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THE JOLLY FROG: Free speech meets basketcase. Hilarity ensues.

Friday, March 23, 2012

15. The Limerick At Large

Did you know that the Limerick in it's true form was never a sweet, prissy goody two shoes type of work? It was always bawdy and mainly about sexual organs and bodily functions until the 19th century when they were "laundered" - in other words clean!

Not for the Victorian woman should there be any breath of scandal, any touch of bawdiness (how vulgar), anything remotely to suggest dubious moral virtue - why even the legs of tables were covered with "skirts" - to have them uncovered was deemed "vulgar" and unseemly! And legs suggested sex. The prudish Victorian made prudery a fine art. Emotions were not shown, one never hung one's dirty linen out in public (what would the neighbour's think?)

And so we come back to the limerick. As I said earlier, the limerick is meant to suggest, to arouse, to have bawdy undertones. For example ~

The Limerick's an art form complex
Who contents run chiefly to sex
It's famous for virgins
And masculine urgins
And vulgar erotic effects

But alas, they were watered down and "laundered"

The Limerick packs laughs anatomical
In a space which is quite economical
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical

Then there was the one about the lady from Norway. Limericks are always or nearly always about a young lady from somewhere, or the young fellow from wherever. Anyhow, back to that young lady from Norway ~

There was a young lady from Norway
Who hung upside down in a doorway
She said to her beau,
"Now listen here, Joe"
"I think I have just found one more way"

I'll leave you with this little one ~

Said an Argentine gaucho named Bruno,
"Three things about morals I do know;
Fornication's perverse,
Bestiality's worse
And chastity's numero uno"


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