Lucy Vickery

Tutti-bam! Frutti-boom! Musical double dactyls

Tutti-bam! Frutti-boom! Musical double dactyls
Little Richard. Credit: Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock
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In Competition No. 3162 you were invited to submit double dactyls on stars of popular or classical music. Fans of ‘higgledy-piggledies’, as they are also known, should check out Jiggery Pokery, the terrific 1967 compendium of the form, edited by Anthony Hecht and John Hollander, who, in case anyone is wondering exactly what a double dactyl is, spells it out below:

Starting with nonsense words:


Then comes a name

(Making line number two);


Somewhere along in the

Terminal quatrain, a


Word, and we’re through.

This crowd-pleasing challenge drew a whopping entry. Honourable mentions go to Simon Balderson, Helen Zax, Jill Sharp, Iain Morley, Alex Steelsmith and Fabian Carstairs. The winners earn £15 each.

Tutti-bam! Frutti-boom!

Richard Wayne Penniman

Hollered it ribald and

Banged it out blue,


Rocking America’s

Youth to new rhythms of



Chris O’Carroll

N. Rimsky-Korsakov,

Greatly inspired by a

Beehive he’d seen,


Gave us a paean to


Perfect for string sections

High on caffeine.

Max Gutmann
Fiscally, discally,

Herbert von Karajan’s

Fortune was forged with the

Berliner Phil.


Countless recordings, all


Made ‘Cash-and-Karajan’

Wealthier still.

Sylvia Fairley
Opera popera

Handel, George Frideric

Buried in Westminster,

Never did wed.


Sick of his music played


At every bridal, stayed

Single instead.

Janine Beacham

Robert A. Zimmerman,


Son of Duluth;


Edgy, mercurial,


Dylan emphatically

Redefined youth.

Mike Morrison

Gilbert O’Sullivan!

Cap and short trousers, he

Had much to say.


Quirkily, perkily,


Not uncommercially:


David Silverman
Abbaly Dabbaly

Agnetha Andersson

haltingly told us the

winner takes all.


Forty years later her


still keeps her listeners in

Agnetha’s thrall.

Nick MacKinnon
Opera popera

Gilbert and Sullivan

Furnished the frolics on

Pinafore’s decks.


How to define them though,


Rather like Offenbach,

Minus the sex.

George Simmers
Homeward bound, lone-ward bound,

Simon & Garfunkel

Sounded of silence and

Parsley and sage.


Harmonies couldn’t breed


Waters were troubled both

On and off stage.

Ossie Jay
Do-re-mi, So-re-mi,

Rodgers and Hammerstein

Wrote of Maria and

Baron von Trapp.


If you can pardon my


World’s greatest musical?

I think it’s crap.

Nicholas Hodgson

No. 3165: between the lines

You are invited to supply a job reference for a well-known public figure, past or present (please specify), that while seemingly positive reveals the failings of the candidate in question. Please email entries of up to 150 words to by midday on 2 September.