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Limericks: An Underappreciated Art Form

“There are three types of Limericks: limericks to be told when ladies are present; limericks to be told when ladies are absent but clergymen are present; and LIMERICKS.” – Don Marquis.

Irish literature remains today to be one of the richest, most beautiful genres within the English-speaking world. Ireland is famous for its poets: Heaney, Yeats, Kavanagh, Wilde… but it’s also famous for creating a genre that is essentially the ‘funny pages’ of the poetry world: limericks.

Dating back to the 14th century, and consisting of a series of five-line stanzas, the limerick is still one of the most popular fixed-verse poetry forms around. Limericks are important historical and cultural sources, but they’re also just what they’re meant to be: funny. This week, the humour section goes back to its roots and rediscovers the tragically forgotten art form that is the limerick.

There once was a girl from Stab City,
To be fair, she was really quite pretty
But to her breeding she was true
Stabbed her boyfriend in the loo
Such a bure in Mountjoy, what a pity!

There once was a boy from Ardmore,
Went ‘round calling his ex-girlfriend a whore,
But the feminists, they got him,
With some common sense, they shot him,
And now that slut-shamer’s no more.

There once was a boy from Wesht Kerry,
After cúpla pionta he’d always be merry,
Soon, he got so happy,
Started to believe he was Fetty Wap-y
But bless, he’s just a white lad named Terry.

There was a young girl from New York,
Whose ancestors all came from Cork,
She possessed an idea
It was really quite queer
That human flesh, it tasted quite like pork.

There once was a priest from Donegal,
In the square, he a ran a Holy food stall,
But the Health Minister, he came
“Cheese so rotten, it’d turn you lame!”
Perhaps it was a bit too holey after all.

There was a young lass from Leeds
who swallowed a bag of seeds
‘til out of her ass
came a blade of grass
and her arse was covered in weeds
Unknown author

There once was a woman named Jill
Who swallowed an exploding pill
They found her vagina
In North Carolina
And her tits in a tree in Brazil
Unknown author

There was a young girl named Bright
Her speed was faster than light
She set out one day
In a relative way
And returned the previous night
Unknown Author

‘Twas a crazy old man called O’Keefe
Who caused local farmers much grief
To their cows he would run
Cut their legs off for fun
And say “Look, I’ve invented ground beef!”
Unknown Author

Send your limericks to humour@uccexpress.ie.