Sweet Violets [Was: RE: Re: An early "cock"?]

Thu Jun 29 19:28:38 UTC 2006

        Is there a name for this kind of poem or song, where each line
ends or begins with a word that is different from what is expected?
Sweet Violets is one of the most innocent that I've seen.  In some
cases, there is overlap between the expected word and the actual word,
such as when "hell" or "behind" (the body part) is expected but the
actual word is "hello" or "behind" (the preposition).  The children's
song about Miss Susie, one version of which is reproduced below, is an
example of this kind.

Miss Susie had a steamboat, the steamboat had a bell,
Miss Susie went to heaven, The steamboat went to...
Hello operator, please give me number nine,
And if you disconnect me, I'll chop of your...
Behind the fridgerator, there was a piece of glass,
Miss Susie sat on it, and broke her little...
Ask me no more questions, tell me no more lies,
The boys are in the bathroom, zipping up their...
Flies are in the meadow, bees are in the park,
Miss Susie and her boyfriend, are kissing in the...
D-A-R-K, D-A-R-K, dark, dark,
Dark is like a movie, A movie's like a show,
A show is like a TV set, and that is all...
I know I know my ma, I know I know my pa,
I know I know my sister, with the 80 meter bra!
My mom was born in England, My dad was born in France,
I was born in diapers, I couldn't fit in pants.
My mom is Godzilla, My dad is King Kong,
My brother is the stupid one, who made up this dumb song!

John Baker

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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