This morning's moment of Meta: "All-Purpose Folk Song" by Neil Gaiman:
There's a ship a-sort of sinking in the harbor And my lover is come down from the sea Or fens, or heather Fair maid, he sings, oh show me to your chamber door, or arbor And he means me well, or ill Or he ignores me altogether.
Ah, my love he is a knight so bold, impressive in his ardour Or a minstrel or a pirate with his thighs and arms so firm With a mandolin or an angry grin and a dead wife in the larder And somewhere around this point in the song somone normally gets transformed into a loathly worm.
Sing dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle dee I'm singing of the forests or the tavern or the sea Sing dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle die You can cross out or forget about the bits that don't apply.
Well, I sent my love a message as they led me to the pyre But he'd shipped off with Prince Charlie to be a buccaneerio And the pipes of Faerie skirled and the cows were in the byre And we drank good English ale until we felt a little queerio.
Oh I care not nothing for your goose feather crotch And I know you by the feather in your you-know And we bantered and we badinaged, and then she stole me watch Then we sang and danced and lost our way all under the autumn moon-oh.
Sing dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle doot No one's really listening and no one gives a hoot Sing dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle, dum-a-diddle die You can cross out or forget about the bits that don't apply.
He wrote that in the early 90s, looks like. He's long been writing stories about stories...