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Lyr Req/Add: Ode to the Four-Letter Word

16 Mar 01 - 09:45 AM (#419016)
Subject: ode to the 4 letter word
From: GUEST,sngstry2@aol.com

Does anybody know where I can find a ditty called ODE TO THE FOUR LETTER WORD ???


16 Mar 01 - 09:59 AM (#419021)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: CamiSu

No, but there's always the F-word song by Lou & Peter Berryman.


16 Mar 01 - 10:12 AM (#419031)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Gervase

Not the old ballad:
If you see Kaye...
Tell her I love her...
?
Sing slightly slurred and fast, it's certainly an ode to that four-letter word.


16 Mar 01 - 10:14 AM (#419035)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Sorcha

I found this click here but I don't know if it's the right one. Please post a phrase or two if it's not the correct one.


16 Mar 01 - 12:27 PM (#419149)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Mrrzy

I don't know this one, but I do know "The More Vulgar-Minded" which is a great song. Will check DT and if not there, post here.


16 Mar 01 - 12:33 PM (#419154)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE MORE VULGAR-MINDED (from Oscar Brand)
From: Mrrzy

Nope, didn't see it. I have this by Oscar Brand on one of the Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads LPs, I think (Mom's records). Definitely Oscar Brand, but it might be on some other album. Anyway, here you are:

THE MORE VULGAR MINDED
[As recorded by Oscar Brand on "Bawdy Songs Goes to College"]

She went for a ride in a Morgan.
Her chauffeur was named sonny Jim.
He fooled with her sexual organ—
The more vulgar-minded say "quim."

Now she had a figure imperial,
And men beat a path to her box,
But she came down with sickness venereal—
The more vulgar-minded say "pox."

Her efforts got honorable mention.
There wasn't a man she would scorn.
One look and they came to attention—
The more vulgar-minded say "horn."

They would crowd just watching her make water.
'Twas a spectacle charming to see.
She could leak for a mile and a quarter—
The more vulgar-minded say "pee."

One night the good fairy came riding,
And offered a wish to the lass.
While she sat on her buttocks deciding—
The more vulgar-minded say "ass."

She said, "Were I built like an elephant,
Up to heaven I'd go.
I'd sit on the edge of creation
And drop turds on those buggers below."

In spite of the slimmest of chances,
She's passed o'er the heavenly walls,
And now she's the belle of the dances—
The more vulgar-minded say "balls."


16 Mar 01 - 12:41 PM (#419159)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: BobP

Would Dylan's "Love Is Just A Four Letter Word" (which I happen to think is J Baez's best work) qualify as an ode?


16 Mar 01 - 01:02 PM (#419178)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C

Can't say I can think of such an ode but I am reminded of the old WW II story from North Africa in which the officer in his jeep comes upon a truck stalled by the side of the road and asks "What's the problem?" The answer, appropriately enough, was that "The f***ing f***er's f***ed!"

That's more of a mantra than an ode.


16 Mar 01 - 01:16 PM (#419188)
Subject: Lyr Add: ODE TO THE FOUR-LETTER WORD
From: Micca

GUEST,sngstry2@aol.com is this the one you mean..???
ODE TO THE FOUR LETTER WORD

Banish the use of the four-letter words
Whose meanings are never obscure
The Angles, the Saxons those hardy old birds
Were vulgar obscene and impure
But cherish the use of the weaselling phrase
That never quite says what you mean
You'd better be known for your hypocrite ways
Than as vulgar obscene and impure

When nature is calling, plain speaking is out
When the Ladies, God Bless'em are milling about
You may pee-wee, make water, or empty the glass
You can powder your nose, even Johnny may pass
Shake the dew off the Lily; see a man about a dog
When every ones soused, it's condensing the fog
But please to remember, if you would know bliss
That only in Shakespeare do characters piss

A woman has bosoms, a bust or a breast
Those lily-white swellings that bulge 'neath her vest
They are towers of Ivory, sheaves of new wheat
In a moment of passion, ripe apples to eat
You may speak of her nipples as fingers of fire
With hardly a question of raising her ire
But by Rabelaise's beard she will throw several fits
If you speak of them roundly as good honest tits

It's a cavern of Joy you are thinking of now
A warm tender field awaiting the plough
It's a quivering pigeon caressing your hand
Or the National Anthem-It makes us all stand
It's known among men as the centre of Love
The hope of the world or a velvety glove
But friend, heed this warning, beware of affront
Of aping the Saxon--- don't call it a c***

Tho' a Lady repels your advance, shell be kind
As long as you intimate what's on your mind
You may tell her your hungry; you need to be swung
You may ask her to see how your etchings are hung
Or mention the ashes that need to be hauled
Put the lid on her saucepan even "lay" is not too bald,
But the moment you're forthright, get ready to duck
For the girls isn't born yet who'll stand for "lets F***

So banish the words that Elizabeth used
When she was a Queen on the Throne
The modern maids' virtue is easily bruised
By the four-letter words all alone
Let your morals be clean as an Alderman's vest
If your language is always obscure
Today not the act but the word is the test
Of the vulgar, obscene and impure


16 Mar 01 - 01:38 PM (#419221)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: mousethief

Great song; thanks, Micca!

My complaint about 4LW's is that when they are overused, they become useless for their real purpose, which is as a gage of level of vehemence.

My stepdaughter never swears, and is teased by her peers at school for being a goody-two-shoes. But when they really crossed her and she hauled off and cursed at them, they KNEW they were in trouble! She said all of them came up to her afterwards and said, "wow, you must really have been angry!"

She told us about it and her mother said, "Exactly! That's why you mustn't overuse those words! So when you really NEED them, they can do what you need them to do!"

Alex


16 Mar 01 - 02:29 PM (#419269)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Bert

Thanks Micca, I've been looking for that one for years. When I first heard it it was attributed to A.P. Herbert.


16 Mar 01 - 03:11 PM (#419293)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: GUEST,Roll&GO-C

Any clue what the source of this Ode is? Is it really A.P. Herbert and, if so, who was he or she? Inquiring minds would like to know more.


16 Mar 01 - 04:54 PM (#419412)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Micca

I got that set from, a book called " more Rugby songs", no mention of author...


16 Mar 01 - 05:16 PM (#419426)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word..GOT IT MICCA TNX !!
From: GUEST,sngstry2@aoil.com

Thanks, man. It is the one I wanted.


16 Mar 01 - 05:24 PM (#419430)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Noreen

Micca had the words to that ?? Who'da thunk it?? :0)


16 Mar 01 - 05:40 PM (#419444)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Bert

A.P. Herbert was a prolific English author who wrote "Water Gypsies", "Holy Deadlock" and many other masterpieces.


02 Jul 01 - 02:32 PM (#496756)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Mrrzy

The 4-letter words, the 4-letter words, that never say quite what you mean / We'd rather be known for our hypocrite ways than as vulgar, impure and obscene!

Same song?


02 Jul 01 - 02:38 PM (#496761)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: GeorgeH

I have it at home in a book called "The Lure of the Limerick" which my mother bought me as a going-away present when I went to University (so that's about 34 years ago) . . . The book review she ordered it from forgot to mention that some of its contents were somewhat less than polite. We had many a laugh over that.

I THINK it claims the "ode" as Anon. but I'll try to remember to check tonight.

Cheers!

George


02 Jul 01 - 04:49 PM (#496866)
Subject: RE: ode to the 4 letter word
From: Jacob B

That poem Micca posted is clearly the source for the song Four Letter Words, which Oscar Brand recorded on the album Morality. Mrrzy has already given the chorus of it.


11 Mar 15 - 01:13 PM (#3693114)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ode to the Four-Letter Word
From: GUEST,Whit Waterbury

A.P. Herbert (1890 - 1971) was a writer and member of the British Parliment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._P._Herbert)


22 Feb 17 - 07:56 PM (#3840872)
Subject: ADD Version: Ode to the Four-Letter Words
From: Joe Offer

This is amazingly similar to what Micca posted. Up above, Micca says he got it from a book called More Rugby Songs. I think I'd agree with Randolph/Legman that it's likely to be American.
-Joe-

76. ODE TO THE FOUR-LETTER WORDS

Banish the use of the four-letter words
Whose meanings are never obscure,
The Angles, the Saxons, those bawdy old birds
Were vulgar, obscene and impure.
But cherish the use of the weaseling phrase
That never quite says what it means;
You'd better be known for your hypocrite ways
Than as vulgar, impure, and obscene.

When nature is calling, plain speaking is out,
When ladies, God bless 'em, are milling about.
You may wet, or make water, or empty the glass,
You can powder your nose, or "the johnny" will pass,
It's a drain for the lily, or man about a dog,
When everyone's drunk it's condensing the fog.
But as true as the devil, that word with a hiss,
It's only in Shakespeare that characters ———.

A woman has bosoms, a bust, or a breast,
Those lily white globules you spy neath her vest;
They are towers of ivory, or sheaves of new wheat,
In a moment of passion, ripe apples to eat.
You can speak of her nipples as fingers of fire
With scarcely a chance of arousing her ire,
But by Rabelais' beard she'll give you ten fits
If you speak of them roundly as good honest ———.

There's a cavern of joy you are thinking of now,
A warm tender field awaiting the plow,
It's a quivering bird caressing your hand,
Or the Star Spangled Banner—you're ready to stand.
Believe it's a flower, a grotto, a mink,
The hope of the world, or a bottomless sink.
But friend, heed this warning, beware the affront
Of playing the Saxon and calling it ———.

Though a lady rejects you, she'll always be kind,
As long as you're hinting at what's on your mind.
You can tell her you're horny and need to be swung,
Or invite her to see how your etchings are hung.
You can speak of your ashes which need to be hauled,
It's a lid for her sauce-pan, and "lay" is not too bold.
But the moment you're forthright, get ready to duck,
The woman's not born yet who welcomes "Let's ———.

So banish the words that Elizabeth used
When she was a queen on her throne,
The modern maid's virtue is easily bruised
By four-letter words alone.
Let your morals be loose as an alderman's vest,
If your language is always obscure.
Today not the act, but the word is the test
Of the vulgar, obscene and impure.


Typescript copy from Mr. E. I., Forsyth, Missouri, June 13, 1949. He got it at Columbia, Missouri, in 1944. It is obviously a modern literary piece, and of American origin from the slang terms used. It has been very popular since the 1940s, seldom recited but circulated in typescript and (despite its length) manuscript copies, also in mimeographed duplicated form, and most recently as "Xeroxlore." But it is no longer often encountered, due to the broad relaxation of verbal taboos among adolescents since the 1960s, during the main decades of the New Freedom.

In the 1880s Eugene Field wrote a much more elegant "dictionary" piece of the present kind, on the rhymed framework of an epic sexual adventure, "A French Crisis, or The Fair Limousin," printed in Immortalia (1927) pp. 15—18. And a mere alphabetical listing of erotic synonymies (taken from Farmer and Henley's Slang and Its Analogues, 1890—1909), strung together and broken up into short lines to pass it off as "modern poetry," has been produced by Joel Oppenheimer, as "The Poetry of Porking" (!) printed in Maledicta (1988) 9:94—104, a sad descent from the effervescent charm, in the same line, of Field's "Fair Limousin" and her light-horse gallop.


Source: Blow the Candles Out: "Unprintable" Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (Volume 2, Folk Rhymes and other Lore), pages 728-729.
Collected by Vance Randolph, Edited with an introduction by G. Legman. The University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 1992
Copyright © 1992 by Kryptádia, Inc.
https://books.google.com/books?id=S93LdPw2KP0C&pg=PA728&lpg=PA728#v=onepage&q&f=false

A shortened example in Camp All-American, Hanoi Jane, and the High-and-tight: Gender, Folklore, and Changing Military Culture, by Carol Burke (Beacon Press, 2004)


22 Feb 17 - 08:24 PM (#3840877)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ode to the Four-Letter Word
From: Joe Offer

There's an excerpt from a slightly different version in Elizabethan Popular Culture, by Leonard R.N. Ashley (Popular Press, 1988), page 135:


    When Nature is calling, plain speaking is out,
    When ladies (God bless 'em) are milling about.
    You may piddle, make water, or empty the glass.
    You can powder your nose, even "Johnny" can pass,
    Shake the dew off the lily. See man about dog.
    When everyone's soused it's condensing the fog.
    But please to remember, if you would know bliss,
    That only in Shakespeare do characters piss.


01 Jun 20 - 03:09 PM (#4056531)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Ode to the Four-Letter Word
From: GUEST,Kenny B

Oscar Brand Singing "Four letter word"


01 Jun 20 - 03:53 PM (#4056539)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Ode to the Four-Letter Word
From: weerover

A P Herbert also wrote "Misleading Cases", which was made into a TV series by the BBC. It was about an odd fellow called (I think) Albert Haddock who used unusual ploys to take civil cases to court.