12 August 2007

A little dose of MacGonigall

This poem landed in my inbox this morning, courtesy of MacGonigall online'sGem of the Day service. This piece in praise of North Berwick makes me want to drop everything and go there right away!

by William McGonagall

North Berwick is a watering-place with golfing links green,
With a fine bathing beach most lovely to be seen;
And there's a large number of handsome villas also,
And often it's called the Scarborough of Scotland, as Portobello.

The greatest attraction is Tantallon Castle, worthy of regard,
About three miles distant to the eastward;
Which in time of war reoeived many a shock,
And it's deemed impregnable and built on a perpendicular rock

The castle was built in times unknown to history,
But 'tis said it belonged to the Douglas family;
And the inside is a labyrinth of broken staircases,
Also ruined chambers and many dismal places.

Then there's the Berwick Law Hill, 612 feet high,
Which no doubt is very attractive to the eye,
And skirted with a wood and a public walk,
Where visitors can enjoy themselves and have a social talk.

The wood is really lovely and enchanting to be seen,
In the spring or summer season when the trees are green;
And as ye listen to the innocent birds singing merrily there,
'Twill help to elevate your spirits and drive away dull care.

Then near by Tantallon is the fishing village of Canty Bay,
Where boats can be hired to the Bass Rock, about two miles away;
And the surrounding scenery is magnificent to see,
And as the tourists view the scene it fills their hearts with glee.

Then away! then away! pleasure-seekers in bands,
And view Gullane with its beautiful sands,
Which stretch along the sandy shores of Fife,
Where the tourist can enjoy himself and be free from strife


Anonymous said...

Are you sure he didn't work for the tourist board?

jams o donnell said...

LOL Roger. On the other hand he could have done with an editor!

Anonymous said...

McGonagall was a genius and epitome of the idea of being so bad you are good! I actually have a whole book of his poems...

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time

I still find it hard to believe he was for real and not invented by Spike Milligan.

Steve Bates said...

Aaaaach! There you go again, jams, giving doggerel a bad name! :)

I believe I prefer Professor MacGonigall in the Harry Potter series, though I'm not sure if her name is spelled the same. She had many virtues, not least among them the fact that she did not write bad poetry.

jams o donnell said...

I know what you mean Skuds definitely so bad he was brilliant!. If only Ed Wood made a film of his life. Hat would have been fitting somehow!

You know you love it Steve! Jusat for that I will make the MacGonigall poems a regular feature!

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I like poems that rhyme. I'm simple like that.

Agnes said...

EWL: khe. I doubt your children would be too happy if you read them McGonnigall poems. You can give it a try but what if they are not SO simple and demand decent bedtime stories and decent poetry instead?

says redwine the ever virtuous nun
drinking red wine in the blazing sun


Jams, you old pervert. You feel so lonely since the IRRT is gone.

jams o donnell said...

I love them when they rhyme and have lousy scansion.. MacGonigall was terrible!

Ach Red, your rhyme scans. YOU will NEVER be an heir to MacGonigall!

Pervert??? IRTR was fun in that it reminded me that there were far more idiotic people than me!

Agnes said...

"Our ancient country,
Proud and legendary land,
Led to new heights
By the hero among heroes,
Nicolae Ceausescu.
Strength and soul of fire,
Best among the men of state
Who ever ruled over
The Carpathian Range.

Comrade Elena Ceausescu,
You, the stateswoman
And scientist of great renown
who brought
New prestige to Romanian science in the

To you we bring a youthful thought
And express our gratitude
From the bottom of our hearts.
"A Happy New Year" to you, good health
For the sake of our country's progress,
For peace and prosperity . . "

We were the country of McGonigalescus. perfect rhymes in Romanian.

jams o donnell said...

I stand corrected Red! To be honest McGonigall is fun in a so bad he's brilliant way, Dermot Hudson and the the juche groupies are fun becasue they are utterly deluded idiots.

To have to live in a world of Morozov and Stakhanovs (or their Romanian counterparts) is a different prospect.

Agnes said...

Your punishment: next time when you go out with friends to a pub, you'll have to recite a long MC F. Gonigall poem. In public. If you don't...

jams o donnell said...

Very well, I will comply. I get the feeling there is a boat with the face of Marx sailing into the Thames Estuary, yes?

Agnes said...

Viva la evoluciĆ³n!

Steve Bates said...

EWBL, you'd love my stuff. It rhymes. It scans. It abuses good taste. It decries the GOP. Well, OK, you probably wouldn't like those last two characteristics...

Do it, jams. You're right: he's so bad he's worth reading to the children as a bad example!

And one for redwine...

A ship of Marx sails in the Thames,
His face held up with props and shames,
Encrusted with the rarest games...
For sanity, the prospect dames.

(Hey, it passes the spell checker, and it rhymes if one assumes "-ames" is pronounced consistently throughout...)

jams o donnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jams o donnell said...

I will hide. perhaps Anna Planeta will not find me!

Steve you have missed your calling!