Post 79 The hospital Christmas show in days gone by

A much anticipated event in the hospital calendar in days gone by was the Christmas show.   It was a once a year opportunity for the junior doctors and nurses to poke fun at the matron and, of course, the senior doctors.    Mostly, the consultants took it in good heart and were disappointed if they did not feature in at least one sketch or song.

Even though these events happened over 50 years ago, I can still recall the words of some of the songs.    To the tune of ‘My Bonny lies over the Ocean’ we sang a song about a surgeon whose operations took twice as long as anyone else’s.    Being 20 years older than any of us, I doubt he is still around, but to save his blushes should he still be alive, I have changed his name. The lyrics went like this.

‘Bill Bailey’s a mighty fine surgeon,        He tackles his patients with zeal,

His tremor makes speed none too easy,      As fast as he cuts them; they heal.’

The words conjure up a wonderful image of an incision in the skin that has healed at one end before the knife has finished cutting at the other.

Then there was a song sung to the tune of Territory Folks ( The Cowboy and the Farmer ) from the musical Oklahoma

Oh the Sisters and the surgeons should be friends.

Yes the Sisters and the surgeon’s should be friends.

Surgeons need to stitch and sew, Sisters need to show them how

So the Sisters and the surgeons should be friends.


Doctors and nurses stick together

Doctors and nurses should be pals

Doctors yearn to be nurse’s sweethearts

Nurses long to be doctor’s gals.


To understand the next song, I need to explain that endocrinology is the medical specialty dealing with hormones such as the male hormone testosterone and the female hormone oestrogen.    In the hospital there was a consultant who specialised in hormone problems who undertook private practice in St John St .     Again his name has been changed to save embarrassment

June is bursting out all over, where once she was skinny and so thin

‘Til  she went to see Don Ronson at his rooms down in St John’s Street

And he filled with synthetic Oestro – Gin

Endocrinology is charming; testosterone for men is quite the thing

So if you’re short on male emotion, just take Donald’s little potion and your love affairs will really start to swing

So if your libido’s low, take Don Ronson’s pills and GO.

Much has changed in our hospitals over the years but it is a shame that some of these wonderful old traditions have been lost.

Peter Sykes latest book ‘Laughter is the best medicine’– a collection of lively short stories - has just been published.  Search for ‘Peter Sykes’ on Amazon books.