How to Write Giggle Rap
by Bruce Lansky

Writing Giggle Rap is a lot easier than I thought. I figured this out after listening to a CD that contained sixteen raps by famous performers. By the time the CD was over, I realized I’d already written a rap—without even knowing it. If I can do it, I think you can, too.

  1. The most important thing about writing a Giggle Rap is having a funny story to tell. Here’s the story I tell in my poem "What I Found in My Desk" from No More Homework! No More Tests!: I found a lot of funky stuff in my desk, including a letter I forgot to mail, a half-eaten sandwich, a broken kazoo, a stinky tennis shoe, and a note from my teacher that said "Clean this mess!"

    Here’s the story Shel Silverstein told in his famous poem "Sick" from Kids Pick the Funniest Poems: Peggy Ann McKay made up a lot of phony excuses to get out of going to school, but she jumped out of bed and went out to play when her mother reminded her it was Saturday. As you can see, the story doesn’t have to be very long, but it helps if you have a list of funny examples. You may recall that Peggy Ann McKay said she "had the measles and the mumps/ a gash a rash and purple bumps." So, I suggest that you write a short story with a funny ending, and make a list of examples that will go with your story.

  2. The next thing you’ll need is a beat. Here is the rhythm that a lot of rap artists use, so it should sound familiar to you:

    da DUM da da DUM da da DUM da DUM
    da DUM da da DUM da da DUM da DUM

    Here’s a short story you could tell using this rhythm:

    I handed in a poem and my teacher said, (A)
    "You’ve got a few strange ideas in your head." (A)
    I took out that poem and read it to my folks. (B)
    They said, "We won’t listen to your stupid jokes." (B)

  3. The sample rap above has also included the third thing you’ll need to write a rap: a rhyme pattern of A-A-B-B. Notice that the last word in the first line ("said") rhymes with the last word in the second line ("head"), and the last word in the third line ("folks") rhymes with the last word in the fourth line ("jokes"). Now that you understand the elements of a rap, I’ll show you the first Giggle Rap I ever wrote. It’s published in, If Pigs Could Fly…and Other Deep Thoughts.

    All You Can Eat Rap

    I went to a place that serves all you can eat.
    And now my new shoes do not fit on my feet.
    My hat is too small now to fit on my head.
    My legs are too long now to fit on my bed.

    So if you should visit the very same place,
    Take my advice, friend, and don’t stuff your face.

    © Bruce Lansky, reprinted from If Pigs Could Fly…and Other Deep Thoughts with permission of Meadowbrook Press

Before you start writing a rap, I suggest that you recite this poem out loud and tap your foot to the beat. Notice that your foot taps four beats per line. Now, while tapping your foot, I’d like you to say:

A-one and a-two and a-three and a-four
A-one and a-two and a-three and a-four

Now that you can hear the rhythm and tap the rhythm with your foot, it’s time to write down your own funny little story while tapping your foot, to help you make sure you’ve got the right rhythm.

Happy rappin’!


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