My song, Harvey, was inspired by my memories of our pet white rabbit, Harvey, the key back to my childhood home, eight miles north of the city centre of Liverpool, England, where I lived until 1956, when I was four. As it is about my early childhood, I tried to make it sound like a song children might sing.
Now Harvey he was our white rabbit
in my childhood home near old Sniggery Wood.
I brought him a newt in my pocket,
for them to be friends I thought it would be good.
But Harvey he just would’nt have it.
He sniffed up his nose and the newt sped away.
I laughed in my short trousers and brown jacket.
Back then, if night was for sleep, day was for play.

I look round my memory market.
Any rocking horse relic brightens my brain.
Good to recognise every trinket,
that nothing was lost, left to rust in the rain.
When I lift the lid of a casket,
I see as a child with no need for a crutch.
As some may treasure a Tibetan carpet,
priceless to me is Harvey sat in his hutch.

Now Harvey strayed not from his habit,
had a hop round his hutch made of wire and wood.
In my mind I was Davy Crockett,
other times William Tell or Robin Hood.
With friends I played rounders and cricket.
It seemed we would stay in a long summer’s day.
Like a Victorian face in a locket,
Harvey stayed in a time made to fade away.


  1. Thank you very much for listening to my song and for your positive comment. I never did ask my mother and father why they called our rabbit Harvey. It was not until I was a schoolboy that I saw the film Harvey, starring James Stewart, on television. The film, Harvey, was released in 1950. My mother and father most likely saw the film that year in our local cinema and when they bought our white rabbit in a pet shop in 1954, when I was four, they decided to name it after the pooka in the form of a tall rabbit, the invisible friend of James Stewart in the film. Harvey is one of the funniest films ever made, I think.

  2. I made a mistake in my last comment. My mother and father bought our white rabbit in a pet shop in 1956, when I was four, not in 1954 as I wrote in my last comment. I was born in 1952 and I am now 71.

  3. Thank you very much for listening to my song, Nicole. I am glad you think it is a good work and that you like the film, Harvey. I have got the DVD of Harvey and a copy of the play Harvey by Mary Chase, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. Harvey is a tonic to watch, I find.

  4. Thank you very much for listening to my song and for your positive comment. I am glad you like the -it endings. I find it interesting the way unexpected things happen once you decide on a rhyme scheme for a verse. The line about the Victorian face in a locket, for example, came out of nowhere. It exists because my brain was searching for words that rhyme with rabbit.

  5. So many delightful touches & detail, Phil. The newt made me laugh. You have a bumper collection of half-rhymes for “rabbit” in there! Great to
    Be reminded of the film, Harvey, too. I really enjoyed listening.

  6. Thank you very much for listening to my song and for your encouraging, positive comments, James. Newts are a neglected species in songs so I was glad to add one in mine.

  7. I am glad you like the image of the “memory market”, Paul. The older I grow the more there is to see in my memory market. Many thanks for listening to and commenting on my song.

  8. It is good to hear that the film, Harvey, is liked by other members of this site apart from me, Suzanne. I am glad you were amused by the newt in my song, and I am pleased that you enjoyed listening to it.

  9. I hope you enjoy watching the film Harvey, if you get to see it, Julie. It is available on DVD. It is a unique film, very clever and very funny, a true tonic. Thank you very much for listening to my song. I am pleased that you like its imagery.

  10. The “memory market” is such a good device and serves the song so well. (In my own memory market is a performance of Harvey with James Stewart that I saw in the West End in the 70’s) Thanks for sharing your memories and stirring mine.

  11. That is wonderful, to think you saw James Stewart perform as Elwood P Dowd on stage in Harvey in London. He was a fine actor. I am glad my song stirred your memory of his performance in the play. Mary Chase was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her play, Harvey, and I think she deserved it, as it is so well written, original, and comical, even when just reading it on the page.

  12. Many thanks for your positive response to my song. I think newts are neglected amphibians in songs, compared to frogs and toads, so I am pleased that one of them exists in my lines.