Thursday, 11 December 2008

Joyce The Librarian

I’ve always thought that librarians are stereotyped and get a raw deal. It’s the same whether it’s a TV sketch, film, limerick and in this case a song, Joyce the Librarian.

I heard it for the first time on the Alan Titchmarch radio programme on the way back from church. It was performed by Peter Skellern and Richard Stillgoe and I laughed all the way home. As I listened to it, I was reminded of how I enjoy your poems Brenda at Rinkly Rimes

Unfortunately I can't find that version on You Tube which is a pity because it's a very good recording. There are a couple of others but they're not very good. Anyway, with apologies to librarians out there, here's the lyrics:

Joyce The Librarian

Joyce the librarian
Strict vegetarian
Forty and living with mum.
Wears sandals and glasses
Attends evening classes
And wonders if romance will come.
Though she'd never been kissed
It's not something she'd missed
Until some weeks before;
When George, a rotarian,
Handsome lotharian,
Walked through the library door.

George was unmarried
And the torch that Joyce carried
Was burning a hole in her heart
She wanted to show him
But didn't yet know him
She didn't know where to start
So with growing abhorrance
She read D.H. Lawrence
To glean a few ideas . . .
Which she turned down flat
She couldn't do that
Not in a million years!!

Joyce the librarian
Strict vegetarian
Was burning with animal lust
Alarming sensations
Strange palpatations
A mix of delight and disgust
So she busied herself
Rearranging the shelf
To try to control her dreams.
Joyce the librarian
The disciplinarian
Was falling apart at the seams.

The very next day
She kept out of the way
When George returned his books
But with growing conviction
She wandered through "Fiction"
And threw him some longing looks.
And when George joined the queue
She knew just what to do,
She smiled and removed her specs . .
Then looked in horror
'Cause he'd come to borrow "
The Further Joy of Sex".

Perhaps because latterly
She'd read "Lady Chatterley"
Something just snapped in her head;
She gave herself gladly,
Wildly, madly,
To George that night in his bed.
But then just as she'd feared
George disappeared
Some other librarian to woo.
Now there's a sob in her voice
As both book and Joyce
Are a fortnight over due.
Richard Stilgoe & Peter Skellern


  1. I'm glad you have always thhought us stereotyped! IN another life I was a school librarrian. Though I must admitt to being a bit of a Go, Girl Joyce!

  2. Richard and Peter were very clever though they may have read one too many romance novels.

  3. Have just come across that wonderful poem (which I wish I'd written) and your kind reference to me! Thanks for both. It's good to know rhyming poetry is still read by some people!

  4. I used to wonder if I would be a librarian, or at least an old spinster. Ha!

  5. There is a good version of Joyce The Librarian
    on this website
    the singers name is Liz Ryan an Irish performer


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