Spike revelled in funny poems. He was influenced by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, two famous English poets of the past who also loved extravagant wordplay and nonsensical stories.
His verse was considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense. His most famous poem, On the Ning Nang Nong, was voted the UK's favourite comic poem in 1998 in a nationwide poll, ahead of other nonsense poets including Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. It remains a favourite, and is commonly taught in primary schools in the UK. This same nonsense verse, set to music, also became a favourite Australia-wide, performed week after week by the ABC children's programme 'Playschool.'
Here are a few of my personal Spike Milligan favourites:
On The Ning Nang Nong
On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!
Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up her nose as well, I fear)
All through the night the wind grew worse
It nearly made the vicar curse
The top had fallen off the steeple
Just missing him (and other people)
It blew on man, it blew on beast
It blew on nun, it blew on priest
It blew the wig off Auntie Fanny-
But most of all, it blew on Granny!
Said Hamlet To Ophelia
Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee.
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?