Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

BALOOMBAWOP by Donna Williams


What is it like living in a world that doesn’t fit you and being expected, even commanded to conform to a one-size-all ‘normality’ that doesn’t compute? Baloombawop, by Donna Williams, was originally performed as a one woman rock musical (though it could also be adapted as a children’s production with three leads, seven supporting parts and ensemble). The story is told in Dr Seuss/Roald Dahl/ Lewis Carroll like rhyme from start to finish. The land of Baloombawop and its crazy characters – The Gadoodleborger, Dame Grumpty Do, The Brookenstein Fox, Boogerlooger, Charlie Warmton, Bluster Mc Fluster, The Whirly Twirl Girl, The Gimmety Gimme can easily lend themselves to individual drama activities. The complete recording including music for the show is available at CD Baby/.

The show is available to perform at no cost under a Creative Commons Licence as long as I am credited as its writer and I would ask that my husband, Chris Samuel, to be informed of any performances so he has a chance to experience the show.
Creative Commons License
Baloombawop by Donna Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The Train

Once upon tough time the Grumpy-Galumphies ruled for miles and miles. They couldn’t bear tickling and couldn’t stand laughter and they only could manage the tightest of smiles.

Then a magical train arrived from a dream and those who could dare, we had dared to get in. It was off to Baloomba-wop where they had purple rain, and a shop that even sold new replacement brains!

I would meet Charlie Warmton whose best friend was a blanket, and the Brookenstein Fox who lived up on a shelf, and Bluster De Fluster with his technical gadgets and the Gimmety-Gimme with everything for herself. I would meet Booger-Looger who picked his nose to perfection and the Whirly-twirl-Girl who lacked any direction. I’d meet Gadoodleborger with his magical shop which just happened to be where the train was to stop.

But deep in Baloomba-wop, a Grumpy Gallumphy, the notorious Dame Grumpty- do-bee-the-Fourth, had determined to make all the weirdoes quite plain. Was she stopped before all was so ‘normal’?, you wonder. Did she succeed making all be exactly the same?

But could we catch that train, would that be lots of trouble? Not at all, for I’ve found there’s a magical way.
For the ticket you’ll find is a wish in a bubble.

Then straight to Baloomba-wop you’d be on your way!


All on a train to Baloomba-wop-skidoo-billy-dee.
Where nobody remembers if I’m you or if you’re me.
And some speak blah-dee-blah-dee blah
and make no sense at all.
You can have a conversation just by talking to the wall.
All in the land of Baloomba-wop-skidoo-billy-dee.

Baloomba wop’s the place to be,
Baloomba wop’s the place for me
Baloomba wop is anywhere,
could be here, could be here, could be over there.

All on a train to Baloomba-wop-skidoo-billy-do.
Where you go shopping in the rubbish
and nobody wants what’s new.
All the buses travel backwards, and they pay you to get in.
The driver is a monkey who can tell you where you’ve been.
All in the land of Baloomba-wop-skidoo-billy-do.

All on a train to Baloomba-wop-skidoo-billy-da.
Where you can bounce along the rooftops
going la-dee-la-dee-da.
You can eat the television set and drink the flavoured rain.
There’s a shop where you can even get a new replacement brain
All in the land of Baloomba-wop-skidoo-billy-da.

Baloomba wop’s the place to be,
Baloomba wop’s the place for me
Baloomba wop is anywhere,
could be here, could be here, could be over there.

The Gadoodleborger

Oh, my, oh dear, what had we here?
A shop so strange I’d never seen.
But then again, I’d just arrived upon a train from out a dream.

Whose shop was this, I wondered,
full of chaos and disorder.
It had a name upon the door.
Hmm, ‘T.S Gadoodleborger’!

I entered and I looked around.
A trail of sand was on the ground.
I glimpsed a foxy thing with fur
which was heard to bark and then to purr.

Upon a throne, there was a box,
with a note which read,
‘don’t look in here, or you might drop dead’.

My hand, it was upon the lid.
I’d nearly almost lifted it.
But no, I backed away in fright.
And there, slighty leftish, to my right, it stood,
smiling, staring at the box.

And it wore a label on its head
which read, ‘Brookenstein Fox’.

(as sung by The Brookenstein Fox)

You never know what’s underneath the bed.
It could be a hairy monster you created in your head.
And you’d never get to sleep
because you filled yourself with dread

You can say that green is yellow, or a cat is just a fox.
You can tell me that there’s nothing there
inside that empty box for me.
I’ll still look inside to see. ….

You never know what’s hidden up a sleeve
It could be a dozen spiders and the amazing web they weave
But you’ll never know because you are the first to always leave.

You can say that green is yellow, or a cat is just a fox.
You can tell me that there’s nothing there
inside that empty box for me.
I’ll still look inside to see. ….

Farty Molarty made a sandwich out of air.
He offered it to me, I couldn’t see it anywhere.
I looked at him and said to him as gently as I dare…

You can say that green is yellow, or a cat is just a fox.
You can tell me that there’s nothing there
inside that empty box for me.
I’ll still look inside to see. ….

The Gadoodleborger’s Shop

“I see you’ve met my foxy friend”,
announced a voice from the other end.

The Gadooleborger’s eyes were warm
like an open fire in a thunderstorm.

“You’re not the Grumpty”, he said to me,
“but I’ll catch that beast, just wait and see.
She’s put up signs around the city,
great list of rules, it’s such a pity.

A prize, that’s it, so shall it be,
that whoever brings Grumpty to me
shall have the pick of all my shop!

There’s degoitzian and schmodellop.
There’s gimpy spiders with satin socks.
There’s keys made to no-one’s locks.
There’s wrinkle cream which adds more wrinkles
and stars that gave up all their twinkles.

I looked to left, I looked to right,
but something seemed to be not quite…
the thing I wanted wasn’t there.
Do you have a ‘Stretch Teddy Bear’?

“An alpaca, Sir? Such a spitting thing?
Surely, you’d prefer a ring?”

I shook my head. I made it clear.
A ring, instead, was not my thing.

(as sung by the narrator)

I don’t want a poodle with a diamond collar.
I don’t want a cat that I can feed for a dollar
I don’t want a cow that will add to global warming.
I don’t want a sheep cause conformity is boring

I want a stretch ted-dy.
A long-necked spitting, humming curly haired alpaca
I want a stretch ted-dy
cause they’re clever, funny, don’t cost any money
And they’re fab.

I don’t want goat that’ll eat my favorite shoes
I don’t want a monkey cause you seen one on the news
I don’t want a fish going ’round and ’round.
I don’t want a rabbit that will take off underground

I want a stretch ted-dy.
A long-necked spitting, humming curly haired alpaca
I want a stretch ted-dy
cause they’re clever, funny, don’t cost any money
And they’re fab.

I don’t want a seal doing tricks in my pool
I don’t want a python just ’cause you think they’re cool
I don’t want a puppy I can leave locked in a car
I don’t want a budgie I can look at through the bars

I want a stretch ted-dy.
A long-necked spitting, humming curly haired alpaca
I want a stretch ted-dy
cause they’re clever, funny, don’t cost any money
And they’re fab.

Charlie Warmton

A walking blanket then appeared
and from under it, in a tiny voice in a tone so weird,
squeaked, “Stretch Teddies live upon my porch.
I’d give you one if you have a torch?”

Then the walking blanket began to scurry
straight out the door, into the street.
I followed it in such a hurry,
“a torch, yes, sure, let it be my treat”.

I reached into my pocket deep
and took out a little flash light.
In a flash the hand had grabbed it.
Under the blanket it went out of sight.

Then luminous the blanket lit,
like a walking lamp shade off we went
in search of my Stretch Teddy
on which my heart was set.

From the doorway, the Gadoodleborger, shouted,
“don’t forget the prize you two.
So keep an eye out for that Grumpty.
If you find her you know what to do”.

MY HOUSE(as sung by Charlie Warmton)

My house, is big,
my house is wide,
with a dozen smiling
servants snuggled up inside.

I’ve got a hundred chairs
and a four poster bed,
but I still prefer the corner
and sleep standing on my head.

My house, oh-oh-oh, my house.

My house it has a big swimming pool
which we show off to the neighbours
and we watch them drool.

And a fridge the size of Texas
which is stuffed full of food,
but we give some to the poor
so no-one thinks we’re rude.

My house, oh-oh-oh, my house.

In The Dark

It was growing dark, it was growing dim,
the only light had come from him.
My torch, under that blanket there,
was the only light now from anywhere.

“Your house, oh Charlie, is it near?
You had Stretch Teddies on your porch.
Is your house close, somewhere round here?
What of the batteries in that torch?”

Well, the blanket curled into a sphere.
It trembled as if gripped with fear.
“What is it Charlie? He heard me shout.
Then suddenly the light WENT OUT!

“No house”, said Charlie, meek and small,
“only blanket, that is all”.

Dame Grumpty Do-Bee

Then a voice so sharp and cold declared,
“stop there right now. Troops, seize this pair”.

The Grumpty’s soldiers marched us to a pit.
They threw us into a dark hole.

“You’ve ignored my rule to “keep off the grass”
snapped the Grumpty with the empty soul.

“There must be a mistake”, I called,
“don’t leave us here, we might drop dead”.

“No death for you”, Grumpty called out,
“we have a programme to bring about
a change of personality.

I’m going to make you just like me”.

SMELL THE POWER (as sung by Dame Grumpty Do-Bee)

Smell the power,
watch it make me smile
and fill my soul, with a hundred thousand ways
to take away your soul.

Smell the power, it’s what keeps me warm at night.
Watch it fill me with delight.

It’s mine, its mean,
but it fulfils my wildest dreams.
I’ll take your smiles.
And I’ll sell them for a million more air miles.

Smell the power,
watch them all say yes
Watch it make even my enemies say I’m the best.

Smell the power,
You won’t get to smell the roses, Baby,
while you hangin with the prisoners in my dingy trench.

It’s mine, its mean,
but it fulfills my wildest dreams.
I’ll take your smiles.
And I’ll sell them for a million more air miles.

The Booger Looger

But in that pit was something more.
Between poor Charlie’s plaintiff moaning
we heard that something SNORE.

And around the walls, was something sticky,
something rather wet and icky.
Like chewing gum, like old caked sand
and so poor Charlie tasted some
from off his stubby little hand.

Then spit, he spat, he was appalled,
he thrashed and fell about the floor
because he knew for sure there on those walls
was was something he so wished was not.
The snorer was a Booger-Looger,
and on those walls was smeared his snot!

And so friendly was this Booger-Looger,
so kindly was his way
that he determined he would feed us boogers
for the duration of our prison stay.

We clawed and pawed our prison walls.
We jumped and jumped so gripped with dread.
Then, suddenly, the Booger-Looger
lifted Charlie up onto his head.
And then, before I could complain,
those germy hands were back again!
And next thing, I was flung atop
poor Charlie who was at the top.

“Can you reach it now? Are you getting there?”
said the Booger-Looger from way down there.

“An inch or two, I’m sure would do”,
I said, still gripped with horrid dread.

“I’ve just the thing”, he then replied,
“better than glue, better than string”….

IT’S ONLY SNOT (as sung by the Booger Looger)

It’s crispy and crunchy
or its sluggily and wet.
Some think that its munchy,
others keep it like a pet.
On a handkerchief,
or hidden underneath the seat.
You can see them in the car
as their driving down the street.

Now worry not,
at what I’ve got,
you’ve got your own,
It’s on-ly snot.
Woah oh.

Sometimes it’s green
like a slimy thing
Sometimes it ends up
on a nice clean sleeve
Your ma will put a handky
in your pocket
But when snot comes out
you curse that you forgot it.

Now worry not,
at what I’ve got,
you’ve got your own,
It’s on-ly snot.
Woah oh.


A rope made out of sticky snot,
that Looger handed up to me.
“Here, make a loop, make a lassoo
and catch it round a tree”.

Lassoo, I did, I got that tree,
out of the pit, I had saved me.
I even saved poor Charlie too.
We’d escape now from the Grumpty-do.

But the Booger-Looger left down the hole,
poor thing he was, so sad his soul.
How could we leave him in the pit?
And so… we helped him out of it.

Bluster De Fluster

We wandered long. Our shoes were tired.
Charlie, so cold, was turning blue.
We hadn’t eaten, hadn’t slept,
we could have used a nice hot stew.

The Booger-Looger offered up
a snack of crusty, goobee snot.
He even reached into his pocket
and produced a lovely metal pot.

Then, just in time, came another lost traveller
who happened to pass us in a kerfuffling bluster.
We didn’t yet know we had clearly encountered
the notorious presence of Bluster De Fluster.

“That pot”, he crowed, “it’s trajectory
is circumferal to it’s longitude.
It’s handle is pre-fabricated
and statistically monogenic too”.

From a long trench coat he then produced an odd pan.
Then with the strangest of gadgets, he removed all our shoes.
In a flash, in that pan, he had thrown all our footwear,
and from it he cooked up a steaming hot stew.

I DON’T LIKE SHOES(as sung by Bluster De Fluster)

The lights were too loud, the sounds were too bright,
I had a pair of shoes but they were just too tight.
You may not like my bluster, but what is a De Fluster to do?
For I’m Bluster De Fluster, and De Flusters don’t like shoes.
They don’t like shoes.
And everybody knows they don’t like shoes.

La dee da, la dee do. I heard you say you’d like a stew.
Well I’ve got news, the best of stews are made from shoes.
I don’t care if there’s mud or if there’s snow.
The shoes must go. Put them in the pot .
The shoes must go. Come on, I’ll take the lot.
The shoes must go. The shoes must go.

They took my toys, until I wear their silly shoes.
Well, shoes and I aren’t speaking
so, have we got news for them.
The shoes went out the window.
The shoes have gone off out in the rain.
And I don’t care if they’re cold out there,
for shoes drive me insane, drive me insane.
I’m leaving those old shoes out in the rain.

At 5 a.m, I a-woke from a dream.
I dreamed the shoes were magical and went to find them.
They were cold and they were drippy,
but I was glad they lasted the night.
It turned out you could make stew from them,
so shoes are quite alright, they’re quite alright.
I think maybe your shoes are quite alright.

The Gimme Gimme

From behind orange bushes, we saw that the soldiers
were approaching a Gimme who was just up ahead.

She had rings on all fingers and and rings through her nose
and was carrying baskets high up on her head.

In her arms she was loaded with boxes this tall.
In her mouth there was chocolate and lollies and all.

Well, Dame Grumpty-do-bee had had quite enough.

“You stop that, just stop that”, she snapped, being tough,
“It’s abnormal, it’s greedy and the rules are quite clear.
Arrest her this moment, for she’s simply too weird”.

But the chocolaty breath of the Gimmety-Gimme
had left Grumpty’s soldiers craving chocolate too.

And so, to the horror of Dame Grumpty-do-bee,
the soldiers ate chocolate and wouldn’t follow her rules 🙂

GIMME-GIMME (as sung by the Gimme Gimme)

A, that’s for ALL of the lollies,
B, that’s for BEING the one who is first in the queue,
C is for CAN I have everything,
and D is for DREAMING of toys that I want to have too

Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme

F that’s for FILL up my stocking,
G, that’s for GEE is that all that we’re getting today
H is for HAVE you got more for me
and I is for I, and for I and for I all the day.

Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme
Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme

A close call

“Is that stew”, called the Gimme, “is that stew I can smell?” Our cover was blown so we all ran like hell!

We dived in a big pile of crunchy old leaves
which got into our hair and our trousers and sleeves.

And though Bluster De Fluster did a fart worse than death,
it was silent and deadly so we all held our breath.

Then we heard feet approaching then we heard them go past.
We had lost Grumpty-doo-bee, we had lost her at last.


We were cowards, we’d failed, we had let Grumpty go.
Could we face the Gadoodleborger? We just didn’t know?
One thing was for certain, there would now be no prize,
then something amazing took us quite by surprise…

The Whirly Twirl Girl

Those leaves got to moving, and they started to whirl
and out of that whirling, came the Whirly-twirl-girl.

She had heard on the wind that Dame Grumpty-doo-bee,
heard the Gadoodleborger was offering a prize.
And in order to capture that Gadoodleborger,
the Dame Grumpty-doo-bee was going there in disguise.

I thought of the shop and the Brookenstein Fox.
I thought of the throne and mysterious box.
I thought of Gadoodleborger, waiting for me,
then I realised who Grumpty was disguised to be!

Then the Whirly-twirl Girl got herself in a spin
as the others stood back and she called to the wind.
As the wind built from something just twirly and small
it became now a cyclone, near a hundred feet tall.

I was nervous and scared but right then, Booger-Looger, decided to thank me, and extended his hand.
As I jumped from the hand of my friend, Booger-Looger,
I’d been caught by the cyclone and raised right up off the land.

I was left in a spin with the Whirly-twirl Girl
in a cyclone which took us near out of this world.

SPIN(as sung by The Whirly Twirl Girl)

Spin me, spin me, spin my mind,
round and round a thousand times
and every what and every why,
I’ll just give you big doe eyes.

Here’s the wind,
now watch me dance.
Let it take you,
make you fly.
Let it lift you far beyond
the worlds of what or why.

Let the earth just fall away.
Feel the freedom on the wind.
Let its whirling whisper call you,
call you, call you in.

Have you lost your mind there yet,
have you lost your doubts and fears?
Trust them to the wind and you might
find your heart right here.

Return To Sender

We dropped onto a rooftop made of boingy green rubber
and bounced onto a tree top on top of each other.
And there, ‘cross the road we were so pleased to discover
was the shop of the kindly Gadoodleborger.

Well, the Whirly-twirl Girl, she was gone in a blink.
With no time for a handshake, goodbye or a wink.
She had gone with the wind, left me out on a limb,
so I climbed down to go see if my shop friend was in.

Back at the Gadoodleborger’s shop

I opened the door, and inside I could see such a poorly disguised Grumpty-do dressed like me.
With Gadoodleborger she was there sipping pink tea, and I shouted “imposter, that the Grumpty not me”.
“There you see”, mimicked Dame Grumpty-doo-bee-the-Fourth, “there he is in disguise, like I told you, of course.
The jig was up, her cover was blown, but she wasn’t yet finished, and so she went on….

“So I’ll now take my prize”, she said, “take the pick of this shop. And I don’t want degoitzian or schmodellop. I don’t want gimpy spiders with handmade satin socks. I don’t want any keys made to fit no-one’s locks. I don’t want wrinkle cream which just adds on more wrinkles, or the stars that gave up all their twinkly twinkles”.

She produced silver handcuffs, said, “I know what I’ll do”. Then she cuffed Gadoodleborger, “yes, my prize will be you. For the rules you have broken, I will put you in my jail”.

And the dear sweet Gadoodleborger turned awfully pale.

SO NORMAL(as sung by the narrator)

Would it really be so awful
if she made us all so normal?

We would be good at home,
we would be good at school,
we would be oh so very good
at all of the rules.

We could all be oh so nor-mal
Well thank you, but I know who I am not.
Thank you, but I know who I am not

We might get a well paid job.
We might holiday in France
We could wear our shoes
and could share our food,
We wouldn’t pick our noses,
and we wouldn’t be so rude.

We could all be oh so nor-mal
Well thank you, but I know who I am not.
Thank you, but I know who I am not

The Empty Box

In a blink, I had grabbed for the box on the throne,
“well you’ll never get this. Just you leave this alone”.

“How dare you”, snapped Dame, “I’m the rule maker here,
now you give me that box. Now you give me that here!”
She ignored all the warnings and tore open the lid.
Inside was a hat with a feathery bit.
She ripped out the feather and she put the hat on,
and then quick as a wink… she broke into a song.

The Gadoodleborger shouted. He danced with such glee.
He looked like a jelly bean crossed with a flea.

For Dame Grumpty-do-bee had gone quite insane
and the Gadoodleborger told about the replacement brain.
It had been in that hat, which had been in that box,
where it had always been guarded by the Brookenstein Fox.

Then he asked me to look all around for my prize
and the Brookenstein Fox made the widest of eyes.

I thought about Charlie and Bluster De Fluster,
Gimme-Gimme, Booger-Looger and the Whirly-twirl Girl.
I thought about how I had long been a strange thing…

so I asked for a passport to stay in this world.

“A passport? A passport?”, wrowled the Brookenstein Fox
as the Dame swung and called from a red chandelier, calling,

“You’re welcome to stay in Baloomba forever.
Such a pleasure to welcome an oddity here”!


Last train departing from Baloombawop station…

All aboard!

Baloomba wop was the place to be,
Baloomba wop was the place for me
Baloomba wop was anywhere,
could be here, could be here, could be over there.
could be over there…..

Everybody out!

Donna Williams

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