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Nonsense Songs

Word count: 2660

Song Cycle by Dudley Glass

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?. Calico Pie [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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Calico Pie,
The little birds fly
Down to the calico tree,
Their wings were blue,
And they sang "Tilly-loo!"
Till away they flew,--
And they never came back to me!
They never came back!
They never came back!
They never came back to me!

Calico Jam,
The little Fish swam
Over the syllabub sea.
He took off his hat,
To the Sole and the Sprat,
And the Willeby-wat,--
But he never came back to me!
He never came back!
He never came back!
He never came back to me!

Calico Ban,
The little Mice ran,
To be ready in time for tea,
Flippity flup,
They drank it all up,
And danced in the cup,--
But they never came back to me!
They never came back!
They never came back!
They never came back to me!

Calico Drum,
The grasshoppers come,
The Butterfly, Beetle, and Bee,
Over the ground,
Around and round,
With a hop and a bound,--
But they never came back!
They never came back!
They never came back!
They never came back to me!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Jumblies [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say.
On a winter's morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And everyone cried, "You'll all be drowned!"
They all called aloud, "Our Sieve ain't big,
"But we don't care a button! We don't care a fig!
"In a Sieve we'll go to sea!"
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
And every one said, who saw them go,
"O won't they be soon upset, you know!
"For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,
"And happen what may, it's extremely wrong
"In a Sieve to sail so fast!"
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

The water it soon came in, it did,
The water it soon came in;
So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat,
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar,
And each of them said, "How wise we are!
"Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
"Yet we never can think we were rash on wrong,
"While round in our Sieve we spin!"
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
"O Timballo! How happy we are,
"When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar.
"And all night long in the moonlight pale,
"In the shade of the mountains brown!"
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jackdaws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And in twenty years they all came back,
In twenty years or more,
And every one said, "How tall they've grown!
"For they've been to the Lakes, and the Terrible Zone,
"And the hills of the Chankly Bore,:
And they drank to their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And every one said, "If we only live,
"We too will go to sea in a Sieve, --
"To the hills of the Chankly Bore!"
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Duck and the Kangaroo [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Authorship


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i.
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo,
"Good gracious! how you hop!
"Over the fields and the water, too,
"As if you never would stop!
"My life is a bore in this nasty pond,
"And I long to go out in the world beyond!
"I wish I could hop like you!"
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

ii.
"Please give me a ride on your back!"
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.
"I would sit quite still, and say nothing but 'Quack,'
"The whole of the long day through!
"And we'd go to the Dee, and the Jelly Bo Lee,
"Over the land, and over the sea; --
"Please take me a ride! O do!"
Said the Duck to the Kangaroo.

iii.
Said the Kangaroo to the Duck,
"This requires some little reflection;
"Perhaps on the whole it might bring me luck,
"And there seems but one objection,
"Which is, if you'll let speak so bold,
"Your feet are unpleasantly wet and cold,
"And would probably give me the roo-
"Matiz!" said the Kangaroo.

iv.
Said the Duck, "As I sate on the rocks,
"I have thought over that completely,
"And I bought four pairs of worsted socks
"Which fit my web-feet neatly.
"And to keep out the cold I've bought a cloak,
"And every day a cigar I'll smoke,
"All to follow my own dear true
"Love of a Kangaroo!"

v.
Said the Kangaroo, "I'm ready!
"All on the moonlight pale;
"But to balance me well, dear Duck, sit steady!
"And quite at the end of my tail!"
So away they went with a hop and a bound,
And they hopped the whole world three times round;
And who so happy, -- O who,
As the Duck and the Kangaroo?


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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On the Coast of Coromandel,
Where the early pumpkins grow,
In the middle of the woods
Lived the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
Two old chairs, and half a candle,
One old jug without a handle,
These were all his worldly goods:
In the middle of the woods,
These were all the worldly goods
Of the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
Of the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.

Once, among the Bong-trees walking
Where the early pumpkins grow,
To a little heap of stones
Came the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
There he heard a Lady talking,
To some milk-white Hens of Dorking,
"'Tis the Lady Jingly Jones!
On that little heap of stones
Sits the Lady Jingly Jones!"
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.

"Lady Jingly! Lady Jingly!
Sitting where the pumpkins grow,
Will you come and be my wife?"
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
"I am tired of living singly,
On this coast so wild and shingly,
I'm a-weary of my life;
If you'll come and be my wife,
Quite serene would be my life!"
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.

"On this Coast of Coromandel,
Shrimps and watercresses grow,
Prawns are plentiful and cheap,"
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
"You shall have my chairs and candle,
And my jug without a handle! -
Gaze upon the rolling deep
(Fish is plentiful and cheap) -
As the sea, my love is deep!"
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.

Lady Jingly answered sadly,
And her tears began to flow,
"Your proposal comes too late,
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!
I would be your wife most gladly!"
(Here she twirled her fingers madly)
"But in England I've a mate!
Yes! you've asked me far too late,
For in England I've a mate,
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!

"Mr Jones - (his name is Handel -
Handel Jones, Esquire, & Co.)
Dorking fowls delights to send,
Mr Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!
Keep, oh! keep your chairs and candle,
And your jug without a handle,
I can merely be your friend!
- Should my Jones more Dorking send,
I will give you three, my friend!
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!

"Though you've such a tiny body,
And your head so large doth grow,
Though your hat may blow away,
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!
Though you're such a Boddy Doddy -
Yet I wish that I could modi-
fy the words I needs must say!
Will you please to go away?
That is all I have to say -
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò,
Mr. Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò!"

Down the slippery slopes of Myrtle,
Where the early pumpkins grow,
To the calm and silent sea
Fled the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
There beyond the Bay of Gurtle,
Lay a large and lively Turtle;
"You're the Cove," he said, "for me;
On your back beyond the sea,
Turtle, you shall carry me!"
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
Said the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.

Through the silent-roaring ocean
Did the Turtle swiftly go;
Holding fast upon his shell
Rode the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò,
With a sad primaeval motion
Towards the sunset isles of Boshen
Still the Turtle bore him well,
Holding fast upon his shell.
"Lady Jingly Jones, farewell!"
Sang the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò,
Sang the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.

From the Coast of Coromandel
Did that Lady never go;
On that heap of stones she mourns
For the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
On that Coast of Coromandel,
In his jug without a handle,
Still she weeps, and daily moans;
On that little heap of stones
To her Dorking Hens she moans
For the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.
For the Yonghy-Bònghy-Bò.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Daddy Long-Legs and the Fly [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

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i.
Once Mr. Daddy Long-Legs,
Dressed in brown and gray,
Walked about upon the sands
Upon a summer's day;
And there among the pebbles,
When the wind was rather cold,
He met with Mr. Floppy Fly,
All dressed in blue and gold.
And as it was too soon to dine,
They drank some Periwinkle-wine,
And played an hour or two, or more,
At battlecock and shuttledore.

ii.
Said Mr. Daddy Long-Legs
To Mr. Floppy Fly,
"Why do you never come to court?
"I wish you'd tell me why.
"All gold and shine, in dress so fine,
"You'd quite delight the court.
"Why do you never go at all?
"I really think you ought!
"And if you went, you'd see such sights!
"Such rugs! and jugs! and candle-lights!"
"And more than all, the King and Queen,
"One in red, and one in green!"

iii.
"O Mr. Daddy Long-Legs,
Said Mr. Floppy Fly,
"It's true I never go to court,
"And I will tell you why.
"If I had six long legs like yours,
"At once I'd go to court!
"But oh! I can't, because my legs
"Are so extremely short.
"And I'm afraid the King and Queen
"(One in red, and one in green)
"Would say aloud, 'You are not fit,
"'You Fly, to come to court a bit!"

iv.
"O Mr. Daddy Long-Legs,"
Said Mr. Floppy Fly,
"I wish you'd sing one little song!
"One mumbian melody!
"You used to sing so awful well
"In former days gone by,
"But now you never sing at all;
"I wish you'd tell me why:
"For if you would, the silvery sound
"Would please the shrimps and cockles round,
"And all the crabs would gladly come
"To hear you sing, 'Ah, Hum di Hum!'"

v.
Said Mr. Daddy Long-Legs,
"I can never sing again!
"And if you wish, I'll tell you why,
"Although it gives me great pain.
"For years I could not hum a bit,
"Or sing the smallest song;
"And this the dreadful reason is,
"My legs are grown too long!
"My six long legs, all here and there,
"Oppress my bosom with despair;
"And if I stand, or lie, or sit,
"I cannot sing one single bit!"

vi.
So Mr. Daddy Long-Legs
And Mr. Floppy Fly
Sat down in silence by the sea,
And gazed upon the sky.
They said, "This is a dreadful thing!
"The world has all gone wrong,
"Since one has legs too short by half,
"The other much too long!"
"One never more can go to court,
"Because his legs have grown too short;
"The other cannot sing a song,
"Because his legs have grown too long!"

vii.
Then Mr. Daddy Long-Legs
And Mr. Floppy Fly
Rushed downward to the foaming sea
With one sponge-taneous cry;
And there they found a little boat
Whose sails were pink and gray;
And off they sailed among the waves
Far, and far away.
They sailed across the silent main
And reached the great Gromboolian plain;
And there they play for evermore
As battlecock and shuttledore.


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Broom and the Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Authorship


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I

The Broom and the Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs,
    They all took a drive in the Park,
And they each sang a song, Ding-a-dong, Ding-a-dong,
    Before they went back in the dark.
Mr. Poker he sate quite upright in the coach,
    Mr. Tongs made a clatter and clash,
Miss Shovel was all dressed in black (with a brooch),
    Mrs. Broom was in blue (with a sash).
        Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
        And they all sang a song!

 
II

'O Shovel so lovely!' the Poker he sang,
    'You have perfectly conquered my heart!
'Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong! If you're pleased with my song,
    'I will feed you with cold apple tart!
'When you scrape up the coals with a delicate sound,
    'You enrapture my life with delight!
'Your nose is so shiny! your head is so round!
    'And your shape is so slender and bright!
        'Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
        'Ain't you pleased with my song?'

 
III

'Alas! Mrs. Broom!' sighed the Tongs in his song,
    'O is it because I'm so thin,
'And my legs are so long -- Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
    'That you don't care about me a pin?
'Ah! fairest of creatures, when sweeping the room,
    'Ah! why don't you heed my complaint!
'Must you needs be so cruel, you beautiful Broom,
    'Because you are covered with paint?
        'Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
        'You are certainly wrong!'

 
IV

Mrs. Broom and Miss Shovel together they sang,
    'What nonsense you're singing to-day!'
Said the Shovel, 'I'll certainly hit you a bang!'
    Said the Broom, 'And I'll sweep you away!'
So the Coachman drove homeward as fast as he could,
    Perceiving their anger with pain;
But they put on the kettle and little by little,
    They all became happy again.
        Ding-a-dong! Ding-a-dong!
        There's an end of my song!


Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The Owl and the Pussycat [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]

Language: English

Translation(s): GER RUS

List of language codes

Authorship


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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Eul’ und die Miezekatz", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Совёнок и Кошечка", copyright © 1982, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


I
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are, 
you are, 
you are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are."

II
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl, 
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring [at]1 the end of his nose, 
his nose, 
his nose,
With a ring [at]1 the end of his nose.

III
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, 
the moon, 
the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Wilkinson: "in"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

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