Songs of a Savoyard
by W. S. Gilbert
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Though in green pea Yourself you needn't stint In July sunny, In Januaree It really costs a mint - A mint of money! No lamb for us - House lamb at Christmas sells At prices handsome: Asparagus, In winter, parallels A Monarch's ransom: When purse to bread and butter barely reaches, What is your wife to do for hot-house peaches? Ah! tell me that! Ah! tell me that! What IS your wife to do for hot-house peaches? Your heart and hand Though at my feet you lay, All others scorning! As matters stand, There's nothing now to say Except - good morning! Though virtue be a husband's best adorning, That won't pay rates and taxes - so, good morning!

Ballad: The Independent Bee

A hive of bees, as I've heard say, Said to their Queen one sultry day, "Please your Majesty's high position, The hive is full and the weather is warm, We rather think, with a due submission, The time has come when we ought to swarm." Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. Up spake their Queen and thus spake she - "This is a matter that rests with me, Who dares opinions thus to form? I'LL tell you when it is time to swarm!" Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz.

Her Majesty wore an angry frown, In fact, her Majesty's foot was down - Her Majesty sulked - declined to sup - In short, her Majesty's back was up. Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. Her foot was down and her back was up!

That hive contained one obstinate bee (His name was Peter), and thus spake he - "Though every bee has shown white feather, To bow to tyranny I'm not prone - Why should a hive swarm all together? Surely a bee can swarm alone?" Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. Upside down and inside out, Backwards, forwards, round about, Twirling here and twisting there, Topsy turvily everywhere - Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. Pitiful sight it was to see Respectable elderly high-class bee, Who kicked the beam at sixteen stone, Trying his best to swarm alone! Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. Trying his best to swarm alone!

The hive were shocked to see their chum (A strict teetotaller) teetotum - The Queen exclaimed, "How terrible, very! It's perfectly clear to all the throng Peter's been at the old brown sherry. Old brown sherry is much too strong - Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. Of all who thus themselves degrade, A stern example must be made, To Coventry go, you tipsy bee!" So off to Coventry town went he. Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. There, classed with all who misbehave, Both plausible rogue and noisome knave, In dismal dumps he lived to own The folly of trying to swarm alone! Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz. All came of trying to swarm alone.

Ballad: The Disconcerted Tenor

A tenor, all singers above (This doesn't admit of a question), Should keep himself quiet, Attend to his diet, And carefully nurse his digestion. But when he is madly in love, It's certain to tell on his singing - You can't do chromatics With proper emphatics When anguish your bosom is wringing! When distracted with worries in plenty, And his pulse is a hundred and twenty, And his fluttering bosom the slave of mistrust is, A tenor can't do himself justice. Now observe - (SINGS A HIGH NOTE) - You see, I can't do myself justice!

I could sing, if my fervour were mock, It's easy enough if you're acting, But when one's emotion Is born of devotion, You mustn't be over-exacting. One ought to be firm as a rock To venture a shake in VIBRATO; When fervour's expected, Keep cool and collected, Or never attempt AGITATO. But, of course, when his tongue is of leather, And his lips appear pasted together, And his sensitive palate as dry as a crust is, A tenor can't do himself justice. Now observe - (SINGS A CADENCE) - It's no use - I can't do myself justice!

Ballad: The Played-Out Humorist

Quixotic is his enterprise, and hopeless his adventure is, Who seeks for jocularities that haven't yet been said. The world has joked incessantly for over fifty centuries, And every joke that's possible has long ago been made. I started as a humorist with lots of mental fizziness, But humour is a drug which it's the fashion to abuse; For my stock-in-trade, my fixtures, and the goodwill of the business No reasonable offer I am likely to refuse. And if anybody choose He may circulate the news That no reasonable offer I'm likely to refuse.

Oh happy was that humorist - the first that made a pun at all - Who when a joke occurred to him, however poor and mean, Was absolutely certain that it never had been done at all - How popular at dinners must that humorist have been!

Oh the days when some stepfather for the query held a handle out, The door-mat from the scraper, is it distant very far? And when no one knew where Moses was when Aaron blew the candle out, And no one had discovered that a door could be a-jar! But your modern hearers are In their tastes particular, And they sneer if you inform them that a door can be a-jar!

In search of quip and quiddity, I've sat all day, alone, apart - And all that I could hit on as a problem was - to find Analogy between a scrag of mutton and a Bony-part, Which offers slight employment to the speculative mind: For you cannot call it very good, however great your charity - It's not the sort of humour that is greeted with a shout - And I've come to the conclusion that my mine of jocularity In present Anno Domini, is worked completely out! Though the notion you may scout, I can prove beyond a doubt That my mine of jocularity is utterly worked out.


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