Limerick (song)

Limerick (song)

The Limerick is a traditional humorous drinking song with many obscene verses. Alternate titles for this song are "In China They Never Eat Chili", "Sing Us Another One", "Ya-Ya", "Rodriguez the Mexican Pervert" and "Aye-Yi-Yi-Yi". The tune usually used for sung limericks is "The Gay Caballero".

Recorded Versions

* The Limerick Song has been commercially recorded many times. The earliest version of limericks being sung is 1905 under the title Fol-The-Rol-Lol as sung by Edward M. Favor on Edison records. The earliest date for limericks being sung to the "Gay Caballero" tune is May 11, 1931 on the recording titled Rhymes sung by Jack Hylton which was issued on Decca records.

Printed Versions

The earliest printed date for limericks being sung is 1928 in the book "A Collection of Sea Songs and Ditties from the Stores of Dave E. Jones"Jones. Unpaginated. Song #48.] . Since many of the verses used for this song are bawdy the song tended to get issued in rare, underground mimeographed songbooks. Some of these are (in chronological order):

:* 1934. Leech. [need citation]

Variant Choruses

There are several different choruses for this song. One of the most popular in the USA is sung to the tune of "Cielito Lindo" and usually goes like this:

::I-Yi-Yi-Yi,::In China, they never eat chili::So here comes another verse worse than the other verse::So waltz me around again, Willie.Cray, Ed. "The Erotic Muse: American Bawdy Songs". pg. 217.]

Or, alternatively:::I-Yi-Yi-Yi,::In China, they do it for chili::So let's get a verse that's worse than the other verse::And waltz me around by my willie.::: In these versions, there are actually numerous variants for the second line, including: your mother swims out to meet troopships, your sister goes down for a quarter, and perhaps most notably, Rodriguez the Mexican pervert.

Another chorus, to an unknown tune, is also not uncommon in the UK:

::That was a cute little rhyme::Sing us another one, do--oo--

A less commonly reported chorus goes:

::Sweet Violets, sweeter than all the roses,::Covered all over from head to toe,::Covered all over with [shit]


The lyrics for the Limerick Song are usually ribald and sometimes original. Here are some from the public domain book "Sea Songs and Ditties":

::There was a young lady named Lou::who said as the parson withdrew--::"Now the Vicar is quicker,::And thicker, and slicker,::And two inches longer than you.


::That was a cute little rhyme::Sing us another one, do--oo--

::There was a young man from Nantucket::Whose cock was so long he could suck it::And he said with a grin ::As he wiped off his chin--::"If my ear was a cunt I could fuck it."


::There was a young man from Samoa::Who had just one inch, and no more::It was all right for keyholes::And little girl's pee-holes::but not worth a damn to a whore.


::There was a young man named Perkin::who was furtively jerking his gerkin::His wife's face grew red::As to him she said::Perkin you're shirkin your perkin


::Here's to old king Montazuma::For fun he buggered a puma::The puma one day::Bit both balls away::An example of animal humor.


::There once was a guy named Patrick::In hockey, he scored a hat trick::One night he was drinking, forgot to be thinking::And he wound up in bed with a fat chick



* Cray, Ed. "The Erotic Muse: American Bawdy Songs" (University of Illinois, 1992).
* "Jones, Dave E." "A Collection of Sea Songs and Ditties from the Stores of Dave E. Jones". No publisher. No date (1928). Unpaginated.
* Legman, Gershon. "The Limerick".
* Legman, Gershon. "The Horn Book". (New York: University Press, 1964).
* Reuss, Richard A. "An Annotated Field Collection of Songs From the American College Student Oral Tradition" (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Masters Thesis, 1965).

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