One well morning in the center of the night,Two dead men gained up come fight,Back to ago they challenged each other,Drew your swords and shot one another.

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I doubt it is from the victor era however would it is in interested to recognize if the has any type of definite origins?

Bonus: room there much more of this kind of poem and is over there a surname for this genre the poem?


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It"s old. Like, really old. Therefore old that it"s difficult to tell where it originated.

The publication The Lore and Language the Schoolchildren by Iona and also Peter Opie, published in 1959, catalogues countless different schoolyard poems from transparent the very first half the the twenty century, consisting of the following version the the one you"re interested in:

Ladles and jellyspoons ns stand top top this speech to make a platform the train ns arrived in has actually not however come so i took a bus and also walked i come before you to stand behind you and also tell friend something I recognize nothing about!

One fine job in the center of the night 2 dead men acquired up to a fight back to ago they confronted each other drew their swords and shot each various other a paralysed cheat passing through kicked a blind man in the eye knocked him through a nine inch wall surface into a dried ditch and drowned them all.

I haven"t actually check out the Opies" publication myself, however according come this page:

Opie detailed that this had been accumulated in 12 different schools around the UK, but that it had additionally been collected, with almost no variation, fifty years before. It was most likely older than that, too.

This rhyme many likely advanced from various other nonsense rhymes based on comparable themes: opposites put together, blind people watching, deaf world hearing, and so on. A manuscript in the Bodleian library dating back to 1480 consists of the following lines:

I saw three headless playing at a ball, A handless male served lock all. While three mouthless men laughed, 3 legless indigenous them ran.

I"ve additionally found several sources pointing to a 1305 manuscript The soil of Cockaigne because that an even older variation of this type of nonsense poem, however I haven"t managed to track under a copy the the initial manuscript to examine the details. The primary resource here appears to it is in The Mummers" Play by R. J. E. Tiddy, published in 1923, the appropriate citation being on p. 116.With together a long history, it appears the finest conclusion us can attract is the the idea that this poem has been approximately so lengthy that it"s pretty much a people tradition. It"s been handed under from generation come generation, probably mainly orally, and also has that course readjusted and mutated quite a lot over the last seven hundred years. However trying to pin down an "original author", for any particular version of the poem, is a fruitless undertaking in this centuries-long game of Chinese Whispers. Even today, over there are numerous slightly various versions of the poem, and also no solitary "canonical" wording - just look at the number of variations detailed here and here, for example.As for your bonus question around the genre that this poem, I would say it"s a classic nonsense rhyme. It should be noted, however, the there are two distinctive kinds of nonsense poem: ones prefer this wherein the native make feeling individually but become nonsensical when put together in the right way, and also ones prefer Lewis Carroll"s Jabberwocky i beg your pardon are complete of rash words.

Some would certainly say that just the latter counts together a true nonsense rhyme:

Although the Two Dead Boys city (“One Fine work in the middle of the Night”) is regularly referred to together a rash rhyme, the summary is not strictly accurate. That is clearly understandable in any of its numerous forms and also versions and the impossibilities in the story room no more than sensible words and also phrases that have been transposed. An example of a true rash rhyme deserve to be watched for circumstances in the very first four currently of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” from Through the feather Glass <...> One can acquire a emotion for the severe, collection darkness that the poem from Carroll’s introductory lines but, till Humpty Dumpty describes it in that entirety, the poem, and an especially these an initial four lines, makes no feeling at all.

But in everyday parlance, "nonsense verse" can definitely be provided to covering both varieties of poem.

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The former form specifically have likewise been referred to as ballads the impossibilities:

The folklorist and also writer Ed Cray, writing to rather on an web ballad conversation line, listed that the luck was a “Ballad the Impossibilities” and that, “A number of these songs/ballads the impossibilities were printed as broadsides in the 18th and 19th centuries.<”>