Joel S. Berson
Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Nov 4 17:51:20 UTC 2009
There's disappointment and perhaps discovery in the "19th Century UK
Periodicals" database (Gale). In summary, I did not find "limerick"
associated with "rhyme" or "poem", but I did find one limerick from
1878 and a few more through 1894.
This may be only momentary, as I did not have the time or energy last
night to go further than the searches below. And I neglected to
check whether "limerick" will also find "limericks".
All searches with "before 1895".
limerick + sporting times = none.
limerick [alone] = 344. I didn't examine these.
limerick + rhyme[s]/poem[s] = none.
will/won't you come up = none.
there once was + limerick = none.
there once was = 23. See "Discoveries" below.
8 poems, of which 6 I will certify to be limericks (actually, one is
half limerick and half a 4-line ABAB rhyme), nearly all with amusing
illustrations (some of which are signed or initialed).
1878, St. Nicholas [London], Jan. 1, p. 222; from British Library
[earliest limerick of the 8; perhaps a beta release since it uses the
same word twice]:
There once was a man with a child
Who, the neighbors said, never had smiled;
But the father said, "See !
Smile in this way, like me,
And then folks will know when you've smiled.
Other limericks from:
1883, St. Nicholas, Jan. 1, p. 224, from British Library - There once
was a youngster named Dcik [no, don't get excited]
1884, St. Nicholas, Aug. 1, p. 815, from British Library - There once
was a ver-y rich pig
1889, The Boy's Own Paper [London], Nov. 9, p. 96 - see below.
[date unknown], Little Wide-Awake: An Illustrated Magazine for
Children [London], p. 138, from Trustees of the National Library of
Scotland - There once was a dear little soul
1894, The New Zealand Graphic and Ladies' Journal [Auckland], July 7,
from British Library - see below.
The 1889 is the portmanteau:
There once was a funny old Sioux,
Very partial to having a chew
Of fresh Betel Nut,
And enjoyed a prime cut
Off a nicely baked Captive or two.
For he was a Cannibal bold
While he had a sound tooth in his head,
But when they wore out, I've been told,
He seemed to prefer home made Bread.
And the 1894, which amused me:
There once was a woman called Mrs.
Who said, 'I don't know what a Krs.'
But a fellow in haste,
Put his arm round her waist,
And quietly answered, Why, Thrs.'
3. Future Research?
Ensure that "limerick" and "limericks" return the same set of results.
Try "limerick[s]" + Oxford.
Try "limerick" - lace, gloves, [fish]hooks, pattern, glasses, and pig-jobbers.
Look into the 344 "limerick" returns.
Any other suggestions?
At 11/1/2009 10:25 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
>We have Limericks (poems) securely named as currently defined from
>1895. We have
>1880 and 1881 US uses of "Limerick Rhymes" that may be the same poem type.
>"Limerick Rhymes" in 1896 in UK reliably is the poem type. The US uses of
>"Limerick rhymes" may have been tacked on to a plagiarized 1879 book set in
>Qxford. So, maybe start with "Limerick Rhymes."
>If you're still interested, maybe try "will/won't you come up (come up) up to
>Limerick (town)" that we have in 1898ff as a claimed Limerick composition game
>chorus and claimed years later by his son as 1880 in Oxford when the (CE)
>Bishop of Limerick got an honorary degree, supposedly chanted (though not
>necessarily with Limerick poems included, just the chorus).
>I'd try "come to Limerick" (meaning "surrender," "get with the program," etc.)
>Maybe exclude [Limerick(s)]: gloves, lace, fishhooks, tobacco.
>Maybe Limerick(s) plus "there was an old/young..." or plus Oxford.
>PS IIRC Charles L. Graves, the Bishop's son, eventually wrote for Pink 'Un,
>though later. Also Wilkes the owner of a NY newspaper (with 1863 poems) once
>owned Police Gazette (the 1880 Limerick source), and similar to Pink 'Un.
>Kipling was in the US when an 1895 letter from his publisher Heinemann
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