Category Archives: Parody

The Seal Lullaby

Seal Lullaby 001.jpg

My girlfriend is studying music so she often recommends classical music for me to listen to. Through her recommendations I have discovered some music that I absolutely adore, such as ‘Fantasia On A Theme By Tallis‘ by Vaughan Williams . Inevitably, with ‘classical music’ being such a wide term covering many different kinds of music written over many hundreds of years, some of it isn’t to my liking.

One composer I’ve listened to a bit of work by is Eric Whitacre. Some of his work, such as ‘October‘, is beautiful, but there was a particular choral piece of his that I just couldn’t get through without laughing. I, personally, found it very hard to listen to ‘The Seal Lullaby‘ without getting diabetes from its nauseating, sickly sweet faffery. I’m probably an absolute pleb or something but there we go. In response to this piece, I joked that I should write my own Seal Lullaby. Then I did. This is the result.

The Seal Lullaby

Be still Sealia
Your blubber is quaking
Don’t open your eyes
It’s not time for waking

Be still Sealia
Your flippers are trembling
Don’t lift up your head
Your dreams are assembling

Oh Sealia, swim through the sea of your mind
And flob on the sand of your wishes
Glide by the islands you see in your sleep
And eat some impossible fishes

Be still Sealia
Your jowl is quivering
Your layers of fat
Will keep you from shivering

Be still Sealia
Your whiskers are waving
Your body  is weak
From a long day of caving

Oh Sealia, rest in the nest of your dreams
And wibble o’er rocks by the tide
You’ll marvel at things that no seal’s ever seen
While still in your bed you abide

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That poem was rather sealporific

William McGonagall

William McGonagall

Today is the 113th anniversary of the death of William McGonagall. I marked this date last year as well. William McGonagall is widely remembered as the worst poet ever to have written in English. I mark his death date rather than his birthday because nobody really knows when his birthday is, owing to the fact that he recorded several different dates in his various pieces of autobiographical writing. Each new autobiography he released featured more extravagant fictions than the last including standing ovations, commendations from the queen, and even a very elegant and slick fight with a group of would-be muggers.

He really was a very bad poet and his poetry, which can be found here is very amusing to read. However, as you journey back into his life, a truly tragic figure emerges. William McGonagall worked as a weaver until he was 50 when his family was hit hard by poverty. He claimed to have been suddenly inspired to write poetry and began sending his efforts in to a local paper which turned him into a minor local celebrity owing to how utterly ridiculous and appalling the poems were.

Driven by seemingly psychotic delusions about the quality of his writing and an obliviousness to mockery and criticism, he toured the country, reading to the public. He was met with sarcasm, ridicule, rudeness, and even violence. On one occasion, some particularly cruel pranksters convinced him that a famous poet had written to him expressing a desire to tour together. William McGonagall was extremely gullible and excitedly agreed to a meeting. Upon arrival he was heartlessly strung along until the pranksters could no longer keep straight faces and the penny finally dropped.

He was a poor man fighting to provide for his wife and children and so, while his poetry is hilariously dreadful, I will always have soft spot for McGonagall and remember him with respect for his dedication to his family and his strong morality. Poor, poor mad McGonagall.

I have written another poem, imitating his unique style, in tribute to the late, great poet and tragedian William Topaz McGonagall.

William McGongall

I hope others think it really grand
That I can write this lay by hand
Thanking this Scottish poet, by the name of William McGonagall
For writing poetry for us all
And even when I grow old
My pen will always sing his praise
In many different ways

His wild hair and strange stories
Would greatly please everyone, be they liberals or tories
Observational poetry was his apparent gift
And in his poems, of metaphors there is certainly no thrift
And though one day I will grow old
My pen will always sing his praise
In many different ways

On 29th September, in the city of Edinburgh, in the year of 1902
The world lost a Scottish poet, Yes it’s true
And though 113 years have passed since that tragedy came to have passed
The wounds it left will not be healing very fast
And should, like him, I get to grow old
My pen will always sing his praise
In many different ways

And if, William, others don’t understand
Why I profess that your poetry is really grand
I will tell them to read Poetic Gems for themselves
For joy cannot escape the man who into your poetry delves
Perhaps my hand will tremble, William, when I grow old
But my pen will always sing your praise
In many different ways

This biography is the most beautiful to be seen

This biography is the most beautiful to be seen

An’ A Beer Lee

An' A Beer Lee

One of my all time favourite poems is Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. It’s a tragic but beautiful love poem with a wonderful, lyrical rhythm. Being such a beautiful poem, I thought it would be perfect for the third of my drink related parodies of famous poems.

An’ A Beer Lee finds the young lover of Annabel Lee replaced by a young drinker on holiday with his mates, buying booze from a bartender named Lee. His friend falls behind but he drinks on. I really don’t recommend binge drinking in the slightest but that is pretty much the theme here.

An’ A Beer Lee

It was many and many Summers ago
In a hostel by the sea
That I said Three whiskeys, a blue lagoon
A Jägerbomb, an’ a beer Lee
And my best mate, he lived with no other thought
Than to drink, and get drunk, with me

He was a child, and I was a child
In this hostel by the sea
But we drank with a thirst that was more than thirst
Two more shots an’ a beer Lee
With a thirst that the age’d drinkers of Devon
They coveted him and me

And this was the reason, as all lads know
In this hostel by the sea
That the bile poured out of his mouth by night
Stifling his An’ a beer Lee
So that our rowdy mates all came
And bore him away from me
To lock him in a bathroom
In this hostel by the sea

The drunkards, not half so hammered in Devon
Went envying him and me
And that was the reason, as all lads know
In this hostel by the sea
That the bile came out of his mouth, spilling
And stilling his An’ a beer Lee

Yes, our stomachs were stronger by far than the stomachs
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wider than we
And neither the angels in heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Could ever dissever my hand from the side
Of my new, badly forged, fake ID

For Blue Moon never beams
Without bringing me dreams
Of peculiar sorts… An a beer Lee
And the tabs never rise
But I see the old guys
As they’re slurring out An a beer Lee

And so all the night tide, I lie down by the side
Of my vomit, my dignity, self-worth and pride
Deep in a stupor there by the sea
In my room by the side of the sea

I had a pun but I forgot it.

I had a pun but I forgot it.

Avalarch Part 1: First Mud

Avalarch

I’ve always found great enjoyment in films that take the disaster movie idea and turn it into a ludicrous joke. Films like Megashark vs Giant Octopus, Sharknado, and 2012 are hilarious. I wanted to pay tribute to this very special type of film. My idea rapidly became the concept for an epic poem which I am currently working on. This is a story about the Avalarch; Part Avalanche, part Larch. It grows in secrecy in the heart of London, then breaks free to wreak havoc. Eventually, it is defeated but, like all good ridiculous disaster stories, it is soon back to face other monstrous beings.

This post contains part 1 of Avalarch. In this part of the epic poem, we watch strange and mysterious events unfold that lead to the creation of the greatest threat to London since the great fire.

Avalarch Part 1: First Mud

London doesn’t sleep, not quite
The light from every amber lamp
Reflects in fragments from the streets
That sheets of city rain made damp

The moon, half-hid by ashen clouds
Enshrouds the night in mystery
Illuminating hill and pit
A citadel of history

The Thames drifts by with murky grace
It’s face is grey with dirt and dark
A twisted trolley on the bank
Once thankless mule turned steel toothed shark

The ripples on the surface speak
Of bleak disturbances below
The wreckage of the city’s past
Lies fast beneath the undertow

The gentle trickle of the waves
That gravely stroke the crumbling wall
Heard only by the man in black
With sack and shovel as his haul

A crawl across the river muck
Legs stuck and sinking into mire
His hands and face with mud are packed
Though cracked, still like a mask entire

His body weary, aged, grey
A stray dog snuffles at his feet
It paws his leg, it starts to cry
Then finally accepts defeat

He drags himself up ladder rungs
And tongues of rust push through his hands
To taste his blood and slow his climb
From slime and mud and sucking sands

The top achieved, he stops to wheeze
His knees are trembling from the strain
Falls to the ground, his face is red
Then steadily he stands again

His eyes don’t speak so much as shout
A bout of coughing racks his chest
His job long done, he staggers home
To roam no more, at last to rest

A flutter from the traitor’s gate
A stately raven takes to flight
He rides the air with humble skill
A silhouette against the night

Big Ben chimes thrice his sonorous tone
A drone that gently shakes the sky
The bird drops to a window sill
And still the river slithers by

Swollen from the copious rain
It stains the bank with water lines
And laps the footprints in the clay
Erasing these, and other signs

A streak of bright fluorescent green
Here seen just momentarily
A tub of radioactive swill
Is spilling in the estuary

Through eddies, currents, ebb and flow
It slowly dissipates to spread
Some rises to the surface scum
And some sinks to the river bed

It seeps into the ground at last
Drawn past the banks and under soil
Into a garden, trickles through
The beauty bought by gardener’s toil

Exotic flowers, though lately bloomed
Consumed by filth, they wilt and die
But in the garden corner stand
The grand and glorious larches high

The trees succumb to waste and rot
But not the tallest, firm and wide
The dangerous drops through roots drawn in
Begin to change it from inside

This sole survivor drinking deep
While others die putrescently
For hours and days and months and years
It rears on up incessantly

And in due course, the others gone
Drawn on by time’s eternal march
It longs to rise from out the earth
The birth place of the Avalarch

No one would have believed in the first years of the twenty first century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greener than man's and yet as mortal as his own

No one would have believed in the first years of the twenty first century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greener than man’s and yet as mortal as his own

And I Shall Have A Chai Latte

And I Shall Have A Chai Latte

I’ve been reading quite a bit of Dylan Thomas‘s poetry recently. One in particular, And Death Shall Have No Dominion (sorry for the poor formatting on that site,but it’s hard to find the poem online), which tackles the themes of death and immortality, has instantly become one of my all time favourite poems. I wanted to find a way to pay tribute to this incredibly powerful poem.

For a long time now, I’ve also wanted to pay tribute to my favourite hot drink; the Chai Latte. It’s just so sweet and delicious that I can’t order anything else when I go to a coffee shop. Thus was born ‘And I Shall Have A Chai Latte’. I have tried to maintain the serious and dour atmosphere of the original poem, while introducing a much less serious topic. This is the second of my drink related parodies of famous poems, the first being The Lady Grey of Shallott. The third will be posted in due time.

And I Shall Have A Chai Latte

And I shall have a Chai Latte
A still and sweet ocean I take in hand
The milk froth’d massimo, creamiest friend
Bubbles on lips shall leave their trace
As the bleary eyed drinker wipes his face
Cinnamon sprinkles dust the head
Melting into their soft cloudy bed
Though creamers be lost cream shall not
And I shall have a Chai Latte

And I shall have a Chai Latte
Coffee shop tables are sticky with spills
As bursaried students loose the spoils
Sat in the corner I nurse my Chai
Alone to consider the joys of the day
The first intimations of hunger they sate
Syrups with weight in stomachs sit
Fill all ends up I shan’t snack
And I shall have a Chai Latte

And I shall have a Chai Latte
Memories flow as thick as foam
Of moments spent with hand to mug
If drinks had ears for words of grief
Of fumbling infatuates or prayers to relieve
The things they’d hear of the things I’ve said
Warm and welcoming here by my side
Shut in my heart til my heart shuts down
And I shall have a Chai Latte

Chai-me flies when you're having fun

Chai-me flies when you’re having fun

If you wanted a sip, I'm afraid you're too latte

If you wanted a sip, I’m afraid you’re too latte

The Lady Grey of Shalott

The Lady Grey of Shalott

This poem is unusual for me in that, beyond the pun in the title, it’s not actually got any jokes or plays on words in it. It’s relatively soothing in fact. It’s a tribute to two of my favourite things. The first is Lady Grey Tea (one of my favourite teas) which is always wonderful at the end of a long day. The second is The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson (one of my favourite poems) from which I have borrowed the title and structure of this poem.

The Lady Grey of Shalott

The tea was poured, with swathes of milk
T’was pure as light and smooth as silk
So few teas are there of the ilk
T’is one addiction hard to bilk
When sipped after a supper
Infused with citrus, left to brew
It’s fragrance and it’s beauty grew
Enjoyed now by so very few
A truly noble cuppa

And just one sip can ease the mind
Can make a cruel evening kind
Enraged you were, with fury blind
But now, all anger left behind
You smile over your supper
‘Ah, this is bliss!’ you sigh and say
A steaming cup of lady grey
As all your worries drift away
Your soul cleansed by a cuppa

The stresses of the morning fade
Reclining in the evening shade
By willow tree, in glistening glade
And sipping at the tea you’ve made
With sandwiches for supper
Then breathing in the Summer night
Now drowsy in the fading light
You cannot help but feel alright
When finishing your cuppa

Royaltea

Royaltea

William McGonagall

William McGonagall

Apologies for the poor banner on this post. My scanner is knackered so I had to upload it as a photo. I’ll replace it as soon as I can!

Today is the 112th anniversary of the death of a man who is generally considered to be the worst poet ever to have written in the English language. That man was William Topaz McGonagall. McGonagall was really quite abysmal as a poet and, as such, is unbelievably entertaining to read. If you don’t believe me, read The Tay Bridge Disaster which is one of his most famous poems. While you’re on his website, do take a look around. Another personal favourite of mine is The Ancient Town of Leith. He was wonderfully genuine and sincere but just lacked any poetic skill. As an aspiring awful poet, I have come to consider William McGonagall as a bit of a hero.

Not only was he a naff poet, but he was a true Scottish eccentric. He once walked about 60 miles from Dundee to Balmoral to visit Queen Victoria who had sent him a letter. Upon arriving, he was told she wouldn’t see him so he immediately turned around and walked straight back! He also famously wrote ‘The first man who threw peas at me was a publican’.

He named the published collection of his poetry ‘Poetic Gems’. What an amazingly brilliant man!

I wanted to mark this occasion with a tribute to McGonagall written in his own style. Merry Deathday Willliam McGonagall! May you be remember’d for a very long time indeed!

William McGonagall

William McGonagall, most amusing to read
I’m sure many intelligent men will concede
Your beautiful lyrics have earned you remembrance to this day
As an example, I name your telling of the rail bridge disaster over the silvery Tay

Your first poem appeared in News Weekly in July of 1877
Your unique ignorance of form or rhythm must have sent the readers to Heaven
And since then, at least most people do declare
Your writing remained similarly graceful and fair

William McGonagall, most eccentric in the land
You were a very prolific poet which is really grand
And today of all days, I have heard many people shout
‘Oh what a pity we don’t have William Topaz McGonagall about!’

You walked for many miles to perform
And you were far too strange ever to want to conform
You walked to a palace and saw Queen Victoria wave her beautiful hand
And felt inspired because the way she waved was really grand

You sadly passed away on 29th September in the year of 1902 in Edinburgh
And the world was plunged into deep sorrow
And since that day, in solemn tones it is often said
‘I’m sad that William McGonagall is dead’

All the looks and talent of Bob Dylan

All the looks and talent of Bob Dylan