Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Toy Boy by John Lennon - Search Is Over!

My long search for an "official" copy of John Lennon's poem, The Toy Boy, has ended with the felicitous acquisition of a copy of the December 1965 issue of McCall's Magazine, in which it was first published. Many thanks to Sandra and Victoria at the 84 Charing Cross Bookstore.

You can view the pages in their original size by clicking the images.

Click here for magnified image of poem.

Below in text format is the poem in its entirety. Enjoy! 

“I don't believe a word of it,
I think it's too absurd of it,
It's just an Old Wives' Tale, I bet,
The silliest and softest yet.
Imagine, if it walked and that,
Surely it would crush us flat!
It's such a giant thing, you know.
All in all, it goes to show
How stupid can you be?"

This was Ralph the Elephant,
Talking loud and eloquent,
Bossing all the Bears and Cats, .
All the Dogs and Policemen's Hats,
Shouting down the Wise Old Shoe,
Who said that what he said was true.
"I don't care what you say to me.
I've been on his foot, you see?"
And he had.

"I've beard it squeaking," said the horse.
"Though I can't be sure! of course—
I could have sworn it climbed on me
When I was asleep, you see!"
"What nonsense!" Ralph replied at length.
"Do you think it has the strength?
I call this meeting to a close.
All in favor—raise their nose.
We'll take a vote!"

"Unfair, unfair!" the Toys all said.
"Shoes and Hats have got no head!"
"How can they vote, I ask you now?”
Said the 'Brown but friendly Cow.
"We'll wait until the break of day,
To prove the truth of what we say."
"Agreed, agreed!" said Sydney Shoe,
Who felt he was the one who knew.
He probably was.

The Clock struck eight, as clocks will do,
At eight o'clock—that's nothing new
Except that this clock never could,
Unless you asked it if it would.
The clock obligingly conferred,
"I will not chime unless I'm heard!"
He was an artiste, so you see—
He didn't like to chime for free!
You know how it is.

As it struck, the room went dead.
A little voice came from the bed.
"Is anybody there?" it spoke.
"Or is this someone's kind of joke?
I could have sworn I heard a voice-
Perhaps me grannie made the noise,
Her early-warning coughing fit
As she gets her ciggie lit—
But I doubt it.

"Im sure it came from over there,
From my toys, beneath the chair.
I can't believe it—but it's true
Somebody has moved my shoe!
The one I got from Uncle Tom,
Who said he only needed one.
And Elephant and Carol Cow,
They must have moved—I wonder how?
It's most peculiar!

“I think I ought to tell my dad.
I have no secrets," said the lad.
"And Mother, she's a right to see
All this nonconformity."
So he went and told them all,
And suddenly he felt so small,
Because they took him in the car
To see that awful Doctor Parr,
Who certified him.
There you are.