nine ferrets in a bottle

minnow at minnow at
Thu Sep 23 12:01:09 EDT 2004

Paul cavilled:

>On Wed, 22 Sep 2004, Otter Perry wrote:
>> One of the great discoveries of my life was the tune to which the
>> following may be sung:
>> The common cormorant, or shag,
>> Lays eggs inside a paper bag.
>> The reason you will see, no doubt;
>> It is to keep the lightning out.
>> But what these unobservant birds
>> Have never noticed is that herds
>> Of wandering bears may come with buns
>> And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.
>> The tune is 'Greensleeves'.
>Not unless what you mean by 'Greensleeves' is quite different from
>what I mean by 'Greensleeves'. (Or you go twice through the verse
>without going to the refrain, I suppose.)

You have to cheat a bit, but "With a bit of adjustment *anything* scans to
Greensleeves." (M. Whitaker, replying to the advice "Do not meddle in the
affairs of bards, for your name is funny and scans to Greensleeves".)

I think those words go well to "The Red Flag".


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