Violin Limericks

October 14, 2005 at 06:19 AM · Seeing that limericks about violins, violinists, and classical music was a "hit" on the jokes discussion (now archived), how about continuing? The limericks can be original or not, but please keep it clean.

Replies (100)

October 13, 2005 at 02:07 PM · Just to get us off to a good (or at least adequate) start, here's what's been submitted already (so far, these are all originals):

From me (Sandy Marcus):

The Emperor liked to go ridin',

And his music was good, I'm confidin'.

But he's never returned,

And I've always yearned

To find out if Franz Josef was hidin'.


On the fiddle we all want to flower,

But it's Heifetz who has all the power.

If considering quitting,

It's much more fitting

To blame it on Leopold Auer.

If the music reviews start to faze you,

The advice that I have will amaze you:

Ignore all the static,

Store your violin in the attic,

And buy a Guarneri del Jesu.

To play the Concerto Tchaikovsky

Demands violin skills like Wieniewski.

You can't be weak,

You need schmaltz plus technique

To play it just good enoughsky.

If you like violin neverending,

A piece with a coda still pending,

Then I'll swear, to the letter,

You can't do any better

Than Vaugh-Williams' "The Lark Ascending."

From Emily Grossman:

Uninsulting? Not at all!

Just look in the bathroom stall:

Poets heckle and rhyme,

"For a really good time,

Give Expletive Harry a call..."

From George Phillips:

There once was a fellow named Paganini

Who loved to do tricks that were cheeky.

With a stroke from his bow,

He started to go,

And suddenly vanished like Houdini.

From Jim Hoyle:

My girlfriend is always a-ruin'

The fact that I play so out of tune;

It's because my old fiddle

Plays flat in the middle,

And I gave that Yehudi Menuhin.

As I look at the listing, I pucker

My lips when I see one more sucker

Is playing yet again

The piece that's the bane

Of my life -- that blasted Max Bruch-er.

There was a violinist called Kogan

Who made it his personal slogan,

Never raise your bow arm

"Cos it's sure to bring harm --

Dann bestimmt is der Bogen geflogen*

(*Translation: The bow's sure to take off)

October 14, 2005 at 07:25 AM · Though I've often heard various folks say

That to keep limericks clean is ok,

I am always surprised

By what gets bowdlerized.

Like "the rosy HEN (!) greets the new day."

In this matter, Tom Lehrer's my moulder

When he wrote, in days simpler - though bolder -

That when anything's viewed

By the lewd, it gets skewed.

"Filth is in the mind of the beholder"

October 14, 2005 at 01:46 PM · There once was a man from Nantucket

..err, wait a second.

October 14, 2005 at 10:02 PM · There once was a pupil who practiced

But his teacher declared, "all he lacks is...

Some je ne sais quoi"

But the pupil said "naw"

And today he's recording for Naxos!

October 14, 2005 at 05:46 PM · There once was a man from Nantucket,

Played fiddle, but lacked skills to pluck it;

Said his wife, "Pizzicato

In such fits and starts!" So

She said where she wished he had stuck it.

October 14, 2005 at 08:18 PM · Playing Paganini in your grotto

Can cause your fingers to clotto.

I do believe

You need to achieve

A kind of legato spicatto.

A fiddler who liked to play thirds

Was followed by loud squawking birds.

Not only did they

Mess up his day,

They filled his violin case with....seeds.

At every rehearsal ('bout noon),

A violinist would spit while he'd tune.

When his fiddle got full,

He was ready (no bull) --

Cause he stole the conductor's spittoon.

October 14, 2005 at 10:36 PM · Today was my lesson,

Oh shoot, I forgot!

and now i am bored

little siblings or not.

my concert did suck

and i need much help

on bowings and augments

and maybe a little luck.

October 15, 2005 at 04:31 PM · Even when they pay me top dollar,

I always complain and holler

When they seat me first fiddle

To play all that twiddle.

Life's just too short to play Mahler.

A violin expert's my role.

I know everything pole to pole.

But I can't figure out

Who was the lout

Who snuck in and rolled up the scroll.

The music of de Sarasate

Can be used to impress any hottie.

You don't have to ask,

Just play Caprice Basque,

Light some candles, and serve a Hot Toddy.

For all our fiddler computin's,

Fingers can't defy laws like Newton's.

It's clear that Bazzini

Was a real meanie

For writing La Ronde des Lutins.

October 15, 2005 at 02:13 PM · A boy who was known as Don,

Wanted to sound like Hilary Hahn,

But when he picked up a fiddle,

It broke right in the middle,

And then his great ambition was gone.

October 15, 2005 at 06:00 PM · I go on the web to meander,

and sometimes come here for a gander.

But it's hard not to squawk

John Hiatt whips Bach.

I'm more useless here than ol' Sander.

I ragged on the limerick shrink

and now I feel like a fink

turn me into a carcass

and give it to Marcus

Will he try to change what it think?

October 16, 2005 at 10:19 AM · Dear Jim, your response is Jim-dandy.

From now on I'll keep it handy.

Even though it's my ego you're nursin',

Just think of me as an ordinary person.

Cordially, your admiring friend, Sandy.


What you notice at Heaven's gates

Is violinists rejected at high rates.

It's not sins' reprises

St. Peter despises,

It's the out-of-tune octaves he hates.

If I say something dumb, I don't dread it,

Cause you guys are there to edit.

Am I always hopin'

That my brain is open

To learning new things? You said it.

A violinist like David Nadien

Is the best that I've ever seen.

He serves up a confection

Of grace plus perfection,

And he's done it since he was a teen.

The secret to playing a coda

Is to apply the wisdom of Yoda:

Go back to the source,

Just feel the force,

And you'll play like Vasa Prihoda.

October 16, 2005 at 01:46 PM · My brain is in limerick mode,

Whether at work or my abode.

I can't stop the rhyme

No matter the time,

And my wife tells me to hit the road.

Arguing on this website leaves a scar,

Disagreements have at times gone too far.

You're artists; don't duel.

Use the Golden Rule.

You're entitled to be who you are.

By all accounts, Corelli

Was actually a very nice felly.

But considering the Baroque

Bathrooms were a joke,

He probably was very smelly.

October 16, 2005 at 03:13 PM · There was once a player of the violin

who was really very, very thin

His name was Niccolo Pagannini

and rumour has it that he was a bit of a meanie

But when he took the violin in his hands

he was always surrounded by many fans

most were of the female gender

who to his emotive vibes did surrender

He titilated the senses in every way

women travelled miles to hear him play

and to this day his music lives on

bursting hearts and fingers with melodic song

October 16, 2005 at 07:05 PM · YOU GUYS ARE SO TALENTED AT POETRY! I'm jealous! hahah

October 16, 2005 at 07:07 PM · Hi, Julie: It's just like the violin -- practice, practice, practice. And the first thing to practice is the rhythm. If you'll look carefully at the best limericks (not necessarily mine), notice PRIMARILY the rhythm. Practice dreaming up words that fit the rhythm, no matter what the words are. This is where having musical training is an incredible plus. Once you've got the rhythm, just play with the words. Write the first and last lines before anything else. Always put the funniest idea, the punchline, the key word, last. Then it's a matter of trial and error. Work at it, and I think you'll find it will also help your violin playing, because it gets you used to listening to EVERYTHING in rhythms.

It ain't Shakespearean sonnets; you can do it with a little practice, and I'm so happy to see people trying their hand at it in this discussion thread.

For the past few weeks, I've been in "limerick mode," and while it probably won't last (because I'll get sick of it), I'm starting to drive my family crazy. I just had a family brunch today with my wife, sister and her husband, niece and nephew, and my 90-year-old mother. My mother LOVES Wheel of Fortune. So my mind started spinning (just like the wheel), and out came:

Each contestant who appears on The Wheel,

Does exactly the same stupid spiel.

They tighten their bowel

And all buy a vowel,

And act like a perfect schlemeel.

Cordially, Sandy Marcus

October 17, 2005 at 02:39 AM · The violin is sure hard to play

So practice and practice all day

If you're not a quitter

You're sure to get better

Or, at least, that's what they all say!

The Beethoven concerto's a beauty

Paganini D major's a cutie

Barber is great

Tchaikovski's my taste

Wieniawski is fun, not a duty.

October 17, 2005 at 02:54 AM · "There once was a pupil who practiced

But his teacher declared, "all he lacks is...

Some je ne sais quoi"

But the pupil said "naw"

And today he's recording for Naxos!"


October 17, 2005 at 05:32 PM · There was once a fellow from Tunis

Who was always practicing Dounis.

At concerts they'd razz him

'Cause his fingers would spasm

(And that's how the fiddle can ruin us).

When the Godfather meets with his mob,

He explains why he likes Danse Macabre:

"That violin song

Makes me want to do wrong,

So it's easy to steal and rob."

October 17, 2005 at 05:54 PM · I advise then that he not listen to Danse Macabre...

October 17, 2005 at 06:04 PM · Jenna, your advice was heeded by The Don.

All evil in him is gone.

He now spends his day

Volunteering without pay,

And listening to Hillary Hahn.

October 17, 2005 at 06:32 PM · Da boss said to Lucky Luciana

call Bugsy in Gary Indiana

I'm gonna do a hit

in just a little bit

I heard dat violin song againa

October 17, 2005 at 07:10 PM · Fair fingers the string did pluck

Clear notes did her instrument utter

Time and again

To herself she would mutter

These limericks surely do suck

October 17, 2005 at 07:32 PM · Defenders of the limerick are few,

Cause its faults are easy to view.

Even though it spreads mirth,

It's only worth

Two-thirds of a pun - P.U.

October 18, 2005 at 11:12 AM · A word of the wise:

George Bush wanted to learn the violin,

He knew his intelligence he wouldn't win.

So he hired an instuctor,

Hoping to learn 42 Studies, Kreutzer.

And so the violin he did begin.

He started by holding the bow,

And plucking all of the strings in a row.

He hummed each pitch in his head

"That's weird" he then said,

"I swear that each string sounds too low."

With just 2 weeks of lessons, I'm aware

That something made Bush quickly declare,

"Tommorrow I will amaze all,

As I play solo at Carnegie Hall."

"Now I will leave to go there."

Knowing his pupil wasn't too bright,

Bush's teacher sadly said alright.

Bush went to New York,

To show off two weeks of work

Not knowing his playing could cause fright.

Arriving at Carnegie Hall,

Thinking that he would have a ball,

Bush opened the doors

And walked down a floor.

"Today I will defintly amaze all!"

Casually walking up to the stage,

(And almost causing an outrage)

Bush picked up his fiddle

And acting bashful,

Played til he was kicked offstage.

The critics from hell were there,

They told him his viola couldn't compare.

"What?" Bush had exclaimed,

As he felt ashamed,

This was just too much for him to bear.

Bush wanted to sink into a burrow,

Or shrink in to zip, zip zero.

"Look on the bright side," he said.

I should be glad,

That my violin wasnt actually a cello!

Now everyone, go make sure your violin is really a violin and not a violia.

October 18, 2005 at 12:50 PM · Re: Bush's viola and the critical attacks,

Many music critics are quacks.

Pianists Truman and Nixon

Could party and mix in,

And Clinton played the sax.

And in the war between violins and violas,

Let this thought console us:

They may have a lower C,

But we have an upper E,

So don't let the violas control us.

October 19, 2005 at 08:22 AM · But up the A string the viola goes

To our E-string range (if they are pros)

While violinists can’t sing

Without a C-string

In the depths of Bashmet and Primrose.

October 19, 2005 at 10:37 AM · Yes, Fiona, I see your point,

Great violists we surely annoint.

You may have me up a tree,

But if you're asking me

To switch my allegiance, I woin't.

October 19, 2005 at 11:44 AM · Now Sander, please don’t get me wrong

A violinist I’ve been all along

But I’m increasingly attached

To a sixteen-inch bratsche

That I bought for just more than a song.

October 19, 2005 at 06:04 PM · Fiona, I admire your spunk.

That the viola stinks is of course bunk

It's really a mystery

Why it has a bad history.

To investigate, let's get Adrian Monk.

October 20, 2005 at 03:15 PM · [[[NOTE: At the very beginning of Beethoven 5th,

After the famous 1st 4 notes, and its echo,



The next lines fit perfectly in limerick rhythm.

Check this out:]]]

Beethoven’s Fifth, those first four notes, da da da fate.

After what follows (which is its echo and its mate).

Is limerick rhythm,

Great limerick rhythm,

So limericks you....shouldn’t....haaaaate.

October 21, 2005 at 03:58 PM · In keeping with taste and decorum,

On a professional violin forum,

I hope these pages

Will enlighten all ages

Instead of simply to bore'em.

October 21, 2005 at 09:10 PM · limericks man are sho nuff fine

but somethings preying on my mind

I see some hope

just gimme some rope

don't think me a dope

for pushing the envelope

it's extra wind up for the punch line

now regular limericks are crap

only good for a boring sap

the out of style

can think I'm vile

stay in your sandpile

I toss you in the round file

yo make way for funky limerap

October 22, 2005 at 11:31 AM · Now, Jim, you may think this limerick blog

Will cause you to sleep like a log,

But you can learn everything

From musical phrasing

To how to change bows at the frog.

And although I like the style of what I see

In the responses you're sending me,

You'll have to admit

It's not elegant a bit,

It's "rap" with a capital "C."

So let's keep up this little chat

(if we have time), and leave it at that.

In the limericks we all compose,

You can't be verbose,

And you have to cut the fat.

October 22, 2005 at 01:00 PM · I change my frog I change yours too

then I take you back to schoo'

and show you phrasin'

that be hair raisn'

give up you crazy foo'

October 22, 2005 at 03:11 PM · My goodness, you do sound __issed

(unless there's something I've missed).

-Don't look now, Sandy;

Have a drink or eat some candy.

I think we've just been dissed.

October 22, 2005 at 04:42 PM · Guys, a true limerick has three accents on lines 1, 2, and 5. There are two on lines 3 and 4, and each beat is subdivided by three...

October 22, 2005 at 09:45 PM · The shrink is calling himself a we

which is awesome irony

while he scribbles

he channels Sybil's

multiple personality

It's a sign he's exasperated

and feeling thoroughly berated

but I have to say that I'm his fan

that's right guy, I love you man

but just don't say we dated

October 23, 2005 at 12:04 AM · I feel that this thread has become

merely a forum for some

to argue and fight

o'er who's wrong and who's right

about nothing. You must say that's dumb.

However, the rhyming is clever

and I have enjoyed every letter.

But we've gotten away

and simply can't stay

from the topic of music forever. :)

October 23, 2005 at 01:10 PM · Dear Jenna, whether it's in 2, 3, or 4,

It's limerick's brevity I adore,

And in this column

Take an art usually solemn,

And keep it from being a bore.

I started this thread on a whim,

To keep all of our thinking in trim,

But with Andrea's reminder,

I hope she knows I'm behind her,

And I'm also a fan of my man (Jim).

As a violin student, Sibyl was trouble.

She sounded like she practiced in rubble.

Her intonation was sour,

Her bowing lacked power,

But, wow, could she play the Bach Double.

Because I sometimes say "we" when I cuss,

Some people don't consider it a plus.

If they ask do I have a maledy

Such as multiple personality,

My response is always, "Who, us?"

Music is a rhythmical art,

That's why you musicians are smart.

For life's beats you listen,

And you hear nature glisten,

Even the lub-dub of your heart.

October 24, 2005 at 10:36 AM · A composer became quite antsy

When he met a lass very prancy.

They went out on a date,

And he brought her home late,

So she was known as Bruch's Scottish Fancy.

There once was a violinist named Jascha

Who dominated the world like a pasha.

You may not agree

That from him you are free,

But his perfection and style will brainwash ya'.

Some critics eat violinists for dinner,

And call any string player a sinner.

Spew vitriol they may,

But I'm proud to say,

Ich bin ein violinner.

A violin belonging to Midge

Started eating food from the fridge.

While not quite awake,

She had made this mistake:

Have a dentist replace your bridge.

A millionnaire who owned a schooner

Threw a party with a band and a crooner.

But when told by a hand

Of a violinist in the band,

He also hired a harpooner.

Twelve-tone music may be expressible,

But to me it's still inaccessable.

I like it best

During a rest,

And when it's at zero decible.

October 24, 2005 at 10:41 AM · There was a violinist called Heifetz,

Who said, "I've a weal where my wife hits

My neck - what a lasher!

(Or my name's not Jascha) -

I just say it's the way my white tie fits."

October 24, 2005 at 06:24 PM · Some violinists fixate on gut,

Others their steel strings strut,

Some have a peg focus

Or a fingerboard locus,

But I know a bow nut nut.

October 24, 2005 at 07:25 PM · put a halt on every plan

all of them, whether small or grand

It's imminent starvation

for the next generation

Bush picked the new Alan Greenspan


Ohhhhhhh I ain't gotta worry no more no more

I'll lay in bed and snore and snore

nothing gonna work no way no how

All roads go to the poorhouse now

-Chorus copyright 2005, Jim W. Miller, The Smithsonian Collection.

October 24, 2005 at 08:43 PM · Jim,

Oh, I got plenty o' nothin',

And nothin's plenty for me...


October 25, 2005 at 02:42 PM · Oh. My. God.

October 25, 2005 at 02:55 PM · I have never witnessed a thread so zany

Its just a shame everyone else is too lazy

To ryhme with such craft,

But yet it is quite daft

And I think youve all gone a bit Crazy

October 25, 2005 at 04:51 PM · A violinist is usually a go-getter

(But they don't practice sanity to the letter).

The ones who aren't busted

Look normal and well-adjusted

Until you get to know them better.

October 25, 2005 at 04:58 PM · I remember a quote from before

by an eminent psychologist of yore

the meaning of normal

is simply formal

As good shrinking, it opens a door

October 25, 2005 at 05:22 PM · This is the moment I dread --

Defining psychological normalcy instead

Of having fun with rhyme,

Which we do all the time.

It was Ogden Nash who once said....

"Some claim that pianists are human,

And quote the case of Mr. Truman.

Saint-Saens, on the other hand,

Considered them a scurvy band.

'Ape-like they are,' he said, 'and simian,

Instead of normal men and womian.'"

October 25, 2005 at 06:35 PM · Ogden I think was a silly old hack

Robert Frost, only on crack

I can't explain

Saint-Saens' disdain

but he too had a monkey on his back

October 26, 2005 at 03:06 PM · With apologies to this thread's greatest poets and violinists! I've really enjoyed all the creativity here, so with love to you both...

There once was a violinist named Miller,

whose limericks surely were killer!

But the piper came by

one day to say "Hi!"

Together they'd play

for the rest of the day,

Until the piper became Jim's biller.

Sandy Marcus is quite the educato'

when it comes to Freud and Plato;

and on Dickinson and Keats

he sure knows his beats

but on the violin, can he hold a bow?

October 26, 2005 at 05:27 PM · Well, Patty, I'm a psychologist by profession,

But an amateur violinist, I'm confessin'.

OF COURSE I can hold a bow,

But which way I don't know.

And I'll deal with Jim in another session.

October 26, 2005 at 06:19 PM · I wasn't sure where to post these quoted lines, but as this seems the closest to a poetry thread we have up and running....

Dorothy Parker


A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.

All tenderly his messenger he chose;

Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -

One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;

"My fragile leaves," it said, "his heart enclose."

Love long has taken for his amulet

One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet

One perfect limousine, do you suppose?

Ah no, it's always just my luck to get

One perfect rose.

What a romantic the lady was!

October 26, 2005 at 06:33 PM · Patty I don't play violin truth be told

Just a guy reliving his youth who's old

the piper don't worry me

I know his whole family

They're rednecks on my payroll

October 26, 2005 at 06:39 PM · To put the art of Dorothy Parker

On a limerick thread is a marker

Of poems, while not mod,

That are the art of a god,

Like a Heifetz, Primrose, or Starker.

(And, by the way, I am a Chicagoan who is old enough to have seen Starker many, many times when he was first cellist with the Chicago Symphony under Reiner)

October 26, 2005 at 06:39 PM · To dissect Dotty Parker in prose

Is Quixotic, and much too verbose.

But to try the same trick

With a hasty limerick

Will poetic impotence expose.

And even her stalwart defender

Is shown as a rhyming pretender

When he can't even get

Lines lined up, much less set

Well-placed accents and rhymes. Just surrender!

October 26, 2005 at 07:08 PM · Our hero may find the rhapsodical he eschews

for I woke up dis mornin with dem lovesick blues

As I said before

lock the damn door

before there's a strange pair of shoes

October 26, 2005 at 07:17 PM · Ach, they told me I'd know it

When exposed as not much of a poet.

I tried to be cool,

But Emil I can't fool.

(My folks always said that I'd blow it.)

October 26, 2005 at 07:22 PM · Your self-deprecating, oh Sandy

Is misguided. Though I'm rather handy

With scansion and rhyme

I hadn't the time

To make my lines, as yours are, dandy.

In short, it's myself I critique

In a manner, we see, too oblique.

If my doggerel you view

As directed at you,

You misread my intent, which was weak.

er...I should add "in any case", but I have to go teach and so haven't the time to rework the second limerick to inlude that, somehow. Um. Take over on the Bram threads, Sandy, ok?

October 26, 2005 at 07:34 PM · Sandy had a small paranoia attack

Emil wasn't calling him slack

our lovesick elf

was referring to himself

no need to be taken aback

October 26, 2005 at 07:40 PM · ELF???? When there are perfectly usable rhymes for "himself" I'll go get the cap with the bobble on it and find a small wooden toy to, in Pratchett's words "hit repeatedly and unconvincingly, yet rhythmically, with a hammer."

And I'm not lovesick thankyouverymuch. I'm feeling rather hale and hearty from it, actually. Then again...she did switch the LSD and the sugar bowls...

October 26, 2005 at 07:47 PM · No need for a poetry sentry

To cut down an inelegant bent tree.

Of course there's no time

To make perfect rhyme,

And in truth I love every entry.

(for years I've been trying to think of a limerick with elf, self, shelf, and Guelph, but little has come least anything clean)

Each limerick presents an occasion

To create laughter, and not persuasion.

With no topic taboo,

Any punchline will do.

And to me that's the basic equation.

October 26, 2005 at 07:55 PM · My goodness, this thread is a dream

Come true, with a limerick theme

It all feels like home

With its Rhyme-chromosome

In a violinistic regime!

PS. Mind if I plug to a orchestral poem of mine?

Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings

October 26, 2005 at 09:16 PM · He easily dodged my poorly thrown hatchet

It's go-getter against a disciple of Pratchett

any lame scoundrel

can pound on an anvil

But you - a hot chick with good acid

October 27, 2005 at 02:12 AM · This limerick marathon

Is blathering on and on

I hate all the stanzas

They're worse than cadenzas

They go on and on and on.

(I've wanted to say this for a long time.)

October 27, 2005 at 07:55 AM · notes give access to transcendent notion

honey, the toaster oven is broken

phony biography

cantata for coffee

who wrote this song? That Veiftoken?

October 27, 2005 at 07:57 AM · --- By Emil -------------

wasn't sure where to post these quoted lines, but as this seems the closest to a poetry thread we have up and running....

Dorothy Parker


A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.

All tenderly his messenger he chose;

Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -

One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;

"My fragile leaves," it said, "his heart enclose."

Love long has taken for his amulet

One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet

One perfect limousine, do you suppose?

Ah no, it's always just my luck to get

One perfect rose.

What a romantic the lady was!


Well, this is a limerick thread! Allow me to rewrite it in the correct format:

A rose - how romantic! But, ah!,

I scent his design from afar;

I'm afraid that this weed

Just ain't going to lead

To it yet, till he's bought me a car.

October 27, 2005 at 08:22 AM · He thought he could bribe me with flowers, the lout

he takes me for some kind of loser, no doubt

one perfect rose

makes me perfectly doze

It's new car - then I put out.

October 27, 2005 at 12:52 PM · Although there is wit in my arsenal,

Spiritually, I shouldn't take things too parsonal.

In spite of this lapse,

For me it's not "taps."

I'll continue with violin farce 'n all.

We Chicagoans have a proud face,

Cause the White Sox came through in First Place.

To honor that they've won,

I've decided (just for fun)

To switch from Violin to First Bass.

You guys are writing furiously,

But don't take it all too suriously,

When 100 responses have arrived,

This thread will get archived,

So don't bruise your egos injuriously.

October 27, 2005 at 05:56 PM · There once was a violinist

Who never quit finished...anything she did!

But as she began to musically mature

she knew she'd get that darn Concerto for sure!


My poem stinks! lol

October 27, 2005 at 09:16 PM · I like your transcendent limerick, Jim, by the way.

October 27, 2005 at 11:05 PM · Containing such amazing intellectual innards,

and finger strength to withstand blizzards,

To read such hard staves,

and play fingered octaves,

I salute you my fellow wizards

The was a young fellow called John

Who ventured into writing a song

He found it tough

and he had had enough,

and said #### it it takes too long

October 28, 2005 at 01:14 AM · Hey, all: I like ALL the entries. This thread is a great place to practice this "art" and see it in black and white. AND, I do believe that when the limerick rhythm and language flexibility gets into your blood, it helps increase the sensitivity to the rhythm in music. Sorry to be serious.

And, Amber, actually you were off to a pretty good start. Write the last line first, with the payoff word at the very end. For example, if you're rhyming with words 'violinist' and 'finished,' what rhymes with those? What occurred to me is 'diminished,' which has multiple meanings. So, how about this for a last line,

"The whole concerto was diminished."

Like in,

"Not only the chords,

But the whole concerto was diminished."

Then think of a first line.

"There once was a young violinist."

Now play with it:

There once was a young violinist,

Who played music that was never quite finished.

To put it in words,

Not only the chords,

But the whole concerto was diminished.

Not a work of art, certainly, but certainly passable and certainly fun to write.

Believe me, if I learned to do it, YOU can do it. It just takes practice, an ear for rhythm, a willingness to play with words, a serviceable rhyming dictionary, and a constant search for double meanings. Simple, huh?

October 28, 2005 at 04:46 AM · Rhyming dictionary? Cheater.

October 28, 2005 at 02:13 PM · Absolutely! Cheating is an honorable and noble tradition (under these circumstances, anyway).

Are you familiar with the famous Henny Youngman joke about ethics in business?

You own a dry-cleaning place, and a guy brings in a suit to be cleaned. When he leaves, you find a $100 bill in a pocket. The ethical question is this: Should you tell your partner?

And you know, I'm sure, the famous line by Brahms, when someone reminded him that the main theme of the last movement of the 1st Symphony bore a striking resemblance to Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" theme. Brahms responded something like, "Anyone can see that."

And, by the way, the reason I think that why an otherwise goofy pastime like writing limericks helps in music is because when you begin looking for the potential rhythm in words (which we all use all the time), it simply increases your attention to rhythm more of the time in everyday life, not just when you are making music, so listening for rhythm becomes more second nature.

October 28, 2005 at 01:44 PM · Hey Sander,

In addition to rythm, I also find that a tune runs through my head when I read a limerick

October 28, 2005 at 02:11 PM · Bill, me too. There is an overlap, and I believe one helps the other. As I said previously (somewhere in this thread), the tune I hear is the opening of Beethoven's 5th, just after the first two "ta-ta-ta-taaaa"s.


October 28, 2005 at 02:30 PM · ta-ta-ta-taaaaaaa


Comparing limericks to Beethovens 5th

Just seems somewhat sick(th)

and must be making him roll over in his grave-aaa

This is a great thread. I'll be sorry when it reaches 100. Sandy, you'll have to start another one!


October 28, 2005 at 02:35 PM · Oh, God, I hope not. Yes, it is kind of ludicrous to connect Beethoven's 5th with a limerick, but the rhythm really is there.


October 28, 2005 at 08:28 PM · Henny's deservedly a hero

he was the judeo-comedic Nero

if you were in a pinch

Shecky Green was the mensch

but here a non-limerick earns you zero

October 28, 2005 at 08:35 PM · A poem for non-lovesick Emil

for him I've discovered a spiel.

Ol' Geoffrey said it best

when he took a little rest

And in the process, turned woe to weal.


Since I From Love, by Geoffrey Chaucer

(or not, as the scholars will decide):

SINCE I from Love escaped am so fat,

I ne'er think to be in his prison ta'en;

Since I am free, I count him not a bean.

He may answer, and saye this and that;

I do no force, I speak right as I mean;

Since I from Love escaped am so fat.

Love hath my name struck out of his slat,

And he is struck out of my bookes clean,

For ever more; there is none other mean;

Since I from Love escaped am so fat.


For those of a vocal persuasion

There's a song for every occasion

The poem above

was enscribed, with love

in Vaughn-Williams' outrageous composition.

"Merciless Beauty", the cycle is called

To be sung in the very best halls

With strings beside

The tension is high

And the audience may collapse and bawl!

October 28, 2005 at 09:48 PM · From limericks to poetry this thread is morphing,

With such sweetness as to cause endorphing.

If you add the forces

Of non-limerick discourses,

Is Carmina Burana in the Orffing?

Though attacking icons is a thing we don't fear,

And this thread holds nothing dear,

There's one sacred cow

To whom we all bow --

Henny Youngman's star shines brightest here.

Some of these limericks are o'er riddled with fleas,

And dost not charm the soul (Geez!).

We are amidst a mire

Of doggeral afire,

So do take my limericks, please.

Poor Chausson fell off his bike,

And missed a chance for audiences he'd like.

He didn't get to show'em

Much more than the Poeme.

Perhaps he should have taken a hike.

No matter how much you might long

To avoid pronouncing it wrong,

Some greats had a name

That could make your tongue lame,

Such as the Belgian, Henri Vieuxtemps.

October 29, 2005 at 12:50 PM · A limerick sparks laughter convulsive,

But some critics seem to find it repulsive.

They demand such a strict norm,

In substance and form,

That they sound obsessive compulsive.

You don't have to be in Mensa

To enjoy a great violin cadenza.

But if you hate these joys,

You'll be visited by one of the boys

(Either Don Corleone or Clemenza).

Today's violinists rock'em sock'em,

And I really don't mean to mock'em.

But it's too bad

There's no CD to be had

To hear a Paganini or Joachim.

Oh, my God, I forgot--

Joachim recorded (not a lot).

He was old and frail,

And his tone was pale.

But that doesn't matter a jot.

The critic crouches in the theater chair,

And throws darts at anyone performing there,

And hears only what's wrong,

Instead of the song.

But criticize the critic? You wouldn't dare.

October 29, 2005 at 05:06 PM · My favorite description of a critic is by Vonnegut (I think):

"A critic is like a eunuch in a harem. He's there every night, he sees it done every night, he knows how it SHOULD be done every night, but he can't do it himself."

October 30, 2005 at 04:35 AM · One shouldn't read limericks two whole hours

All these verses just overpowers

Your brain in time

To read every sentence in rhyme

With every non-rhyme it devours

October 29, 2005 at 07:48 PM · If shudders count, yes--they're convulsive

Limericks to me are repulsive

Only deviants from the norm

Would turn to such form

(I admit, I'm obsessive compulsive)

October 30, 2005 at 12:06 AM · Ambrose Bierce defined a critic as "a blackguard who sees things as they are, not as they ought to be. Hence the [ancients'] custom of plucking out the cynic's eyes to improve his vision.

O, disdain the poison pen.

You are such talented women and men

That you can play with panache

The most sentimental hash,

And then do it again and again.

Ode to Response Number 100:

As we near the inevitable coda,

The mighty limerick will have reached its quota.

One hundred entries furious

(Some all-knowing, some curious)

I celebrate with a whiskey and soda.

October 30, 2005 at 12:54 AM · I had more, my best by far

would have turned me into a superstar

but I didn't have it in me

to offend Mrs. Emily

So I just threw away the whole jar

October 30, 2005 at 06:54 AM · Approaching coda, we shall end maestoso

This bene barocco arioso

Now let's crescendo

And play it con brio

After some glissando imperioso


October 30, 2005 at 01:32 PM · The following is not a limerick dear,

Nor is it original, I fear.

About violins it's not,

The author's name I don't got,

But somehow, spiritually, it belongs here:

"The hunter crouches in his blind,

'Neath camouflage of every kind,

And conjures up a quacking noise

To lend allure to his decoys.

This grown-up man,

With pluck and luck,

Is hoping to outwit a duck."

October 30, 2005 at 03:00 PM · Sander's ducking but I know he's near

he's gone bloodthirsty on us now I fear

with his camouflage gowning

and belgian browning

Hey limerick meat's all we need here.

October 30, 2005 at 03:01 PM · I always wonder when to vibrato

Sparringly and only at crescendo?

Or throughout the whole piece

Every note that is

Played slurred, elegante and legato?

October 30, 2005 at 03:37 PM · Perhaps I've not always followed the rules,

But be assured, there are no duels --

No secret meanings,

No intended beanings,

Just fun with word-play jewels.

Ah, yes, the vibrato issue.

Get it wrong, the audience will hiss you.

If you have to be choosy,

Make it thick and juicy,

And not as thin as paper tissue.

I have a lot of qualms

About playing anything by Brahms.

My anxiety's mounting

To correctly get the counting,

It's easier to practice psalms.

Liking concertos over opera is what I please.

I suppose opera's nice, but these

Questions keep ringing:

Why do the dying start singing?

And who the devil is Mephistopheles?

October 30, 2005 at 03:44 PM · Who needs Brahms when there's Schumann

Brahms is Schumann with the flu, man

nothing is hotter

than a Schumann sonata

from a violin chick, Hawaiian tan

October 30, 2005 at 04:10 PM · Ah! Vibrato all the way it is

I thank ye, Sander, for clearing this

Though to my dismay

It's not so good, I must say

No doubt I need a lot more practice

Veracini's baroque pieces I do fancy

Some gigues, gavottes, maybe even a bourree

It's simply divine

To play in duple time

Nimble fingers moving so lively

Well, I listen to Schumann occasionally

It's currently Rimsky-Korsakov for me

I play and re-play

Everytime, everyday

It's a wonder I've retained my sanity

October 30, 2005 at 07:24 PM · P-Zan, I too love Veracini and Rimsky

And Schumann (although you'll never see him ski).

I'm not sad if I've missed

Wagner or Liszt

(But it's not really nice to be chinsky).

The composer Prokofiev (Serge),

The classical form did regurge.

You don't have to be Freud

To see I'm overjoyed

That he avoided the Stalinist purge.

October 31, 2005 at 04:25 AM · Of all the books you've stolen or bought

there's only one you need to have sought

It's availiable from

Smart Violin Method, by Sandy Herrault

If your student's playing is reeking

and his music isnt speaking

drop a dime

while there's time

and make little bigfoot stop shrieking

October 31, 2005 at 05:13 AM · Emily Grossman's lament

was poetry, limerick-bent

October 31, 2005 at 05:20 AM · The end had come near

She said, "Lookey here!"

October 31, 2005 at 05:18 AM · And gleefully filled the last comment.


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