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Friday, September 14, 2007

Noel Coward Remembered (WARNING: PG13)

Yesterday evening I played back all 3 of Noel Coward's vinyls that I own - scratches and all - and was transported to the wonderful days when, on our family wind-up gramophone, Abi and I would listen to "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" (or, later, on my first Zenith Stereo, to that utterly delightful "I Wonder what Happened to Him").

Last night I had a conversation about NC and recalled two of his ribald poems I first heard in the late 60s - from Les Eley at a pub in Manchester (Are you still around, Les?) - over a pint of Bulmer's Extra-Strength Cider. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did.

The Dromedary
The sexual urge of the camel
Is stronger than anyone thinks:
This perverted but passionate mammal
Has designs on the rear of the Sphinx.

But the Sphinx's posterior orifice
Is choked with the mud from the Nile,
Which accounts for the hump on the camel
And the Sphinx's inscrutable smile.


… here's the even more risqué

Those portions of a woman
That appeal to men's depravity
Are fashioned with considerable care
And what to many may appear
A simple little cavity
Is really an elaborate affair.

Now doctors of distinction
Have examined these phenomena
On numerous experimental dames …
And classified these articles
Of feminine abdomena
And called them nice exciting Latin names.

There's the Vulva and Vagina,
And the jolly Perineum,
And the Hymen that one hopes to find in brides;
And lots of little gadgets
That you'd love (if you could see 'em) -
The Clitoris ... and God knows what besides.

So, isn't it a pity
When we common people chatter
Of these mysteries to which I have referred,
That we use for such a delicate
And complicated matter
This very short and unattractive word?

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Anonymous the olive ream said...

Waah! would love this to be recited an evening of Poetry reading. Very Spike Milligan-esque...

Although the rating for the post should be PG 15. "Not suitable for parents, unless accompanied by a teenager of 15 years of age or less.." :)

14 September, 2007 11:54

Blogger kinkminos said...

an interesting aspect of the plowright. i did enjwaay the detached (and very stiff upper lip) way in which he describes the origin-of-our-species (so to speak), as if he were expounding on the rather peculiar migratory habits of the performing flea.

14 September, 2007 17:03

Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

I wonder if that's his real last-name.


24 September, 2007 13:05

Blogger Mima said...

Hi! I found this by googling the "Those portions of a woman" poem - which I found hand-written on a piece of paper folded in a book called "The Illustrated Works of Aristotle", an old Victorian book which is basically all about sex! Obviously the poem was written at a later date but I'm not sure by who - do you know who the original author was? Was it the Les Eley that you mentioned?

I actually have a second verse to it, which I'll write here in case you haven't seen it:

Now eminent professors who examine the geography
Of this obscure but interesting land,
Are able to indulge their taste for intimate topography,
And view the scenic details close at hand.
But we ordinary mortals, whilst aware of the existence
Of complexities beneath the human knoll
Are normally content to view them at a distance
And treat them roughly speaking as a whole.
When we probe into the mysteries of virginity,
We exercise the simple sense of touch,
We do not cloud the issue with meticulous lativity
But call the while affair a such-and-such.
Now men have made this useful but inelegant commodity
The subject of innumerable jibes,
And while the name they call it is something of an oddity,
It seems to fit the object it describes.

Would love to find out any more information about this poem, if you have it!

05 January, 2012 14:45

Blogger Zakintosh said...

Dear Jemima

Thanks for the second verse. I remember hearing it once but had no idea where I could find it.

The author of the 2 verses that I wrote was Nöel Coward, according to Les Eley. (I have no idea where Les is, now. Used to be a "buyer' at Daily Mail and then shifted to an 'island' nearby).

Thanks for writing on my blog. I saw your blog, too. Great!

05 January, 2012 15:36

Blogger Unknown said...

It was written by my father who is 90 years old, many years ago, not Noel Coward. It was sung at Withernsea rugby club with the Eton boating song tune

07 March, 2016 19:40

Blogger Tracy Lynch said...

Sorry...and it has been slightly changed...just a few words.

07 March, 2016 19:41


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