The Ballad of the Earl of Sandwich


Quick note: This is not library related, but it is literary and has to do with food. I’m sure you’ll be able to stomach it.

A few years back I was wondering about where the name “sandwich” came from and happened upon an interesting tale for how the term came into being. It was such a fun story that I decided to flesh it out a bit more and put it into verse. Even though the history behind it is somewhat dubious, it’s still a good yarn. Here it is in it’s entirety:

The Earl of Sandwich took his pleasures
In food and drink quite far from bland,
But also took quite drastic measures
In cards to never miss a hand.

One evening in a game engrossed,
That seemed was never wont to cease
The Earl, he dined on cheese and toast
And meat that filled his hands with grease.

“This bloody food, these bloody cards,
The deck is soiled,” the Earl thus spoke.
“One must invent a remedy!
I’m just the clever bloke!”

“Waiter,” he cried, “bring me some bread,
Two slices should suffice.
And with it bring some meat and cheese…
An onion would be nice.”

Then gathered he these fixin’s three
Upon a single slice of bread.
He topped it with another slice.
The crowd, though, all went dead.

Uproarious laughter did ensue!
He had them in a stitch.
One gent remarked, “I’d like one too!
Bring me out a Sandwich!”

Invented not by cook, nor chef,
Nor floozy serving girl,
The sandwich hero we all know
Is our clever gambling Earl.

© Copyright 2009 Andy Burkhardt

Andy Burkhardt

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