If ‘jews-harp’ causes offence,
And to use the name makes no sense,
There are other options
And various concoctions
That you might consider from hence.
For in Scotland they call it a ‘trump’
Though it sounds like what comes from your rump,
And ‘jews-trump’ though old,
Might leave you cold
And one we should possibly dump.
‘Cymbalum’ is a Latin expression,
But there seems to be no concession
To the trembling wire
To which we aspire,
And besides, is beyond comprehension.
‘Jaw harp’ is commonly used
And one that can be excused,
Though with no historical reason
Why this should be ceased on
Over others that you might have refused.
‘Juice harp’ may make your mouth water,
Coming from the American quarter,
And is used in great spaces,
Like Oz and such places
And is as good as any other (well sort-a)
Then ‘gewgaw’ from Northumberland hails,
And ‘strument’, which comes from Wales.
Of commercial names found,
There’s ‘Ducey’ and ‘Snoopy’ around,
Or ‘Bruce harp,’ if everything else fails.
Or you could try another countries designation,
Such as ‘guimbarde’ from the French nation.
Then there’s ‘khomus’ and ‘morsing’
‘Munnharpa’ and ‘Karinding,’
Or many another land’s appellation.
‘Mouth harp’ has become a new moniker,
Used by any young Tim, Paul or Veronica.
But I think you will find
If you are so inclined,
It is also a name for a harmonica.
So whatever name you choose it is plain
That the instruments are all the same.
So do not think what you call it,
Just buy one and play it,
Though ‘jews-harp’ is its original name. (In English, that is.)
Michael Wright ©