A Unicef clearasil
Gibberish 'n' drivel
O Mennen mylar muriel
With a hey derry tum gardol
O Yuban necco glamorene?
Enden nytol, vaseline!
Sing hey nonny nembutal.

This is the Lay of Unicef and his long quest for a clean rest room. No full translation is given in Bored of the Rings p. 68, though Unicef supposedly asks, "Are there no facilities here? Is there no washroom?" But compare A Elbereth Gilthoniel, / silivren penna míriel / o menel aglar elenath. / Na-chaered palan-díriel / o galadhremmin Ennorath / Fanuilos le linnathon / nef aear, sí nef aearon. In the three first lines, the Harvard Lampoon kept relatively close to the text they were making a parody of; then they for the most part went their own ways, starting with "with a hey derry tum gardol". The line "O Mennen mylar muriel" seems to allude to the beginning of line three (o menel aglar elenath) and the end of line four (na-chaered palan-díriel) in Tolkien's original poem.

Then there is Lavalier's Lament in BotR:93-94; this is the, ahem, equivalent of Galadriel's Lament in LotR:

Dago, Dago, Lassi Lima rintintin
Yanqui unicycle ramar rotoroot
Telstar aloha saarinen cloret
Stassen camaro impala desoto?
Gardol oleo telephon lumumba!
Chappaqua havatampa muriel
U canleada horsta wata, bwana,
Butyu canna makit drinque!

Comsat melba rubaiyat nirvana
Garcia y vega hiawatha aloo.
O mithra, mithra, I fain wud lie doon!
Valdaree valdera, que sera, sirrah,
Honi soit la vache qui rit,
Honi soit la vache qui rit.

The first line - Dago, Dago, Lassi Lima rintintin clearly alludes to Tolkien's Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen. The rest is free invention. The poem is translated in BotR as follows: "Oh, the leaves are falling, the flowers are wilting, and the rivers are all going Republican. O Ramar, Ramar, ride quickly on your golden unicycle and warn the nymphs and drag queens! Ah, who now shall gather lichee nuts and make hoopla under the topiaries? Who will trim my unicorns? See, even now the cows laugh, Alas, alas." Chorus: "We are the chorus, and we agree. We agree, we agree, we agree." It is rather difficult to match the translation with the original. "O Ramar, Ramar, ride quickly on your golden unicycle" must correspond to yanqui unicycle ramar rotoroot, and this means that the previous words "Oh, the leaves are falling, the flowers are wilting, and the rivers are all going Republican" must be matched to only five Auld Elvish words (Dago, Dago, Lassi Lima rintintin). In this one line, Auld Elvish appears to be a most efficient language. But for the rest of the poem, starting with "and warn...", there seem to be about twice as many Auld Elvish sentences as there are English sentences in the translation. Either the translation is incomplete, or Auld Elvish is not a very efficient language after all (or perhaps the Harvard Lampoon did not construct their languages with the same care Tolkien did...a possibility that cannot be WHOLLY ruled out).

The Elf Garfinkel greets the fellowship with these words on p. 63:

O NASA O UCLA! O Etaion Shrdlu!
O Escrow Beryllium! Pandit J. Nehru!
and Stomper (also known as Arrowroot) answers, Shantih Billerica! No translation is given. It does not resemble the LotR "equivalent" (Ai na vedui Dúnadan! Mae govannen!).

Three pages later we get to hear "the delicate, heart-breaking twangs of a mouth-harp and a few shreds of an elvish song":

Row, row, row your elebethiel saliva githiel
Mann a fubar lothario syzygy snafu
O bring back my sucaryl Penna Ariz Fla mass.
Some students of Tolkien's mythology, languages and all, find it strangely familiar. This seems to apply to this song as well; the mythos of the Harvard Lampoon is not so far behind Tolkien's world after all.

On p. 125-126, we find one of the invocations of Goodgolf the Wizard, but no translation is given. We must assume that this is just a string of "magic words":

Hocus pocus
Loco Parentis!
Jackie Onassis
Dino de Laurentis!

Queequeg quohog!
Quodnam quixote!
Pequod peapod!
Pnin Peyote!
Presto change-o
Toil and trouble
Rollo chunky

Earlier, on p. 82, Goodgolf tried to open the Gate of Doria (Nikon-zoom) with this invocation:
Yuma palo alto napa erin go brae
Tegrin correga cremora olé.
These words have no relation to the words spoken by another wizard before the doors of Moria: Annon Edhellen, edro hi ammen; fennas nogothrim, lasto beth lammen! Goodgolf spoke a few other magic words as well: Pismo! Bitumen! Lazlo! Clayton-Bulwer! (Then he finally remembered how to open the door: use the knob!!!)

The Inscription on the Ring comes out like this in BotR (p. 73):

Grundig blaupunkt luger frug
Watusi snarf wazoo!
Nixon dirksen nasahist
Rebozo boogaloo.
This cannot be referred directly to Tolkien's Black Speech at all, but it does sound nasty (especially nixon!)

Ardalambion Index