Friday, 10 August 2018

An Apocryphal Tale in Limerick Form: THE FUNNIVERSARY SONG

Post #188
ORIGINAL SONG: Any old limerick verses can be sung to "The Limerick Song", as per YouTube here. However we have undertaken the onerous task  of bringing you other melodies for singing limericks, as per the post "Novel Melodies for Singing Limericks". 
So, for this baby, we will exploit the melody of the verses for "The Anniversary Song". Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin originally had adapted the music (the score had been published in the U.S. in 1896) and wrote lyrics in 1946 to the 1880 composition "Waves of the Danube" by prolific Romanian composer Ion Ivanovici; the music had won a prize at the 1889 World Exhibition in Paris. The original song has been recorded by Dina Shore, Rosemary Clooney, Guy Lombardo, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Franks Sinatra, Pat Boone, Bing Crosby etc. 
LIMERICK VERSE:  Original verses composed by Giorgio Coniglio, 2017-2018. Two of the verses have been published at the OEDILF website (the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form); the entry number for the OEDILF version is noted at the bottom of the chord-chart slides.
Readers should note that (i) each verse of the original song can accpomodate two limerick verses, (ii) the bridge has been adapted from the original Ivanovici-Jolson tune, and is NOT a limerick.
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, August 2018. 


(to a tune inspired by the verses of of Al Jolson's "The Anniversary Song", a.k.a. "Waves of the Danube")

In that room, bride and groom entered marriage
(Forty guests, kith and kin, came 'by carriage');
Formal garb and corsage
Adorned former garage.
It's our 'ballroom' (some Brits call it 'garage' GA-ridj).

We embarked on our marital dance
With a June honeymoon there in France
Later, raising our kids
Put romance on the skids,
Now they're grown, on their own: second chance.

Just a mile from home #1, with the 'ballroom',
Snowbirds nest in their lounge-lunch-and-loll room.
This garage: not enclosed,
But well low-sun exposed —
Our 'solarium' winter-and-fall room. 

Winter's mild, so you don't need to huddle
(Every once-in-a-while we still cuddle).
Life's rewards we now glean -- 
The retirement scene:
Wonder what's it all mean? That's a muddle.

BRIDGE: I'll sit in my rocker, and you'll sit in yours.
(Your reading's disturbed by my rather loud snores).
Then, while dinner's heating, our glass of merlot;
I'll web-surf and you will sew.

Repeat verse 4.

North American: guh-RAWZH
British: GA-ridj
Well over three decades ago, the author was married in an at-home ceremony. A two-car attached garage in his bride's home, which had been enclosed by the previous owner served as the basis of the ballroom/garage gag and as a credible chapel/party-room. As it happened, all the guests used the first indicated (a la française) pronunciation. On our return to the same sun-belt neighbourhood three decades later, we found a home with a different type of garage upgrade. 

(Click on any chord-chart slide to move to 'song-presentation mode'; then navigate through thumbnails at the bottom of the page.)

Tuesday, 7 August 2018


Post #187
ORIGINAL SONG: "Moscow Nights"(Подмосковные вечера Podmoskovnie vechera), Chad Mitchell Trio, 1963. You can listen to the well-known Trio's version on YouTube here, or a version with English translation here.
The original was created as "Leningrad Nights" by composer Solovyov-Sedoi and poet Matusovsky in 1955, but changed at the request of the Ministry of Culture for use in a documentary about a national athletic competition. The tune was subsequently popularized in the West, in the middle of the Cold War era, by Van Cliburn in 1958, and recorded with commercial success by Kenny Ball and the Jazzmen, and the Chad Mitchell Trio in the early 60s. 
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, August 2018. 

SONGLINK: This post deals with Graeco-Roman history during the Byzantine period. Another song dealing with Greek history, culture and travels is found in an earlier blogpost as  "Singable Limerick Medley #15: Travels in Greece".
This entire effort was inspired by "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", a swing-era hit with a very catchy tune whose lyrics are a bit truncated re history.

WORDPLAY LINK: For palindromes, anagrams, verse, and Scrambletown maps, see our wordplay blog, Edifying Nonsense here.


(to the tune of "Moscow Nights")

Said Byzántion’s seer,* “Constantine will found,
Nova Roma, his new cosmopolis.
They’ll construct right here;  
Then we Greeks will cheer
Rome’s second home: Constanti-no-po-lis.” 

“In Rome’s legions march with a martial sound,
They’ll build Fourth Century’s eastern cosmopolis --
Grand Sophia’s dome,
And a huge Hippodrome
Rome’s second home: Constanti-no-po-lis.”

“Who’ll unite this Empire too vast to rule?
Few the Caesars who exert such might.
Year Three-Ninety-Five (395 A.D.),
Things take a permanent dive --
East/West will split; West drops out of sight.

“In clean-shaven West, ‘barbarians’ storm the gates,
Middle Ages will settle there to stay.
Vandals, Lombards, Goths –
Old stomping grounds get lost,
Down East here, ‘Roman’ power’ll hold sway.”

“Who will dogma craft for new Christian creed?
Peter’s primacy;  Roman popes’ll.
We’ll counter Holy See
With Eastern Orthodoxy,
Here in Byzantine Constan-ti-nople.”

“Vicious wars with neighbours” quoth our sooth-saying seer,
Peering in his Prophet-Kit prism,   
“Charlemagne and Popes
Will undermine our hopes,
And result in an East-West Schism.”

“Things take a bad turn with the Fourth Crusade,
Frankish knights, their mission quite hopeless --   
Retake Holy Lands?
But no! They’ll change their plans,
Seize and ‘Latinize’ Constantinopolis.”

 “Fifty years to rid the place of Latin louts
Then two centuries, invasions we’ll stop. All this
Has an end, it’s clear.”
States our seer, with tear,
"When Turks topple Constantinopolis.”

Then we took our seer out for lunch that day
To a small café by the Bosporus.
Name of the café
Where we ate that day,
Was ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinopolis)’.

*  the prediction was made by the Seer early in the fourth century A.D.
Byzántion (Greek), later known as Byzantium (Latin) was at that time a moderate-sized Greek colony-city on the Bosporus. It was chosen by the Roman Emperor Constantine to become the eastern capital of his empire.
As capital of the Roman Empire (also called Romania), the grand city was known as Constantinopolis, or Konstantinoupolis, for most of its history, i.e. until 1453 A.D. (later as Istanbul by the Turks). The term 'Byzantine Empire' has been in use only subsequently by Western historians. 

(Click on any chord-chart slide to move to 'song-presentation mode'; then navigate through thumbnails at bottom of page.)

Friday, 3 August 2018

An Apocryphal Tale in Limerick Form: AULD SIMON LANG and the SCOTTISH ORIGINS of TRIGONOMETRY

POST #186
ORIGINAL SONG: These verses can be sung to "The Limerick Song", as in "The Flea and the Fly". See sactoGranny's recording on YouTube here.
LIMERICK VERSE: The lyrics for the corresponding poem by Giorgio Coniglio were originally web-published  at the OEDILF website (the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form).
SONGLINK: Another song (to the tune of "Auld Lang Sine") about Simon Lang and his trigonometric adventures can be found on an earlier blogpost



(to the tune of 'The Limerick Song')

Though apocryphal tales may be lawful,
Statements false, under oath, are just awful.
Unequivocal proof
Of the value of spoof —
What we all need today's a guffawful.
Simon Lang had a flash of design
Which deserves endless praise, yours and mine.
That inventive old Scot
(Who'd been nearly forgot)
Had come up with the thought, "Auld Lang's Sine."

Though himself, he's a bit of a prig,
His invention's essential to trig.
His extension to cosine
In those days showed no sign
That in time he'd be hitting it big.

As for me, I'm an unswerving fan
Of his "sin/cos equals tan."
He's appeared on Today Show,
Knocked them dead with his ratio,
Auld Lang's Sine? Simon's surely the man.

Robbie Burns wrote an ode "To A Mouse",
And another which honours a louse,
And "Address to the Haggis",
"Auld Lang Syne", so our gag is
Defined so it brings down the house.

The mathematical expression in the second line of the fourth verse should be read as "sine-over-cos", cos being the mathematical abbreviation for cosine. The mathematical abbreviation for tangent is tan.


(Click on any chord-chart slide to move to 'song-presentation mode'; then navigate through thumbnails at bottom of page.)

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

An Apocryphal Tale in Limerick Form: LEIGH MERCER'S PALINDROME WORKSHOP

POST #185
ORIGINAL SONG: These verses can be sung to  "The Limerick Song", as in "The Flea and the Fly". See sactoGranny's recording on YouTube here.
LIMERICK VERSE:  Original verse composed by Giorgio Coniglio, November 2016, modified from the version accepted for publication by, the online limerick dictionary.

Leigh Mercer (1893-1977) was credited with the iconic palindrome, "A man, a plan, a canal, Panama." Mercer, an isolated British eccentric, worked during his lifetime at a variety of low-level jobs, and occasionally communicated with journals and contest organizers about wordplay and mathematical puzzles. After his death, notebooks filled with inventive palindromes were discovered, as described here

The lyrics describe an apocryphal workshop conducted by Mercer, during which the iconic canal palindrome is almost invented.


(to the tune of "The Limerick Song")

Note: All italicized phrases except the first are legitimate palindromes.
Several of these have been reported for the first time by the author.

"A man + a plan, a canal —
: A palindrome, pal?"
My friend Leigh seemed contrite —
"No! The ending's not right.
Zeus sees Suez — that seems less lame, Mal."
"A man, a plan, IF final, Pan-
 works, (like Name male pipe, lame man!)"
My friend Leigh looked uptight,
"No! It lacks enough bite.
It's ambiv'lent, like Nab, rob or ban."

"Amen + a pit, Ipanema"
(Voiced in Portuguese, with no disclaimer).
Leigh: "No! Tip-top pot pit
Is a much better fit,
But Amen! Icy cinema's lamer."

"A mar on a pan — a panorama:
Has poor scansion, but not such bad grammar".
Leigh groaned, "Dammit, I'm mad;
Stuff those phrases so bad;
No sir, prison — that warrants the slammer."

(Click on any chord-chart slide to move to 'song-presentation mode'; then navigate through thumbnails at bottom of page.)

If you are willing to forego song (temporarily), and expand your travels  into the compelling world of palindromes, enter here

Sunday, 29 July 2018

An Apocryphal Tale in Limerick Form: The BIPOLAR ILLNESS of GUN-TOTING PHYLLIS

POST #184
ORIGINAL SONG: These verses can be sung 
to "The Limerick Song", as in "The Flea and the Fly". See sactoGranny's recording on YouTube here.
LIMERICK VERSE: The lyrics for the corresponding poem by Giorgio Coniglio were originally 
web-published  at the OEDILF website (the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form).
SONGLINK: To sing more lyrics about gun control, go to this earlier blogpost, "More Limericks of Gun-Control". 


(to the tune of 'The Limerick Song')

Serena, next-door:
With our Glock-toting neighbor named Phyllis,
Her depression abating won't thrill us:
She's grown floridly manic;
Still our block need not panic
— While her safety-lock's on she won't kill us.

Two years back, when I registered 'Glock',
I took lithium pills by the clock.
Now, as you can deduce
We prefer to hang loose
And do nighttime patrols of the block.

Take my meds? Simple logic advises;
Now my nights are chock-filled with surprises.
Should those aliens rude
Pry or stalk or intrude,
With my Glock I'll just shoot for their eyeses.

Americans doubly are blessed:
For each issue, both poles are expressed;
That's a great guarantee
In this land of the free,
With your right to bear arms unrepressed.

Author's Note from OEDILF: The two phases of bipolar illness or manic-depressive disease are manifested in unpredictable time sequence, with considerable disruption to patients, families, and even the surrounding community. Medications, including longterm lithium salts, are often helpful in maintaining equilibrium; however, prescribed drugs may be discontinued by patients who enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and creativity that accompany the hypomanic phase.


(Click on any chord-chart slide to move to 'song-presentation mode'; then navigate through thumbnails at bottom of page.)

Thursday, 19 July 2018


POST #183
TIME Cover Photo
a merger of Trump and Putin
Not My Latest Song (further lyrics pending), a collection by Giorgio Coniglio, July 2018.
This blogpost serves (covertly) as Singable Limerick Medley #29.
WORDPLAY LINK: If you're also interested in wordplay,e.g. palindromes, anagram-maps, doggerel-verse etc, check out the latest postings on our sister blog "Edifying Nonsense

1. Vladimir's Hope
2. Sidebar: Kim's Canadian Visit
3. Disingenuous Don
4. Bilateral Anagrams
5. Unflavored Seasoning


(actual lyrics disappeared along with 33,000 other emails, but this collection could be sung to the "Limerick Song")


1) Though the IOC dinged us for doping,
Russian 'Hacking Teams' won't just be moping —
Expert dupers are scooping
Covert medals for duping.
It's a banner-year, Vladimir's hoping.

2) Kim Jong Un, please don't dare plant a nuke on
That magical place called 'The Yukon'.
Visit soon (bring kimchee); oh, how honored we'd be!
Drop by Whitehorse; you'll see, our terrain's mostly scree,
And so cold that you can't grow a cuke on.

Check out the related song "Something to Groan About"

3) He's been called Disingenuous Don
(And Rex Tillerson's voiced thereupon).
He'll confound fact and fable,
But loves watching cable —
Mostly Fox, where he finds there's 'More on'.

4) In discussions re V-L-A-D-I-M-I-R  P-U-T-I-N,
I'd request to put this little toot in:
After letters you bump,
Get "Invalid, I, Trump".
Senate Hearings? There'll be no refutin'.

5) "Hateful critics don't follow my reasoning --
I've unflavored the borscht with new seasoning.
Even Fox mocks my views
And distributes fake news;
Unintelligent folks think I'm treasoning." 

SONGLINK: Readers interested in this topic might also enjoy Giorgio's songs on these earlier blogposts ...
  #178 "Indiana Song"
  #175 "Rosenstein"
  #173 "Brennan's Tweet"


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