Sunday, 20 September 2020

Lyrics for Singable Patter-Satire: Tom Lehrer Sings "RHYMING BINOMIALS, A to L"


  A rhyming binomial
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Elements", Tom Lehrer, 1959.  

PARODY COMPOSED: Dr. G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio,  2015. This song is the fourth of nine in the series on Word-Pairs. You can find the links to the lyrics of the previous songs at the bottom of the post. Also, our prior exploration of this theme resulted in a lexicon of rhyming binomials on this site as displayed here.

EXPLANATION: For discussion of binomials specifically and word-pairs in general, check out a recent post on this blog-site by clicking here

Most binomial pairs are not rhyming

The inherent music of language is an important element in the toolkit of parodists. When all of this began, I used Tom Lehrer’s format to sing a nonsense-song about irreversible binomials. The current offering highlights pairs in which the 2 elements rhyme, e.g. ‘make or break'. Specific cases may border on cliché, but delight us with their musical quality. Sneak a peek!

UKULELE and GUITAR-FRIENDLY LINK: Our whole series of songs can be found in a friendly format for ukulele (and guitar)-players on our sister blog  "SILLY SONGS and SATIREwith chord-charts and helpful performing suggestions. Click here to proceed to this site. But note that as it is a 'private blog' you will need to arrange access, if you don't already have it. Leave a comment on this post if you want to access the musically informative version. 

There’s age and stage, bug in a rug, (out and) about, and ants in pants
And agony and ecstasy, and amble ramble, ain’ts and shan’ts
There’s bows and arrows, brake and take, more bounce to ounce, and box and cox
Bird is the word, feathered not furred, and claws and paws, cock of the walk.

There’s chips and dip, and chalk and talk, and cruising for a brui-uising
Candy is dandy, liquor’s quicker – it’s your pick and choo-oosing.
And crime and grime, and croon a tune, crumpled and rumpled, (blushing groom)
Cat in the Hat, Dancer and Prancer, dream and scheme, and doom and gloom.

Dennis the Menace, dives and drive-ins, fair and square, and eyes on prize
Delicious and nutritious, flotsam jetsam, also Five Alive.
There’s gym and swim, and gap and lap, and grip or slip, Amazing Grace
And shades of Hades!  hurry  scurry, huff and puff, and haste makes waste.

The hostess with the mostest, hire and fire, and high and dry, haircare
Highway and byway, health- and wealthy, height and weight, and here and there.
By hook or crook, and grope and hope, and hulk and skulk, and hitch and snatch
Hasten and chasten, hustle bustle, hither thither, itch and scratch.

There’s kneel and squeal, and kitty litter, luck and pluck, and keen and mean
Loonie and toonie, life of strife, lock stock, muss fuss, and lean cuisine.  
The latest and the greatest, loot and booty, Mod Squad, lie and pry
Lotions and potions, ma-and-pa, musty and dusty, my and thy.

Burns’ ‘Louse’ and ‘Mouse’*, and Looney-Tunes, and old cartoons with Mick and Minn
Or Huey Dewey Louie, while the cat is OUT and mice are IN.  

There’s likely umpteen others, but so far I can’t imagine them
They’d spread across the alphabet from a-ardvark to zymogen.

  Among Robert Burns many famous poems, "To A Louse" and "To A Mouse" figure prominently. 

Funny (rhyming) money
Loonie and Toonie

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Hikes, Bikes and Likes: TORONTO RAVINES #2

 This post is the second in a series on Toronto's system of ravines, a relatively undiscovered treasure which encompasses many of the most interesting parks characteristic of our city. You may want to check out the other collections of photos in this series "Hikes, Bikes and Likes: TORONTO RAVINES" #1 (September 15), #3 (October 5), and #4 (November 10).

At the lower left you can see part of the outdoor rink where some of us old-timers played rather scruffy hockey 60 years ago!

The rail bridge in action!
The Canadian Pacific rail bridge across the West Don valley
 south of Eglinton Avenue

CONTINUING ON: We know that you are itching to review more of this photo-portfolio. So, you can do just that by clicking here for Toronto ravines #3 .

Giorgio Coniglio can also be found on Facebook, should you care to look.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Hikes, Bikes and Likes: TORONTO RAVINES #1

This post is the first of a series dealing with Toronto ravines, a somewhat underappreciated network of unique parks and wilderness spaces. The later posts on this topic can be found by following links to  "Hikes, Bikes and Likes: TORONTO RAVINES" #2,  #3, and #4.

We know that you are itching to review more of this photo-portfolio. So, you can do just that by clicking here for Toronto ravines #2 

Also, Giorgio Coniglio can now be found on Facebook, should you care to look.

Saturday, 5 September 2020


Authors' Note: The southern flank of the Canadian province of Ontario, abutting the border with the United States is a watery region comprised primarily of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The names of these lakes, and their order of progression to the Atlantic Ocean, are frequently covered in school curricula.

   Apart from flying, coming by ferry is the mode of access to the island province of Newfoundland for citizens of either Canada or the United States. The Confederation Bridge, 13 km in length, linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, has replaced ferry traffic to our smallest province since 1996.

   Tourism in most parts of Canada is highly dependent on Americans driving across the border. The industry has suffered a major depression in 2020 owing to restrictions related to the pandemic

Authors' Note:       

docktailsslang for drinks, and/or a cocktail-      snack
social hour at dockside, as used by North American 
motorboating cliques

mocktails: abbreviation for mock (non-alcoholic) cocktails

  The Trent-Severn Waterway is a system operated by Parks Canada and enjoyed by recreational motorboaters. It meanders for 400 km (250 miles) across southern Ontario, joining L. Ontario's Bay of Quinte and L. Huron's Georgian Bay via intervening smaller lakes, rivers and manmade canals. With over 40 locks en route, the altitude near the system's midpoint reaches a level of 180 m (590 feet) above the starting point. The world's highest lift-lock, located at Peterborough, is an impressive piece of engineering and a tourist attraction.

Authors' Note:  The first Lieutenant-Governor of the province Of Upper Canada (Ontario), Sir John Simcoe, sought routes leading northward from his new 
provincial capital at Toronto, away from the U.S. border.

  In 1793, he designed a road, naming it for the British Minister of War, Sir George Yonge, who was also an expert on Roman roads. Yonge Street passes from Lake Ontario north to Lake Simcoe, where it merges into Highway 11, a rural road that extends 1900 km (1200 mi) northwest to the border with the American state of Minnesota.
  Sir George, fifth Baronet of Escot, had served as Lord of the Admiralty and master of the mint, and governor of the Cape Colony, but died penniless and heirless, Yonge Street being his only legacy.
  Prior to 1999, the Guinness Book of Records mistakenly conflated Yonge Street with Highway 11, and described it as 'the world's longest street’.  

Authors' Note: Although specific municipalities often have additional stringent regulations, the building code for the Canadian province of Ontario specifies that any property can have a detached structure measuring up to 10 square meters (108 square feet); plumbing and heating are not allowed in such structures. They may accommodate seasonal use for guests, although off-season or year-round storage of equipment is also a major use. Cottage owners and their guests have come to refer to these detached small buildings, often outfitted with bunk beds, as bunkies.

 hidden cactus corner:
Allan Gardens Conservatory, Toronto

Authors' Note: Species of plants belonging to the cactus family are native only to America. Although they are generally heat-loving, a few species of the genus Opuntia are sufficiently cold-tolerant to live in parts of Canada. One of these, the eastern prickly pear, Opuntia humifusa, thrives in the US in dry areas such as along beaches on the Atlantic coastline, and some inland areas. At the northern limit of its range, in areas along the Great Lakes in Ontario (located centrally in Canada), this species has been susceptible to territory loss by severe winter storms and is now considered locally endangered. Three other species of low-growing cacti are still flourishing in the prairie provinces of western Canada.

There's a different story in other parts of the globe, where these and related species were relocated by human activities in the sixteenth century. Owing to their edible summer fruit, prickly pears are tolerated as invasives in parts of South Africa, southern Europe, Polynesia, South America, etc. In Australia, however, they spread quickly and vigorously,  taking over a huge chunk of grazing and horticultural terrain in Queensland, and are now prohibited.

Authors' Note:  Glacial can be pronounced with either 2 or 3 syllables. Here, the word has the meaning of 'produced by, or related to a glacier’. 

  Geologists tell us that during the Wisconsin glaciation, the ice-sheet scooped out soft rock and pushed the piled-up debris, sand and gravel, southward towards Lake Iroquois, the precursor of Lake Ontario. Twelve thousand years ago, with the ending of the ice-age, meltwater from the Laurentide Glacier eroded the channels that became the basis of Toronto's system of ravines.

Giorgio Coniglio's poetic efforts, photos and other amusing musings can now be found on Facebook, in his photo-albums, should you care to look.

If you want to resume daily titillations on our blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 through 2022. (As of September 2022, there are over 1000 daily entries on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.)