June 13, 2024

Whole Family

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The Poetry of Dad’s Army

2 min read

Dad’s Army was an British sitcom writing by Jimmy Perry and David Croft which ran between 1968 and 1977. There was also a film and a stage show.

But what poetry featured in Dad’s Army? Well in Asleep in the Deep a patrol are trapped underground and Captain Manwaring suggest singing Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree (though Private Walker suggests a ruder piece, It was Christmas day in the Workhouse….

The most famous use of poetry must be in The Deadly Attachment. Here Private Pike recites one of the many parodies of Whistle While You Work from Snow White. Unfortunately the German U-Boat Captain doesn’t see the joke.

One subtle use of poetry was an episode title. The title Is there honey still for tea? comes from the last line of The Old Vicarage, Grantchester by Rupert Brooke. In Rupert Brooke’s case he asks because he is Germany. In the programme the question is asked because Godfrey’s cottage is about to be demolished.,

Given that poetry is any form of speech that is not prose, it also includes the words of drinking games. In Fallen Idol Captain Square plays a drinking game called Cardinal Puff The rules of the game were simplified, but involve saying firstly “I dedicate this drink to Cardinal Puff once” and then tap the top of the table, the underneath of the table, and then pick up the beer. Next time they have to do two taps on the top, on the underneath and then drink it. The third time is three taps. Unsurprisingly Captain Manwaring gets drunk-which is fortunate as Arthur Lowe was such a good drunk actor.

I think that is all the examples in the show.

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