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Short poem

Quentin (James) Reynolds (1902-1965)

Venal Vera

To the tune of 'The Foggy, Foggy Dew'

              1They call me Venal Vera, I'm a lovely from Gezira,
              2The Führer pays me well for what I do.
              3The order of the battle, I obtained from last night's rattle
              4On the golf course with a Brigadier from 'Q'.

              5I often have to tarry on the back seat of a gharry,
              6It's part of my profession as a spy,
              7While his mind's on copulation I'm exacting information
              8From a senior GSO or GSI.

              9When I yield to the caresses of the DDWS's
            10I get from them the low-down on the works,
            11And when sleeping in the raw with a major from G4
            12I learn of Britain's bargain with the Turks.

            13On the point of the emission, in the 23rd position,
            14While I quavered with exotic ecstasy,
            15I heard of the location of a very secret station
            16From an over-sexed SO from OS3.

            17So the Colonels and the Majors, and the whisky-soaked old
            18    stagers
            19Enjoy themselves away from England's shore,
            20Why bring victory nearer when the lovelies of Gezira
            21Provide them with a lovely fucking war?


1] Gezira: Gezira is in Sudan, but the Gezira Golf Club in Cairo (a favoured stop for British soldiers in World War II) may be intended.

5] gharry: box-like horse-drawn vehicle typical of the Near East.

8] GSO: General Staff Officer. GSI: General Staff Intelligence.

9] DDWS: Perhaps "Department of Drinking Water Supply" staff.

16] SO: Senior Officer. OS3: perhaps "Operations Specialist 3".

18] stagers: veterans.

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major: The Songs and Ballads of World War II, ed. Martin Page (St. Alban's, Frogmore, Herts: Panther, 1975): 134-35. PR 1175 V4P3 1975 University of Victoria
Publication date note: Published anonymously, but attributed to Reynolds.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/22

Other poems by Quentin (James) Reynolds