Editor’s Note: The earliest reference we’ve found to this poem appears in 2001. Readers will note that the diction sounds more American than British… But perhaps we have a WW2 piece here?
Say, you’ve gotta beware when you’re up in the air
And sailing serenely along.
‘Cos I often appear with a horrible leer
And make you do everything wrong.
I run up the wing, you can hear a sharp ‘ting’
As I pull at the wires in the plane,
Then I sit on the prop and the kite starts to drop,
It drives all the pilots insane.
When you’re trying to think, with a devilish wink
I proceed to bit lumps off the rudder.
You go down in a spin and I laugh and I grin,
It’s enough to make anyone shudder.
So you’ve gotta beware when you’re up in the air,
You might see me appear on the spanner.
I’m a wicked old ____; I know it as well
I’m a Gremlin, a ___ old sinner! (Stern ‘Puget Sound’ 151)