Miss Joan Hunter Dunn 1915 - 2008

#1
Betjeman's muse and the subject of 'The Subaltern's Love Song', Joan Hunter Dunn, died on Friday.

May she rest in peace, the dream of a bygone age.
 
#3
A wonderful poem of a time gone by.


And here it is.


A Subalterns Love Song

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament - you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

Her father's euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing's the light on your hair.

By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
 
#4
If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...


"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

(I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)
 
#5
Cuddles, You have just ruined the poem for me - for ever.

I will never be able to think of the poem without Your rewrite :D
 
#6
Cuddles said:
If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...


"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

(I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)
Hmmm - only 10 syllables in your rewrite as opposed to 11 in the original - still doesn't sound write IMO. How about:

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
And now I'm balls deep in Miss J Hunter Dunn" ?
 
#7
Yes, thank you the pair of you, I'm sure that's quite enough messing about with Betjeman (and no, don't even go there!). Go and sit on the naughty chair until you have reflected sufficiently on the error of your ways. Be off with you!
 
#9
Cuddles said:
If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...


"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

(I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then, 'No, no: not there!', squealed, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn"?

I have to say, that the thought of her as a 93 year old just isn't the same.
 
#10
What about:

"Then I roared up the wrong 'un of Joan Hunter Dunn!" ?

:p :p

I'll get me coat. :oops:
 
#11
Cuddles said:
If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...


"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

(I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)
Try...

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I kicked in the back doors of Miss J Hunter Dunn..." 8)

My intro to lit tutor at UCL would be soooo proud of me for that one :lol:
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#12
Airfix said:
Cuddles said:
If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...


"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

(I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)
Try...

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I kicked in the back doors of Miss J Hunter Dunn..." 8)

My intro to lit tutor at UCL would be soooo proud of me for that one :lol:
Try this..

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I hung out the back of Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

I must read some JB when I get home tonight...

..and raise a glass to Miss J Hunter Dunn
 
#13
ANd a warm welcome to the April edition of "The light relief CA thread" :D
 
#14
fozzy said:
Airfix said:
Cuddles said:
If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...


"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

(I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)
Try...

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I kicked in the back doors of Miss J Hunter Dunn..." 8)

My intro to lit tutor at UCL would be soooo proud of me for that one :lol:
Try this..

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I hung out the back of Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

I must read some JB when I get home tonight...

..and raise a glass to Miss J Hunter Dunn
Lime and Gin, surely - in honour of the poem?
 
#16
Pprune's version... 8)

First Officer's Lust-Song (with apologies to John Betjeman)

Miss J. Hunter Dunn, cabin crew Number One,
Tarnish'd and varnish'd in stopover sun,
"The Captain has coffee, I'll have a tea";
All in the flight deck - you, him and me!

One-thirty, one-forty, oh! I missed the rotate,
The skipper will spend the whole trip in a bate,
"Slap a screen on that window - there's too much damn sun,
Stay awake for the flight now, we're not here for fun".

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How bad I am, glad I am, that you're up for fun,
The warm-bodied hostie is back in her dress,
Now that shock-faced young steward, he fancies me less.

The ATCO's anonymous, we recycle the squawk,
In hitting the ident I dropped knife and fork
And cool is the welcome that marshals us in
To Golf Nineteen Left as she pockets the gin.

The scent of my aftershave, sound of the shower,
The view from the hotel of pylon and tower,
As I struggle with hairdryer - have I done up my fly?
For we dance at the Palais, my hostie and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and skirt,
Her uniform hat, with my shoes and shirt,
She lies on the bed, I beg her don't mock,
For the minibar key just broke off in the lock.

The jacuzzi is waiting, we wrestle and fall,
Those damn photos of Airbuses fell off the wall,
As I stand at the phone, please don't fondle my wares;
I'm calling my wife - I'll meet you downstairs.

By roads badly surfaced, en route bribing a cop,
The taxi is ancient - will that Peugeot stop?
Into after-dark downtown, the cab has no lights,
And I nibble her ear and run my hand up her tights.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the disco's begun,
Oh! Damn - bust a shoelace, my sock's full of sand,
Then I feel on my thigh your trolley girl's hand.

Around us are Royal Brunei and BA,
El Al and United, BWIA,
And here on my right that young steward's voice,
"Are you certain you know what's your sexual choice?"

Then the scent of her sweat, the words spin round my head,
And the ominous, dangerous time spent in bed.
We talked in the car park till twenty past one
For she now thinks she is pregnant, does Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
 
#17
Airfix said:
Cuddles said:
If you drove into Camberley now all you would smell is the exhaust from McD's and curry houses...


"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I lobbed one up Miss J Hunter Dunn..."

(I tried "wrong 'un" but the scansion was all wrong...)
Try...

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I kicked in the back doors of Miss J Hunter Dunn..." 8)

My intro to lit tutor at UCL would be soooo proud of me for that one :lol:
He would if it had scanned! :wink:
 
#18
It's UCL, what do you expect?
 
#19
Quite so Fas, however a swift amendment and the correct version is...

"We sat in the car until twenty to one
Then I kicked in the back doors of Joan Hunter Dunn..."

PTP - I know this isn't the NAAFI but sadly when opportunity knocks, one has to take it. After all, until "John Betjeman" becomes either the star of a porn film or the manager of a premiership team in deep doo-doo, well what is a red blooded literatist like myself to do?
 
#20
I'm giggling like a loon and people in the office are giving me arched looks.

I think I can see Betjeman doing the same from the firmament!
 

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