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Kieto's Limericks!

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You like limericks? Limericks have been around for hundreds of years.

The limerick is a form of humorous verse. It has 5 lines, with a strong beat and rough anapestic rhythm (de-de-DUMM). The first 2 lines (each with 3 such feet) rhyme with the fifth. The 3rd and 4th lines (each with only 2 feet) also rhyme. The first line often begins: "There was a ..." and ends with the name of a person or place. The last line ends with an unusual or far-fetched rhyme. A type of joke written in strong rhythms and rhymed verse, limericks can become a classroom fad that will be of great value in developing word choice, sentence structure, fanciful invention, stylistics, and verse techniques. Limerick Day is celebrated on May 12th, the birthday of Edward Lear, who added a wonderful humor to the limericks and rhymes that he wrote.

There once was an Italian girl named Francotti
Who stopped every morning for biscotti,
She loved them with Cappucino,
And sometimes with a glass of vino,
The biscotti with cappucino from Kieto!
The fabulous Wizard of Oz
Retired from business becoz
What with up-to-date science,
To most of his clients,
He wasn't the Wizard he woz.
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill can hold more than his belican.
He can take I his beak
Food enough for a week;
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
There was a young woman named Bright
Whose speed was much faster than light.
She set out one day
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.
A tutor who tooted a flute,
Tried to teach two tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
"Is it harder to toot, or
To tutor two tutors to toot?"
A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "Let us flee!"
"Let us fly," said the flea,
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

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The origin of this popular type of nonsense verse is unknown. Langford Reed, the limerickís only historian and principal anthologist, suggested that the name derives from a song brought back from France by returning members of the Irish brigade in the 18th century. The chorus of the song was "Will you come up to Limerick?" To this chorus impromptu verses were added, telling the adventures of persons from various Irish cities. The resulting verse takes its name from the Irish city of Limerick. The first English verse in something like limerick form is the jingle "Hickory, Dickory, Dock," first printed in 1744. A French epigram quoted by James Boswell in his Life of Johnson, dates from 1716. This form is again not identical, but this, and the existence of a French version of "Hickory, Dickory, Dock," offers some support to Reedís theory of a French origin.

I went with the Duchess to tea,
Her manners were shocking to see;
Her rumblings abdominal
Were simply phenomenal,
And everyone thought it was me.
There was a young lady named Rose
Who had a large wart on her nose.
When she had it removed
Her appearance improved,
But her glasses slipped down to her toes.
There was an old man called Keith
Who mislaid his pair of false teeth -
Laid them on a chair,
Forgot they were there,
Sat down and was bitten underneath.
God's plan made a hopeful beginning,
But Man spoilt his chances by sinning;
We trust that the story
Will end in great glory,
But at present the other side's winning.
There once was a girl named Irene,
Who never dressed up for Halloween,
For it was said everyday,
She looked like dead anyway,
So keep your tradition on Halloween, Irene.
I once knew a guy named Dracula,
Who never used a spatula,
He just dug in his teeth,
And sucked out a plum,
And said, "How the hell did that get in there?"

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The first collections of limericks in English date from about 1820. In the early 1830s Edward Lear composed limericks to amuse the children of his friend the earl of Derby and then published them in his Book of Nonsense (1846). He claimed to have gotten the idea from a nursery rhyme beginning "There was an old man of Tobago," which is quoted by Eugene Wrayburn in Dickensí novel Our Mutual Friend.

A glutton who came from the Rhine
When asked at what hour he would dine,
Replied, "At eleven,
At three, five and seven,
And eight and a quarter past nine.
There once was a young man named Dale
Who cherished the thought of a sail.
He boarded a yacht,
But remained on his cot
Except when he hung o'er the rail!
A newspaper man named Fling
Could make "copy" from any old thing.
But the copy he wrote
Of a five dollar note
Was so good he is now in Sing Sing.
There was a faith healer called Neal,
Who said, "Although pain isn't real,
If I sit on a pin
And it punctures my skin,
I dislike what I fancy I feel.
A fitful young fisher named Fisher
Once fished for some fish in a fissure,
Till a fish, with a grin,
Pulled the fisherman in--
Now they're fishing the fissure for Fisher!
There was a young lady of Eton,
Whose figure had plenty of meat on.
She said, "Wed me, Jack,"
And you'll find that my back
Is a nice place to warm your cold feet on."

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A rocket explorer named Wright
Once travelled much faster than light.
He set out one day
In a relative way
And returned on the previous night.
Said a foolish householder of Wales,
"An odour of coal-gas prevails."
He then struck a light
And later that night
Was collected in seventeen pails.
There was a composer named Liszt
Whose music no one could resist.
When he swept the keyboard
Nobody could be bored,
And now that he's gone he is missed.
There was an old maid of Genoa.
I blush when I think what Iowa.
She's gone to her rest,
And it's all for the best,
Otherwise I would borrow Samoa.
A cheese that was aged and grey
Was walking and talking one day.
Said the cheese, "Kindly note
My mama was a goat
And I'm made out of curds by the whey."
There once was an eccentric old boffin,
Who remarked, in a fine fit of coughing:
"It isn't the cough
That carries you off,
But the coffin they carries you off in."

'Chain Letter'
by Kieto

I think that next year will be better,
If I only send this dog-gone chain letter.
It says that I may have some worser luck,
And I may get hit by lightning struck,
It says I'll never sing again if I don't send this letter quick,
So send this chain letter to 50 thousand or you'll get really sick.

It says that if I delete this thing,
That maybe I'll need a teething ring,
Or even worse be run right over,
By the sender in a Ford Range Rover.
But maybe I'll just tempt that fate,
A worm on a hook I ain't gonna be that bait.

I'll just toss that letter in the can,
And follow my own good luck plan.
There's only one good thing that counts in life,
Like trying to cut bread with a sharp bread knife,
And that's friends and Family and people like you,
And the bills are all paid and a nice.... cold.... brew!

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Limericks - The origin of the Limerick and some really cute limericks for you.


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