More Texas Limericks
A few weeks ago I did a column about that great literary form—the limerick. The piece was inspired by a David Stewart article in the September 2002 issue of Smithsonian. I undertook a search to find limericks related to Texas. I located a few and presented to you along with my scholarly analysis. I requested your help in finding additional limericks about Texas and I have been whelmed by your response. I now have page after page of Texas limericks of which only 8 are fit to publish. It should be noted that many limericks are published anonymously so are immediately in the public domain without attribution. Since most limericks have a tendency toward the risqué, some authors are reluctant to admit authorship.
I will follow the same format as before, i.e., I will present the limerick and a brief scholarly commentary.
The first limerick comes from Dallas and refers to a very exclusive upscale area that is called by some “the land of the overprivledged.” The houses currently available in Highland Park range in price from $300,000 to $30,000,000.
Here’s a young fellow from Dallas
The poem was likely not written by someone from Highland Park because no one from Highland Park would take such a self-deprecating view of him/herself. Also, few living in that area would take time off from watching their money to write such a silly poem.
The next poem was probably written before indoor plumbing was widely available—so that would put it in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s.
There were two Lufkin brothers named Byrd.
The poem expresses the reluctance of the local populace to remove the brothers from the place of their demise. Since it was apparently a somewhat rural location, it served as the final resting place for the Byrd brothers.
It is possible that the next poem was written as advertising copy for a well-known depilatory only to have it rejected by the executives of the product’s manufacturers. Advertising writers who have been disgraced by such rejection often turn their talents to writing trashy limericks. It becomes an addiction which needs professional treatment.
The following poem has probably been altered so as not to offend the sensitivities of –well sensitive persons.
A hefty young woman from Dalhart
Although the person responsible for altering this poem must have felt he/she was providing a much-needed service, it really took what was very likely a literary gem and rendered it worthless. I don’t even know why I included it in its present condition.
Although Decatur is not just a Texas city (other states have Decaturs as well; see Alabama and Georgia), the attached footnote places the poem clearly in the Texas domain.
A gorgeous young lass from Decatur
* For the sake of rhythm this word must be pronounced in the manner of the Arts and Sciences Dean at Sam Houston State University.
Although Texas has produced many well-known and highly regarded performers, not everyone who aspires to the stage makes it. This poem was probably written to commemorate those who didn’t.
Two young men from Lampasas
This poem is again possibly advertising copy for one of the major optometry companies. There was a period of time when glasses frame-makers considered the small round lenses to be very stylish. It was a reaction against the large horn-rimmed glasses that were popular in the early 1960’s. I never actually saw an ad featuring this poem.
Our capital city is Austin
Scrod is a past pluperfect verb form that is almost never used in Texas and probably rarely used even in Boston although it is more likely to be used there than in Texas. On that basis it would seem likely that the poem was written in Massachusetts rather than Texas. That line of reasoning is somewhat suspect because the poem starts, “Our capital city…” and includes the line, “ Here you can get cod,” which would lead one to think we had a Texas author. I don’t know where it was written—maybe in Iowa.
Houston’s a big dirty city.
The author of this poem alludes to the perception that the Republican Party extends special favors to big business, such as not requiring business to meet reasonable clean –air standards. It also recognizes that the air in Houston on most days is the dirtiest in the United States.
Well, there you have it. Installment two of Texas limericks. I will be happy to receive any Texas limericks you find or write. When there are enough fit to print and I’m the mood for limericks, I will share them with you.