Friday, 9 June 2017

The Trump Years (America's Longest Limerick): AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION REQUESTED

POST #142
SINGABLE LIMERICK, with an unusual "audience participation" section extending the verse
ORIGINAL SONG: These verses can be sung to  "The Limerick Song", as per YouTube here.
LIMERICK VERSE:  Original verses composed by Giorgio Coniglio, June 2017.
EARLIER THEMATIC MATERIAL: See post #137: "Song for the Morning After". Interested readers might also like to check post #54 on Giorgio's Weekly Wordplay for "The COVFEFE", a related recent poem.


(to the tune of "The Limerick Song")

Now that Hillary's pilloried, Trump'll

Be Pres. (Libs might like it, or lump'll)

He'll 'swamp'-denizens grate

(E.P.A., Ed and State). *

Then revenge, Twenty-Twenty, when dump'll.

 At this point you can add as many rhyming couplets as you like. Some suggested ones are shown below. Please send in your favorites as COMMENTS. 

Performing Notes:

The short form:

The elongated version:

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Blog Summary: Census of Songs and Nonsense.

Post #141

Note: The blog is searchable via the Searchline at the top of each post - to find a particular title, topic or artist.
To quickly find a particular post/song from the table below, just enter the pound sign followed by the post-number in the search line, e.g. #116 for "Prostate Cancer". Further topic-based summaries will be added. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Singable Limericks #11: The Great Outdoors

POST #140

 Singable Limericks 
ORIGINAL SONG: These verses can be sung to  "The Limerick Song", as per YouTube here.
LIMERICK VERSE:  Original verses composed by Giorgio Coniglio, November 2016.


(To the tune of "The Limerick Song") 


Is it plausible aliens brung us
That weird life-form called stinkhorn fungus?
I just wish we could ban it,
Send it back to its planet,
But alas it has settled among us.

Nature's nerf-ball, it's named for its stench —
Your eyes water and teeth want to clench.
It's designed, no surprise,
To attract swarms of flies,
To its home near your new garden bench.

(Which could put off a swain or a wench).

Clathrus ruber is a startlingly shaped fungal species which resembles, when fully grown, a child's toy ball made of orangy-red plastic. It is a saprophyte, feeding on wood chips or other decaying plant material, and is related to many other saprophytic fungi, e.g. white basket fungi, which are now common in North America, having been introduced from Europe or Asia. Its interior surfaces are coated with a foul-smelling slime that attracts flies, who then disperse the fungal spores.The characteristic fetid odor of red basket fungus is described as similar to that of rotting meat.


For most 'bee stings' the bees take the fall,
Though it isn't the bees' fault at all;
Vespine pests, yellow jackets
Undertake an attack; it's
A typical day's ER call.

A million Emergency Room visits per year in the United States are caused by concern over stings from insects of the order Hymenoptera; stings can result in significant local reactions and even anaphylaxis. Many people attribute these incidents, without differentiation, to 'bees'. In fact, the common honeybees and bumblebees are considerably less aggressive than yellow jackets, such as Vespula maculifrons; these latter pesty wasps make us miserable in the summer and early fall, particularly at fairs and other outdoor events by their relentless search for sugar-containing foods. Vespine is the adjective relating to wasps.


Earl the eaglet ate right in his aerie —

DDT-laden fish made him wary.
The scenario jumps
To our day and our dumps.
Now our Earl is a carnivore scary.
Earl's an emblem resurgent, so regal,
But you'll find you've not much recourse legal,
When, for tastier diet,
He dives in the quiet
And seizes your poodle or beagle.

Eagle populations declined severely during the previous century due to hunting, loss of habitat, confined farm-animal production, and pesticides, particularly DDT, which accumulated to dangerous levels in fish. Improvement in some factors has resulted in a recent resurgence in populations of these scavenging predators, who have enjoyed protected status. They are now prominent denizens of some urban landfills, with attendant problems in adjacent built-up areas.


From his beach house on Sullivan's isle,
He walked seaward at least half a mile,
Where he stated with flourishment,
"Our beach needs no nourishment;
Nearby islands will envy our style."
Beach nourishment or replenishment, a process first used in 1922, is a shore protection measure, replacing sand lost from erosion using sources outside the depleting beach. Sullivan's Island SC, in contrast to its neighbours, has enjoyed progressive beach accretion in recent years.


So, Algonquin has rock-rimmed blue lakes,
Worth the effort that getting there takes.
Leave the grimy hot city —
Woods and wetlands so pretty,
For our otter-loon-perch summer breaks.
Even in Canada, cities seem hot, dirty and undesirable in mid-summer. Prominent among retreats north of Toronto is Algonquin Provincial Park, a large area in the Canadian Shield where natural beauty is preserved. Travel within the park proceeds primarily by canoe, and lodging is at campsites.


You would fret about where canines pee
And go poop if, like me, you're a tree.
Our curbside green zone,
Pesty pets, leave alone!
"Owners, help keep our walks urine-free!"


An old Yellowstone Park tour-adviser
Could predict like a geezer much wiser:
"Pressure rises in chasms,
Vapour gushes in spasms —
It's magma's heat driving that geyser."
The geyser (GAHY-zer or GEE-ser) is an unusual hydrogeologic phenomenon which occurs in volcanic zones where magma (molten lava) is close to the surface, and there is fissuring of rocks due to earthquake faults. Minerals dissolved from adjacent rocks precipitate out, forming a lining for a type of 'plumbing system' in which steam builds up, resulting in regular eruptions of boiling water. Changes in the colour of the swirling hot water in the pool help predict the arrival of the next photogenic discharge. The name derives from the Icelandic word for 'gushes'.


With the Lowcountry right in its path, you
Feared flooding and raging wind's wrath. You
Escaped, it would seem,
Deadly damage extreme —
As when Haiti met hurricane Matthew.
In the aftermath of major hurricanes, poor Caribbean nations with limited resources suffer terribly. Hurricane Matthew left hundreds of thousands homeless in Haiti in October 2016. More resistant infrastructure and organized emergency measures in southeastern American coastal states, including the vulnerable Carolina "Lowcountry", mitigated storm damage there.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Singable Limericks #10: How We Speak and Write

POST #139: Singable Limericks 
ORIGINAL SONG: These verses can be sung to  "The Limerick Song", as per YouTube here.
LIMERICK VERSE:  Original verses composed by Giorgio Coniglio.
November 2016, updated June 2017. The final verse (Gallicism) was co-authored with Bernd Rink. 


(To the tune of "The Limerick Song") 

Think of this, if you thought there's some doubt:
Ace those verbs you've been taught; you'll have clout
With a single vowel shift.
Drive to drove; get my drift?
That's what ablaut (get/got) is about.
Come, came, come; drink, drank, drunk; sing, sang, sung;
Swim, swam, swum; stink, stank, stunk; spring, sprang, sprung;
Hold, held, held; ran, run, run;
Fling, flung, flung; win, won, won;
Stick, stuck, stuck; sink, sank, sunk; ring, rang, rung.

Ablaut (AH-blowt) is a linguistic term, derived from German, for a vowel transition resulting in a change in word meaning. Such changes are the basis of the simple past tense and the past participle in a substantial proportion of irregular English verbs, as exemplified in the second verse.

Though leery at first and contrary
To merge merry and marry with Mary,
Larry later found times
Where he'd spin far more rhymes;
When asked, "Any regrets?" he said, "Nary".
General American, sometimes known as Standard American English, is the pronunciation system used by the majority of American speakers. There are some areas of flux within this 'standard', a prominent one being the progressive tendency to coalesce vowel sounds used before the letter 'r'; this linguistic tendency, known as the Mary/merry/marry merger has spread across the northern and western US, leaving only the Atlantic coastal region as a holdout.

Some folks find flowery script efficacious.
After all, a blank page is capacious.
Others, quasi-omniscient,
Can be terse and efficient,
But the worst are the blurts disputatious.
The author disavows overly blunt speech and writing, but finds the tendency to
embellish disconcerting. Efficaciousseems to be used disproportionately when effective or efficient would do. Other words with inflated frequency of usage include symptomatologymethodology and, yes, even usage.

It's addictively frequent extrusion
Of short verses not void of confusion —
Three rhymes 'A', and two 'B'. Ah!
Could be called 'limerrhea',
For a lexicon lacking conclusion.
The mental disorder in which sufferers (including the author) feel endlessly compelled to write innumerable limericks might be dubbed limerrheahyperlimerosis, or more simply, limerick addiction.

The ACcent / ahk-SOHN Québécois
Doesn't equal French studied by moi.
Speaking joual, what they say
Sounds much more like 'mo-AY';
If I speak, I'll blurt, "Mw-é, j'parle pas."
Accent is a word written similarly, but spoken very differently in French and English. Joual (ZHWAHL) is the name for the accent, grammar and even spelling used naturally by many speakers in the Canadian province of Quebec; this dialect had evolved over several centuries separately from the language spoken in France. In schools, businesses and media in Quebec and other francophone areas of Canada, 'québécois' (kay-bay-KWA), more standard French, with a local inflection and local vocabulary, now predominates. In Canadian English and French, residents of the province are known asQuebeckers or québécois respectively.

Gallicism? Its origin: French.
coquette: a flirtatious French wench.
RSV (won't you), Please,
massage: rub and squeeze,
Rendezvoustête-à-tête, or a clench.
RSVP is a widely used initialism derived from the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît meaning "Please reply."
Although Gallicism, pronounced in English, is stressed on the first syllable, a bilingual speaker, thinking of the cognate French word gallicisme, might emphasize the third syllable, as here.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Singable Limericks #9: Using Latin and Greek Words

POST #138: Singable Limericks 
ORIGINAL SONG: These verses can be sung to  "The Limerick Song", as per YouTube here.
LIMERICK VERSE:  Original verses composed by Giorgio Coniglio,
November 2016.


(to the tune of The Limerick Song") 

Here's a schema to use Anglo-Latin:
Not for spats, chew-the-fats, or curse "Shat!" in.
Lends a scholarly bent
To whatever you've meant;
You'll vent flatus, but never fall flat in.

It's a lingua that sports its regalia,
Like geranium and genitalia,
Fungi, fascia and foci,
Algae, loggia and loci,
And innum'rable others — et alia.

Matching fine, friendly facets to Latin,
Whose euphonious tones flow like satin --
A harmonious tweak:
Pick its peer, Anglo-Greek

For idyllically naming a frat in. 

You've discovered the Greek prefix dys-,
And discerned things have gone quite amiss:
There's dyslexic — can't read, 

And dysphagic — can't feed,
And dysuric — too painful to piss.

"Dyspareunic? Not now", she asserts
(We're in bed, after eating desserts).
But the wrong kind of moan
Is invoked, and so (groan)
There's no 'cuddling' on nights when she hurts.

When non-random disorder attacks us,
Peccadilloes throw projects off-axis.
We'll not sit there and dither,
We'll get our sh*t tog*ther,
Or we'll suffer from dyscoprotaxis.
You'll encounter the Greek prefix eu-
Well or good, like the carpenter's "true";
Nothing hyper- or hypo-,
Not even a typo-
So, Eureka! There's nothing askew.

Euphemistic? We say diarrhea:
"What runs through", Ancient Greeks would agrrhea
Details best left unsaid.
Now, when you're "out of bed",
Don't trot back to that same trattoria.

It's addictively frequent extrusion
Of short verses not void of confusion —
Three rhymes 'A', and two 'B'. Ah!
Could be called 'limerrhea',
For a lexicon lacking conclusion.

I give zeal and direction wide berth.
I prefer mild bemusement to mirth.
I abjure love as 'loathsome'
(Though at times I do both some).
That's ambivalence - for what it's worth.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Singable Limericks #8: Song for the Morning After the Election

Leaders Unified for the Transition
POST #137


(to the tune of "The Limerick Song")

Monday, 7 November 2016

Singable Limericks #7: Leigh's Palindrome Workshop

POST #136
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.

KEYWORDS: wordplay, poetry, traditional    

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.
A few of these have been reported for the first time by the author.

Other Canalindromes:

Friday, 4 November 2016

Singable Limericks #6: Delights of the Garden

POST #135
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.
ORIGINAL LIMERICK VERSES: Many of the verses have been published at the OEDILF website (the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form) by Giorgio Coniglio, 2016-2917. The OEDILF identifying number (#), the "defined word", and the Author' Note accompanying the poem, where relevant, are shown beneath the chord-chart slide.  

KEYWORDS: wordplay, poetry, traditional, retirement


(sung to the tune of "The Limerick Song)