Spike smiles from the grave

The family's choice

This poem below, supposedly written by Spike Milligan, is surely one way to lift people’s spirits in this difficult covid time. It is certainly what he tried to do with his humour.

“Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
when someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw me grin.
when he smiled I realized I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile then I realized its worth. A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth. So if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected, let’s start an epidemic quick and get the world infected.”

Spike Milligan was born in India 1918, relocating to England, first in Brockley (London) and then eventually residing in East Sussex, near Rye. He was a British/Irish actor, comedian, writer, poet and dramatist. He died in February 2002 and is buried in Winchelsea’s St Thomas the Martyr’s  churchyard (shown below).

Beautiful St Thomas the Martyr’s church

While one could easily imagine Spike writing this poem, was it really penned by him? It was questioned at the time it appeared, and the author Jez Alborough claimed it as his creation. Jez is an English writer and illustrator of children picture books which have been translated into more than 15 languages.

The question is, does it matter really (of course to the author it does), but people now just need encouragement to smile to lighten up the days. Spike of course can’t argue so hopefully Jez takes it in the spirit of everybody’s smile.

Image Credits: Heidi Foster .


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