Limerick Composing

During my time as a composer in schools and workshops, I’ve often used the limerick form to inspire creativity in both writing and composing. I composed this tune, originally for some limericks we were using to help set words to music. I think the original one was the nursery rhyme, The Tutor Who Tooted The Flute.

Anyway, as time has gone on, I’ve used lots of different limericks, most often this one exploring the letter Z. I wrote it when I was going through my zebra phase at St. John Vianney’s School in Queensland, when I composed a few different Zebra songs and also wrote a story about the origins of the “Zebra’s Crossing”!

The other limerick on this video was for some phonics activities, this one using the ee (or ea) sound.

For older children I have encouraged them, once they know the tune well, to make up their own lyrics on whatever theme or other we’re focusing on. If they make sure their lyrics have the same rhyme pattern and rhythm, then they too will end up with a limerick.

On this video you hear the tune eight times:

  • Twice with no lyrics so you can add your own,
  • Twice for the Zebra limericks,
  • Twice for the Puddle limericks,
  • Twice again with no lyrics so you can add your own.

If you’d like a backing track with no lyrics so you can add your own lyrics and not bother with mine, just contact me!

My limericks:

The Zebra In The Zoo
A Zambian Zebra had gone 
On an outing to Azerbaijan!
When he got to Baku, 
He was locked in the zoo,
And befriended a white unicorn. 

A zebra from Azerbaijan, 
Declared to a sparrow, “Hey aren’t
You glad to be free, 
Not locked up like me
In this old zoological barn?”
The Weeping Puddle
I’m weeping! Oh, I’m so upset! 
My feet are incredibly wet!
My knees are submerged 
In my tears. It’s absurd!
I weep more, the damper I get.

So cheer me with wheezes and sprees, 
So I laugh in my green sleeve with glee.
Shout “Whoopee!” at the moon: 
I must stop weeping soon,
From this puddle I want to be free!

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