troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Bawdy Song
"There was a girl named Lulu
She lived quite a ways from town, very far
I bought her a car
Then I bought her a truck
First I taught her how to drive
Then I taught her how to...
Bang away my Lulu!
Bang away good and strong
Bang away my Lulu
Bang away good and strong
What will I do for a bang away
When my Lulu's dead and gone?"
— Ribald song from Robert A. Heinlein's To Sail Beyond the Sunset

A song or poem which includes ribaldry for purposes of bonding and general letting-off-steam. May also be called a Barrack-room Ballad, a Rugby Song or a Hash Hymn. The level of ribaldry may range from mere Double Entendre to the kind of explicit lyrics that send Moral Guardians into conniptions.

Such songs are sometimes used as a nod towards Getting Crap Past the Radar, a character will be singing a well-known bawdy song and cut off a split-second before actually singing anything obscene. Including snatches of bawdy songs in a scene indicates that characters are becoming relaxed and uninhibited (at the very least). If the song happens to be something as explicit as "The Good Ship Venus" or "Barnacle Bill the Sailor," they are probably way past just "relaxed".

An unseen incident of the singing of a bawdy song may be used to indicate that someone was drunk and disorderly or otherwise "out of order", especially if children, nuns or The Vicar happened to be present. Allusion to the vicar knowing such a song is a deliberate example of incongruity. Rick the Vic from Hellblazer probably knows them all.

In order to indicate that an older character is a "bad influence" on children, a child may sing a bawdy song after visiting him/her. In such cases the chosen song is usually one of the less explicit examples, "Roll Me Over in the Clover," for example.

Many bawdy songs are themselves trope-laden, being replete with stereotyped characters, "wardrobe malfunctions", slapstick and cliches. Many are also examples of pastiche and parody or possibly Fan Fic, being set to the tune of "real" folk songs, pop songs etc.: for example, "Irian Jaya" to the tune of "Mull of Kintyre," "Masturbation" to "Alouette," "Incest is Best" and "Bestiality's Best" both to the tune of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport." Sometimes even national anthems ("Life Presents a Dismal Picture" to "Deutschland ‹ber Alles" and "Ou Est La Papier" to "La Marseillaise"). Prisoners at Colditz Castle in WW2 had a lot of creative fun re-writing the German national anthem; the mildest version they came up with was "Deutschland, Deutschland ‹nter Alles."

These are often... in fact, almost always... sung when the character doing the singing is totally plastered.

For professional musician's songs with sexual themes, see Intercourse with You.


Examples:

Comic Books
  • In Hellblazer, John Constantine frequently sings these when drunk or sentimental, for example, during a The Books of Magic crossover, he was singing "The Good Ship Venus" but cut off suddenly at the sight of the still-underage Tim Hunter. On the occasion of his Forgotten Birthday he was singing "The Woodpecker's Hole" while relieving himself in an alley, breaking off as he realised he'd pissed on The Phantom Stranger's boots.
  • Subverted in Evan Dorkin's Fun With Milk & Cheese, in the renaissance fair episode, which has Milk and Cheese singing their "Lusty Drinking Song":
    Hear our LUSTY DRINKING SONG! BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH! LUSTY DRINKING SONG! DRINKA-DRINKA-SONG!!!

Fan Fic

Film
  • A film parodying British sex comedies of the 1970s is titled Eskimo Nell after the most notorious bawdy song of them all.
  • The 2007 film version of Beowulf has the Geats singing songs of this sort.
  • The famous whistling scene in The Bridge on the River Kwai is an attempt to get "Hitler Has Only Got One Ball" past the radar.
    • The song is called the "Colonel Bogey March," and has been a favorite for adding smutty lyrics to since 1914. It was supposedly inspired by an officer who whistled the first two notes instead of shouting "fore" on the golf course, so the song was insulting even when given its original title.
      • Or not, considering that a "bogey" then, was what we today call a "par". Being called a scratch-player is probably NOT an insult anywhere.
    • "Colonel Bogey March" inspired a Call Back of sorts about a decade after Bridge On The River Kwai was released when the Smothers Brothers did a comedic performance of the South African marching tune "Marching to Pretoria" in which they briefly stopped the song to discuss their favorite marching songs. They briefly reference "Colonel Bogey" (which they mistakenly call "March of the River Kwai") and note that you could never sing it because it was all whistling...then surmise that the song's lyrics must have been dirty, which is why they had to be whistled instead. Then, when they start singing again, one of them shifts to whistling just as their improvised lyrics are getting really naughty, prompting the audience to laugh.
  • In the movie Heartbreak Ridge Clint Eastwood's platoon sing ''Model T Ford and a tankful of gas, mouthful of pussy and a handful of ass!" while jogging past their stuck-up CO, Major Powers, who is standing next to a female marine. She is a good deal more amused than he is.
  • Mondain from Les Choristes, being the resident Delinquent, loves singing these in the face of the teachers. Maxence almost kicks him to the punishment room, before cheerful music teacher Mathieu notices his baritone would be great for his choir.
  • Surprisingly (or not so much, if you're one of those surprised that this is supposed to be a children's film), Coraline has one in the form of Other Spink and Other Forcible's stage play, in which they argue over whether the ass or the boobs is a more important seduction figure.
    A big-bottomed sea witch may bob through the waves,
    And hope to lead sailors astray.
    But a true ocean goddess
    Must fill out her bodice
    To present an alluring display.
  • This Is Spinal Tap had songs such as "Big Bottom," "Sex Farm," and "Lick My Love Pump" (the latter played without lyrics)
    • Nigel sits down at a piano and plays something that sounds vaguely classical. He explains it's a kind of cross between Mozart and Bach. It's only at this point that he reveals the title is "Lick My Love Pump."
      • This is, of course, a reference to Mozart's canon "Lick Me in the Arse". Yes, that's the translation of the title.
  • Charlie Chaplin is to sing one as part of a musical act in Modern Times... only he loses the paper on which the lyrics are written, and has to use pantomime and gibberish. He brings the house down.
  • The Jukebox Musical Oh! What a Lovely War included a version of the folk song "Christmas Day In The Cookhouse" where the dirty rhyming words are blatantly dodged.
  • In the 2010 Robin Hood movie, there was a scene in which a lute-playing member of the Merry Men started to sing this song:
    Blessed be my darling / I loves you all to bits / I'll climb up to your chamber / And over your mountainous —
  • The Wicker Man. The customers at a pub engage in a lusty rendition of "The Landlord's Daughter", to the annoyance of the straightlaced protagonist and the amusement of Willow, the Really Gets Around daughter of the pub's landlord. As Christopher Lee said in the DVD Commentary, it's a good song for when you've got a pint in your hand.
    • The full version of "The Tinker of Rye" (sung by Diane Cilento and Lee himself) might count as an example even if it doesn't sound like one, less bawdy and more reliant on subtle Double Entendres.

Literature
  • In A.N. Wilson's The Vicar of Sorrows, an evangelical lady suggests to the vicar that modern, upbeat hymns would be better for the Easter procession than the traditional hymn he always uses. He responds that if they ditch the traditional hymn, then they can sing "Eskimo Nell" for all he cares. This leads to the lady, who has never heard of this song, asking various other parishioners about it and whether it would be a good song to sing in the Easter parade, spreading scandal about the vicar's morals and mental health. Eventually she finds a copy of the lyrics in a book of erotic poetry from the library; given that she is a self-appointed moral guardian, the look on her face as she read it can only be imagined!
  • Mentioned a number of times in the Discworld novels. Two of Nanny Ogg's favorite tunes are "The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered at All" and "A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob on the End". In Going Postal, a drunken banker is described as singing "the sort of song that is hilarious to rugby players and anyone under the age of eleven". There was also the song "All The Little Angels (How Do They Rise Up)", a marching song from the novel Night Watch, and described as the best kind of song for old soldiers—sentimental, with dirty bits.
    • Fans have of course written their own lyrics to Nanny Ogg's songs, some of which were printed in the aptly named fanzine The Wizard's Knob. You really don't want to read them.
    • This creativity on the part of the fans led to a priceless dedication in the UK edition of Witches Abroad: "To all those people - and why not? - who, after the publication of Wyrd Sisters, deluged the author with their version of the words of 'The Hedgehog Song'. Deary deary me..."
    • A version of "A Wizard's Staff" appears on the From The Discworld CD (words by Heather Wood, music by Dave Greenslade).
    • Pratchett deconstructs this kind of song in Monstrous Regiment, including a scene where the squad of female soldiers criticize the numerous Double Entendre-laden songs treating as humorous a man seducing a woman and then abandoning her when she's pregnant.
      It's in May, it's about sex.
    • Then there's this from Eric: "— vestal virgins, Came down from Heliodeliphilodelphiboschromenos, And when the ball was over, There were —" which alludes to "The Ball of Kerrymuir". Google at your leisure, preferably at home. The verse in question, the only clean one in the entire (extremely long) song:
      Four and twenty virgins
      Came down from Inverness,
      And when the ball was over
      There were four and twenty less.
    • Soul Music gives a mention to "Gathering Rhubarb" as a "...song you can snigger along to...". While there are no lyrics given in the book, the Cosgrove Hall animated adaptation did include it. The version used in the actual production is cut short, but it can be heard in full (and with transcribed lyrics) here.
  • There's a passing mention in The Once and Future King of an old song about an Old King seeing with each verse more and more of a fair maiden. We only hear the (heavily-accented) first verse:
    "Whe-an Wold King-Cole / was a / wakkin doon-t'street,
    H-e / saw a-lovely laid-y a / steppin-in-a-puddle.
    She-a lifted hup-er-skeat
    For to
    Hop acrorst ter middle,
    An ee / saw her / an-kel.
    Wasn't that a fuddle?
    Ee could'ernt elp it, / ee Ad to."
  • In the Sven Hassel novels the songs "I Was Born And Brought Up In A Brothel" and "The Girl Who Made Love To Electricity" are mentioned several times, fortunately (?) without lyrics.
  • Eve Forward's book Anamist has a song sung by a sailing crew that apparently describes "various obscene things that could be done with most of the trading races."
  • The Dune series has the slightly bawdy song that is not explicitly given a title in the series, focusing mainly on prostitution:
    The Galacian girls will do it for pearls,
    And the Arrakeen do it for water!
    But if you desire dames like consuming flames,
    Try a Caladanin daughter!
  • The Wheel of Time ("The Dragon Reborn", to be precise) has a song about an easy girl from Lugard sung in a rowdy Illianer tavern. The beginning is given and sounds rather innocent:
    A Lugard girl, she came to town, to see what she could see.
    With a wink of her eye, and a smile on her lip,
    she snagged a boy or three, or three.
    • But the rest, not given by Jordan, mightily embarrasses Perrin who takes some time to understand what precisely is this song about.
  • Danilo Thann, a bard from Forgotten Realms novels by Elaine Cunningham, used to sing these as a part of his Rich Idiot with No Day Job image and even wrote some himself. The books include a few fragments of the Ballad of the Zhentish Raiders who "kill off all the women / For they much prefer the sheep" and "Elminster's Jest" (see its full lyrics).
  • In Diane Duane's Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky, "a bawdy ballad about the (improbable) offspring of the marriage between an Altasa and a Vulcan" is mentioned.
    Oh I was the strangest kiddie that you ever have seen
    • In that same book, we learn that "the filthiest spacers' song" that Captain Kirk knows is called "The Weird-Looking Thing With All The Eyes And The Asteroid-Miner's Daughter".
    • In another of her books, Honor Blade, a Rihannsu song called "The High Queen's Bastard Daughter" is mentioned twice, but no lyrics are given.
  • In the Castings Trilogy there's one that details the relative merits of girls from different cities. Ash, the son of a pair of folk singers, notes that he learned the song as a child and it took him years to realize just what it was that "the fellows all agree" about girls from Turvite.
  • Thomas Pynchon's books are full of these. It's one of his most notable stylistic tendencies. Gravity's Rainbow actually contains a bawdy song entitled "Bawdy Song".
  • In The Mathematics of Magic by L. Sprague deCamp and Fletcher Pratt, Harold Shea and his companions are captured by The Blatant Beast, and it demands that they recite an epic poem that it hasn't heard before as their ransom for release. The only problem is that the only lengthy poem any of them knows by heart, that the Beast hasn't already heard, is The Ballad of Eskimo Nell.
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe has Venusian expert Benny Summerfield reveal that the "Venusian lullaby" the Doctor sings to Aggedor in the Peladon stories is actually "one of the most bawdy rhymes in the known universe". The Doctor replies "Venusian is a language as dead as dead can be. If I say it's a lullaby, it's a lullaby".
  • In both of the first two Dream Park novels, Gamers keep each others' spirits up while trekking around the Gaming areas with hearty renditions of the likes of "Cats on the Rooftops", the dirtiest verses of "That Real Old Time Religion", and (of course!) "The Ballad of Eskimo Nell". In The Barsoom Project, a modest Gamer bribes another not to finish singing the latter in mixed company; the bribe-giver's brother promptly starts singing "Kafoozalem" instead.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, any song that was a favorite of King Robert was probably bawdy. The lyrics aren't always disclosed, but they have titles like "Her Little Flower", "Milady's Supper", "Meggett Was a Merry Maid," "Six Maids in a Pool", and "When Willum's Wife Was Wet".
  • Referenced a couple of times in the Redwall series, but Narrative Profanity Filter blocks most of them. The only one we see is more Gorn, when Blaggut and Slipp consider "Slaughter of the Crew of the Rusty Chain" an appropriate song to sing in front of children.
  • Between Silk and Cyanide. During World War 2 SOE was using a code based on a poem memorized by an agent. Given that most agents used commonly known poems that they remembered from school, Leo Marks encouraged his code section to make up their own poems to increase security, which got him in trouble with his superiors when someone came across some female decoders writing a dirty ditty about General De Gaulle. Later another superior is unamused when he finds a limerick Marks had written about woman of his acquaintance in The Oldest Profession; Marks quickly assures the officer that the poem was not meant for agents.
  • A group of soldiers sing "Roll Me Over In the Clover" at the end of The Naked and the Dead.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of Hi-de-Hi!, there is panic at the news that Old Partridge, the Punch-and-Judy man who hates children, is singing Eskimo Nell in front of the dear ickle kiddiwinks.
  • In an episode of Dad's Army, there is reference to Godfrey singing a song about a monk while in the pub.
    Captain Mainwaring: Well, at least it was a religious song.
    Private Frazer: (rolls eyes meaningfully) It wuznai' rrreligious!
  • Monty Python had a few of these, such as "Sit On My Face" (to the tune of "Sing As We Go") read it here and "The Lumberjack Song". here.
    • And the more explicit "Penis SongNot Noel Coward Song".
  • And "Anything Goes" - the "Anything Goes" by Cole Porter, that is.
  • In The Goodies episode "Wacky Wales", the Goodies realise that the Druids who are about to sacrifice them are, in fact, a rugby team when they start singing "If I Was the Marrying Kind".
  • The Blackadder episode Beer mentions a couple of songs that might be these: the unheard "I'm Merlin the Happy Pig" and the unnamed partly-heard song about a goblin.
    • Edmund's goblin song. Think about it: the "nosey-wose" is a certain something found between men's legs, and the "feet" are two certain somethings on each side of it...
      • And, of course, "Isn't the goblin (gobbling) sweet?" - "YES!!!"
    • Plus one that definitely is:
      Queenie: And [Melchett was] singing a song about a girl who possessed something called a 'dickie di-do'.
      Edmund: It's a lovely old hymn, isn't it.
      It took a coal miner,
      To find her vagina,
      for the hairs on her dickie-di-do hung down to her knees.
      • To read the whole thing, go here
    • Jazz trumpeter Bix Biederbeck made a film called The Boy with the Big Horn which for some reason had to be renamed on release in the UK...
  • When Hans, a Nazi, is trapped in a POW camp in 'Allo 'Allo! he "proves" he's British by beginning to sing "Hitler has only got one ball" before he's interrupted.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? parodies this with the Irish Drinking Song game.
  • Period drama Upstairs Downstairs has one of these, and it's a Theme Tune Cameo, at that! In her music hall act, Sarah performs the stately march of the opening theme as a rollicking Bawdy Song, "What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Arthur?"
    "What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?
    A blinking stallion, is Uncle Arthur.
    When he goes a-strolling in the park,
    Watch your step, girls, especially after dark.
    Any old skirt's a flirt to Uncle Arthur,
    He's over eighty, but how he can run!
    'Give us a kiss, my dear,' he'd say,
    And tickle you up the boom-di-ay,
    And say it was just an 'armless bit of fun."
    • The complete lyrics are here.
  • In season three of Xena: Warrior Princess, Joxer sings a bawdy version of his theme song, accompanied by an entire brothel. "Just check out my shoe size", indeed.
    • Also, Gabrielle's little ditty in Fins, Femmes, and Gems.
  • Parodied on The Gillies Report with a 'politically correct' version of The Good Ship Venus. The first verse went:
    'Twas on the good ship Venus,
    By Christ you should've seen us!
    The figurehead
    Wasn't made of lead
The third verse:
The ship's dog name was Big Balls'
Though no one knew exactly why he was called that.
There was nothing remarkable about the size of his knackers,
And the name was gratuitous and offensive.
  • A few lines of different bawdy songs will appear on Mash every once in a while, most notably one Colonel Potter (a WWII vet) sings:
    Potter: Oh, I love to go swimmin'
    With bow-legged women
    And swim between their legs
  • Fran asks Bernard to sing one of these in Black Books because he is Irish. He refuses, so she attempts one herself, in a very bad Irish accent.
    Oh, Eamonn, Danny, dear,
    I miss the Galway Bay,
    And I'll sing for all I've got!
    And a riddle-diddle Dublin,
    And a riddle-diddle Donegal!
    THE ENGLISH ARE ALL... BOLLOCKS.
  • The Sir Thomas Neville Servo Consort of the Middle Ages Just After the Plague Singers followed up their "Aire On a Delta Knight" with one.
    Servo, Servo, Servo and Girl-Servo: I love to mush me buggles in me sweetie's Christmas pie...
  • Frasier and Niles:
    Well, some boys go to college
    But we think they're all wussies
    'Cause they get all the knowledge
    And we get all the...umpta, umpta, umpta...
  • In Bottom, Richie sings this version of The Sailor's Hornpipe:
    Do your balls hang low?
    Can you swing 'em to and fro?
    Can you tie 'em in a knot?
    Can you tie 'em in a bow?
    Do you get a funny feeling when they're hanging from the ceiling?
    Oh you'll never be a sailor if your balls hang low!
  • In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and its sequels, the gladiators have a song called "My Cock Rages On". This is apparently the only song they know.

Music
  • Folk Music, full stop. In the words of Granny Weatherwax:
    Granny: I knows all about folk songs. Hah! You think you're listenin' to a nice song about...about cuckoos and fiddlers and nightingales and whatnot, and then it turns out to be about...about something else entirely.
    • Filk music as well since it's the bastard child of Folk Music and sci-fi fandom. The now-infamous song "Banned from Argo" by Leslie Fish is an example.
  • In real life, many songs by The Who have astonishingly risque lyrics ("Pictures of Lily", "Squeeze Box", "Mary Ann with the Shaky Hands" to name but three...)
    • Although in all fairness, "Squeeze Box" is — according to Pete Townshend — a perfectly clean song about a woman who owns an accordion, written to sound like an extended Double Entendre.
  • hide's live-only song "Natural Born Onanist." Fits here since it seems to have been live-only: it was never released as a studio recording.
  • "Sally", by The Police is about a blow up doll ordered from "a special magazine".
  • X Japan has a fair amount of these. Of course there's Orgasm, then there is Stab Me In The Back which is man on man Intercourse with You and Bawdy Song, Standing Sex, and White Poem I, though White Poem is an Obligatory Bondage Song celebrating masochism... all of these are obviously Intercourse with You, but when performed live...
  • Hunting Girl by Jethro Tull deliberately weds the ancient traditions of bawdy folk songs with modern rock and roll.
    • Kissing Willie is even less subtle.
      Nice girl but a bad girl's better.
      Me and Willie just can't help coming when she calls.
  • Samantha Fox's songs are definitely this trope. The titles of her songs might be enough to clarify.
  • AC/DC
    My balls are always bouncing
    to the left and to the right
    Its my belief that my big balls
    Should be held every night.
  • The ending of The Decemberists' "Chimbley Sweep" made listeners do a bit of a double take, as it took at least five listens to figure out this was a bawdy song.
    • Let's not forget "A Cautionary Song" either...
    • Or "Billy Liar." "Decked by a Japanese Geisha with a garland of pearls," indeed.
    • Come to think of it, The Tain is pretty bawdy at times too. Fuck it, let's just say Colin Meloy has a dirty mind.
    • Seriously. Let's not forget the loquacious euphemisms scattered all throughout the Hazards of Love. "Here we died our little deaths," "bent to brush our blushing knees," "Margaret heaves a sigh, her hands clasped to her thigh," "I was wedded and it whetted my thirst..." Need we go on?
    • Meloy is pretty much the king of eloquent sex references. He manages to put them in just about every song, somehow making a melancholy tune about two gay prostitutes sound like poetry.
  • Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' Easy Money is a narrative about a male prostitute. The lyric "He kissed me on the mouth / His hands they headed south / And my cheek it burned" is too subtle for some to completely give it away.
  • Probably the songs Dropkick Murphys are best known for, including "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced" and "The Spicy McHaggis Jig" ("Spicy was big, burly, and strong / His pipes were gigantic and so was his schlong / From city to city, running around / Always looking for chicks over four hundred pounds.")
  • Kevin Bloody Wilson. Go and look him up on YouTube.
  • "Zombie Prostitute" and "Cantina", both by Voltaire and neither safe for work.
  • There is a famous bawdy parody of Cole Porter's "You're the Top," including such lines as, "You're the burning heat of a bridal suite in use."
  • Then there is (are?) "Wit and Mirth: or Pills to Purge Melancholy" by Thomas D'Urfey in six volumes, first published between 1698 and 1720. This is a collection of songs, a rather large proportion of which are quite bawdy. Ed McCurdy mined them for much of the contents of his records (LPs) for bawdy songs on the Electra label, starting with "When Dalliance Was In Flower (and Maidens Lost Their Heads)", in three volumes, followed by "Son of Dalliance", and others. The books have been reprinted at least twice, once in 1876 and again in 1959 (in a limited edition). They now seem to be available as print-on-demand books.
  • The Sex Pistols' "Friggin' In The Riggin'" which is perhaps the best-known version of the old song "The Good Ship Venus."
  • There are loads of bawdy songs from older times; many were "catches" - rounds which, when all the parts were added in, had dirty lyrics start to pop out of otherwise clean verses. Others were just blatantly filthy; still others were "clean"-ish when explained, such as My Man John.
  • Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is filled with bawdy song, much as the original text was.
  • Any number of rap songs, infamously. (Not all are this, but many are.)
  • Anti-Nowhere League's "So What?" (famously recorded by Metallica).
  • Jonathan Coulton's "First of May." "Celebrate spring with a crazy little thing called..."fucking outside"
    • Beautifully Subverted Rhyme - the expected word would be "Love," to rhyme to "grass below you, sky above".
  • The Captain's Wife's Lament. Sea-men everywhere.
  • Ivor Biggun does a great number of these including such gems as "Cue for a Song" which purports to be a traditional Bawdy Song about an old pool player who loses his balls on a cold and wintry night.
  • This was the entire point of Tommy Lee's side project Methods of Mayhem.
  • Khia's ""My Neck, My Back (Lick It)".
  • Da Vinci's Notebook: My Enormous Penis Go on, guess what it's about.
  • The Poxy Boggards sing so many of them they've come out with an album full of them, entitled "Bawdy Parts".
  • David Allan Coe, with some help by Shel Silverstein penned and recorded two albums, Underground Album and Nothing Sacred, which largely consisted of these songs. "Little Susie Shallow-Throat" and "(I Love) Itty-Bitty Titties" are two of the songs, to provide an example.
  • Mojo Nixon has several, most notoriously "Tie My Pecker to My Leg."

New Media
  • Anything on whatfreaks.com (Mostly very desperate attempts at this)

Radio
  • The Howard Stern Show has a whole bunch of these about Robin Quivers. A notable one is "I Want Robin's Bunghole" to the tune of "Welcome to The Jungle".
  • A fairly mild verse or two of one of these these (well, compared to some of the others) is used in the radio play All Is Calm. Since everything else in the play is based off of actual historical text from the time period, which is the very beginning of World War One, it's probably legit, but surrounded by all the other Christmas hymns and accounts of trench life it's one of the funniest moments in the entire thing. The loud Christmas songs drowning out the dirty bits of each verse don't help either.
  • A skit in I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again parodying Listen With Mother (a BBC children's show) presented a song by an Irish folk group. The show's host, appalled at the song's increasingly-bawdy lyrics, finally cleared the group out of the studio by reminding them that the pubs had just opened (at which point they suddenly stampeded off).
  • On Round the Horne there was Kenneth Williams' character of Rambling Syd Rumpo, an itinerant folk singer of questionable old English ballads packed with double entendre and general murkiness.

Theatre
  • Richard Brinsley Sheridan's classic play, The School For Scandal (1777) features one of these. It sounds mild today, naturally, due to changing language and values.
    Verse: Here's to the charmer whose dimples we prize; Now to the maid who has none, sir; Here's to the girl with a pair of blue eyes, And here's to the nymph with but one, sir.
    Chorus: Let the toast pass, Drink to the lass, I warrant she'll prove an excuse for a glass!
    • Sheridan also wrote a poem titled the Geranium which is kind of similar to the Pratchett rhubarb example. In both cases, the plant the woman is interested in is likely something else.
  • In the Australian musical "A Man's Gotta Do What A Man's Gotta Do", the character Muzza recounts his teenage years via masturbation with "The Wanking" (It was free/It was fun/It was more than I'd been banking on)
  • In Hamlet, after Ophelia goes insane, she starts singing these.
  • In Othello, Desdemona's "Willow Tree" song, though not bawdy by today's standards, would have been considered a bit risque in Elizabethan times due to its subject matter.
  • Speaking of Shakespeare, the Elizabethan bawdy song "Watkin's Ale" (That's just the tune, you pervs) became so popular that "a tale of Watkin's ale" was used to denote the entire genre.
  • In a sort of meta-example, the song 'Oom Pah-Pah' from the musical Oliver! both refers to this kind of song and is a very mild example itself.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan of all people manage to slip one of these in to Princess Ida as Cyril (plastered and in drag while infiltrating a womens university) sings to an audience of startled students and teachers. Surprisingly this isn't the incident that actually gets him found out either.
  • And then there's the infamous Earl of Rochester and his 1673 ode to a Signior Dildo.
  • Swedish poet and famous songwriter Carl-Michael Bellman wrote copious amounts of these songs. As well as incredibly emotional and touching songs and often songs were one turns into the other.
  • The musical Funny Girl, which was Inspired By the career of Broadway star and comedienne Fanny Brice, has a number in which the title character is performing a number in which she is dressed as a soldier going off to fight in World War I, and the song she sings references "Mademoiselle from ArmentiŤres" - which is a rather notorious bawdy song which was popular among British soldiers.
  • In Leonard Bernstein's opera A Quiet Place, one of the characters has a psychotic episode where he starts cheerfully singing about how he had "sexy intercourse" with his sister and they "used to do it all the time" and they're Not Blood Siblings and so on.

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • In The Simpsons episode "Deep Space Homer," Homer tries to impress the NASA observers by doing cartwheels while singing a "I once met a man from Nantucket" limerick. He crashes into the wall before he can get to the bawdy part, however.
    • While a rarely-sobered up Barney Gumble manages to cartwheel all the way up through the first verses of the "Major-General's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's Savoy Operetta The Pirates of Penzance.
    • The same limerick is referred to in another episode:
      "Hey, I once knew a man from Nantucket."
      "And?"
      "Let's just say the stories about him are greatly exaggerated."
  • In a similar vein, there was a Mouseketeers take-off on Tiny Toon Adventures where a wheel would be spun to see who would get the next cartoon.
    Babs: Buster, would you like to lead us in the song?
    Buster: Sure! There once was a man from Nantucket —
    Babs: No, no! The other song!
  • A very popular dirty song to allude to in cartoons, that one. Even Sponge Bob Square Pants gets in on the act, in the episode where SpongeBob attempts to sing an apology to Squidward onstage at the local opera. He even has his lyrics prepared on a sheet of paper...
    SpongeBob: (clears throat) There once was a man from Nantucket —
    Audience: (horrified gasps)
    SpongeBob: (embarrassed pause) Erm, sorry...
    • For anyone who doesn't know the limerick in question, it's this one(WARNING: NSFW)
  • Dirty Old Man Iroh of Avatar: The Last Airbender sings a kids' version of this trope while panhandling.
    It's a long, long way to Ba Sing Se / But the girls in the city they look so pretty / And they kiss so sweet that you've really got to meet / The girls from Ba Sing Se!

Bathe Her and Bring Her to MeAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Bed Trick
Answer SongMusic TropesBreakup Song
Awful British Sex ComedySex TropesBedroom Adultery Scene

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
85014
0