Homage to Edward Lear
Two Hundred and Twenty Libellous Limericks
By Simon R. Gladdish
Published by: Simon R. Gladdish
© Copyright 2006
Simon R. Gladdish
The right of Simon R. Gladdish to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988.
All Rights Reserved
No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication
may be made without written permission.
No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced,
copied or transmitted save with the written permission
or in accordance with the provisions of the
Copyright Act 1956 (as amended).
First published in 2006
My much-missed mother, Enid
And father, Kenneth (fellow poet);
My brother, Matthew & his family,
My sister Sarah & her family
And last but never least.
My wife Rusty without whom
There would have been nothing.
I was introduced to limericks by my poet father when I was about seven and immediately became hooked. When I was eleven, our English class held a limerick competition and our table won. I don’t even remember the teacher’s name but I do remember that she was young and attractive. Our winning limericks went as follows:
There was a young lady called Winnie
Who was always wearing a mini.
One day in a taxi
She changed into a maxi
Which she’d bought at a shop for a guinea.
An American boy (oh so Yankee)
Was often considered quite cranky.
He had a queer brain
Switched off at the main
But never-the-less he was swanky!
I don’t claim for a nano-second that they are great limericks, though they aren’t at all bad for eleven-year-olds, but the astonishing thing is that I can still remember them verbatim thirty-seven years later. Limericks are natural mnemonics.
I attended a bog-standard comprehensive in Reading where blood flowed in the corridors and a significant proportion of the teachers retired early with nervous breakdowns. When I think of those brave men and women who managed to educate us against almost impossible odds, my heart still melts. I have been a teacher myself for the last twenty years but I was never in the same class as those who taught me. At school I learnt to speak Russian and French and even scraped into Oxford. May God bless them all!
I digress. Edward Lear invented the limerick and his are still among the best we have. Compared with his great contemporary Lewis Carroll, Lear is always going to come a close second but there is no denying the man’s genius and ‘The Owl and the Pussy-Cat’ remains one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
I freely acknowledge my colossal debt to Edward Lear and whilst I was composing these limericks often felt his kindly shade hovering over me. Writing limericks isn’t quite as easy as it looks and this slim volume represents a couple of years’ work.
The overwhelming majority of these limericks are about real people. They know who they are!
Two Hundred and Twenty Libellous Limericks
There was an old fellow called Kenneth
Whose health was not quite at its zenith.
He finally conceded
An operation was needed
And now he is back playing tennith.
A small balding editor called Michael
Used to travel to work on a tricycle.
He thought his job was to publish
Plus anything else he found likeable.
A Welsh Secretary named Ron
Was often espied on the common,
Cruising for sex
Then bouncing his cheques
And not telling the police what had gone on.
An American President called Clinton
Spent his summer vacation in Frinton.
He brought a japonica
Plus a picture of Monica
And prayed every night to saint Onan.
American President Bush
Was not lacking when shove came to push.
His plan of attack
Was to conquer Iraq
And control all the oil that would gush.
Saddam Hussein of Baghdad
Was regarded as evil and mad;
But this brutal dictator,
This sly alligator
Gave George Bush the worst nightmares he’d had.
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Was constantly having his bum felt
By a handsome young aide
Dressed in leather and suede
Who smiled when he asked how his chum felt.
Prime minister Anthony Blair
Developed a lunatic stare.
It wouldn’t have mattered
Except he looked shattered
And was gradually losing his hair.
There was a young fireman called Donny
Who went out on strike for more money.
He denounced Gordon Brown
Till his own house burnt down
Which he didn’t find terribly funny.
A minister known as Buffoon
Started a war on the moon.
When asked to explain
His reasons again
Said ‘We had to invade before June’.
A woman named Sadie Street-Porter
Was rubbing her hands at the slaughter.
When we entered Iraq
She lay flat on her back
Seized by loud uncontrollable laughter.
There was an old lady named ‘Thatch’
Whom no politician could match.
A true-blue self-made woman
Who no one saw comin’
And nobody managed to catch!
There was an old lady called Maggie
Whose face was incredibly craggy.
Her eyes were dull stones
In a skull and cross-bones
And her skin was all scaly and scraggy.
There was a dictator called Putin
For whom murder was casually routine.
This pip-squeak and squirt
Would rip off his shirt
When out huntin’ or fishin’ or shootin’.
There was a politician called Blunkett
Who rolled Kimberley Quinn in a blanket.
In an effort to please her
He fast-tracked a visa
Which suddenly punctured his junket.
The French thought the future looked rosy
When they elected Nicolas Sarkozy
But President Bling
Liked to do his own thing
And with Carla he quickly got cosy.
A friend of Prime minister Tony
Was Italian boss Berlusconi.
With Sylvio paying
And His Tonyness praying,
Blair said ’You’re more than a mate. You’re a crony!’
We now have Prime minister Gordon
Whom no one could describe as a moron
But his dithering ways
And his withering days
Have made him as brittle as boron.
There was a young princess called Di
Whose death left us wondering why.
She was so pretty
That all London City
Would watch her when she wandered by.
There was an old poet called Dylan
Who would screw any wench that was willin’.
Once the acme of passion
He’s now so out of fashion
You can pick up his work for a shillin’.
A middle-aged poet named Andy
Found becoming the Laureate handy.
It gave him the chance
To prattle and prance
And quaff the occasional shandy.
Meanwhile, taking pot-shots from his garrison
Was republican guard Tony Harrison.
Blank verse and rhyme
Unlike lemon and lime,
Do not lend themselves to comparison.
Motion’s predecessor Ted Hughes
Reached a point where he’d little to lose.
His life with Ms Plath
Incurred feminists’ wrath
Forcing him to become a recluse.
The aforementioned Sylvia Plath
Wrote all her best stuff in the bath.
Her life was so sad
’Cause she married a cad
But at least her first name wasn’t Cath.
There was a young woman named Kath
Who followed a feminist path.
She held very firm views
On what should happen to Hughes
Since her favourite poet was Plath.
There was an old fellow from Lewes
Who came close to blowing a fuse.
He couldn’t care less
If Plath’s life was a mess
Since his favourite poet was Hughes.
There was a young lady named Daisy
Who thought that the public were lazy
For not reading verse
Even when it was worse
Than the crud that’s produced by the crazy.
A middle-aged poet named Ruth
Is now growing quite long in the tooth.
Described as precocious,
Her spelling’s atrocious
And she has a hard time with the truth.
There was a young redhead named Peggy
Who was rather attractive and leggy.
She liked opera and rock
And the poetry of Blok
But her main entertainment was reggae.
A feminist poet named Duffy
Was widely considered a toughie.
For the Laureate tipped,
She was at the post pipped
But her ‘compo’ was more than enuffie.
There is an old critic called Craig
Whom poets avoid like the plague
Though I’d sooner peruse
His unflattering reviews
Than anything fawning or vague.
There was an old poet called Raine
Who criticized others for gain.
Amid laughter and hummings
He described their shortcomings
And then sought invitations in vain.
There was an old poet called Seamus
Who woke up to find himself famous
But I’ve never once met
Who can quote him without endless disclaimers.
A struggling poet called Gladdish
Was saddish and baddish and maddish.
The career that he chose
Meant his blood pressure rose
Till his face had the hue of a radish.
There is a young lady named Kate
Who writes a poetry blog which is great.
The stuff that is in it
Is up to the minute
And her readers view her as a mate.
There is a young poet named Jane
Whose opinions are forthright and plain.
Now we don’t have to choose
Between Camper Van Blues
And boarding the Siberian train.
There was a young poet called Todd
Who was wandering around when a wad
Of beer hit his head
(Maybe worse, someone said)
And when he looked up he couldn’t see God!
There was a young fellow called Fry
Whose I.Q. was inquedibly high.
As his knowledge expanded
He found himself stranded
Behind a large desk at Q.I.
A literary genius called Orwell
Never worked out how to bore well
Although the slow osmosis
Of his tuberculosis
Gave the lie to his feeling ‘far more well.’
There was an old poet called Lear
Whose verse was remarkably queer.
His limericks scanned
And went largely as planned
But the last line was missing, I fear.
There was an old king with a beard
Who said ‘It is just as I feared!
From my crown to my chin
I’m as ugly as sin
And my eyebrows look seriously weird.’
There was a young lady of Ryde
Whose shoe-strings were seldom untied.
She walked with a limp
Like a crab or a shrimp.
Sadly, after a decade, she died.
There was an old man on a hill
Who seldom, if ever, stood still.
He said with a smile
As he vaulted a stile
‘Pleased to meet you. By the way, my name’s Bill.’
There was a young lady whose bonnet
Came untied when the birds sat upon it.
She cried ‘Bugger off!
I’m so sick of such stuff,’
As she poured out her tenth gin and tonic.
A young alcoholic named Holly
Was locally known for her folly.
A notorious lush,
She was daft as a brush
But at least she knew how to be jolly.
There was an old lady named Nelly
Whose feet were incredibly smelly.
When she took off her socks,
Her neighbours threw rocks,
Rotten fruit, eggs and raspberry jelly.
There was a young lady named Sue
Who never knew quite what to do.
In a terrible hurry
She ingested a curry
And spent the next day on the loo.
There was a young lady named Jane
Who liked to walk out in the rain.
Her husband said ‘Let
Me too get soaking wet
Before it all goes down the drain.’
There was a young lady named Tracey
Whose dress was decidedly lacy.
Men flew into a passion
At the sight of such fashion
And her love-life was terribly racy.
There was a young man called MacArthur
Who married a lady named Martha.
But he left her at last
When he found out her past –
For Martha was formerly Arthur.
There was a young fellow named Trevor
Who was not academically clever.
He failed his exams;
Now he’s butchering lambs
And claims that he’s happier than ever.
A Hammersmith baker named Phil
Dropped dead after making his will.
He left the lot
To his mistress called Dot
Who subsequently moved to Mill Hill.
A candlestick maker named Klein
Was brilliant at making them shine.
He worked in Berlin
With his kith and his kin
And perished aged seventy-nine.
There was an old fellow called Jeff
Who was rather dogmatic and deaf.
He swore white was black
And that forward was back
And that right was invariably left.
There was a young lady named Milly
Whose sartorial sense was quite silly.
She dressed in a sack
Painted scarlet and black
Whilst her knickers were bright green and frilly.
There was a young mum nicknamed ‘Molly’
Who needed a pretty new brolly.
‘How about this?’
Said her son Aramis,
As he sawed off a branch of fresh holly.
There was a young lady named Laura
Who was a phenomenal snorer.
Her husband, called Jack,
Said ’I’m not coming back
From my next visit to Tora Bora.’
There was a young lady named Kate
Whose heart was contorted by hate.
She hated her mother,
Her sister and brother,
Her uncle, her aunt and her mate.
Hammamet’s sunny and blue
But what were we going to do?
We had a long think
About having a drink
Brfore heading off to ‘The View’.
There was an old fellow called Leakey
Whose purse was so tight it was creaky.
Though no king of spades
He was jack of all trades
Despite his stiff joints being squeaky.
There was a young fellow called Francis
Who enjoyed Young Conservative dances.
He hoped that the girls
(The Jocastas and Pearls)
Would improve his pathetic life-chances.
There was a young fellow called Tristan
Who was quite a handsome young man.
The fact he couldn’t dance
Was confirmed by a glance
But he looked good and sported a tan.
There was a young lady named Kim
Who was rather attractive and slim.
She had only one fault:
She was selfish and spoilt
And quite supernaturally dim.
There was a young man from Kamschatka
Whose moustache resembled wet cat fur.
He sat in his lounge
Seeing what he could scrounge
And his family all called him a fat cur.
There was a young dandy from France
Who invited young ladies to dance.
He was doing all right
Till one memorable night
He tripped over and fell on his lance.
There was a young lady named Mary
Whose baby was ugly and hairy.
She said ‘I don’t mind
That his face is so lined.
It’s just that his eyes are so scary!’
There was a young fellow from Torquay
Who never could find his front-door key.
Fortunately his wife
Had a very sharp knife
So he stabbed her and moved to Milwaukee.
There was an old fellow from Ealing
Who discovered his mistress was dealing.
Up he would not shut
Till she gave him a cut
And smeared most of his blood on the ceiling.
There was a young girl from Carnac
Who spent her life flat on her back.
She said ‘I’m so lazy,
It’s driving me crazy –
I think I’ll get up for a snack.’
There was an old man from Stavanger
Who was given to serious anger.
He’d grow purple and shout
And push people about
When anyone else dropped a clanger.
There was an old woman of Bangor
Who was prone to incontinent anger.
Things got so bad,
She was driven (half mad)
By the family vet to Stavanger.
There was a young girl from Devizes
Who had two hats different sizes.
One was a bonnet
With ribbons upon it;
The other was pink and won prizes.
There was an old person of Dover
Who thought he was living in clover.
He was bonking the maid
And his bills were all paid
Till one day a large bus ran him over.
There was an old roofer called Reg
Who spent most of his life on a ledge.
He said ‘I don’t mind.
I’m the rational kind,
But I’d sooner be earning a wedge.’
There was a young lady named Rusty
Whose hair was dishevelled and dusty;
So she hurried back home
To borrow a comb
Before it went crumbly and crusty.
There was a young artist from Smyrna
Who was an admirer of Turner.
After seeing a Titian,
He sank into depression
And decided to climb Anapurna.
There was an old man of Dundee
Who spent half of his life up a tree.
When asked why this was,
He answered ‘Because
It’s the only place I feel free.’
There was an old man of Coblenz
Who counted pounds, shillings and pence.
This miserable miser
Liked sporting a visor
As the glare from his coins was intense.
There was an old fellow called Ant
Who suffered from cancer and cant.
He thought he was nice
But his heart was like ice
And this is the end of my rant.
There was an old man of the Hague
Whose passing was awfully vague.
Doctors couldn’t answer
Whether it had been cancer
Or the terminal stages of plague.
There was a young lady from Wales
Whose favourite food was boiled snails.
She also liked frogs’ legs,
Locusts and snakes’ eggs
And fishes without fins or scales.
There was an old man of the South
Whose manners were rather uncouth;
Whilst consuming his food,
He would cram it all into his mouth.
There was an old man of the North
Whose favourite food was Scotch broth.
He would often be seen
With a monstrous tureen,
Straining it out through a cloth.
There was an old man of the East
Whose idea of a snack was a feast.
Turkey and tripe
And fresh fruit which was ripe
And bread made without any yeast.
There was an old man of the West
Who with food was completely obsessed.
After dining and lunching
He would carry on munching
Till he couldn’t remove his string vest.
There was a young lady from Hyde
Who couldn’t eat eggs boiled or fried.
‘You know, it’s so strange’ she said,
‘Even free-range’ she said,
‘Make me feel funny inside.’
There was a young general named Joe
Who never knew whether to go
Straight over the top
Or stop off at the shop
In the wind and the rain and the snow.
There was a young captain called Riadh
Who came home with a skunk that he’d speared.
He then cooked a stew
For the rest of the crew
Who agreed that it tasted quite weird.
I know a young lady named Sophie
Who one day will make a good trophy
Wife for some wealthy man
In the States or Japan,
Indeed anywhere other than Jersey.
I know a young lady called Hannah
Who is a meticulous planner.
She just can’t understand
Why some leave lives unplanned -
‘Be Prepared!’ are the words on her banner.
There was an old man of Nepal
Who broke his left leg in a fall.
His wife said ‘Fancy falling!
It’s frankly nepalling.
I warned you to get off that wall.’
There was an old man from Peru
Who constructed an aircraft which flew
Till an ear-splitting bleat
Informed him he’d crashed on a ewe.
There was an old man from Cape Horn
Who spent his life feeling forlorn.
His psychiatrist said
‘Would you rather be dead?’
He said ‘No, I’m just sad I was born.’
There was an old poseur called Sean
Who spent his life mowing the lawn.
His wife, known as Debbie,
Had friends in Entebbe
And an uncle and aunt in Cape Horn.
A lanky young lady from Crete
Wore shoes which were shiny and neat.
She resembled a pylon
With stockings of nylon
And surprisingly small dainty feet.
There was an old person of Mold
Whose hands were alarmingly cold.
He said ‘Pass me those kittens,
I’ll use them as mittens;
With a wee bit of force, they should fold.’
There was a young fellow called Peter
Who fed all his coins in the meter.
He said ’I’ve not chosen
To spend Christmas frozen’
As he kicked the crap out of the heater.
There was an old man of Quebec
In trouble right up to his neck.
He had paid many dollars
For his bow-ties and collars
With a bouncing and fraudulent cheque.
There was a young fellow named Dick
Whose neck was incredibly thick.
Of shirts he had plenty
In collar size twenty -
If he wore a nineteen he felt sick.
There was a young girl of Majorca
Who was an exceptional talker.
She rabbited on
Till the whole day was gone
And the moon hovered over Menorca.
There was an old man from Kilkenny
Whose name, I remember, was Benny.
As close as a clam,
He stuffed stale bread and jam
Which he’d bought at a shop for a penny.
There was a young teacher called Jenny
Who originally hailed from Kilkenny.
She wound up in Poole
Where she started a school
But her pupils were dull and not many.
There was an old Scotsman named Doug
Who had a strange face like a pug.
Pugnacious was he
To the umpteenth degree
And he slept all day long on a rug.
There was an old warlock of Rhodes
Whose familiars were poisonous toads.
He said ‘Stick a straw
In the animal’s maw
And blow hard till the bastard explodes.’
There was a young woman called Slattery
Who had a small win on the lottery.
She bought a new suit
Then got pissed as a newt
And spent the remainder on pottery.
A young girl named Susan Sinclair
Had beautiful, flowing fair hair.
I never quite knew
What she used for shampoo
But I know passers-by used to stare.
A pretty young thing called Michaela
Ran off one sunny day with a sailor
She’d met at a dance -
Now she’s living in France
After stowing away in a whaler.
This impetuous creature Michaela
Seized hold of the balls of her tailor
And screamed ‘Look here Fred -
Why’s my wedding dress red
When I wanted it several shades paler?’
Now older and wiser, Michaela
Invested her cash in a trailer
From which she serves food
That’s amazingly good
And when she’s not busy, reads Mailer.
There was a fat actress called Dawn
Whose forte was withering scorn.
She made grown men cry
With her Scorpio eye
And regret that they’d ever been born.
Her partner, comedienne Jen,
Had a curious effect upon men.
Although more Wreckless Eric
Than flawless Bo Derek,
I’d still give her an eight out of ten.
A young priest from old Buenos Aires
Was addicted to saying his prayers
Whilst walking the street,
The parishioners he’d meet
Would reward him with apples and pears.
There was a young fellow from Brest
Who succeeded in his driving test.
He seemed overjoyed
As he swerved to avoid
A brunette with a very large chest.
There was a young lady named Joan
Who took out a very large loan.
She soon lost her job
So she made a few bob
By conversing with men on the phone.
A woman from Trincomalee
Spent most of her life drinking tea.
When asked why ’twas so,
She replied ‘I don’t know
And it doesn’t much matter to me.’
There was a young man from Tanzania
Who suffered from megalomania.
He divorced his wife, Alice
Then built a huge palace
And called himself King of Albania.
There was a young man from Seattle
Who used to breed specialist cattle.
His herds were expensive
And so darned extensive,
He rounded them up with a rattle.
There was a young man from Brindisi
Who one day felt awfully queasy.
He spewed up his guts,
Tripe, diced carrot and nuts
And made it look frightfully easy.
There was an old fellow called Neil
Who wanted to do something real
But his heart began thumping
When he went bungee jumping
And he vomited up his last meal.
A woman from Bexhill-on-Sea
Was itching, one day, for a pee.
To a chorus of chants
She lowered her pants
And started to piss copiously.
There was an old college called Keble
Which admitted anyone who could scribble
Their name or the date
And now it’s too late
To padlock the the gate on the rabble.
There was a young fellow from Leeds
Who swallowed a packet of seeds.
He shouted in grief:
‘I’ve sprouted a leaf,
Six shoots, fourteen roots and two weeds!’
There was a young lady called Gertie
Whose clothes were incredibly dirty.
She said ‘I’ll get clean
When my washing machine
Arrives this afternoon at four-thirty.’
There was a young student called Bertie
Who always arose at five-thirty.
He said ’It’s a drag
That my sleeping-bag
Is so uncomfortable, threadbare and dirty!’
There was a young lady from Spain
Whose face was more ugly than plain.
Her brother said ‘Poor sis
She frightens the horses
And yet she’s incredibly vain.’
This very same lady from Spain
Used to cycle to work in the rain.
But the rain shrank her shirt,
Her sombrero and skirt
So these days she travels by train.
This unfortunate lady from Spain
Did little but moan and complain.
Always griping and groaning
Or indignantly ’phoning,
She became as well-known as John Wayne.
There was an old shrew called Winona
Who was a perpetual moaner.
Throughout her life
She caused so much strife
That she forced her family to disown her.
There is an old Wiccan called Wanda
Who has piebald hair like a panda.
Look, I don’t want to snitch,
Cause trouble or bitch
But the truth is I really can’t stand her.
Some of my best friends are women:
The fat and the thin and the slimmin’
But it’s a sad fact
That I’m often attacked
By one who’s less sweet than a lemon.
There was a young man from Havana
Who had an unfortunate manner;
Always shouting and screaming,
Cursing God and blaspheming
And threatening his dad with a spanner.
There was a young chap from Pembroke
Who was quite an ordinary bloke.
He had a slight lisp
Like a will o’ the wisp,
Ate potatoes and drank diet Coke.
There was an old fellow called Faf
Who dined every day at a caff
On sausage and beans
(Coz he couldn’t stand greens)
And was often mistaken for staff.
There was a young girl called Lorraine
Who found herself trapped on a train.
She tried to get off
At a town near Roscoff
But somehow got transported to Spain.
There was a young fellow named Ben
Who was a mountain amongst men.
When he was six
He was carrying bricks
And at seven his grandfather Ken.
There was a young fellow named Chris
Who liked giving the ladies a kiss.
A prince among men
Like his big brother Ben
He’s engaged to a pretty young miss.
There was a young wastrel named Benny
Who seldom had more than a penny.
From the time he awoke,
He was depressed and broke
And his girlfriends were not very many.
There was a young man from Messina
Who began an affair with the cleaner;
He had to manoeuvre
His way round the hoover
To suggest a more intimate arena.
There was a young man from Hong Kong
Whose tongue was exceedingly long.
He said ‘I don’t care
If the women all stare.
I don’t feel I’ve done anything wrong.’
In India where it’s so hot,
It generally rains not a jot
But every June
Descends the monsoon
Which causes the houses to rot.
There was a young man from Lahore
Whose family were dreadfully poor.
They owned only one cow
And had no idea how
They were going to breed any more.
There was a young man from Madras
Who was warned not to walk on the grass.
He returned an hour later
With his mater and pater
And all three crossed the grass on their ass.
There was a young drunk from Calcutta
Who examined the stars from the gutter.
He slurred ‘Unless someone’s lying,
That cluster’s Orion
And the Milky Way’s churning to butter.’
There was a young lady from China
Who wanted an agent to sign her.
She said ‘I can act.
I’m a model of tact
And learnt conjuring tricks on a liner.’
An avant-garde artist from Cairo
Begged to borrow his brother’s blue biro.
He kept it a week
Till it started to leak
After copying some abstracts by Miro.
There was a young man from Tibet
Who caught a mad dog in a net.
The authorities argued:
‘This beast is embargoed
And not suitable as a pet.’
A young Chinese man in Kentucky
Was feeling incredibly lucky.
So he put his last buck
On a horse named ‘Dick Duck’
And when it came last, shouted ‘Dlat!’
There was a young lady of Perth
Prone to low self-esteem and self worth.
She said to her shrink,
‘I’m fat, ugly and stink,’
Whilst her mother exploded with mirth.
There was an old man from Bridgewater
Who had an extraordinary daughter.
On farmland or fen,
She seduced most local men
And led them like lambs to the slaughter.
There was a young lady named Gabby
Who was never unpleasant or crabby.
Her voice was pure honey;
She had breeding and money
Which she kept in a box at the Abbey!
There was a young lady from Bude
Who liked to sunbathe in the nude.
But the sight of a cloud
Or a gathering crowd
Made her language unspeakably crude.
In the old town of Kingston on Hull
Where the weather is cloudy and dull,
There lived a tight sailor
Who felt quite a failure
As he followed the flight of a gull.
There was an old lady from Cowes
Who planted her seeds in neat rows.
But the very next day
They had vanished away,
Carried off by the ravens and crows.
There was a young man from Dolgellau
Who had a voluminous belly.
He said ‘I’m not fat.
I’m big-boned and that’s that.
Get the beers in! I’m watching the telly.’
There was an old person of Dorset
Who waddled around in a corset.
When asked why was this,
He replied ’I’m obese
But now I can neither stand nor sit.’
A struggling singer named Marilyn
Had a kid sister called Carolyn
Who though clumsy and small
And not at all musical
Would accompany her on the mandolin.
There was a young chap from Penzance
Who always had ants in his pants.
He couldn’t sit still
For a minute until
He came first at the rugby club dance.
There was a young lady called Bridget
Who was an incorrigible fidget.
Her friends cried ‘Keep still!’
Which she managed until
She again began drumming her digit.
There was an old fellow called Roger
Who was an incorrigible bodger.
Each DIY disaster
Saw him laid up in plaster
Amid cries of ‘You silly old codger!’
There was an old soldier from Chester
Who allowed a slight flesh wound to fester.
‘If you don’t keep it clean,
You’ll develop gangrene,’
Warned his wife. He replied ‘Please don’t pester.’
An overweight woman from Reading
Wanted a memorable wedding.
Her imagination ran riot
So she went on a diet
And bragged of the weight she was shedding.
This much slimmer woman from Reading
Made plans for her perfect white wedding.
She sent invitations
To her friends and relations
And advised them to bring their own bedding.
This unfortunate woman from Reading
Had to cancel her wonderful wedding.
Her suntanned fiancé
Confessed he was gay
And for San Francisco was heading.
There was a young man from Manila
Whose favourite taste was vanilla.
A recurring dream
Was to gorge on ice-cream
Whilst reciting the poems of Schiller.
There was a young lady named Eda
Who was a phenomenal reader
Of poetry and prose
(Whatever she chose!)
And among all her friends was a leader.
There was an old hippy on Sark
Who liked to get up with the lark.
He would spend all day long
Just enjoying its song
As he aimlessly strolled round the park.
There was a young girl from Bordeaux
Who usually went with the flow.
Her favourite expressions
Were ‘Peut-etre. Je ne sais pas. I don’t know.’
There is a French temptress named Eglantine
Who’s the prettiest girl that I’ve ever seen.
Je n’ai pas de fric
Mais je regarde le ‘Chic’ -
I’ll stop now before this becomes obscene!
An elderly woman from Rhyl
Trapped her arthritic hands in a till.
The till drawer was levered
But her fingers were severed
Leaving her feeling mortally ill.
There was a young lady from A
Who married her cousin called J.
They had a lovely daughter
Whom they baptised with water
After naming their pride and joy K.
There was an old fellow from D
Who married a woman named E.
They did what they could
But they weren’t very good
So they both ended up all at C.
There was a professor called Flew
Who knew that 4 equals twice 2.
He said with a sigh
‘Though if X equals Y
Then what the L happens to U?’
There was a young fellow named Kevin
Whose favourite number was seven.
He also loved four
Although not any more
Since discovering primes like eleven.
There is a verse form called the limerick
Which forces the poet five rhymes to pick.
Don’t think I’m complaining
(They’re quite entertaining)
But after a while you get sick of it.
A reclusive poet named Ed
Took Roget’s Thesaurus to bed.
Lewis Carroll inclined
To unburden his mind
By standing for hours on his head.
There was an old poet called Ed
Who’s now over a hundred years dead.
His verse was enduring,
Which is probably why he’s still read.
There was a young man from Swansea
Who would only eat Welsh cakes for tea.
I know this because
His girlfriend (called Ros)
Revealed it on prime-time TV.
There was an old woman called Ros
Who was implored to resign because
Despite her low cunning
The Trust she was running
Was permanently making a loss.
There was a young man from Cardiff
Whose poodle jumped over a cliff.
She bounced like a ball
Till some rocks broke her fall
And then lay immobile and stiff.
There was a young songbird called Carys
Whose name was as Welsh as wild cherries
But one rainy day
She decamped to L.A.
Where the weather was better for tennis.
There was a young slapper from Skewen
Whose favourite activity was screwin’
But when I said ‘Hey!
Are you headin’ my way?’
She turned round and spat ‘Nothin’ doin’!’
There was an Archbishop called Rowan
Who said that the gap was still growing
Between the rich and the poor,
The ceiling and floor
And he hated the way things were going.
There was an old actor called Hopkins
Whose habit of stealing the napkins
He carried too far,
When this world-famous star
Presented them to Eileen Atkins.
There was an old actor called Cleese
Who enjoyed getting down on his knees
In summer or winter
(Despite the odd splinter)
To pray for ‘more money, Lord, please!’
There was an old actor named Palin
Whose favourite activity was sailin’.
With his mainsail unfurled
He discovered the world
Whilst throwing up over a railin’.
There was an old man from Edinburgh
Who turned a peculiar colour.
His friend said it was
He’d been drinking faster than he could swallow.
There was a loan shark from Glasgow
Who thought it worth starting a row
About a slight debt
Run up with regret
Almost a lifetime ago.
The Chancellor enjoyed a good brunch
Of haggis, peas and credit crunch.
He said with a grin
As he wiped off his chin,
’There’s no such thing as a free lunch!’
There was a young fellow called Frank
Whose hair was all greasy and lank
But so sharp was his wit
That he earned quite a bit
Which he salted away in the bank.
There was an explorer called Sara
Who looked nothing like Scarlett O’Hara.
Her love of sand camels
Plus other strand mammals
Meant she spent her life in the Sahara.
There was a young lady named Enid
Who was so timid she usually hid
But she had a soul
That was pure, sweet and whole -
I know this because I’m her kid!
There was a young lady named Sarah;
A figure, than whom, few were fairer.
A benevolent sort,
She helped to support
Her brother – a penniless carer.
There was a young lady named Lydia
Whose favourite trick was to kid ya
She was your friend
But you knew in the end
She’d smirk ‘You didn’t believe me now, did ya?’
There was a young lady called Liz
Who got herself in quite a tizz.
She said ‘Taking tea
With my Vitamin C
Has made my intestines go fizz!’
There was a young woman called Carla
Who began a new life in Australia.
She took an interesting route
(From religieuse to pute)
And all to the soundtrack of Mahler!
There was an old woman named Nancy
Whose tastes were incredibly fancy.
For the choices she made
She never once paid
And nor did her boyfriend called Clancy.
There was a young lady named Chris
(A voluptuous vision of bliss!)
A practical joker,
She was brilliant at poker
And generally taking the piss.
There was a young lady named Julie
Whose pubic hair was long and woolly.
The best she could do
Was hide it in her shoe
And use it to power her own pulley.
There was a young woman named Pat
Whose pubis was bulbous and fat.
I never quite knew
What she used for shampoo
But she could have worn it as a hat.
A middle-aged dancer called Beverley
Was choreographed rather cleverly.
As sharp as a pin
But alas, not as thin –
She sloped off to the can, panting heavily.
There was a young lady named Hilary
Whose favourite food was sliced celery.
Just like her mum Valerie
She counted each calorie
She permitted in every capillary.
There was a speed-skater named Begg
Who would only drink bitter on keg.
When asked why this was
She answered ‘Because
It gives me great strength in the leg.’
There was a young lady named Lucy
Whose jugs were incredibly juicy.
Although she got teased
Her husband was pleased
Saying ‘This is a sight far too few see!’
There was a young lady named Carol
Who liked her beer straight from the barrel.
In snug or saloon
She would sup a galloon
And then slowly remove her apparel.
There is a young model named Austin
On the net who is really worth watchin’.
Although bashful and modest,
She looks like a goddess
And is worth every cent that she’s costin’!
There is a young model named Jasmine
Who has to be heard to be seen.
She has no need to cry for
A body to die for
That is sensual, erotic and lean.
There was a young lady named Annie
Who had a peculiar fanny
For when viewed full-frontal
It appeared horizontal
And seemed like a thing most uncanny!
There was an old widow called Mandy
Who often felt frightfully randy:-
‘A little while later
I’ll dig out my vibrator
But for now I’ll just have a hand shandy.’
There was a young lady named Vicki
Whose hands were incredibly sticky
So she’d wrap them in bandages
Whilst making her sandwiches
As doing the housework was tricky.
There was a young lady called Marty
Who was widely considered a smartie.
Atractive and dashin’
In the latest fashion,
She was always the first at a party.
There was a young rock star called Amy
Whose demeanour suggested ‘Please lay me!’
One of life’s mugs,
She got stuck on hard drugs
And now she just sounds rather samey.
There is a young chanteuse named Cheryl
Who is lucky she wasn’t called Beryl.
She’s the ultimate WAG
And a fantasy shag
So I’ve christened her ‘Cheryl the Peril!’
There was a footballer called Wayne
Who was starting to suffer the strain
Of getting down on all fours
To service old whores
And being forced to employ his dull brain.
There was a footballer called Ian
Who made love to a siren named Rhian.
Said Rhian ‘That was great
But why did you wait
Till you thought you were getting a free ’un?’
There was a young singer named Charlotte
Who led the louche life of a starlet.
Not frowning but waving
With her husband Gavin,
She could never be labelled a harlot.
There was a young chanteuse named Posh
Who used to enjoy getting sloshed
And then she would rave
With her husband called Dave
Who was superb at earning the dosh!
There was an old diva called Cher
Whose favourite fabric was fur
But more important than fashion
Was her attachment to passion
And the number of hearts she could stir.
There was an old slapper called Madge
Who’d acquired every T-shirt and badge
But her shrieks and her wails
Did not dent the sales
Of her albums or shots of her vag.
There is a young songstress called Kylie
Whose demeanour’s all friendly and smiley.
Her pop’s bubble gum
But her pert little bum
Is an object the public prize highly.
There was a young tomboy called Danii
Who had a triangular fanny.
Although I’d never felt it,
Tasted or smelt it,
She denied she was ever a trannie.
There was a young singer called Britney
(The Caucasian successor to Whitney.)
She caused a few snickers
By forgetting her knickers
And other events of that kidney.
There was a young airhead named Hilton
(Whom I suspect had never read Milton.)
An heiress was she
To the umpteenth degree
So pass the champagne and the Stilton!
A Hollywood starlet named Lindsay
Would have been of interest to Kinsey
Because one sunny day
She declared herself gay
Although some put it down to pure whimsy.
There was a young actress named Carmen
Who was pretty and sexy and charmin’
But it leaked out one day
She was probably gay
Which a few of her fans found alarmin’.
There was an old rocker called Jett
Who said to her friend Carmen ‘Let
Us bump and grind
Until we go blind
And your agent is starting to fret!’
There was a young lady named Helen
Who is now serving time as a felon
After teaching the trumpet
To some underaged strumpet
And sharing her honeydew melon.
There was a writer named Jeanette
Who took off her tights for a bet
Then Suzie Orbach
Jammed both tits in her crack
And the maid had to run for the vet.
There was a young model called Jordan
Whose detractors accused her of whoredom.
She’d paid a fortune to pump
Up her breasts and her rump
And didn’t do dullness or boredom.
There was a young lady named Jade
Who liked calling a shovel a spade.
As she stood on the jetty
Alongside Shilpa Shetty
She cried ‘Shelpa, my nerves are so frayed!’
There was an actress called Angelina
Whose body grew leaner and leaner.
She said ‘I feel sad.
Please make love to me, Brad,
And let’s christen the child Indo-China.’
There was an old rocker called Keith
Who fell out of a tree on his teeth
But thanks to the Virgin
And the skill of the surgeon
He won’t yet be needing a wreath!
There was an old rocker named Mick
Whose lips were so large he could lick
His whole body clean
From his arse to his spleen
But after he’d feel a bit sick.
There was an old rocker called Ronnie
Whose major concern was the money.
As thin as a rake,
He looked just like a snake
That had swallowed an innocent bunny.
There was an old drummer named Charlie
Whose favourite food was dried barley.
He sat on his bum
Double-bashing his drum
And looked a bit like Charlie Farley.
There was a young poet called Simon
Who was pretty clever at rhymin’.
He could rhyme lozenges
With objects like oranges
And hymen with names like Bill Wyman.
There was a young lady named Heather
Who didn’t depend on the weather
For doing her charity
And saving humanity
Whilst singing out loud ‘Come together!’
There was an old rocker called Macca
Whose attractive new wife was a cracker.
She could not sing or dance
But she spotted her chance
To relieve him of many a smacker.
There was an old drummer called Ringo
Who had the good looks of a dingo.
A man of few words,
He didn’t bother with birds
And spent his free time playing bingo.
There was an old beatle named John
Whose memory just goes on and on.
I remember the day
He was taken away
But his records still sell by the ton.
There was an old beatle called George
Who liked to spend time at the forge.
Though none too prolific,
His songs were terrific
And caused quite a lump in one’s gorge.
There was an old bluesman called Eric
Who enjoyed playing dominoes with Derek.
A drug-taking loony,
He chased Carla Bruni
And looked like an overpaid cleric.
An inveterate rocker named Rod
Believed himself a gift from God
To the fair sex
Though his withered old pecs
Resembled the fins on a cod.
There was an old rocker named Elton
Who performed with his braces and belt on
But he could still rock
Right round the croc -
I believe his next gig is in Melton.
There was a glam-rocker called Bowie
Who christened his baby son ‘Zowie’
But the lad changed his name
To something more tame
And was neither flamboyant nor showy.
There was a glam-rocker called Glitter
Whose name now occasions a titter.
Taking kids for a ride
Cost him three years inside
Which made him all twisted and bitter.
There was an old crooner called Cliff
Whose manhood just wouldn’t grow stiff.
He cried like Niagara
Till he tried some Viagra -
Now he’s under the doctor for syph!
There was an old crooner called Sting
Who insisted on doing ‘his thing’.
He tore off his keks
To perform tantric sex
And kept his ding-a-ling in a sling.
There was a newsreader named Alice
Who knew neither envy nor malice.
She made so much money
You won’t find it funny
That she lived in a mansion in Paris.
There was a young lady named Rao
With more charm than anybody knew how.
She was such a beauty,
A sweetie and cutie -
She became CNN’s sacred cow!
A sexy reporter named Romilly
Was prone to pronounce the odd homily
About the royal family
Whilst men (watching clammily)
Would shout ‘Hip hooray for the monarchy!’
There was a broadcaster called Kirsty
Who said she felt terribly thirsty
So she drank a wee dram
Plus a tequila slam
And found that she felt even worstie!
I’ve noticed that Daniel Day-Lewis
Would rather be greenish than blueish.
Although he might wish
He’d been born Oirish,
The simple fact is that he’s Jewish.
A man many dismissed as a yob
Was later revered as Saint Bob.
‘Look, Oi don’t foind it funny,
Just give us yer money!’
Was the mantra that shot from his gob.
There was a young rock star called Bono
Who was trying to save the world solo
But his self-righteous face
With his Ray Bans in place
Caused a collective cry of ‘Oh no!’
There was an evangelist named Todd
(A true emissary of God)
The stadium went quiet
Then erupted in riot
When he proclaimed the word of the Lord!
There was a young lady named Kat
Who wore her pink hair like a hat.
From the age of eleven
She was visiting Heaven
And wrote several books about that.
There was an old preacher called Joyce
Who had a stentorian voice.
It was so loud
That when she worked a crowd
She’d shout ‘Listen or leave. It’s your choice!’
There was a cross-dresser called Greville
Who had a young nephew named Neville.
‘Greville, Greville, you’ve torn your dress.
Greville, Greville, your face is a mess.’
Said Greville ‘Young Neville, you devil!’
There was a young editor named Matt
For whom Victorian Verse was old hat.
He preferred Avant-Garde,
Obscurantist and Hard
And held court in a Pimlico flat.
There was a broadcaster called Bragg
Who was constantly flying the flag
For highbrow concerns -
In Our Time one soon learns
To spout more than the odd Latin tag.
Newly elected mayor Boris
Was ferried around in a Morris.
It didn’t take long
Before he felt strong
Enough to dismiss the chief of police.
There was a young lady named Rachel
Who had an incredible smell.
She smelt of mignonette
Sweet cherries and sweat
But only her close friends could tell.
There was a young girl called Michelle
Who seldom, if ever, felt well.
She was so full of bile
That it stuck out a mile
And exuded a terrible smell.
Is it Jeremy’s job to anoint
Poets whose work has a point?
Or should we just shrug
When he pulls the rug
And roll ourselves another joint?
Paxo thinks contemporary poetry is pap
And not as good as novels like ‘The Slap’.
I agree the situation’s grim
And feel it’s quite astute of him
To dismiss a hundred years of modernism as crap!
There was an eccentric called Mike
Who travelled the world on his trike.
He would only cease pedalling
To scream ‘Please stop meddling!’
At the demons controlling his psyche.
About editors I’d like to speak
Who rub salt in the wounds of the weak.
Their evasions are agile,
Their egos are fragile
And their friends well-connected and sleek.
I’ve lost count of the manuscripts sent
To the Poetry Establishment
But because I’m unknown
To these ‘kings on their throne’
They bounce back like boomerangs, bashed and bent.
You petition these kings on their throne
But they won’t even throw you a bone.
Although you have kneeled,
They’re hermetically sealed
Inside, and you’re outside alone.
You pray for a wave of their wand
But a negligent shove of their hand
Makes you fight back the tears
As you count up the years
Since your dreams disappeared into sand.
They think that they’re doing so well
Though the poets they pick seldom sell.
If it wasn’t for us
Paying tax without fuss,
They’d all be on the highway to hell.
The right of Simon R. Gladdish to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
A collection of limericks