The Ballad of Werner Forssmann

When strolling once in old Berlin

I was stopped by man and violin

For two coins in his new tin can

He would play me Dr Forssmann

 

As a young student in Berlin, still old

Werner had been quite the intern bold

One thing however had set him apart

The catheter he inserted into his heart

 

Numbing his arm and making a slit

A narrow tube he pushed ‘til he hit

Watching the act on a fluoroscope screen

And then dashing off to the X-ray machine

 

Enraptured at his undoubted success

A number of papers he put into press

But others of his ilk merely thought him a kook

And from his seniors an almighty rebuke

 

Forced to give up on cardiology

Werner instead turned to looking at wee

Rising to Major in the Second World War

His role of course in the Medical Corps

 

After the fighting he returned from overseas

And took up a job felling large trees

All of the while in the land of the free

Two scientists read an old paper with glee

 

Two decades on from stabbing his chest

Came the call from Sweden saying he was the best

Received with characteristic humility

A village parson made into a Bishop, said he

 

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