Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Lyrics for Singable Satire: "CONSTANTINOPOLIS: the seer of Byzantion"


ORIGINAL SONG: "Moscow Nights"(Подмосковные вечера Podmoskovnie vechera), Chad Mitchell Trio, 1963. You can listen to the well-known Trio's version on YouTube here, or a version with English translation here.
The original was created as "Leningrad Nights" by composer Solovyov-Sedoi and poet Matusovsky in 1955, but changed at the request of the Ministry of Culture for use in a documentary about a national athletic competition. The tune was subsequently popularized in the West, in the middle of the Cold War era, by Van Cliburn in 1958, and recorded with commercial success by Kenny Ball and the Jazzmen, and the Chad Mitchell Trio in the early 60s. 

PARODY COMPOSED: Dr. G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio (registered pseudonym) , August 2018. This post deals with Graeco-Roman history during the Byzantine period, and was in part inspired by trips to Turkey and Greece, as well as by the song "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", a swing-era hit with a very catchy tune whose lyrics are a bit truncated re history.

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 for both the parody and original song, as well as helpful performing suggestions. 
Click HERE to proceed to this site.


(to the tune of "Moscow Nights")

Said Byzántion’s seer,* “Constantine will found,
Nova Roma, his new cosmopolis.
They’ll construct right here;  
Then we Greeks will cheer
Rome’s second home: Constanti-no-po-lis.” 

“In Rome’s legions march with a martial sound,
They’ll build Fourth Century’s eastern cosmopolis --
Grand Sophia’s dome,
And a huge Hippodrome
Rome’s second home: Constanti-no-po-lis.”

“Who’ll unite this Empire too vast to rule?
Few the Caesars who exert such might.
Year Three-Ninety-Five (395 A.D.),
Things take a permanent dive --
East/West will split; West drops out of sight.

“In clean-shaven West, ‘barbarians’ storm the gates,
Middle Ages will settle there to stay.
Vandals, Lombards, Goths –
Old stomping grounds get lost,
Down East here, ‘Roman’ power’ll hold sway.”

“Who will dogma craft for new Christian creed?
Peter’s primacy;  Roman popes’ll.
We’ll counter Holy See
With Eastern Orthodoxy,
Here in Byzantine Constan-ti-nople.”

“Vicious wars with neighbours” quoth our sooth-saying seer,
Peering in his Prophet-Kit prism,   
“Charlemagne and Popes
Will undermine our hopes,
And result in an East-West Schism.”

“Things take a bad turn with the Fourth Crusade,
Frankish knights, their mission quite hopeless --   
Retake Holy Lands?
But no! They’ll change their plans,
Seize and ‘Latinize’ Constantinopolis.”

 “Fifty years to rid the place of Latin louts
Then two centuries, invasions we’ll stop. All this
Has an end, it’s clear.”
States our seer, with tear,
"When Turks topple Constantinopolis.”

Then we took our seer out for lunch that day
To a small café by the Bosporus.
Name of the café
Where we ate that day,
Was ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinopolis)’.

*  the prediction was made by the Seer early in the fourth century A.D.
Byzántion (Greek), later known as Byzantium (Latin) was at that time a moderate-sized Greek colony-city on the Bosporus. It was chosen by the Roman Emperor Constantine to become the eastern capital of his empire.
As capital of the Roman Empire (also called Romania), the grand city was known as Constantinopolis, or Konstantinoupolis, for most of its history, i.e. until 1453 A.D. (later as Istanbul by the Turks). The term 'Byzantine Empire' has only been in use by Western historians since that time.

If you want to resume daily titillations on our blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE.

Thursday, 15 April 2021




lkimerick; French loanwords; bilingual wordplay; Giorgio Coniglio

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 week in the years 2020 and 2021. (There are now over 600 daily entries on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.)

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Lyrics for Singable Satire: Bob Dylan Sings "A FICKLE TWIST OF VERSE", part#1

PARODY-LYRICS, based on traditional poetry (limericks)

ORIGINAL SONG: "Simple Twist of FateBob Dylan 1975; covers by Diana Krall and Sean Costello are recommended.
ORIGINAL POETRY: At Wikipedia (click here), you can find a discussion of limericks dealing with the 'man from Nantucket'.
PARODY COMPOSED: Dr. G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, June 2016.
UKULELE and GUITAR-FRIENDLY LINK: All our songs can be found in a friendly format for ukulele (and guitar)-players on our sister blog "SILLY SONGS and SATIRE". Click here to proceed to that site, and you'll find some more illustrations, and chord-charts for ukulele of guitar. But note that it is a 'private blog', so 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 version with chord-charts and helpful performing suggestions.

CURRENT CONTENTS: these are limericks chosen from the classic repertoire for interpretation by B.D.
1. "There once was a man from Nantucket" (clean version) - 3 verses, unattributed.
2. "There once was a man from Nantucket" (dirty version) - cleaned up by G.C.
3. "A dozen, a gross and a score" - Leigh Mercer.
4. "There was an old miser named Clarence" - Ogden Nash.
5. "There was a brave girl of Connecticut" - Ogden Nash. 
6. "There was a young belle of Old Natchez" - Ogden Nash.
Chorus. "People say it makes them sick" - Giorgio Coniglio.

part #1

(to the tune of "Simple Twist of Fate")

1. There was a family from  Nantucket:   
Pa kept cash hid in a bucket,
'Til one day his daughter took it,
Daughter name of Nan - 
She ran off with a man. 
Pa felt things might get worse, and 
Watched out for a fickle twist of verse. 

Pa followed couple to Pawtucket -  
Little Nan and cash-filled bucket. 
Just before old Pa retook it,
He said to the man, 
"You’re welcome to keep Nan.” 
He uttered a terse curse, and  
Moved off with a fickle twist of verse. 

The couple trailed him to Manhasset 
Pa held cash there as an asset.
Pail in question? Now man has it;
They stole cash and ran - 
Nan with her new man –  
She stuffed it in her purse, and  
Forgot about a fickle twist of verse.

2. The
y had a neighbor on Nantucket --
On the island he was stuck; 
Bad reputation, couldn’t chuck it, 
Based on body build –  
Girls found him too ‘strong-willed’, 
Which fate could not reverse, 
Brought on by a simple twist of verse. 

3. A
 gross, a dozen and a score            
Plus three times the square root of  four;
Divide by seven, no whit more, 
And add eleven fives, 
And hope your brain survives; 
That’s nine squared per Leigh Mercer, 
Cited in this twisted limerick verse. 

4. A mean miser, name of Clarence -  
Simonized both of his parents; 
Found initial cost of care  
Immense, but still declared, 
He’d save on wear- and tearance  
Humor which emerges  
Clearly from O. Nash’s limerick verse.

A brave girl of Connecticut                 
Flagged the train with her petticut. 
Some folks deplored her lack of 
Ecticut, some more inclined 
To laud her presence of mind -  
Debate in which immersed 
Her critics in this controversial verse. 

6. A young southern belle of Natchez’   
Garments always were in patches. 
She divulged she itchedbut scratches 
If the need arose; 
Played havoc with her clothes,  
Which stitching could reverse,  
Apart from this fickke twist of verse.


    People say it makes them sick
    To hear too many limericks;
    I fear it had become my shtick,
    But now I've lost the knack,
    With no good jokes to crack --
    A tendency perverse;
    Blame it on a fickle twist of verse.

Did you enjoy  Bob singing the classic limericks? Stay tuned for a follow-up post on April 15, 2021:

Pending Topics...
7. "A flea and a fly in a flue" - author unknown, often attributed to O.N.
8. "There was a young lady of station" - Lewis Carroll. 
9. "A wonderful bird is the pelican" - Dixon Merritt. 
10. "There was a young lady named Bright" - Reginald Buller.
11. "There was an old man of Peru" - Edward Lear. 
12. "There was a young fellow of Wheeling" - traditional. 
13. "Hickory dickory dock" - traditional.
 Chorus. "People say it makes them sick" - Giorgio Coniglio.

If you want to resume daily titillations on our blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE.

Monday, 5 April 2021

American Satire: A TERM of ENDIREMENT #1

This blogpost is the first in a series ...

Author's Note: In the political swirl leading up to the US presidential election, a national convention is a meeting of party delegates to nominate candidates for office and to adopt party rules and platforms. In 2016, these gatherings proceeded in their conventional format, Note that in 2020, with restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, national conventions were held primarily as on-line events.

Author's Note: 

IOC: International Olympic Committee
  The fanciful concept of medals being awarded to a 'hacking team' grew out of the conjunction of developments in 2017 and 2018, notably (i) censure of Russian athletic organizations, including subsequent retraction of Olympic medals, and (ii) investigations into Russian efforts to sway the results of past and upcoming American presidential elections. 

Author's Note: Generally, anagrams give results which are bizarre, unexpected and somewhat random, like "fake news". At least to his current detractors, there may appear to be a compelling stories hidden in these anagrams (italicized) of the name of the 45th U.S. President, but in fact the possible links are coincidental.  It should be remembered that composers of wordplay, such as anagrams and palindromes, do not 'invent' the material, but only report it.

Author's Note  The results of the acrimonious U.S. presidential election in November 2016 caused despondency and resentment in some segments of the population. Donald J. Trump ran a successful campaign under the slogan "Make America Great Again", and won the electoral college majority. After the election, there was considerable distraction by unproductive disputes over the popular vote, possible voter fraud, and the size of crowds at inaugurations.


Owing to intense demand for more verses of this type, we have worked hard to accommodate your wishes; in fact there are now six such collections! So, you can view another collection of these heart- and gut-wrenching verses by clicking this link !

  If you have enjoyed these verses on the theme of American political satire, you might like to proceed to view other items in our collection including:
- 'a brief saga: Mar-a-Lago
- 'political palindromes A through P' (click HERE to start).
There are also some parody-song lyrics posted in 2019 and 2020, that you might like, including: 
- 'The Ballad of Giuliani', part I and part II.   

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 to the present. (As of September 2022, there are 1000 entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.)