William Schwenck Gilbert ( )


The Bab Ballads. King Borria Bungalee Boo


King Borria Bungalee Boo
   Was a man-eating African swell;
His sigh was a hullaballoo,
   His whisper a horrible yell
   A horrible, horrible yell!

Four subjects, and all of them male,
   To Borria doubled the knee,
They were once on a far larger scale,
   But hed eaten the balance, you see
   (Scale and balance is punning, you see).

There was haughty Pish-Tush-Pooh-Bah,
   There was lumbering Doodle-Dum-Dey,
Despairing Alack-a-Dey-Ah,
   And good little Tootle-Tum-Teh
   Exemplary Tootle-Tum-Teh.

One day there was grief in the crew,
   For they hadnt a morsel of meat,
And Borria Bungalee Boo
   Was dying for something to eat
   Come, provide me with something to eat!

Alack-a-Dey, famished I feel;
   Oh, good little Tootle-Tum-Teh,
Where on earth shall I look for a meal?
   For I havent no dinner to-day!
   Not a morsel of dinner to-day!

Dear Tootle-Tum, what shall we do?
   Come, get us a meal, or, in truth,
If you dont, we shall have to eat you,
   Oh, adorable friend of our youth!
   Thou beloved little friend of our youth!

And he answered, Oh, Bungalee Boo,
   For a moment I hope you will wait,
Tippy-Wippity Tol-the-Rol-Loo
   Is the Queen of a neighbouring state
   A remarkably neighbouring state.

Tippy-Wippity Tol-the-Rol-Loo,
   She would pickle deliciously cold
And her four pretty Amazons, too,
   Are enticing, and not very old
   Twenty-seven is not very old.

There is neat little Titty-Fol-Leh,
   There is rollicking Tral-the-Ral-Lah,
There is jocular Waggety-Weh,
   There is musical Doh-Reh-Mi-Fah
   Theres the nightingale Doh-Reh-Mi-Fah!

So the forces of Bungalee Boo
   Marched forth in a terrible row,
And the ladies who fought for Queen Loo
   Prepared to encounter the foe
   This dreadful, insatiate foe!

But they sharpened no weapons at all,
   And they poisoned no arrowsnot they!
They made ready to conquer or fall
   In a totally different way
   An entirely different way.

With a crimson and pearly-white dye
   They endeavoured to make themselves fair,
With black they encircled each eye,
   And with yellow they painted their hair
   (It was wool, but they thought it was hair).

And the forces they met in the field:
   And the men of King Borria said,
Amazonians, immediately yield!
   And their arrows they drew to the head
   Yes, drew them right up to the head.

But jocular Waggety-Weh
   Ogled Doodle-Dum-Dey (which was wrong),
And neat little Titty-Fol-Leh
   Said, Tootle-Tum, you go along!
   You naughty old dear, go along!

And rollicking Tral-the-Ral-Lah
   Tapped Alack-a-Dey-Ah with her fan;
And musical Doh-Reh-Mi-Fah
   Said, Pish, go away, you bad man!
   Go away, you delightful young man!

And the Amazons simpered and sighed,
   And they ogled, and giggled, and flushed,
And they opened their pretty eyes wide,
   And they chuckled, and flirted, and blushed
   (At least, if they could, theyd have blushed).

But haughty Pish-Tush-Pooh-Bah
   Said, Alack-a-Dey, what does this mean?
And despairing Alack-a-Dey-Ah
   Said, They think us uncommonly green!
   Ha! ha! most uncommonly green!

Even blundering Doodle-Dum-Dey
   Was insensible quite to their leers,
And said good little Tootle-Tum-Teh,
   Its your blood we desire, pretty dears
   We have come for our dinners, my dears!

And the Queen of the Amazons fell
   To Borria Bungalee Boo,
In a mouthful he gulped, with a yell,
   Tippy-Wippity Tol-the-Rol-Loo
   The pretty Queen Tol-the-Rol-Loo.

And neat little Titty-Fol-Leh
   Was eaten by Pish-Pooh-Bah,
And light-hearted Waggety-Weh
   By dismal Alack-a-Dey-Ah
   Despairing Alack-a-Dey-Ah.

And rollicking Tral-the-Ral-Lah
   Was eaten by Doodle-Dum-Dey,
And musical Doh-Reh-Mi-Fah
   By good little Tootle-Dum-Teh
   Exemplary Tootle-Tum-Teh!



William Schwenck Gilbert's other poems:
  1. The Modest Couple
  2. The Bab Ballads. Ferdinando and Elvira; or, the Gentle Pieman
  3. The Bab Ballads. The Phantom Curate
  4. The Bab Ballads. The Force of Argument
  5. The Played-Out Humorist


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