Fa – the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian


Jumping Jacks

This is an End-of-the-Year light-hearted piece that ha been sitting in a box for a long time. It’s based on the nursery rhyme written around 1815.

Jumping Jacks

Jack be Nimble, if that’s your name.

Here’s an idea for a different game.

Jack don’t be nimble, Jack be good.

Only do the things you should.

Stop jumping over candle-sticks

The world is tired of old-time tricks.

Not only that but it burns my wick!

I say this with no pun intended.

But one of these days you’ll be upended.

If it happens and you fall down.

There’s a real good chance you’ll break your crown.

If you do this at any time,

You’ll find yourself in a different rhyme.

You might find it hard to take this pill,

But you’ll be paired with a girl named Jill.

Take that Jack! And your pail too.

Don’t say I didn’t look out for you.

Jack be Nimble, why the laughter?

Just wait till Jill comes tumbling after.

Your fate is sealed it’s carved in stone

From now on you’re not alone.

She’ll be with you like a shadow,

To follow you around.

You’ll be a prisoner of her guile.

Do not worry, just wait a while;

You see, in you she made one good pick.

So maybe now you’ll stop your tricks.

And take up other things to make or do.

Now, Jack be Nimble do this now

It’s for your sake, so make a vow

 Jack be Nimble do hereby swear

To never jump again.

No more fortunes told with candles.

Raise plants instead with long green tendrils.

No, perhaps not; I did not mean

That you should start at growing beans.

For that might change the rhyme once more

Running for dear life towards the door

Of a giant’s castle in the sky

Bound on baking you in a pie.

Down the stalk and run instead

Home to mother and your bed.

Stay there forever, forget the game

I even hope you forget my name.

Forget what I have said today

Just go about your life your way.

Go back to being nimble and also quick

Continue jumping candle sticks

That you will fall we have no fears

Because you’ve done this for two hundred years.