Pirates of Penzance

Abdul Abulbul Amir

by Lee A. Hart

Now tales have been told of pirates of old,
But the name that fills me with fear
Is not Captain Kidd, or the deeds that he did,
But Abdul Abulbul Amir.

He ignored every law, every property right.
What he wanted, was his! Bring it here!
Or you'll rue the day that you got in the way
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Enraged, he would fight with a man twice his height.
He'd attack, and they'd cower in fear.
No rogue in the land would dare lay a hand
On Abdul Abulbul Amir.

He'd dine on a bug, a rock, or a slug.
His stomach was iron, I hear.
Six bottles a day could not make him sway,
This Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Brave men were astounded; they saw him surrounded
By lions and tigers and bear.
For he'd strangle 'em tight, then sleep through the night,
Did Abdul Abulbul Amir.

He'd grab and he'd kiss each unfortunate miss
Who chanced to come anywhere near.
Yet later they'd say it was their lucky day
Meeting Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Finally surrounded; convicted; impounded,
Yet he showed no remorse and no fear.
And repeated his crime, the judge watching this time,
Did Abdul Abulbul Amir.

They threw him in jail, but he cursed such a wail
Grown men had to plug up their ear.
And women did shout, "I give up; let him out!"
Free Abdul Abulbul Amir.

But this I can tell; though a toddler is hell,
He was such a cute baby last year.
If only we knew what he'd be like at two,
This Abdul Abulbul Amir!


This was written about my son David when he had just turned two. He was such a delightful baby, and then turned into this miniature tyrant. Actually, he was pretty good for a two-year-old; I just didn't have enough experience with children to know that. This poem also illustrates a problem I have. An episode of "Star Trek - The Next Generation" had Data (or was it his brother Lores?) reciting a few lines of a poem about "Abdul Abulbul Amir". It rattled around in my head until this came out. Much later, I discovered that the original is "Abdulla Bulbul Ameer" by Percy French. So it's not original; but I really didn't know what the original poem was!

A poem by Lee A. Hart, © 1984-2023 by Lee A. Hart. Created 3/6/2012. Last updated 3/13/2023.
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