Away across the ocean blue
in England's merry isle,
there's a blue row-house in Mayfair town
at the end of a block-long file;
and 'round the end of every year,
when glows the festive pine,
the mistress of the blue row-house
lays table for twenty-nine.
They come from every kind of place,
from near and far away,
to eat at Sarah's festive board
on every Boxing Day;
to eat and drink and tell their news,
and as one family dine;
for oh, indeed, they've common cause,
the merry Twenty-Nine.
Tegan comes down from Brisbane town
(or up as the case may be);
and the Brigadier from the old school fields,
and Benton from up M3;
the Professor and Jo from the Orinoco,
and Liz from MI 5;
Harry comes in from Harley Street,
complaining he's half alive;
Ian from Middlesex, Barbara from Crewe,
Dodo from Sussex Lea,
and Polly and Ben from Brighton beach,
hard by the winter sea.
Some come from farther ahead or back,
or simply from away;
Susan comes in from a century up,
with her man of another day;
Turlough slides in from Trion's world;
it's easy enough to do...
their solicitor in the Inns of Court
does owe him quite a few....
and Leela comes in from Gallifrey,
all clothes and courtesy,
(for Andred's made a Time Lord now
and has a TARDIS key);
And there by the cheery fireside
sit K9's I and III,
and gossip in binary protocol
'bout how things used to be...
So dinner is served, for those who eat;
and at the table fine
the glad nineteen sit down to meat,
though it's set for twenty-nine.
They never forget them, the Nineteen --
the Ten who aren't there;
it might have been them. As grace is said
they think of them with care.
Adric lost in the freighter's crash,
the death into which he ran,
suddenly giving up his fears,
the dead boy dying a man....
Vicky buried in Troy Town walls,
long since Troilus's bride;
Sara and Katarina gone
in fight for the human side;
Zoe and Jamie, deep in their times,
never more to be seen;
out where the night sky's green;
Nyssa laboring hard and lone
in a ship's dark heart,
Steven missing, worlds away;
all lost, worlds apart...
...far, far ahead, or far behind?
and who can surely say?
...all long ago, or long from now,
missing, either way....
Turn down a glass, their voices call,
and note the empty place;
forgive the sins, forget the faults,
but don't forget the face...
The Nineteen don't forget. They drink
the health of the missing Ten;
then fall to meat, and share their joy,
and gladly laugh again.
When dinner's done the port goes 'round;
all cast away their cares;
and chestnuts pop and crack like the top
of a Dalek pushed downstairs;
and the Nineteen chat about how it was
to roam through Time and Space,
when any day might see you dine
with creatures of any race;
when Cybermen might come stomping in
and blow you all away,
...or androids, robots, monsters...ah,
how one lives such a day!
...and all the bright things, all redeemed;
the Guardian and such;
the days the little that you did
made you-know-Who do much;
the way the TARDIS always breaks;
the way he hits it -- so:
and all the dear old laughs and quirks
of many a year ago.
The jellybabies and the scarves;
the velvets and the cloaks;
Recorders, sticks and cricketing clothes,
and all the well-worn jokes;
"Brave Heart!", and "Courage!"; celery;
the Master; captains; kings;
old Kronos; Davros; Sontarans;
a thousand other things...
And they speak too of the newest one
who's now there by his side,
hoping she watches him as they did
when they were along for the ride;
and they heartily drink her health as well
and hope she holds the line
to sit at the table set for Thirty,
that's now for Twenty-nine.
They talk till evening's shank is split....
and drink one last toast then,
to the one who's travelling even now,
the last of the missing Ten;
They drink his name and wish him well
with smiles (and maybe sighs);
then put on many a hat and coat
and say their year's goodbyes;
and out the good Companions go,
into the English night,
where English stars shine down (for them)
into their worlds all safe and calm
the faithful Nineteen fare,
each to his home...but each one's thoughts roam
to the one Who isn't there....