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Here’s the traditional poem “Sing a Song of Sixpence” rewritten leaving out various letters.
Illustration: Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966)

Original version:

Sing a song of sixpence
A pocket full of rye.
Four-and-twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.
As the pie was opened
The birds began to sing.
Wasn’t that a dainty dish
To set before the King?

The King was in the counting house
Counting out his money.
The Queen was in the parlor
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden
Hanging out the clothes.
When along came a blackbird
And pecked off her nose.

1. No Es or Gs:

Hum a hymn of half-crowns,
A pita full of bran,
Four-and-thirty blackbirds
Stuck within a flan.
As this flan was cut apart,
Said birds did chirp and caw.
Wasn’t that a dainty dish
To win a Tsar’s hurrah?

His Royal was in his bursary
To total up his booty.
His bonny consort, parlor bound,
Did sup of tutti-frutti.
Maid Astrid trod his tulip patch
To air his laundry out.
But a blackbird from afar alit
To snatch off Astrid’s snout.

2. No Is or Ss:

Croon a kreutzer canzonet,
A pocket full of coal,
Four-and-twenty waterfowl
Baked beneath a roll.
When the roll unfolded, well
They all began to peep —
An elegant entrée that made
The Monarch clap and leap.

The Monarch, under lock and key,
Computed all the money.
The parlor kept the Queen, who ate
Of bread and clover honey.
The flower garden held the wench,
Who hung the wool and lace.
A crow appeared and plucked the olfact’ry
Organ from her face.

3. No Ns, Ps, or Us:

Shriek a shekel shivaree,
A satchel brimmed with clover.
Thirty-less-six blackbirds
With cake were covered over.
As the cake was breached with care
The birds called forth, staccato.
‘Twas a greatly festive dish
To cheer a grim Mikado.

The Mikado, very secretly
Did tally all his riches.
His wife, elsewhere, all silky-clad,
Did eat of salty fishes.
The maid, amidst the cherry trees,
Affixed the clothes to dry.
A sassy blackbird took her whiffer
With him toward the sky.

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Next: Mary Had a Little Lamb
© Peter Blinn

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