It’s best known as the mythical monster in Lewis Carroll’s poem from Through The Looking Glass (1871), but the word also means nonsense or gibberish, something that continues to be very much at large. Also referred to as Jabberwocky, where does it occur in song lyrics?
Donovan set the poem, Jabberwocky, to music in his 1971 folky double album HMS Donovan, Carroll’s poem ripe with many other colourful, evocative nonsense vocabulary.
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
All mimsey were the borogroves
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjubb bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
A number of other artists have presented more spoken word versions of the poem, with backing music, from Marianne Faithfull on her 1965 album Come My Way, or the goth band Crüxshadows on their 2001 album Tears or the deeply affected unaccompanied version by rapper Aceyalone on 1998’s The Book Of Human Language.
The feted monster has also been referenced in Terry Gilliam’s Pythonesque 1977 film of the same name:
And the animated 1971 macabre, surreal short by Jan Švankmajer.
But has anyone used the word when not quoting Carroll? Your examples, nonsense or otherwise, in comments below would be most welcome.
Want to suggest other examples of this word in song lyrics, or other unusual words or contexts? Does this song make you think of something else? Then feel free to comment below, on the contact page, or on social media: Song Bar Twitter, Song Bar Facebook. Song Bar YouTube. Please subscribe, follow and share.
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