Daily Express, Friday, October 23, 1903

Poem 21

(By P. G. Wodehouse)



Sunny Jim one day was leaping
O’er his fence, and quite in keeping
With his energetic movements
Was the sunny smile he wore; 1
When the Parrot, sadly hopping,
Said, “Young man, you’ll soon be stopping
That preposterous performance,
For ‘Your food will cost you more.’ ”

Then Jim started gaily singing
In the intervals of springing,
“You cannot impose upon me.
I have heard of you before.
And they’ve proved it to me clearly,
Beyond doubt, that it is merely
Brain decay that makes you mutter
That ‘Your food will cost you more.

“You may speak till you are weary,
I shall still continue cheery,
Sunny Jim shall still my name be,
As it was in days of yore;
Though you rant, and croak, and rail, you’re
As a prophet quite a failure,
And I simply don’t believe it—
That ‘My food will cost me more.’ ”



Sunny Jim was a character in advertisements for a breakfast cereal, ‘Force’. Initially produced only in North America, the cereal was introduced to Britain in mid-1902 and was promoted via a vigorous advertising campaign. Many of the adverts featured jingles, such as the one alluded to in the poem:

High o’er the fence leaps Sunny Jim.
Force is the food that raises him.