Saturday, April 23, 2022

THE LIMERICK SONG

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Continuing on from my Oscar Brand posts . . .

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Caution: risqué content

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I mentioned recently that my other half took me to task for not being more respectful of Oscar Brand, that I had introduced him as part of a post about his version of “Blinded by Turds” when he was such a contributor to music, culture and history. (I was going to say she was shitty with me but that would be a cheap pun).

I did post a follow up which included links to Oscar Brand’s songs and performances.

“Blinded by Turds” put me in mind of a well known limerick.

According to the book The Lure of the Limerick by W S Baring-Gould, the following limerick is the only one that Langdon Reed ever allowed to appear in any of his many books. It is thought that Reed did not pick up on the pun in the last line.

There was a young fellow named Hyde
Who fell down a privy and died.
His unfortunate brother,
Then fell down another,
And now their interred side by side.

I mention this because one of Oscar Brand’s Youtube clips is of him singing The Limerick Song. More of that a little later.

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Some comments about the song:

The earliest version of limericks being sung is in 1905 under the title Fol-The-Rol-Lol as sung by Edward M. Favor.

In America, the chorus has been adapted to the tune of The Gay Caballero, a 1928 song by Frank Crumit. You can hear it by clicking on:

The lyrics are in limerick format, the following being a less bawdy version:

I am a gay caballero
Coming from Rio Janeiro,
With nice oily hair
And full of hot air,
I'm an expert at shooting the bullo!

I'm seeking a fair senorita,
Not thin and yet not too much meata!
I'll woo her a while
In my Argentine style,
I'll carry her off of her feeta!

I'll tell her I'm of the nobilio,
And live in a great big castillio.
I must have a miss
Who will long for a kiss;
She'll not say, "Oh don't be so sillyo!"

'Twas at a swell cabaretta,
While wining and dining I met her.
We drank one or two,
As other folks do;
he night was wet but she got wetter!

She told me her name was Estrella,
She said, "Stick around me young fella!
Mosquitoes they bite
And they're awful tonight,
And you smell just like citronella!"

Oh I can't forget that senora;
While telling her how I adore her,
Asleep she did fall,
Didn't mind that at all,
But she was a terrible snorer!

She was a dancer and singer,
At me she kept pointing her finger,
And saying to me,
"Si senor, si si!",
But I couldn't see a durned thinger!

She told me that she was so lonely,
So I climbed up on her balcony.
While under her spell,
I heard someone yell,
"Get away from here you big baloney!"

I swore I'd win this senorita,
I wooed her upon the sofita.
Then her husband walked in,
What he did was a sin,
I can still hear the birds sing "tweet-tweeta!"

Now I am a sad caballero,
Returning to Rio Janeiro,
Minus my hair,
A bruise here and there,
For her husband, he chewed off my earo!

There are several different choruses for The Limerick Song, a common one being:

I-Yi-Yi-Yi,
In China, they never eat chili
So here comes another verse 
Worse than the other verse
So waltz me around again, Willie.

An alternative version of the chorus:

I-Yi-Yi-Yi,
In China, they do it for chili
So let's get a verse 
That's worse than the other verse
And waltz me around by my willie.

The verses comprise various limericks which change from rendition to rendition, often obscene.

It is, however, a profound truth about limericks that:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean -
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

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Some video links:

Oscar Brand:


Another version:


Sesame Street – Muppets sing limericks:


Limerick Song (uncensored):


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Some of the verses . . .

They sound better when sung and are not as good as the ones I post in Funny Friday . . .

In London a newsboy named Grimes
Led girls on to infamous crimes.
"I deliver," he'd boast
"Two Globes and a Post,
And goodness knows how many Times."

There was a young fellow named Drew
Who found an old shoe in his stew.
Then the waiter said, “Lout,
Don’t wave it about,
Or the others will want a shoe, too.”

There was an old man from Peru
Who dreamed he was eating his shoe
When he woke up in fright
In the dark of the night
And he found it was perfectly true.

( I prefer the one I know . . . 
A lady, while dining in Crewe
Found an elephant's waang in her stew. 
Said the waiter, "Don't shout 
Or wave it about 
Or the others will all want one, too." )

There was a young fellow named Beebee
Wished to marry a lady named Phoebe.
Then he said, “I must see
What the minister’s fee be
Before Phoebe be Phoebe Beebee.”

A canner exceedingly canny
One morning remarked to his granny,
“A canner can can
Anything that he can,
But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”

A tooter who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tutors to toot
Said the two to the tutor,
“Is it tougher to toot
Or to tutor two tutors to toot?”

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were caught, so what could they do?
Said the fly, “Let us flee,”
Said the flea, “Let us fly,”
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

There was a young lady from Riga,
Who rode with a smile on a tiger.
They returned from the ride,
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

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