Friday, May 30, 2008

Fun with Words

My son is 10; on a recent subway trip something got me remembering (and reciting) an old goofy rhyme my dad used to say, to my son's delight.

It goes:

One bright stormy day in the middle of the night, 
two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back, they faced each other,
drew their swords and shot each other.
A faraway policeman saw this noise,
came and killed those two dead boys.
And if you don't believe this lie, 
go ask the blind man--he saw it too.

It was fun to listen to him saying, "how could he kill those dead boys, if they're already dead?" "how can they shoot each other with their swords" "the blind man couldn't see anything!"

I found a version of this one (probably the unadulterated-by-my-dad-and-my-memory version) via google: "One Fine Day" research from The British Columbia Folklore Society

My dad had a ton of these, which amused us all no end as kids. Obviously--I'm over 45, and I'm *still* reciting them. I'll post some of the others later.

What's your favorite word nonsense?


mighty red pen said...

For some reason, your post made me think of this tune about the great Chicago fire that I learned as a kid. I still can't get out of my head. It's not exactly nonsense, but the misplaced modifier always troubled me (apologies for the inprecise punctuation):

"One dark night/when we were all in bed/Mrs. O'Leary lit a lantern in the shed/and when the cow kicked it over/this is what she said/it's going to be a hot time/in the old town tonight/fire! fire! fire!"

TootsNYC said...

That's a fun lyric.

It reminds me of "Who Threw the Underwear in Mistress Murphy's Chowder"--but I think it's simply the Irish matriarch commonality.