The original version of this poem - “The First Yorkshire Pudding” - was written in the 1930s by R P Weston and Bert Lee. Stanley Holloway recorded it in 1940, with a piano accompaniment by Leo Conriche. The version, below, is a local interpretation, written at Hove Edge by my mother, Eileen Collins.
Hey, waiter, excuse me a minute.
I’m not finding fault, but dear me,
Taties is lovely ant beef is al’reit,
But what sort o’ puddin’ can this be?
It’s what? ‘Yorkshire Pudding’, you say.
I’ll grant you, it’s some sort o’ puddin’, owd lad,
But Yorkshire Puddin’, nay, nay, nay.
Now, Yorkshire Puddin’s a poem in batter.
To make it. it’s an art,
Not a trade.
So, just listen to me an’ I’ll tell you
How’t first Yorkshire Puddin’ was made
A young angel wi’t’ day off from Heaven, Were flying abaht ovver Ilkla Moor, Wen’th angel, poor thing, got cramp in her wing
And cum down at t’owd woman’s door.
T’owd woman smiled and said, ‘Ee, it’s an angel. By heck, I’m fair capped to see thee.
I’ve noan seen one afore, but tha’s welcome.
Come in an’ I’ll mash thee some tea.’
Th’angel said, ‘thank you kindly’,
Though she’d only supped one mug o’ tea,
Ate two dripping slices and one Sally Lunn.
Angels eat very lightly. You see.
Then, t’old woman looked at her clock, saying,
‘T’old fellas due back from’t mill.
Th’ad better get on wi’ yer tea,
But please excuse me.’
I’d best go mek puddin’ for Bill
Then t’angel jumped and said, ‘Gi’ us it here, flour an’ t’water and milk’,
And I’ll show thee how we make puddin’s in Heaven, For Saints Peter, Thomas and Paul.’’
So th’angel took bowl and got stuck in,
Stirring around and whispering, ‘hush’,
As she tenderly tickled ‘tmix true,
Like an artist ad paint wi’ a brush.
Then, told woman asked, ‘Wor is it,
Secret o’t’ puddin’s made up above’.
‘It’s nowt int’ flours and water’, said t’angel’,
‘Mek sure it’s med with love’.
When it were done, she popped it in’t oven.
‘Give it nobbut ten minutes’, she said.
Then, offt’ angel flew,
Leaving first Yorkshire Puddin’ properly med.
‘An’ that’s why it melts in thi gob, just like snow,
An’ as light as a maiden’s first kiss.
As soft as t’ fluff on a puffin.
Not elephant leather, like this.’