Crocodile Tears – A Poem

"Crocodile Tears" is a poem that could be sung as a song.  The expression "Crocodile Tears" means an insincere show of emotions.  According to Wikipedia, "The expression comes from an ancient anecdote that crocodiles weep in order to lure their prey, or that they cry for the victims they are eating. They are fake tears."

Illustration of a Crocodile

Here’s the poem called "Crocodile Tears"…

Crocodile Tears

On the banks of the Nile an old crocodile
Lay sunning himself one day,
And he gently did croon an attempt at a tune,
As he watched some small children at play-
At play-
As he watched some small children at play.

He pondered awhile, and a hungering smile
Revealed the extent of his jaw;
He was twenty feet long, was uncommonly strong,
And his teeth were arranged like a saw-
Like a saw-
And his teeth were arranged like a saw.

He used every wile their hearts to beguile,
As toward them he stealthily stole;
He balanced each scale, and waggled his tail,
Then gobbled those children up whole-
Up whole-
Then gobbled those children up whole.

And such is the style of this old crocodile,
He sheds bitter tears o’er his prey;
He was filled with deep gloom when he thought of their doom,
And he wept all the rest of the day-
The day-
And he wept all the rest of the day.

Beware of a crocodile’s tears, better yet, beware of the crocodile itself!

Mama Lisa

PS The image is from "Grosses bêtes & petites bêtes", images and text by André-Hellé (Paris, 1912), with a little graphical editing by Mama Lisa.

This article was posted on Saturday, June 13th, 2009 at 11:41 am and is filed under American Kids Songs, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, Crocodile Tears, English, Languages, Poems, Poetry, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Crocodile Tears – A Poem”

  1. Marinela Says:

    Beware of a crocodile’s tears, better yet, beware of the crocodile itself!
    Nice line :)
    Great poem I enjoyed reading it !

  2. Sue Zentek Says:

    My Mom used to sing my kids a Norweigian song that went something like, “clapp o clapp o cogga, molly go logga”…Does anyone know the full name of the song and its lyrics? I would love to get the words and be able to sing them to my grandson. For some reason I’m thinking part of the words in English are “we all fall down.” Thanks for your help!

  3. Linda Austin Says:

    That should scare the children! It reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s Walrus and the Carpenter “With sobs and tears he sorted out those of the largest size.” Poor oyster children.

  4. lauren Says:

    heyy im lookin for a song i heard in tunisia and i think it is spanish sounds like a childrens song and they dance to it, the make their arms look like a crocodile is snapping? anyone know? xx

  5. Bob crane Says:

    Also from a mom (mine)

    She sailed away on a happy summer day
    On the back of a crocodile

    You see said she He’s as tame as he could be
    I’ll ride him down the Nile

    The croc winked his eye as she waved them all goodbye
    Wearing a happy smile

    At the end of the ride the lady was inside
    And the smile on the crocodile!

  6. Lisa Says:

    I like that one Bob!

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