Poems for Passover
Here are a selection of my Passover poems for your enjoyment. They need to be read with one's tongue firmly pressed in one's cheek, infact some of the rhymes only work that way!
A PASSOVER POEM
It started with Abraham, who made the news
By becoming the very first of the Jews.
He had a wife called Sarah and a 'friend' as well
Who gave him a son called Ishmael.
Sarah was quite old and getting dizzy
But to everyone's surprise had a son called Izzy
(His name was Isaac but Izzy will do)
And he became the very next Jew.
Abraham had to make a choice
Between Ishmael and Isaac, his two little boys
So he sent away Ishmael and his mum as well
And went to live in Israel.
Izzy met Rebecca and lost his head
So he asked the question and they soon got wed.
They had two sons for goodness sake
And called one Esau and the other Jake.
Jacob, the younger was so clever they say
So he and his mum made a plan one day,
Jake dressed as Esau and they both got busy,
To trick a promise out of old blind Izzy.
Izzy hoped that Esau could be a sensation,
As the one to found the Jewish Nation.
But in confusion he didn't know who to choose
So Jacob became the next of the Jews.
Jacob worked for seven years just to get wed,
Thought he'd marry Rachel but got Leah instead.
For Rachel he worked for seven years more,
(don't trust your bosses, that's for sure).
He ended with four wives and then twelve sons
So life for Jacob wasn't such fun.
The house was never empty, always full of noise
With his wives, their friends and all those boys.
Jake's youngest sons he loved more than the rest,
Benjamin and Joseph who was a real pest.
He translated dreams and told others that he
Would soon be just like royalty.
Joseph's brothers could take no more
They wanted him away for sure
So when they saw some merchants they gave a wave
And sold poor Joseph to be a slave.
But Joseph was a bit too clever for that,
For in Egypt he became a diplomat.
He persuaded the farmers to store their food
As he knew the good weather would change its mood.
When the famine came there were no fears,
Everyone had prepared for years.
But the brothers were hungry and getting thin,
No food in the fridge, no bread in the bin.
So they went to see their brother Jake,
To get some food and a piece of cake.
They said, "Help us our plate is empty",
Jake invited them to live in the land of plenty.
In Israel the crops all withered and died,
But living in Egypt the Jews multiplied.
Years later there became a new Pharaoh,
And of the family of Jacob, he did not know.
He said, "Who are these terrible Jews?
They eat our food and use our loos.
This is wrong, make them work for less,
And build me a palace at Ramases."
"A city at Pithom is what I crave,
I'll make every Jew a slave,
If that's not enough I'll take their toys,
And kill all of their baby boys."
A boy was born to a Jewish wife
And she was determined to save his life.
She made a basket that would float,
And put Moses on the river just like a boat.
Moses grew up to care for the sheep
A peaceful job he'd like to keep.
He enjoyed his life, didn't like to rush,
And then he saw a burning bush.
Although the bush was well on fire,
The flames seemed to get no higher.
The bush survived the flames just fine,
Moses decided this was a sign.
He had to go and save the Jews
There really was no time to lose!
He had to go and make it snappy,
The Jews were really quite unhappy.
Moses' brother knew a few neat tricks
That might put Pharaoh in a fix,
But when Moses said, "Let my people go".
Pharaoh just smiled and replied NO.
Moses said, "We'll turn the rivers to blood"
Pharaoh didn't believe he could.
Then on the day the water turned red,
Pharaoh changed his mind instead.
But then again he changed his mind
And said, "The Jews must stay behind".
Frogs were sent to make Pharaoh think
Which got in your bed and blocked your sink!
Pharaoh thought and thought and thought once more,
And he chose not to open the door,
He just wanted the Jews to stay,
He liked his palaces built that way.
Moses sent a plague of lice,
It made you itch, not very nice
Pharaoh didn't change in the least
So Moses sent some wild beasts.
Pharaoh wouldn't decide so quick,
And then the cattle all got sick.
But Pharaoh still wouldn't let them go,
So was covered with boils from head to toe.
To make Pharaoh think once again
Moses sent a plague of rain,
But this rain came in just like a gale
And instead of water, fell like hail.
Locusts then ate all the crops,
And all the food in all the shops,
But Pharaoh still wouldn't change his plan
He really wasn't that kind of man.
After all the plagues that Moses sent
Pharaoh was still adamant.
Darkness fell for half a week,
Pharaoh, he just went to sleep.
Moses said, "I've sent nine plagues,
You've not changed even one of your ways.
Now your last chance has come and gone
Tonight will die your only son."
On that spring night the moon was round
And in the morning it was found,
That it was just as Moses had feared
Only the Jewish homes were spared.
In other homes throughout the land
No eldest son could raise a hand
All has died during the night
And before the morning light .......
Moses went to Pharaoh who dried his eyes
He said, "Don't wait for your bread to rise,
Don't eat breakfast or have a shower,
Take your people and go within the hour."
They took all they could and became free,
And ran all the way to the Red Sea.
But Pharaoh sent his army to follow them
As he had changed his mind again.
The Jews would be caught on dry land
But the Red Sea opened leaving dry land
They charged through and when they turned round
They saw Pharaoh's army had all been drowned.
Passover poem 1996
Long time ago in a far away land,
A powerful king lived amid the sand
The Pharaoh ruled as he did choose
And he didn't think much of those pesky Jews.
He made them slaves so they'd do his bid
And build for him a pyramid.
But he wouldn't want them when its done
So he decided to kill off every baby son.
When Moses was born his mum didn't fret
She wasn't gonna lose her son just yet
She thought she'd hide him for a while
And set him afloat on the River Nile
Moses' sister made sure he was OK
As he cruised the river both night and day
Till Pharaoh's daughter found him there
As she was washing her underwear
She looked and said "well goodness me,
I really wanted a little baby.
Having one yourself can't be much fun,
So I'll just take care of this little one."
Moses grew up in the princess's pad
And soon he became quite a lad
But his sister was his nanny and made sure he knew
That like all the slaves he was a Jew.
One day Moses saw what seemed a fight
A guard beating a slave with all his might
Mo killed the guard with a great big thump
And the noise even made Pharaoh jump.
Moses ran away, he had to dash
Had to get a job, he had no cash
With no qualifications and no degree
All he knew was how to live like royalty.
The job centre wouldn't help one little bit
Said he couldn't get no benefit
A friend suggested "Work on the land,
Look after the sheep, its cash in hand."
T'was easy money, no tax to pay
Then a bush started burning along the way
Moses thought "What can this be?"
And a voice said, "Go, set your people free."
This worried Moses 'cos there was no fee
And he'd just got a job with security
But Moses knew he'd do what he was told,
Didn't ask no questions, he wasn't that bold.
Went to Pharaoh's court, said "What d'ya know,
It's time to let my people go."
Pharaoh laughed and sent him packing
But Moses turned at the door and shouted back in..
"I'll send you plagues, the first of blood
Then you'll see I ain't no dud.
And if you'll not let the slaves go free
They'll be nine more plagues, just wait and see."
First blood then frogs then lice came and went
Soon wild beasts and cattle sickness Moses sent.
Everyone had boils and were hurt by hail
Locusts ate the crops and the light did fail.
Pharaoh didn't care a little bit
He'd had the last plague and thought that was it
He needed his slaves to work night and day
The new palace wasn't finished anyway.
Moses spoke to the Jews and said "listen here
I'll make my instructions very clear
Go and have dinner but don't eat what you wish
Don't cook no beef or chips and fish
Make sure you cook a meal with lamb
(You don't need me to tell you to eat no ham!)
Dab some blood from the lamb above the door
Then we'll know you're Jews for sure.
The angel of death will Passover the place
Of every member of the Jewish race
But death will strike as you will see
In the houses of those who don't have lamb for tea."
Pharaoh woke to find his son had died
He just sat down on his throne and cried
He knew that he had no other choice
And said "Let them go" with a very sad voice.
Before the sun rose the Jews had to go
No time to pack or pay the milk bill so...
They left some change on the doorstep
They didn't want to leave behind no debt.
They went to the sea and the passed through it
Pharaoh's army chased them, you just knew it
He'd decide that after all the plagues has gone
He still needed his palaces done
But the sea wouldn't stay and the soldiers were drowned
The Jews walked free but then they found
They had to walk for forty years more
And were ordered around like slaves as they were before!
Passover 1997 (Election Year)
There was no food in the Promised Land
All the fields had turned to sand
No rain had fallen for quite a time
The rivers were dry and full of slime.
The situation was very grave
And Jacob's sons just weren't so brave
So they went to see their brother Joe
They'd sold him several years ago.
As a slave he went across the sea
To Egypt, and soon he was set free
Cos, he'd solved the famine of the Egyptian nation
And also invented refrigeration.
He knew food storage was the key
To increase personal equity
His business mind was able and willing
The market was there, he made a killing.
So that's how the Jews came to stay
In a place so far away.
They worked hard to earn their pay
And paid their tax in the usual way.
But then there was a General Election
A big mistake on reflection,
As the new leader came to be
Pharaoh, (They called him the big P)
He said, "Who are these Jewish folk,
There's too many of them, that's no joke
They could vote me out if they all voted Labour."
(He sounds a bit like our John Major)
"I'll make sure they have no power
They'll have to work for nothing an hour.
They'll slave away and it won't matter
Cos I'll not sign that Social Chapter!"
But Moses said "This isn't right,
We work hard both day and night
Pharaoh must see this isn't fair"
(He sounds a bit like Tony Blair)
"If you won't let my people go
I'll send you plagues like billy-o.
The rivers will all turn blood red"
And it happened just as he had said.
He sent frogs and lice and locusts too
The Egyptians just didn't know what to do
Boils and hail, the cattle got sick
But Pharaoh had another trick.
He'd say, "You go" but then changed his plan
He was a very stubborn man
He would keep on and on telling lies,
He just refused to compromise.
Moses gave him one last chance
To move from his intransigent stance
His ideology had to go
New Pharaoh, New rules, New manifesto.
But big P wouldn't listen anymore
He was right and he was sure
Moses had one last try,
"Let us go or your only son will die!"
And on that night, the first Passover feast
Egyptians didn't celebrate in the least
In every family the firstborn male
Had died, the last plague didn't fail
And Pharaoh he said "Emigrate,
You're too much trouble so don't be late.
And if I think you pack too slow
I'll get my soldiers to kick you" .... so
The Jews got their clothes and hat and scarf
They got their passport photograph
They took Walkers crisps and their French fries
But they couldn't wait for their bread to rise
And so each year we tell the Passover story
The nice bits and some that are gory
We smile as we all eat our Matzot
Cos long ago in Egypt the ovens weren't so hot.
Passover Poem 1998 (A bit topical)
Abraham and Isaac led such exciting lives
But not as much as Jacob who had four wives.
And then with twelve sons so it would seem
He could manage the first Israeli football team.
Benjamin the youngest was very cute
Even though he was just the substitute
And Joseph was the winger in his brightly coloured kit
But he'd dribble not pass and didn't seem to fit.
The team had to change, it was such a pity
So Joseph was sold to play for Cairo City
And there became the team's main man
As he introduced a seven year plan.
Told Egypt to save in the years of plenty
As without their larders would soon be empty
Food was stored, Joseph kept a list
He was a pretty cool economist.
Soon the Israeli Team came to play
And though they lost they wanted to stay
To learn the Egyptian Football Skill
And eat some food and not get ill.
Years later they still hadn't learnt it all
There came a Pharaoh who hated football
He just wasted his palaces to be built up
And he'd never heard of The World Cup
Then there came Moses with his football brain
Knew he had to get the team home so they could train
To free Jewish slaves was his first goal
And then to teach them proper ball control
Pharaoh wasn't happy , needed his work done
A half finished palace is not much fun
Moses needed his Jewish nation
There were matches to play in qualification
He went to Pharaoh with his brother the priest
Pharaoh he didn't care in the least
Moses warned of plagues if he didn't play ball
And taught him all about the offside rule
So rivers turned to blood so Pharaoh could see
The power of Moses' prophecy
Frogs and Lice made everyone itch
And wild beasts ruined the football pitch.
It was as bad as playing Leeds United
Then Pestilence came, the cattle were blighted.
And the cows were as ill as they could be
This plague was worse than BSE
Boils covered the Egyptians from heads to feet
It hurt to sit or stand or lie or eat
Then came hail as big as golf balls
Which smashed the windows and damaged the walls.
Moses sent locusts who ate all the corn
Then darkness came they was no dawn
After nine plagues the Pharaoh did make no sound
He wouldn't let the Jews play on their home ground
Moses said, "Were now in added time,
You've one last chance to toe the line.
If you don't let my people go
Things will be worse than you could ever know."
"Because if my team can't leave to train
The first born of Egypt will not rise again.
This will happen, it will be done
And be sure it will include your eldest son."
That night as the Jews filled their bellies
With a meal of lamb, ice cream and jelly.
But the Egyptian sons that night all died
Just as Moses had prophecied.
So Pharaoh finally said "You must go,
It's time to leave as you well know.
Pack all your clothes and all your pies
You've no time to wait for your bread to rise.
And Moses led them back to the promised land
Across the sea and across the sand
'Cos through the dessert they all did roam
For forty years to get back home.
And then the World cup again came near
And though the team had trained for forty years
They tried to play as they had been told
But after forty years they were just to old.