines would seduce us.

    Loved this so much and the YouTube clip of Valentina (love that name!) … exquisite!


  9. Viv, mine was one of few families where we indulged in sharing our talents. Of course, Dad couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but he could recite full poems of Service and Kipling. His memory was incredible. Love that you have these memories, Viv; this fits in well with your WWII stories, really. Peace, Amy


  10. Patti says:

    I hope this is based on a true memory. I love stories, whether poetry of prose, that are drawn from the experiences of the writer’s youth. This one was charming. I was there, praying that Gran wouldn’t call on me.


    • vivinfrance says:

      Yes, really truly. We had many many evenings like this when I was a child, and there is an extended prose account in my war memoir which you will find on the header bar of this blog.


  11. What a fun family! Wonderfully happy poem.


  12. What glorious memories! In the days before everything was on-screen and on-line, lovely how people entertained themselves and shared their gifts. I love it, Viv. I could see everyone – a festive bunch!


  13. markwindham says:

    love this Viv, the memories are strong and wonderful (not a lick of musical talent in my family). ‘Ripples of liquid poetry flowed’ is a great line, also liked ‘silvery soprano notes’. and, to have but a tenth of the talent of Ms Valentina … love that sound…


  14. Felt like a Cash family reunion…lol. I loved the realness of the family in this poem, I could picture my own family in the palces of these lovely people. And I love Chopin, Bercuese being my fave. Great job, loved it.


  15. Tilly Bud says:

    What a treat – poem and video.

    Loved this journey into your past.


  16. It sounds like a typical lovely family gathering and, no hand held games, TV or other electronic gadgets were needed or involved. What a great night you all must have had on these nights, Sometimes it’s such a shame these days have gone.
    Great writing Viv.


  17. Ravenblack says:

    Enjoyed this poem of a family having a good time together – poetry, song and tea. Wonderful. It’s not always like that with mine. 😀 Thanks for sharing this.


  18. tigerbrite says:

    Oh what a joy !
    Such a talented family.


  19. Abin says:

    a very warm and loving picture of wonderful family bonding.lovely.


  20. Jo Woolf says:

    This sounds like proper family entertainment! Lovely. Your aunts sound as if they were very talented, and your Uncle Bob and Grandpa must have been real characters!


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