Free Poem Friday: “Jenny Kissed Me” and parodies thereof

Has anybody had a good week today?  I’m sort of assuming no.  As an Onion article so aptly put it, “Maybe next time we have a week, they can try not to pack it completely to the fucking brim with explosions, mutilations, death, manhunts, lies, weeping, and the utter uselessness of our political system,” said basically every person in America who isn’t comatose or a complete sociopath.  And that doesn’t even include earthquakes or personal traumas and inconveniences, or the ridiculous piles of snow still floating down outside my window.  This week is basically the worst.

I might end up posting twice with poetry today, because it would be nice to include something heartfelt.  But right now, I need a love poem and a lot of silly parodies, and luckily, the internet was happy to oblige. 

“Jenny Kissed Me” is a poem by Leigh Hunt that dates to the early 19th century.  It’s one I’m very fond of.  Love poetry is basically my favourite all of the time, and I especially love poems that are rhythmic and rhyming and (best of all!) short.  You might know it, too:

“Jenny Kissed Me” – Leigh Hunt

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I’m growing old, but add
Jenny kissed me.

See?  Charming.  But also ripe for imitation, and I had the good luck last night of running into quite a few parodies of it. Some are fairly true to the source, as in this one by Paul Dehn:

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,

Jumping from the chair she sat in;

Time, you thief, who love to get      

Sweets into your list, put that in!

Say I’m weary, say I’m old,      

Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,

Say I’ve had a filthy cold      

Since Jenny kiss’d me.

This one has a similar idea to Dehn:

Jenny Merely Kissed Me – Bruce E. Newling

Jenny Kissed me when we met.

She, Adorned in silk and satin,

Told me, “That is all you get;

And as you leave, don’t let the cat in”

Retrospection makes me glad:

Dread disease perhaps thus missed me.

God knows what I might have had

Had Jenny More than merely kissed me.

But some go a bit further afield than just Jenny:

“Osculation” – Henry Sydnor Harrison

Sarah kissed me when we met,

So did Kate and Belle and Dora,

So did Jane and Violet,

Dolly, Claribel, and Flora.

They all liked me pretty well-

And-dear girls-they never hid it.

I don’t like to kiss and tell–

Still they did it.

Later in the day I met

(And saluted!) Maude and Daisy,

And I also kissed Cozette,

Clara, Julia, Ruth, and Maisie.

Oh! I’m sorry for Leigh Hunt,

I who’ve had so many, many,

While poor Leigh’s one vaunted stunt

Was with Jenny.

Harrison wasn’t the only guy with that idea, though:

“Such Stuff as Dreams” – Franklin P. Adams

Jenny kiss’d me in a dream;

So did Elsie, Lucy, Cora,

Bessie, Gwendolyn, Eupheme,

Alice, Adelaide, and Dora.

Say of honor I’m devoid,

Say monogamy has miss’d me,

But don’t say to Dr. Freud

Jenny kiss’d me. 

And here’s one for the Baby Boomers:

“Elvis Kissed Me” – T. S. Kerrigan

“Elvis kissed me once,” she swears, sitting in a neon dive ordering her drinks in pairs.

Two stools down you nurse a beer,

sensing easy pickings here.

“Back in sixty-eight,” she sighs,

smoothing back her yellow hair.

Teared mascara smears her eyes.

Drawing near, you claim you’ve met,

offer her a cigarette.

“Call me cheap,” she sobs, “or bad,

say that decent men dismissed me,

say I’ve lost my looks, but add,

Elvis kissed me.”

This last one, I haven’t found a source for, but I do like it:

Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Knocked me down to the floor with her
Exuberance and passion.
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say my chiropractor’s glad that
Jenny kiss’d me.
 
I do love doggerel.  😀  For a final treat, here’s a choral setting that includes both the original poem and some of the parodies.
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One thought on “Free Poem Friday: “Jenny Kissed Me” and parodies thereof

  1. Pingback: લયસ્તરો » જેનીએ મને ચુંબન કર્યું

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