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'The Ring' - Limerick Competition Entries


Limericks and Aphorisms sent in by listeners


Man with incestuous grandchild, should beware kindling precariously piled!

In only 14 hours Wagner conveys the essence of creation,destruction and the human condition distilled from a lifetime
Martin Spaull

He died. She fried.
Peter Noble

As far as Siegfried was concerned, Brunhilde felt that immolation was the greatest form of flattery.
Lucy Vella

Man is seldom in charge of his destiny, even if he forge it himself.
Gareth Williams

It’s only funny until someone loses an eye.
Tam Pollard

The aptly titled 'Ring' - you'll need a rubber one to sit through this lot.
Kate Menzies

By the end of the Ring cycle, Wagner makes sure you are really fired up!
Geoffrey Grayer


Winning Entry
You can bet with a girl like Brünnhilde
(as with Tosca or Mimi or Gilda),
It’s a fall from aloft,
Or the blood that she’s coughed,
Or a meddling parent that’s killed her.
Gaynor Drury

Winning Entry
If Erda was wondrously wise,
Was she fooled by the Wanderer's disguise?
Or did he so vex
With his special effects
That she no longer cared to advise?
Deborah Rohan

Four limericks on Wagner’s Ring Cycle
When swimming along in the Rhine
With maidens who rarely said “nein”,
A dwarf filled with passion
A gold ring would fashion,
And really annoy the Divine.

It’s no wonder your heart fills with hate,
When your wife and her brother do date;
Still, Wotan didn’t oughta
Abandon his daughter
On a hillside at regulo eight.

The eponymous hero, strong-willed,
Takes the ring from the dragon he killed.
He follows a bird
To a tune we’ve all heard,
And runs off with his Aunty, Brunnhild.

When asked the designer said “no,
I can’t make the Rhine overflow,
Nor make horses to fly
Across fire-stained sky
For a five-hour long tale of woe”.
Simon Bower

The Ring has a curse full of danger
To Gods and to Mortals alike
But as in the tales of all ages
The end to the story's in sight.
Jill Beale

Fifteen hours - unless there's an edit
And the libretto - if you have read it
Expansively ranges
To tell of the dangers
Of buying Valhalla on credit
Martin Clay

To Richard Wagner,
from a British admirer
Would Bayerischer Rundfunk ever do
As Radio 3 has done to you?
Barbara Brown

There was a composer from Leipzig
Whose operas were more than a mite big
He was racist and mean
But could set a good scene
With thanks to his patron King Ludwig
Tam Pollard

A soloist living in Tring
Sang all of the parts in the Ring
His 'Ride of the Valkyrie'
Lacked any harmony
For the audience 'twas ten days suffering
David Hooper

Said Siegfried: "Oh, Brunhilde mine
I think I'll just pop down the Rhine."
She said: "You tell Hagen
He drives a poor bargain
And offers his guests dodgy wine."
Tony Watson

Said Wagner to Bulow "in life,
Love of women and power is rife
I'm clearer than Liszt:
The two can't coexist
That's sorted - now where is your wife?"
Ellen Collins

It takes fourteen hours till it's done,
From the dawn till the fall of the sun;
If only Flosshilde
Woke up like Brunnhilde
We'd never have got past Scene One.
Michael Scott Rohan

There was a Nibelungen called Albie,
Who said, "The ruler of the world I'll be."
With the Tarnhelm and Ring
He stole everything.
In time his sad end we all shall see.

A musical nutter called Michael
Sang the whole of The Ring on his cycle
He'd heard it all through
Before he was two
When attached to the chord (umbilical)
Tom Whitehead

Mighty Wotan of gods was the king,
But he coveted Alberich’s ring.
Wagner saw that this story
Could bring him some glory,
So he made it a sixteen-hour sing.
Neil McNaught

Wagner preferred things just so
He promised misfortune and woe
To any who sung
In a non-German tongue
Well just look at poor ENO
Catherine Readings

Young Wotan was a Godly geezer
Who pulled out his eye with a tweezer,
When his wife asked him why,
He said in reply,
That Erda had said it would please her.
Steve McClue

The Ring: upon finishing it
Said Wagner, "It goes on a bit
In fact, looking back,
I'm rather a hack
It's really a big pile of post-Hegelian philosophy"
Jeremy Beardmore

There was a Valkyrie (Brunnhilde)
Whose passion for young Siegfried thrilled her,
But after their fling
He went off with the ring,
And the fire at Valhalla then killed her.
Sheila McNaught

"The Rhinemaidens' gold's just the thing"
Thought Alberich (crafting the Ring),
"To make me the Master
Of Earth, somewhat faster
Than any fat lady can sing."
Alex Flood

All my life "Der Ring" I have known.
It became my spiritual home
Since my Dad as a rule
Would wake me for school
With "Schläfts du, Hagen, mein Sohn?".
Claire Shellis

A Wotan whose real name was Terfel
Just didn't know soulful from cheerful
Please give it a rest
John Tommo's the best
In picking roles, please be more careful!
Lucy Vella

Happy Family
The beautiful Walsung Sieglinde
was one of the god Wotan’s Kinder
Brunnhilde, another,
(Siegmund’s her half-brother!)
crossed dad - and was burnt to a cinder.
Bob Taylor

The dwarves a gold ring did they make,
Which Wotan and Loge did take,
The giants it paid
For Valhall they made,
But Rhinemaidens' hearts it did break.

The scandal of twins making love,
Brought heavenly wrath from above,
The Valkyrie tried
To fight on their side,
But Dad said 'enough is enough'.

A noble young hero, Siegfried,
Was eager to do a great deed,
A dragon he slew,
Away the bird flew,
To Brunnhilde's rock it did lead.

The Rhinegold did Hagen desire,
His greed turned him into a liar,
When Siegfried he killed
Then Brunnhilde willed,
That all be consumed in a fire.
Peter Shirley

There was a Gods' Ruler named Wotan
Who entrusted his son with sword Notung
Dwarf and giant he killed
And won the hand of Brunnhild'
'Ere to Hagen fatally gloating!
Angela Eggleton

When Brunnhild at last blew her top, her
Relations and friends didn't stop her:
"Though she may kill us all,
In a manner most cruel,
It will end this interm'nable opera."
Imogen Foxell

A family as crazy as Wotan’s
Should really be simply verboten
Siegfried just couldn’t tell
That Brunhilde his belle
Was the girl he shouldn’t have woken
Mark Dillon

"Beware" the earth goddess did sing
"Don't mess with the Rhine Maidens' ring"
But Wotan went further
Despite 'aving Erda
And suffered much over that bling.
Peter Noble

Incest and a ring from the Rhine
Made Siegfried (but not Frankenstein!)
He roused Brunhild'from her pillow
They worked up some libido
And left the land of the Gods to decline.
Mischa Foxell

There was a young girl named Brunhilde
Whose siblings were terribly thrilled
When they found out each other
Were sister and brother
Only Fricke she wanted them killed
Mark Dillon

Seiglinde was Seigfried's fair mother
Who conceived him with help from her brother.
Her son forged a sword
To obtain a gold hoard
And took his aunt as his lover.
David Hill

Alberich, by the Rhinedaughters’ glamour wrung
Made a Ring, and the Nibelungs’ hammer rung.
Wotan stole it that day
It was cursed right away
And it all ended in Götterdämmerung.
Katie Barnes

A composer called Wagner we mutter
Was a bit of a nationalist nutter
But he gave us The Ring
(Rather fine stuff to sing)
A piece of pure gold from the gutter
Melford F. Bramble

The mythical horde of Walkure
Ride the skies with Teutonic bravura;
Bearing dead men of valour
They speed to Valhalla
While singing with coleratura!
Rosemary Goodacre

The Ring is enormously long,
but it is full of music and song.
There's incest and theft,
drugs, deception and death,
and staging that's usually wrong.
Bert Coules

First Alberich forges a ring
Then Valkyries to dead heroes sing
But when Notung splits ash
With a terrible crash
The Rheinmaidens end with the bling
Peter S. Dewar

Though we knew love was man's only hope
We denied that foul dwarf a quick grope
In the Rhine we endure
Through Freikörperkultur
While the world's at the end of its rope

I thought that in case that didn't encapsulate enough of the plot I'd add a haiku:

Dwarf renounces love
Gods fulminate. Heroes act
Harmony's restored
Rob Cooper

When love between sister and brother
Resulted in she being Mother
A hero was born
As foretold by a Norn
But gods' downfall was wrought by another
Christine Grove

In the morning the Rheingold departed
When Alberich turned coldhearted
For the rest of the day
They all slaved away
When the gold was back where it started
Andrew Sills

There once was a dwarf called Alberich
With features like those of a witch
He stole gold from three girls
And so a story unfurls
Of tragic proportions in a triptych
David Goddard

A Lancashire bass, now Sir John,
Who tends to go on and on
In caves subterraneous
(With laughter extraneous)
Discovered Das Rheingold had gone.
Robert Boot

There was a young God called Wotan,
who succumbed, like the others, to greed.
amongst trouble and strife,
a lad takes his aunt for a wife,
-well, it's all in the Nib'lungenlied.....
Eric Doughney

A character tenor named Clark,
Avoiding the dread Bayreuth bark,
Emoted with feeling
Whilst freely cartwheeling
And juggling as well for a lark.
Katharine Boot

If crime and corruption's your thing,
you'll find they abound in "The Ring".
With insest,at best,
give "EastEnders" a rest,
and bask in the "Nibelungen's Bling".
Audrey Doughney

I`m Fafnir, and loudly I sing -
At last, at last I have the Ring!
And what`s the odd scale,
Or a long swinging tail
When I flaunt the ultimate bling!
Elizabeth Patrick

It was Wotan's insatiable greed-
Led to giants and dwarves he'd not heed.
In panic and anger he'd build a
Walhalla - and marry Brunhilde
to his grandson, the patsy, Siegfried.
Jonathan Peel

Young Siegmund with passions quite gingery
Found a hole in Sieglinde's lingerie.
He slapped her behind
and made up his mind
To add incest to insult to injury

When Siegfried fell out with Brünnhilde,
He was murdered:
remorsefulness filled her;
Regretting her bargain With Gunther and Hagen
She jumped on his pyre, and it killed her.
Nick Drury

If you don't know your Dad but can sing
and dragons and swords are your thing,
if by dwarves you're confused,
then don't get misused
by a one-eyed old man and a Ring!

Did gods make the gold of our art
To weigh on all sides far apart
So our minds cannot sing
Along with the Ring
With no cares about what did it start?
Max Abrahamson

What a fine opera, 'The Ring'
It takes a great effort to sing.
With a cast that is vast
The performance will last,
From morning until e-ven-ing
John Brown

There was an old tale from the Norse
Taken by Wagner, of course,
To produce that great sing
Better known as "The Ring"
Complete with Brunhilde and Horse.
Brendan Sadler

A certain old missus named Fricka
Has just got a twist in her knicker:
"He lay with the trollop,
She gobbled him all up.
Make sure he gets stabbed with a pricker."
Dafydd Price Jones

In The Ring a significant feature,
Is Fafner, a hideous creature.
“You must have been pissed
To create him”, said Liszt
Wagner said, “He just looks like Fred Nietzsche!”
Brian Clements

Way back in Wagnerian time
Three Maids had some gold in the Rhine.
This put all at odds
And was Death to the Gods
For lack of a ring back on time.
Frank Johnson

In Valhalla the future looks bright,
But the gold brings a terrible blight,
This disfunctional lot,
They scheme and they plot,
You can't say their motives are leit.
Scoular Anderson

From the Rhine to the Volsung
Its all rather far flung
Fifteen hours at most.
Brunnhilde's toast;
What a Gotterdammerung!
Rob Lewis

Cursed gold and a Ring nicked by gods,
For building work, paid two large bods.
To recover the ring
Devised Wotan their King
A game-plan with very long odds.

His daughter - incestuous twin -
Bore Siegfried to bring the gold in.
But, with recycled sword,
He, himself, grabbed the hoard
Then, fearless, his true love did win.

Deceived, through his quaffing drugged wine,
Bereaved by an evil design,
She chose to expire
On his funeral pyre...
The Ring ended up in the Rhine.
Peter Schofield

Alberich was a lusty old Nibelung
He liked to watch Rhinemaidens wiggling 'em
But when shove came to push
He went for their cash
And ended up cursing and diddling 'em
Gillian Hobbs

A fair warrior maid called Brünhild-
Wouldn't do as her poppa had willed.
She shouldered the blame,
Rode into the flame,
And the whole god-dammed shower was killed.
Irene Black

Brunhilde's got plaits and a pout
Dad Wotan's a bit of a lout
He wheels and he deals
He robs and he steals
And generally puts it about
Richard Williams

There was a young Godess, Brunhilde
Got her father so cross he'd have killed her
But he wrapped her in fire
A young buck to inspire
But Seigfried turned up and he thrilled her
Roland Hobbs

Brunhilde a feisty young Godess
Found herself left on her todess
Seigfried was her lord
He turned up with his sword
And what happened next was not modest
Bryn Williams

I rose as early as birds in the trees,
But my lady wife wasn't best pleased.
'Wagner's Ring'?
What is such a thing ?
It sounds like venereal disease
Harry Hagan

Flosshilde, Woglinde and I
Were giving an old dwarf the eye
But our shoulders so cold
turned his thoughts to our gold
and now we do nothing but cry
Colin Mitchell

There was a young god from Valhalla
Well known for his skills and his valour,
But one look at the gold
Turned him instantly old,
With no teeth and a terrible pallor
Jim Ainsworth

Down from her rock, comes Brunnhilde
Dad can hardly pay the builder
Chucks her ring
Powerful bling
Rides through fire, oh dear it's killed her
Andrew Charters

There is once a ring of Rhinegold
fatefully bought and fearfully sold
one ring unkind, one ring too cruel,
heroes fall at cost so great,
gods face fate: none survive at all
until ring returns to Rhine,
whole cycle shall unfold,
gold saga's wrought retold
Jarl Love

Brünnhilde, a spinto Valkyrie,
said to Siegfried "let's do it then, dearie!"
The Ring came between them -
rejection supreme - then
It ended most drearily teary!
Mary Oswell

Siegfried's life in 3 limericks
Siegfried's dad was his mum's long-lost twin
(Grandpa Wotan encouraged their sin).
With magical sword
He killed dragon, stole hoard;
Woodbird sang "Ring! Helm! Girlfriend! Go win!"

He woke up his aunt with a kiss;
Brunnhilde and he sang of bliss;
Drank potion, forgot her,
And gave her (the rotter)
To new mate, and married mate's sis.

Speared by half-brother of his new bride,
He sang of his past and then died.
Brunnhilde, of course,
Leapt in pyre with horse:
The earth and Valhalla got fried.
Dominica Roberts

There once was a dwarf called Alberich
Who acted like a real dick
He forged a ring
Forgot the needs of his thing
And got caught by being thick
Pascoe Foxell (15)

We're only seven hours down the track,
But I think that I'm starting to crack.
My head's in a reel
And already I feel
That I've 'been to Valhalla and back'.
Vanda Hagan

Perhaps I am tempted to call this
an episode staright from Colditz
For such things are here
that can only strike fear
into those we can love and all this
Jeff Earl

There was once a composer called Wagner
Whose politics we wish had been Wauger
He went on at length
It took all our strength
For that Ring to be wrung good and proper.
Rebecca O'Rourke

Set to music, a story of gold,
Of a ring and a hero most bold.
Loot and power attracts -
There are deadly attacks -
'Til a woman saves all, so we're told!
Theresa Cameron

Ring made from love-less Rhinegold
Pays for Wotan's new stronghold
But a hero who's free
Just cannot be
And at Seigfried's death the world folds
Chris OLoughlin

A sneaky old god from Valhalla
Nicks a ring from a dwarf of grim pallor
A rare tale does unfold
Of deeds terribly bold
But its the audience who show the most valour

A drama of gods dwarfs and men
Is being broadcast once again
Yet one never tires
besides warming fires
of wallowing in it till ten
Martin Spaull

"The Ring" is an epic, in song
And it needs, to produce it, a throng
But it isn't as funny
As the one with Bugs Bunny
And that's only six minutes long
Guy Griffiths

Standing outside Valhalla one morn,
Fire-god Loge was looking forlorn,
For, so he said,
The gods would soon be dead,
After all, 'twas foreseen by a norn.

There can hardly be anything wrong
With a plot, a few words and some song.
But I just have to say,
When it goes on all day,
it does seem incredibly long.
Val Ainsworth

The waters of Rhine are quite cold
And the maidens therein none to old
They stupidly tried
To swim when pie-eyed
No wonder they lost the Rhinegold!
Chris Adie

The Ring, tale of gods, dwarves and men
Can be started at eight - or at ten;
It`s a bit indigestible
So to make it comestible
You can go back - and listen again!
Trevor Lunness

With an iPod,a chav and some Bling
people try to update Wagner's Ring.
Well, call me a wuss
But I hate all the fuss.
For me it's old-fashioned thing.
Helen Thomasson

If extravagance ain’t quite your thing,
We suggest you avoid Wagner’s Ring.
Not exactly a laugh,
It is too long by half,
And incredibly tricky to sing.

Awake merry hags of the deep!
Herr Faustus arises from sleep
To steal back the Ring
(his most favourite thing)
And with Flosshild his company keep.

Gluttony, riches and thugs,
Siblings in helmets or hugs,
A baffling storm
And a barnful of gorm-
Less sub-human untrustworthy mugs.
Mark Burden

The Husband
Albericht's greed for the ring
The trouble that it will bring
Wotan cheating on his wife
This is the story of our life

The Wife
He plays it all day
And he plays it all night
But Wagner's ring cycle's
A load of old shite
Richard and Lorna Parkes

Quoth Wotan the old Rhineland sinner,
This quaff is an out and out winner.
It's dark and it's bold,
This pint of "Rhinegold"
Is just what I need with me dinner.
Hilary Atkinson

There once was a German composer,
a story he wanted to tell
of greed, of power, of grief,
each with a leitmotif
But Wagner was a poser,
and as I tried to listen,
into a bored stupor I fell.
Sara Kalvala

Is Wotan a goodie or not?
It's not really clear from the plot.
An ambigious god,
His motives are odd.
But Alberich - he should be shot.
Douglas Lee

Take a ring, and a sword, and a dame
Plus a fella unsure of his name;
They all suffer like hell
which is all very well
'Cos they all know that Wotan's to blame.
Paula Arkell

Some people have always adored
This tale of the Nibelung's hoard,
But in choosing to play
The whole thing in one day
The Beeb may make some of us bored.
Jane Tennant

Brunhilde was smacking her lips,
Whilst scoffing a large cod and chips.
Siegboiled or Siegfried,
It can't be denied,
The batter goes straight on the hips.
Keith Taylor

Wagner came from the east with a Ring
He said listen up but don't sing
They listened and tried
Their brains were quite fried
Wagner said; it's opera not swing
Nick Carter

Let us happily sit through The Ring
As the opera stars do their thing.
After hours of delight
We will call it a night
Insomnia, where is thy sting?

Mr. Wagner performed a neat trick:
“’Not so fast!’ is my maxim”, said Dick.
So for hours in Valhalla
Siegfried wandered, poor fella,
And ended up dead, but not quick.

It took them from morning to midnight
But at last the gods got to their twilight.
A dragon, some Norns,
Incest, helmets with horns,
And some dame on a rock. And now – good night!
Diana Clark

Why else would you find yourself spearless?
You wanted your grandson quite fearless.
He then bedded your daughter.
The ring fell in the water.
Thus ended an opera that's peerless.
David Banks

The ring," Wotan said, "it is mine!
Fron today onwards all will be fine!"
But he would have been wise
To take Erda's advice
And throw it straight back in the Rhine.
Lizzie Neil

Richard Wagner often thought
that Britons generally thought
to ease the aches and pains of art
by playing cricket or such sport.
Surely he would have shown dismay
had he heard a Bank Holiday's 'Ring for a Day'.
'Ring for a week, for a month, for a year.
but a day! that's too brief for one's seat or one's ear'.
Still, Auntie clearly rules the waves
in good Elizabeth's later days
Lizzy Brown

Erst waegen dann wagen the proverb goes
Look before you leap in English prose
Wheelwright Wagner's Ring sounds better
In a day than what it may look like later.
Juicy Brown

Much as I worship Brünnhilde,
and the musical fire that killed her,
I now want prosaic,
not long and archaic,
so I'm listening to Waltzing Matilda.
Tim Morgan

The domestics of Wotan and Frika,
who do nothing but wrangle and bicker,
are so hard to endure
I've been forced to procure
sturdy earplugs and gallons of liquor.
Tim Morgan

That bird with his sweet cantilena,
is far more than a mere entertainer:
with his 'tips of the day',
he's been known to display
the astuteness and skill of Claire Rayner.
Tim Morgan

She's a terrible mother, that Erda:
her offspring are crying blue murder.
For what could be worse
than to carry the curse
of enduring a name like Grimgerde?
Tim Morgan

After hours of implausible kitch,
with a score so elaborate and rich,
I'd forgive you for missing
Brünnhilde's last dissing:
"Gutrune, you're such a Gibich!
Tim Morgan

Said Brunnhilde to Siegfried at tea
'I can't believe that Radio 3 -
A continuous Ring
Is such a marvellous thing
Hojotoho! now please pass the mead'.
Richard Malton

There once was a Bayreuthian builder
Whose dream was to sing like Brunnhilde
But after changing his sex
His wife became vexed
And with a Hagenesque spear-thrust she killed her
Richard Malton

There was a Ring of the Nibelungen
That was very precious to all
Four Operas Wagner wrote
To tell the story he had learnt by wrote
And we get stiff bums by five hours in all.
Gregory Musson

If power and not love your vocations,
Fear heros (they're Wanderer's relations!),
Though it all comes to naught,
Through aid from Loge sought,
and Brunnhilde's self-immolations.
David Moulton

Wagner's great love of profound romance
And other issues of deep resonance
Meant the daughter of Liszt
Just couldn't resist
Getting into the composer's pants
Jeanette Clarke

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