Singh Song 2 and 3

This poem is a song - it
has a strong lyrical
voice, and depends on
rhyme and rhythm, as
well as repetition to
create a sense of a
refrain or chorus.
To annotate
of a GCSE
Singh Song!
I run just one ov my daddy’s shops
from 9 o’clock to 9 o’ clock
and he vunt me not to hav a break
but ven nobody in, I do di lock -
Phonetic spellings in places to
represent 'Punglish' - English spoken in
a Punjabi accent. This increases the
number of 'd' and 'v' sounds in the
song, and creates an alliterative,
rhythmic effect.
The name 'Singh'
comes from a
Sanskrit word
meaning 'lion'
and it is an
essential part of
the name of any
Sikh male.
The narrator is the son – he
will inherit the shop. he only has
limited accountability; perhaps
this is the first time he has been
entrusted with responsibility
Highlights the father’s need for
the son to take this hard-earned
responsibility seriously
Limited knowledge of English –this shows the
idiolect of the character.
cos up di stairs is my newly bride
vee share in chapatti
vee share in di chutney
after vee hav made luv
like ve rowing through Putney -
Repetition of ‘share’ suggests that the
couple have an equal partnership
Play on words: ‘Putney’ is
Punjabi for ‘wife’, and also
an area of south-west
Ven I return vid my pinnie untied
di shoppers always point and cry:
Hey Singh, ver yoo bin?
Yor lemons are limes
yor bananas are plantain,
dis dirty little floor need a little bit of mop
in di worst Indian shop
on di whole Indian road -
Italicised refrain to present the
perspective of other shoppers, who act
like a chorus commentary in classical
Greek theatre. All speak with an Indian
Above my head high heel tap di ground
as my vife on di web is playing wid di mouse
ven she netting two cat on her Sikh lover site
she book dem for di meat at di cheese ov her price -
my bride
she effing at my mum
in all di colours of Punjabi
den stumble like a drunk
making fun at my daddy
my bride
tiny eyes ov a gun
and di tummy ov a teddy
my bride
Sums up the ideas behind the poem: draws on the
idea of colourful language, but it also suggests the
idea of variety, and that behind the stereotype of
the Indian immigrant, there are many different
individual lives.
Metaphors used to describe the
narrator's bride are quite unexpected.
Neither the "tiny eyes ov a gun" and the
"tummy ov a teddy" sound particularly
attractive, but it is clear that he loves
her. They also tell us a lot about his
wife: using the comparison of the gun
tells us she's assertive, but "teddy"
suggests affection and softness.
she hav a red crew cut
and she wear a Tartan sari
a donkey jacket and some pumps
on di squeak ov di girls dat are pinching my Contrast of ‘gun’ and ‘teddy’
suggests conflicting feelings
sweeties towards her;
she is both comforting and
Repetition of the customers’
complaints works like a chorus
in a song
Ven I return from di tickle ov my bride
di shoppers always point and cry:
Hey Singh,ver yoo bin?
Di milk is out ov date
and di bread is alvays stale,
di tings yoo hav on offer yoo hav never got in stock
in di worst Indian shop
on di whole Indian road -
‘Midnight’ gives suggestion of magic;
extended metaphor of moon (‘cool’,
‘whispering’ and ‘silver’); moon
imagery links to the idea of
Change of voice to second person,
speaking directly to shoppers
The shop at night becomes a
romantic destination. The
personification of the
"whispering stairs" gives a
beautiful sense of secrecy
Late in di midnight hour
ven yoo shoppers are wrap up quiet
ven di precinct is concrete-cool
The shopkeeper's stool is
vee cum down whispering stairs
elevated with the adjective
and sit on my silver stool,
from behind di chocolate bars
vee stare past di half-price window signs
Suggestion of
at di beaches ov di UK in di brightey moon ‘Blighty’
They look out past the things which represent their daily life - the
"half-price window signs" - to the "brightey moon", a romantic icon.
Series of couplets with repeated refrains, giving the
impression that the couple are ‘in tune’ with each other
from di stool each night she say,
How much do yoo charge for dat moon baby?
from di stool each night I say,
Is half di cost ov yoo baby,
from di stool each night she say,
How much does dat come to baby?
from di stool each night I say,
Is priceless baby -
Their love is ‘priceless’, contrasting directly
with the ‘priced’ items in the shop
Form and structure (Copy this…)
As it says in the title, this poem is a song - it has a
strong lyrical voice, and depends on rhyme and
rhythm, as well as repetition to create a sense of a
refrain or chorus. The structure does not stay the
same throughout, but cycles through a number of
different stanza patterns, finishing in four two-line
stanzas that follow a conversation between the
narrator and his bride. The structure is highly
repetitive, creating a sense of closeness between
the two speakers.
Analysing the poetic devices in Singh Song
L/O: I can respond and comment on the language and ideas in the poem ‘Singh Song!’?
Similes and metaphors: which is which?