Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gregorian Jump Rope Chant

Here's a little Frenchy fable--
Cook put cat bones on the table;
Crossed and crossed and crossed again,
They turned back into cats again.

Black as pitch,
Black as sin.
Where had all those pussies been?

Outside the Bishop's window, singing--
Cracked the bells and stopped them ringing;
The Bishop fumed, the Bishop frowned,
He read his bible upside down.

Call the Cardinal,
Call the Pope.
Tell them bring some strong lye soap.

Pox on Monday, Tuesday plague--
Cook serves raw piano leg;
Sister's late, where has she been?
At the bottom of the Seine.

Voici le chien, voici le chat--
Voici les jambes, aussi les bras;
The Bishop and his whole Cathedral,
Wide the arch, so small the needle.
_______

for Fireblossom Friday "devils"

the French lines say: "Here's the dog, here's the cat, here's the legs and also the arms" There is also another way to read it, but I'm not telling. 

23 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

"Cook serves raw piano leg"

how your mind works just amazes me... :)

Sioux said...

I agree with TexWisGirl. As Joni Mitchell sang it, "Man, the girl is twisted." In a good, brilliant way, of course.

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Actually, Annie Ross of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross wrote "Twisted," and sang the orig. version, but Joni is good, too.

You are indeed a twisty little crunchy delightfully salty pretzel of a poet, and I loved this to death! Love, Amy
A bit of irony for you:
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/07/13/housewife-envy-trifecta-sun-whirl/

Tania A said...

Love this.

"Black as pitch,
Black as sin.
Where had all those pussies been?"

I can see myself using this little chant as I jump rope.

Laurie Kolp said...

You devil, you. Love it!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a wonderfully macabre sing-a-long jump-rope song, written with a wry nod to the arcane.

Mama Zen said...

"Pox on Monday, Tuesday plague--"

Exactly!

Mary said...

I know....the devil made you do it! Good one, Shay.



"Wide the arch, so small the needle." I love that line!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

O!M!G! I LOVE this, the content, the rhythm, the rhyme. LOVE it. Especially the cats turning back into cats again!HOW do you DO it??????

Kay L. Davies said...

Fabulous, Shay! So glad I didn't miss this one. You had me ready to believe little French girls actually sang this. SO well done.
K

Herotomost said...

I feel like its Halloween! I love this little ditty, you can bring out the best regardless the subject matter. Love the prompt and loved this.

Susan said...

You have channeled the age and the spirit of the French macabre! I have heard tell of this Bishop and his secret alliances with the devil before . . . no, seriously, how do you think they all knew enough about the devil to prosecute Joan and others?

But this is fun! I would jump to it if I could, and rebirth a cat, and --about the end--I would look at that.

flipside records said...

This is really sad. It sounds so fun and funny, but what you're actually saying is quite tragic. It's probably based on something in the news that I should know about. But I try to avoid current events like the Pox and the Plague, kind of like the changing of days on the Gregorian calendar.

"cat bones" and "raw piano leg" were very clever, as well as the singing cats/sisters stopping the bells from ringing.

I love the last line. Wide the path, narrow the gate. Fitting through the eye of a needle. Needle in a hay stack. And probably a touch of the mental illness needle as well as the death sentence needle.

Sorting the body parts found in the river---quite a haunting visual.

"Tell them bring some strong lye soap." ... This is a disheartening punishment. As if a good scrubbing could right things.

Peggy said...

Fun to read this macabre tale despite its disturbing message. I think it is the rhythm that makes it feel lighter. Interesting prompt. Thanks. I am thinking about the DEvil.

Rene Foran said...

This is crazy as all get out, that's why I adore it.

Lolamouse said...

I can imagine myself as a child singing this! Yes, I was a rather odd child! Love, love love this! It's macabre but fun, sorta like Gorey, whom I adore!

Hannah said...

Devil indeed...there's some sick shit behind that robed facade.

Your words bring humor...just enough to lighten the grimness of meaning.

Love your closing lines...brilliant, "wide is the arch, so small the needle."

Excellent response to a thought-provoking prompt...thank you, Shay!

bodhirose said...

I love everything about this...what a talent you possess!

Lynn said...

That's so cool that you incorporated French into it. :)

Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Mansfield said...

Dark and disturbing, bordering perilously close to insanity...I love this so much! Now I just need to find myself a jumprope :)

Mystic_Mom said...

Dr. Seuss meets MacBeth and then they sang a poem to your Muse...and this came to life. WOW!

myheartslovesongs said...

devilish, indeed!