Monday 13 July 2009

There once was a lady from Spain ...

Friday evenings at the English Speaking Group in Madrid are fun. It is about practising the language. It is not a class. I am gratified by the number of people who arrive each Friday, and also, surprised. I mean, it’s Friday night in Madrid, for heavens sake! There are so many alternatives. So Cait and I must be doing something right – or maybe it’s the beer.

In an effort to “ring the changes” each week, we try to “come up with” something new and sometimes original. Last Friday I am not sure if I didn’t make a big mistake. I introduced our Spanish friends to the joys of English poetry. Well, not exactly poetry, but the genre of the Limerick.

In the introduction I gave them a few examples:

A lady who came from Sevilla
Was driving her car with no fear
When told she was good
Said, “That’s understood.
I always drive better with beer”.

A señora, who was very fanatical
Of making her sentences practical
Said, “I want to speak better
Or write a good letter.
But English is very grammatical”.

A lady who came from Sevilla
Was making a Spanish tortilla.
She used potatoes and eggs
A three week old dregs
From a bottle of Cruzcampo beer.

So armed with those examples I set my victims, er guests, in groups with both Anglos and Spaniards, the task of creating their own limericks. And then made them an offer: If the limerick showed promise AND WAS SUITABLE FOR PUBLICATION, I would put them on the blog. There was lots of suspicious laughter, making me suspect that some of the native English speakers were leading our Spanish friends astray. After all, the limerick does have a reputation bordering on the risqué – or downright rude!

The names of the guilty, er responsible, have been given to apportion blame where necessary. Enjoy.

By Alex, Luz, Cristina, Manoli, Sid and Emma

A handsome man from England
Came to Madrid and thought it was dreamland.
Each Friday night he gave monster rants,
But we got fed up and pulled off his pants
And sent him far away off to Greenland.

Hmmm! I wonder who they are writing about!!

There was a young girl called Manoli
Who really enjoyed ravioli
She was very clever
There was no way she’d ever
Marry an ugly panoli.

Debbie, Alejo, Mercedes, Maria José.

There was a young man from Madrid,
You’ll never believe what he did.
He said he came from Sevilla
To flirt with a chiquilla
But she thought he was just a big kid.

Hester, José, Belen, Carl, Mike, Augustin

I heard that the girls of Madrid
Will sing you a song for a quid
And if you are smart
You could win her heart
And for her hand you could bid.

Christophe, Diego, Pedro, Bud, Laura, Gloria (?), Javier, Mylene.

We are so proud. To be Madrileño
We have lived here since we were pequeño
What ever the emotion
We put on the lid
There is no comparison with Valladolid.

I live in Madrid
And I’m proud of it
And of you don’t like it
You can leave or go to Cadiz.

The amazing thing was they all seemed to be looking for a rhyme with the syllable “id”. Now I need a limerick totally in Spanish. The first line could go: “Hay un hombre joven de Madrid, …..”

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with one I made up as another example:

A young señorita from Spain
Said men from Madrid are a pain.
She said, “My greatest wish
Is a man who’s English,
And I’ll do it again and again”.

Ladies, take note.
There will be a more sensible post tomorrow.
Contributions of limericks about Spain and/or Madrid are welcome. Keep 'em clean or I will dispose of them!


  1. In the spirit of "I'll do it again and again"...

    A woman from near Barcelona,
    Was known as a bit of a moaner.
    The sound of her squealing
    Could be heard through the ceiling
    So her neighbours did nothing but phone her!

  2. OK, now I'm not the first to do the "not entirely publishable" (and because I seriously can't believe this didn't make it to the blog):

    There was a young man from Chueca
    Who was a right Spanish fecker
    We saw him one night
    He gave us a fright
    Because of the size of his pecker!

    Before you dispose of it, Richard, it IS clean. Fecker is nowhere near as rude as the alternative English word and pecker is, well, just a word! Honest.

  3. Oh and by the way, it's Quevedo, not Quevado, and farther away, not further away.

    Honestly, you invite people to improve their English and......


  4. A quibble .. can you correct our limerick so it says "Sevilla" please as it doesn't rhyme properly otherwise and we took much care in the crafting of our verse to get it right. Cheers.

  5. Richard as always, with fervour
    Asked for Limericks that would naturally further
    A grasp of the lingo
    And suddenly, BINGO!
    The fun just went on farther and further

  6. A chica who would not say no,
    Whose passion was more.. fuego
    Attracted the boys
    With an assortment of toys
    Leaving them ¡Hasta luego!

  7. Hay un hombre joven de Inglaterra
    que tiene una gran perra
    por mostrar al mundo Madrid
    y con gran ardid
    y con ayuda de sus fotos
    su lengua, y con gran destreza
    nos muestra la belleza
    de la urbe, el cemento y las motos.

    El nos dice: Madrid es una gran Villa
    pasead por los parques y jardines,
    por los bares y adoquines,
    ¡Es todo una maravilla!

    Nos enseña los rincones interesantes,
    las manías de la gente,
    pero requiere cierta mente
    que todo parezca impresionante.

  8. Actually we agreed not to tell you, but I'll let the rabbit out : It's for the tapas :-)