Do You Know a Poem Full of Puns?

Linda wrote to me looking for a poem:

My library director is looking for a children’s song or poem from the early 1900’s full of puns (for a University of New Mexico Instructor). And now I’d like to see it too! These are some of the lines…

Does a ship have eyes when it goes to sea;
Are there springs in the ocean bed?
What kind of vegetable is a policeman’s beet (beat).

These are only a few of the lines and they may not even be together. I don’t even know if these are the exact words, but they are exact or very similar.

Have you ever heard of anything like this? I’ve been trying to figure out where to go to find this. Any help you could give in finding this entire poem would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


If anyone is familiar with the words to this poem, please comment below or email me.



UPDATE: Learn the full words for Do Ships Have Eyes aka A Poem Full of Puns!

This article was posted on Saturday, January 13th, 2007 at 5:43 pm and is filed under Australia, Countries & Cultures, English, Languages, Poems, Poetry, Questions, United Kingdom, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Responses to “Do You Know a Poem Full of Puns?”

  1. Nancy Travis Says:

    My aunt knows this song and just sang it to my 3 year old daughter when we were visiting last week. I taped her singing it. I am sure she’d give you the words…she sang all the verses. I have the tape of her singing and could write down the words for you.
    Nancy Travis

  2. Lisa Says:

    Nancy Travis sent me the lyrics to A Poem Full of Puns as told to her by her 94 year old aunt…

    Does a ship have eyes when it goes to sea?
    Are there springs to an ocean bed?
    Does a jolly tar fall from a tree?
    Does a river ever lose its head?

    Are fishes crazy when they go insane?
    Does a hen ever sing her lay?
    Can you bring relief to a window pane?
    Can you mend the break of day?

    What kind of vegetable is a policeman’s beat?
    Is a newspaper white when its read?
    Is a baker broke when he’s making dough?
    Is an undertaker’s business dead?

    Is the wallpaper store a good hotel
    Just because of the borders there?
    Would you paint a rabbit on a bald man’s head
    Just to see a little hair grown there?

    Thank you Nancy – and please thank your aunt for us!

    -Mama Lisa

  3. Michael Shorr Says:

    Dear Lisa

    It was my friend Jenny Vincent, who is 95 and still an active singer performer, who asked for help in tracking down the “poem of puns” lyrics. Thanks so much to Nancy! I’m mailing the lyrics to Jenny today.

    I was wondering if Nancy was willing to share a copy of the recording of her aunt singing the song. I’m sure Jenny would love to hear it.

    By the way, there’s more info about Jenny and her band (they specialize in traditional Spanish-American music) at this website:

    Thanks again,
    Michael Shorr

  4. Emily Says:

    can someone tell me who wrote “a poem full of puns” please?

  5. venkat Says:


    I did some search. The full poem and the origin is mentioned here.

  6. venkat Says:

    I think

    “Are fishes crazy when they go insane?”

    it should be “in seine”

    Seine is a river in france and that makes more sense and that is how it is written in the poem (if you click the link)

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