The Major-General's parody's a challenge steep and ominous
Some first-time tries by noobie guys I'd call almost abominous
While others, merry, popping cherry, pen pro puns phenomenous
Though song is long, and gauntlet, strong, not 'nonymous; aplombinous!
You note word-mangling? Such fun tangling syntax, words, ridiculous!
Though still adhere to structure, clear; it's here: must be meticulous
My reader: will he think this silly? Tasty, 'haps, deliciulous?
[pause, then continue, speaking]
Go out on a limb, take chances -- Got it!
Have shell or skin that's tough, not thin! No place for the pelliculous!
It's also fun in doing one to add a little dialog
Or you might see that even three makes sing-along fun trialog
Be sure to chart and keep apart your versions, maybe by a log
Though lack: no crime, internal rhyme is almost a requirement 
With care, write line, or else you'll find yourself: predica-dire-ment
Takes just a bit of clever wit; shows song for standards, higher, meant
Your readers dote; comes time to vote: Fives in; win their admirement
In short, I always do mine "clean"; it's 4-4-3-4-2 line scheme
These two lines briefly summarize; without them, you will bummerize
Some think it cruel, the Turtle's rule: Though OS lines repeat a bit,
Methinks that ev'ry one should vary; else, to moi, you cheat a bitTT too tough
? Think up new stuff, or else, you ain't completed it
It's that much more of laughs to score; be proud when all have feted it!
Let's take the time to talk of rhyme, whose pattern here is often missed
(No, not internal, but tri-stern-al,) causing coughs of scoff, and dissed 
Not masculine or feminine, count third from end, spin off a twist [LDBPF #1]
[pause, then continue, speaking]
Mandatory three-syllable rhyme? Got it!
If this, ignore, no points you score, in fact, your name is doffed: my list! 
To scansion, pay attansion, 'k? -- A very strict parameter
Quite standard, goes, and smoothly flows: iambical octameter [LDBPF #2]
It's "quid pro prose" (that's "prose for pros"), and not for any amate(u)r
That bracket thingy: [speak-y] [sing-y]: something else, "forget-you-not"
(Bad pun on flower; silly, sour; nonetheless, I'll bet, you: not!)
If do it proper, new show-stopper! Raving crowd will get you hot!
But if neglectful, song's defectful; no one "wowed"; they'll let you rot
In short, if writing's stylish, the parody's beguile-ish
The readers will be smile-ish; those Fives, you wish? Worthwhile-ish!
The manly Major-General Stanley's arrogant and boisterous
Much braggadocio, does he so show; positively roisterous
Our parody can be as he: so pompous that they'd cloister us
But one complained
this writer's vain; in vain, his plaint's prepoisterous 
Forget that freak's fragility and serious senility
Such sad susceptibility to verbal volatility
There's clearly a debility of lacking in civility
[pause, then continue, speaking]
Is it worth arguing with Unabombers? ... Got it!
Dude don't display docility; to reason is futility
There seems no feasibility of teaching him nobility
With lack of am'iability, shows upward immobility
I'd say the probability is zip for viability
So, show us your ability, but need not show humility
A feverish facility has Stanley, for virility
Adept, adroit agility with words, much mall'eability
We love your capability and varied versatility
In short, adaptability has high applicability
For fans of flexibility, song's rife with possibility!
[a female reader approaches the Tutor Turtle, bats her eyelashes, and asks:]
Can you do that again, while slowly stripping out of your shell?
[The Turtle winks at the reader, and says:]
Plastron denude-ato, car-apace!
[repeat 3rd verse, ("The manly Major-General...")
at a speed even faster than the original tempo,
and without the pause or spoken part, as the turtle strips.]
 Most MG aficionados here agree; e. g., per comments by alvin, TJC, and Stuart McArthur at this one
 "tri-stern-al" -- Pretty far-fetched. "stern" = the back end of a boat. So, "tri-stern-al" = rhyme on the third syllable from the stern (end) of the line.... (sorry)
 "Doff" *does* have a meaning other than in regard to one's hat: "to throw off; get rid of:" ("you're thrown off my list.")
 Despite a disclaimer in the intro expressly stating that the parody satirized the Major-General himself, specifically, his self-aggrandizement, a hitherto-unknown commenter named "Blarney" accused this writer of the same flaw
at the parody linked in the lyrics and and here, obviously not having read the intro, nor knowing TOS character. (sigh)
[LDBPF] (no relation to LGBT or LPGA, though TT always gets the latter two mixed up ;)
LONG, DULL, BORING, PEDANTIC FOOTNOTES.
Don't read this. *Really*. -- unless, of course, you'd like to enhance your parody skills.
Boring as it sounds, it *really* does help parodists, songwriters, poets, etc. to study prosody (and to look up that work, :wink:).
For those not yet familiar with the terms, a "masculine" rhyme is one in which the last syllable of a line rhymes with the last syllable of the corresponding line. (Not necessarily the next line, of course.):
It's full, the moon
You're here with me
So nice to spoon
And so close, be
A "feminine" rhyme is one in which the second-to-last syllable of a line rhymes with the second-to-last of its mate:
Three once was a man from Nantucket ...
All of the main lines here - 1, 2, and 5 in a limerick - rhyme on "tuck" (second-to-last), rather than on "-et". Easy, eh? (And the first example that popped into a twisted mind.)
... Bonus points if you spotted that lines 3 and 4 in *this* limerick use *masculine* rhymes ("He said, with a grin..."), although the one about the lady named Alice stays "feminine" (so to speak, heh!) all the way through.
Maj-Gen (hereinafter referred to as "MG", no relation to Morris Garage or the sports cars they produced under the MG name) uses what has been variously called three-syllable rhyming, or triple rhyming, or (possibly a neologism by TT, can't remember where I heard it, nor can I source it), a "double-feminine" rhyme; i. e., the THIRD syllable from the end rhymes:
Per an interesting e-mail discussion with John Jenkins, there are many different names and classifications of rhymes, too many for here. ("Whew!") These above are definitely what Peter Dale*** would call "triple pure rhymes" in that the third-from-end sounds match, and the end and second-from-end are (or sound) identical to each other as well. However, in verse 7, the third-from-ends are all good, but the rest may vary slightly;
scoff and dissed
off a twist
doff: my list
Dale would call the first two a "Triple pure assonance rhyme", meaning that the vowel sounds in all three syllables match, while the consonants in the last and penultimate (another good word to know, as it saves TT repeaTTedly typing "second-from-last") vary, but overall, still a rhyme.
The second two lines still meet the third-from-end test, but the next sound changes ("a" to "my"), so it's not "pure", to Dale. However, TOS does this, too:
a LOT 'o news
"Lot/pot"- perfect. But the next phoneme (sound) changes form "o" to short "e", and unless en-BR is different from en-US here, "news" doesn't match "-use", because (in USofA, at least), the "s" in "hypotenuse" is "hard" -- like a soft "c" in "introduce", or the "s" in "goose, moose, noose" (Calling Moose Palin....)
This doesn't even fit Dale's "Triple Assonance with Head Rhyme", just as TT's last two in the example don't, either. In plain English, the "head", or first, of our 3-syl group, is a perfect match, but the next vowel sounds don't match. (o vs. e). But hey, it's Gilbert and Sullivan's call, and their rule was: the third from the end must rhyme/match perfectly; the others: maybe, maybe not.
There doesn't seem to be anything in Dale's classification that fits this, and as JJ and TT sort of concluded, there are as many names and definitions for rhyme classes as there are definers. Perhaps that's why TT maybe just hallucinated "double-feminine" to mean: must rhyme on third from end (vs. second from end in "normal" feminine) rhymes; others may or may not, just as in TOS.
It's not important to learn all these names and definitions. ("Whew" squared). What *is* important is to recognize the *pattern*, and to follow it. Unfortunately, many MGs posted here don't.
Since pattern recognition is so helpful -- nay, critical - to parodists, being able to hang a tag on each pattern can help with both recognition and recollection. Really, every poet/songwriter/parodist should know the very basics here:
Verse (as opposed to prose) consists of metrical units called "feet". A "foot" is two or three, and sometimes, four, syllables, with at least one of them being stressed. Usually, but not always, one or more are unstressed. (You could have two stressed syllables in a foot.)
Not going into every possible foot here. ("Whew" cubed). However, the "iamb" (no relation to a US brand of pet food) is so common, it's worth discussing, especially since MG uses it. An iamb is simply an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one, which completes one foot. Like so:
(i AM) (the VER-) (-y MOD-) (-el OF) (a MOD-) (-ern MAJ-) (-or GEN-) (er-AL).
Yes, "Of" isn't a strong stress, and it's not uncommon for the last syllable to be not too strongly stressed, either. But you see this overall pattern throughout the song; hence, throughout (properly-done) parodies.
And there are eight of these "feet" to a line, so the meter - what is usually referred to at this site as "pacing" -- is oct-, meaning eight, as in octopus or Octomom or October (the eighth month in the Roman calendar, which starts with March, spring being the start of a new year for planting, which really makes much more sense than starting in the middle of the friggin' frigid winter), giving us "octameter"; hence, "iambic octameter". Perhaps that anchor will help the subconscious come up with appropriate subs, or help you to tweak a clever sub that doesn't scan correctly into one that does.
BONUS POINTS IF YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS PART:
Shakespeare, among others, was noted for his iambic penta(5)meter, a classic form in classic verse, as in probably the most classic line in all of Shakespeare:
(to BE) (or NOT) (to BE); (that IS) (the QUES-) (tion)
Willy sometimes varied slightly, either on the stresses within the line, or, as he did here, adding an unstressed syllable at the end (or sometimes, within.). But the majority of lines, in "Hamlet" or in his other iambic pentameter works, fit the pattern, sometimes across two or more lines to complete a sentence.
HOW TT GOT FROM SHAKESPEARE TO SPRINGFIELD (FOR HARDCORE TT FANPERSONS ONLY)
While listening to Dusty Springfield's song, either on the radio or in his pea-brain, TT realized that the main lines (1, 2, and 4 in the stanzas) were only an unstressed syllable or two longer than Bill S.'s iambic pentameter. (Strange brain, to connect the two. No argument from this end.)
(i DON"T) (know WHAT) (it IS) (that MAKES) (me LOVE) (you so) .... only one teensy, unstressed syllable longer than the opening line of "Hamlet". Hence, Dusty becomes Hamlet:
(i DON"T) (know WHAT) (it IS) (that MAKES) (me LOVE) (you so)
(to BE) (or NOT) (to BE); (that IS) (the (QUES-) (tion here)
(to KILL) (mySELF) (right NOW) (or FACE) (the FACTS) (i fear)
Without the markup:
To be, or not to be; that is the question here
To kill myself right now, or face the facts I fear
Which, with a few more lines, was tossed over to a certain someone with double-Master's in Music and Education -- quite the helpful addition to the aptiturtletudes, no?. Who punted it back, etc., and eventually, it came out like this
Then, once the concept and parallels were established, on to "Romeo and Juliet", Caesar, and MacBeth; thence, to other classical authors, even those who wrote in different meters. Homer wrote in iambic hexameter, which didn't matter, 'cuz he wrote in Greek, which TT doesn't speak. (It's all Greek to me.) Dante wrote in Italian, but the translations seem to use both iambs and anapests, etc. So Dante was Dustied off in our own way. All of the above are on the FG/TT home page
, though TT's done a number of non-classic Dustys on his own. too.
BIG SURPRISE THAT TT TRIPPED ACROSS IN THE COURSE OF RESEARCH
(Private message to John Jenkins only, lest the subject become even more confusing)
Psst! John, the term "triple rhyme" takes on an *entirely different* meaning at this scholarly dissection and translation
of Dante's "Inferno", to-wit: *verses* of three lines each, in which the *middle* line of each verse rhymes with the first and third line of the following verse -- whose middle line rhymes with the first and third of yet the next verse, etc. Nothing about rhyming three syls from the end. As said above, as many definitions as definers, eh? Interesting....