Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan Poems

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,

'Help, help, ' said a man. 'I'm drowning.'
'Hang on, ' said a man from the shore.
'Help, help, ' said the man. 'I'm not clowning.'
'Yes, I know, I heard you before.

Through every nook and every cranny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up nose as well, I fear)

A young spring-tender girl
combed her joyous hair
'You are very ugly' said the mirror.

'Twas midnight in the schoolroom
And every desk was shut
When suddenly from the alphabet
Was heard a loud "Tut-Tut!"

Say Bazonka every day
That's what my grandma used to say
It keeps at bay the Asian Flu'
And both your elbows free from glue.

There must be a wound!
No one can be this hurt
and not bleed.


Things that go 'bump' in the night
Should not really give one a fright.
It's the hole in each ear
That lets in the fear,

Somewhere at some time
They committed themselves to me
And so, I was!
Small, but I WAS!

My sister Laura's bigger than me
And lifts me up quite easily.
I can't lift her, I've tried and tried;
She must have something heavy inside.


Born screaming small into this world-
Living I am.
Occupational therapy twixt birth and death-
What was I before?

I saw a little elephant standing in my garden,
I said 'You don't belong in here', he said 'I beg you pardon?',
I said 'This place is England, what are you doing here?',
He said 'Ah, then I must be lost' and then 'Oh dear, oh dear'.

So they bought you
And kept you in a
Very good home
Cental heating

If you're attacked by a Lion
Find fresh underpants to try on
Lay on the ground quite still
Pretend you are very ill

Drake is going west, lads
So Tom is going East
But tiny Fred
Just lies in bed,

I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and the sky;
I left my shoes and socks there -
I wonder if they're dry?

I was thinking of letters,
We all have a lot in our life
A few good - a few sad
But mostly run of the mill-

If I could write words
Like leaves on an autumn forest floor,
What a bonfire my letters would make.

I cannot
and I will not
No, I cannot love you less
Like the flower to the butterfly

Spike Milligan Biography

Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan was a British-Irish comedian, writer, musician, poet, and actor, born on April 16, 1918, in Ahmednagar, India. He is best known for his work on the groundbreaking radio comedy series "The Goon Show," as well as his own anarchic brand of humor in a wide variety of media. Milligan grew up in India and later moved to England with his family. He served in the British Army during World War II, where he was involved in the Allied invasion of Italy. His wartime experiences would later inform much of his writing, which often dealt with themes of war and mental illness. After the war, Milligan began working as a comedian, first on the radio program "Crazy People," and later on "The Goon Show," which he co-created with Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, and others. The show, which ran from 1951 to 1960, was known for its surreal humor, innovative sound effects, and irreverent attitude toward authority. It was hugely influential on later British comedy, and Milligan's writing for the show helped establish him as one of the most innovative and daring comedians of his era. In addition to his work on radio and television, Milligan was also a prolific writer of books, plays, and poetry. Some of his most popular works include "Puckoon," a comic novel about an Irish village divided by the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and "Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall," a memoir of his wartime experiences. Milligan's poetry, which often dealt with serious themes but was infused with his trademark wit and wordplay, was also widely acclaimed. Throughout his career, Milligan struggled with mental illness, particularly bipolar disorder, which led to several breakdowns and hospitalizations. He was a vocal advocate for mental health awareness and treatment, and his own experiences with the condition informed much of his writing. Milligan continued to work as a writer and performer until his death on February 27, 2002, at the age of 83. His influence on British comedy and culture remains significant, and his work continues to be celebrated for its irreverent humor, inventive wordplay, and subversive spirit.

Early life

Milligan was born in Ahmednagar, India, on 16 April 1918, the son of an Irish-born father, Captain Leo Alphonso Milligan, MSM, RA, who was serving in the British Indian Army. His mother, Florence Mary Winifred Kettleband, was born in England. He spent his childhood in Poona (India) and later in Rangoon (Yangon), capital of Burma (Myanmar). He was educated at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Poona, and St Paul's Christian Brothers, de la Salle, Rangoon. He lived most of his life in England and served in the British Army, in the Royal Artillery during World War II.

Poetry of Spike Milligan

Milligan also wrote verse, considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense. His poetry has been described by comedian Stephen Fry as "absolutely immortal - greatly in the tradition of Lear". His most famous poem, On the Ning Nang Nong, was voted the UK's favourite comic poem in 1998 in a nationwide poll, ahead of other nonsense poets including Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. This nonsense verse, set to music, became a favourite Australia-wide, performed week after week by the ABC children's programme Playschool. Milligan included it on his album No One's Gonna Change Our World in 1969 to aid the World Wildlife Fund. In December 2007 it was reported that, according to OFSTED, it is amongst the ten most commonly taught poems in primary schools in the UK. While depressed, Milligan wrote serious poetry. He also wrote a novel Puckoon, parodying the style of Dylan Thomas[citation needed], and a very successful series of war memoirs, including Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (1971), "Rommel?" "Gunner Who?": A Confrontation in the Desert (1974), Monty: His Part in My Victory (1976) and Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall (1978). Milligan's seven volumes of memoirs cover the years from 1939 to 1950 (his call-up, war service, first breakdown, time spent entertaining in Italy, and return to the UK). He wrote comedy songs, including "Purple Aeroplane", which was a parody of The Beatles' song "Yellow Submarine". Glimpses of his bouts with depression, which led to the nervous breakdowns, can be found in his serious poetry, which is compiled in Open Heart University.

How old was Spike Milligan when he died?

Even late in life, Milligan's black humour had not deserted him. After the death of friend Harry Secombe from cancer, he said, "I'm glad he died before me, because I didn't want him to sing at my funeral." A recording of Secombe singing was played at Milligan's memorial service. He also wrote his own obituary, in which he stated repeatedly that he "wrote the Goon show and died". Milligan died from liver disease, at the age of 83, on 27 February 2002, at his home in Rye, East Sussex. On the day of his funeral, 8 March 2002, his coffin was carried to St Thomas's Church in Winchelsea, Sussex, and was draped in the flag of the Republic of Ireland. He had once quipped that he wanted his headstone to bear the words "I told you I was ill." He was buried at St Thomas's Church cemetery in Winchelsea, East Sussex, but the Chichester Diocese refused to allow this epitaph. A compromise was reached with the Irish translation, "Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite", and additionally in English, "Love, light, peace".)

The Best Poem Of Spike Milligan

On The Ning Nang Nong

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong
Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning
Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang
The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong! !

Spike Milligan Comments

Keith Oldrey 05 November 2011

fantastic almost as good as mine 2 pee or no 2pee

87 71 Reply
Molaire Jules 13 July 2007

A funny and creative poet!

110 44 Reply
Daisy Finkle 05 March 2012

I lov ur writing it is rlly good and funny if u think about it i rlly like ur poem called hav a nice day

97 56 Reply
Yvonne Rautenbach 22 January 2007

Please please can any Spike fan send me a copy of his poem which has 'A Cat is Just a Cat my Friend' in it?

76 48 Reply
Namrata Shanbhag 19 May 2014

What is Spike Milligan's email address?

41 52 Reply
David Page- aka Harry Riley 05 November 2022

We all need a little twaddle to make the world a better place RIP Spike. you are featured in 'Remember' Book by Roger Reapple.

0 0 Reply
Big E2 08 February 2022

Take Nelson off his column and put Spike in his place. A national treasure and world leader in comedy and poetry.Moreover a totally delightful man

3 0 Reply
jezjezalborough.com 28 July 2021

Hi Sam the man, I'd love to know where you heard that about Spike and what book it apparently appeared in. His daughter has told me there is no reference to it in his books. As pauline says (thanks) I wrote this poem back in 1991.

1 0 Reply
Roger Costello 18 June 2021

He told us he was ill! .

1 0 Reply
Gill Hipkin 30 September 2020

Spike the funniest man that ever lived! ! !

4 1 Reply

Spike Milligan Quotes

Money couldn't buy friends, but you got a better class of enemy.

Ying tong iddle I po.

I'm a hero wid coward's legs, I'm a hero from the waist up.

Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion.

Spike Milligan Popularity

Spike Milligan Popularity

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