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Where is Limerick

  • Limerick is a city and the county seat of County Limerick in the province of Munster, in the midwest of the Republic of Ireland. The city lies on the River Shannon, with three main crossing points near the city centre and has a 2016 population of 94,000 inhabitants within its urban area. (
  • The Limerick County Council Website provides all necessary information about Limerick from A to Z - but not about Limericks

What is a limerick

The Lure of the Limerick

"No-one knows for certain how the name of an Irish Mid-Western city came to be associated with the short, irreverent, often bawdy verses of the limerick. Some people believe that it came from the school of poets who lived in Croom, Co. Limerick in the nineteenth century; their specialisation was short satiric verses. The genre became a fixture in Victorian times, due in no small part to the author of nonsense verse, Edward Lear. [...]"

 rhythm                rhyme
 v - v v - v v - (v)   a
 v - v v - v v - (v)   a
       v - v v -       b
       v - v v -       b
 v - v v - v v - (v)   a

For more information and instruction see:

  • The Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear (1812 - 1888) contains 112 Limericks (Online Reader Project Gutenberg)


There once was a man in Calcutta,
Who spoke with a terrible stutter.
At breakfast he said:
'Give me b-b-b-bread,
And b-b-b-b-b-b-butter.'

There was an old man from Peru,
Who dreamed he was eating his shoe.
He woke in a fright
In the middle of the night
And found it was perfectly true.

There once was a young man called Paul,
Who went to a fancy-dress ball.
He thought he would risk it
And go as a biscuit,
But a dog ate him up in the hall.

There was a young man of Bengal,
Who went to a fancy-dress ball.
He went, just for fun,
dressed up as a bun,
and a dog ate him up in the hall.

There was a young lady of Riga,
Who smiled when she rode on a tiger.
They came back from the ride
With the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

There was an old man who said: "Why
Can`t I look in my ear with my eye?
I think I can do it
If I put my mind to it.
You never can tell till you try!"

There was a young lady named Bright,
Whose speed was much faster than light.
She set off one day
In a relative way,
And returned the previous night.

There was a young fellow named Hall,
Who fell in the spring in the fall.
It would have been a sad thing
Had he died in the spring,
But he didn't - he died in the fall.

There was a young girl of West Ham,
Who smiled as she jumped on a tram.
As she quickly embarked
The conductor remarked,
"Your fare, Miss." She said, "Yes, I am."

A remarkable bird is the pelican,
His beak holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week -
But I'm damned if I know how the helican.

She got mad and called him "Mr",
Not because he came and kr,
But because, just before,
As he stood at the door,
This Mr kr sr.
A girl who weighed many an oz
Used language i cannot pronoz,
For a fellow unkind
pulled her chair of behind
Just to see (so he said) if she'd boz.

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly:"Let us flee!"
"Let us fly!" said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

There was an old man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared -
Two owls and a hen
Four larks and a wren
Have all build their nests in my beard."

There was a young person from Perth,
Who was born on the day of his birth.
He was married, they say,
On his wife`s wedding day
And died when he quitted this earth.

There once was a barber at Ealing
Who had a peculiar feeling
That he was a fly
And wanted to try
To walk upside down on the ceiling.

There was a young fellow of Ealing,
Endowed with a delicate feeling.
When he read on the door:
'Don't spit on the floor!'
He jumped and spat on the ceiling.

There was a young lady of Starky,
Who had an affair with a darkie.
The results of their sins
were quadruplets, not twins,
One black, and two white, and on khaki.

There was a young lady of Eton,
Whose figure had plenty of meat on.
She said, 'Wed me, Jack!
And you'll find that my back
Is a nice place to warm your cold feet on.'

There was a young Lady of Lynn,
Who was so terribly thin,
That when she essayed
To drink lemonade,
She slipped through the straw and fell in.

There was a young lady of Kent,
Who said she knew what it meant,
When men asked her to dine
And served cocktails and wine,
She knew what it meant, but she went.

There was a young man of Japan,
Who wrote verses that never would scan.
When asked why this was,
He said:"It's because
I always try to get as many syllables into the last line as I possibly can."