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Saturday, 10 October, 1998, 05:35 GMT 06:35 UK
Top poetry is complete nonsense
Spike Milligan
Spike Milligan: Thanked the nation for its votes
Spike Milligan has come top in a poll of the UK's favourite comic poems with his nonsense verse On The Ning Nang Nong.

The former Goon, in a message recorded on Friday, said: "I have an important announcement to make - I believe my poem has been voted the favourite poem of children and adults - and I want to thank you very much for doing it. And that's about it!"

His nonsense verse came ranked above John Hegley's Malcolm and Roger McGough's Cake.

Both runners up were in the BBC TV studio for the announcement on Friday along with Four Weddings and a Funeral stars Charlotte Coleman and Simon Callow.

The UK's top ten comic poems chart read like this:

  • 1. Spike Milligan - On The Ning Nang Nong.
  • 2. John Hegley - Malcolm.
  • 3. Roger McGough - Cake.
  • 4. Sir John Betjeman - Hunter Trials.
  • 5. Hilaire Belloc - Matilda.
  • 6. Lewis Carroll - Jabberwocky.
  • 7. Marriot Edgar - The Lion and Albert.
  • 8. Edward Lear - The Owl And The Pussycat.
  • 9. Allan Ahlberg - Please Mrs Butler.
  • 10. Pam Ayres - Oh I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth.

National Poetry Day wanted a laugh on its fifth birthday. Griff Rhys Jones announced the winner on a special television programme on BBC One.

But its not too late to send us your favourite funny verse. BBC News Online want to know what your top comic ditty is, be it a cautionary tale to political satire - or even song lyrics.

Is it better than Spike Milligan's wonderful nonsense?

    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 it's 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!

(Reproduced by permission of Spike Milligan Productions Ltd)

BBC News
And now, in reverse order, the authors of the UK's top three comic poems read their work...
See also:

08 Oct 98 | Education
School for winning poets
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