18 July 2013


Pam Ayres, was born in 1947 and first came to prominence in Great Britain via the TV talent show, "Opportunity Knocks". Usually, but not always, there is a folksy simplicity about her cleverly observed poetry which is best heard recited by the poetess herself. Her accent is some distance from Queen's English, speaking as she does in the dulcet tones of rural Oxfordshire. She might be described as a comic poet but occasionally she turns her hand to "serious" subjects, pondering intelligently in deeper avenues of human experience.

A few years ago, the BBC conducted a survey to find the country's most loved comic poems and this one, by Pam Ayers, came out on top:-

Oh, I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth,
And spotted the dangers beneath
All the toffees I chewed,
And the sweet sticky food.
Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.

I wish I’d been that much more willin’
When I had more tooth there than fillin’
To give up gobstoppers,
From respect to me choppers,
And to buy something else with me shillin’.

When I think of the lollies I licked
And the liquorice allsorts I picked,
Sherbet dabs, big and little,
All that hard peanut brittle,
My conscience gets horribly pricked.

My mother, she told me no end,
‘If you got a tooth, you got a friend.’
I was young then, and careless,
My toothbrush was hairless,
I never had much time to spend.

Oh I showed them the toothpaste all right,
I flashed it about late at night,
But up-and-down brushin’
And pokin’ and fussin’
Didn’t seem worth the time – I could bite!

If I’d known I was paving the way
To cavities, caps and decay,
The murder of fillin’s,
Injections and drillin’s,
I’d have thrown all me sherbet away.

So I lie in the old dentist’s chair,
And I gaze up his nose in despair,
And his drill it do whine
In these molars of mine.
‘Two amalgam,’ he’ll say, ‘for in there.’

How I laughed at my mother’s false teeth,
As they foamed in the waters beneath.
But now comes the reckonin’
It’s me they are beckonin’

Oh, I wish I’d looked after me teeth.


  1. I loved her poetry and it still stands the test of time very well.

  2. I adore her......especially on JUST A MINUTE

  3. I loved Sherbet fountains and peanut brittle and yes, I have more fillings than teeth!

  4. Funny you should mention Pam Ayres. I'm convinced that she is the new voice of Clarrie Grundy on the Archers.

  5. Not sure about this chappie? I met her once a long time ago in a green room in Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, one of these chimney chuffing, puffing towns, can't remember which now.

    Haven't heard Just a Minute for years, not since the steam radio in the Highlands. I'll listen in and get back to you, just give me a minute.


  6. Oh so delighted to find other bloggers who like Pam Ayres. My favourite is "The Bunny" - quite the cheekiest little poem I know - takes one back to behind the bike sheds in the schoolyard. I find myself exhibiting a certain froideur towards those who don't geddit or spit with laughter when they hear it.

  7. I think you cannot read her poetry without hearing her voice, her accent in your head ~ or is that just me? Thanks for sharing Sir.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits