To commemorate Gigi’s story Life After Lies—long and widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, noncompetition stories on the wiki—winning Featured Story status, I have drawn from my TDI-G&S verses to create a Gilbert & Sullivan playlist for LAL.

Because this is a playlist, and not a scene-by-scene reconstruction like TDI-G&S will be, the following verses are mostly complete songs and don’t necessarily refer to specific scenes from LAL. Exceptions are noted where they occur. Some verses have a remarkably literal fit, whereas others fit more for their mood than for their description of events. This playlist includes verses from 12 of the 14 Gilbert & Sullivan series of light operas, with only Patience and The Gondoliers not represented.

Click the hyperlinks to hear the tunes on MIDI files at the Gilbert & Sullivan Archive. The MIDI files are freely downloadable, either singly or in bulk, for readers so inclined. The pages housing these files also have the relevant lyrics, including all repetitions, the better to allow readers so inclined to sing along.

Indents indicate a change of singer (in the original, not necessarily in the LAL reference), and are included primarily to provide some sense of the music for readers who don’t choose to click through to the MIDI files, although these indents also inform the verse in some cases

The original stage directions are included in a few cases where they help to inform the verse. These directions are italicized and enclosed in brackets, [thusly]. Underlined terms that are not part of hyperlinks are defined in the Glossary.

Total playing time: 99 minutes, not including the musicless verses from Thespis. (Sadly, most of the music for Thespis has been lost.)


Verses: Heather’s Backstory

LAL-G&S Theme Song

Recitative and song from Ruddigore

Away, Remorse!
Compunction, hence!
Go, Moral Force!
Go, Penitence!
To Virtue’s plea
A long farewell—
I ring your knell!
Come, guiltiness of deadliest hue!
Come, desperate deeds of derring-do!

Henceforth all the crimes
That I find in the Times,
I’ve promised to perpetrate daily;
Tomorrow I start,
With a petrified heart,
On a regular course of Old Bailey.
There’s confidence tricking,
Bad coin, pocket picking,
And several other disgraces—
There’s postage stamp prigging,
And then, thimble-rigging,
The three-card delusion at races!
Oh! A baronet’s rank is exceedingly nice,
But the title’s uncommonly dear at the price!

Ye well-to-do squires,
Who live in the shires,
Where petty distinctions are vital,
Who found Athenaeums
And local museums,
With views to a baronet’s title—
Ye butchers and bakers
And candlestick makers
Who sneer at all things that are tradey—
Whose middle-class lives
Are embarrassed by wives
Who long to parade as “My Lady”,
Oh! Allow me to offer a word of advice,
The title’s uncommonly dear at the price!

Ye supple M.P.s
Who go down on your knees,
Your precious identity sinking,
And vote black or white
As your leaders indite
(Which saves you the trouble of thinking),
For your country’s good fame,
Her repute, or her shame,
You don’t care the snuff of a candle—
But you’re paid for your game
When you’re told that your name
Will be graced by a baronet’s handle—
Oh! Allow me to give you a word of advice—
The title’s uncommonly dear at the price!

Karma and Compulsion

The story of how (a) karma still has a score to settle with Heather; and (b) Heather, having been told that the Organization has been watching her for her entire life, joined the Organization under compulsion. The first 14 lines (i.e. the first soloist verse and first chorus verse) also fit LAL’s interstitial story, Screwed.

Song from Ruddigore:

Sir Rupert Murgatroyd
His leisure and his riches
He ruthlessly employed
In persecuting witches.
With fear he’d make them quake—
He’d duck them in his lake—
He’d break their bones
With sticks and stones,
And burn them at the stake!

This sport he much enjoyed,
Did Rupert Murgatroyd—
No sense of shame
Or pity came
To Rupert Murgatroyd!

Once, on the village green,
A palsied hag he roasted,
And what took place, I ween,
Shook his composure boasted;
For, as the torture grim
Seized on each withered limb,
The writhing dame
‘Mid fire and flame
Yelled forth this curse on him:

“Each lord of Ruddigore,
Despite his best endeavor,
Shall do one crime, or more,
Once, every day, forever!
This doom he can’t defy,
However he may try,
For should he stay
His hand that day,
In torture he shall die!”

The prophecy came true:
Each heir who held the title
Had, every day, to do
Some crime of import vital;
Until, with guilt o’erplied,
“I’ll sin no more!” he cried,
And on the day
He said that say,
In agony he died!

And thus, with sinning cloyed,
Has died each Murgatroyd,
And so shall fall,
Both one and all,
Each coming Murgatroyd!

Verses: The Organization’s backstory

From Humble Beginnings…

The story of how the Organization’s founder rose, through undeniable professional competence, from freelance assassin to the head of an international organized crime enterprise. Song from Iolanthe:

When I went to the Bar as a very young man,
(Said I to myself, said I),
I’ll work on a new and original plan,
(Said I to myself, said I).
I’ll never assume that a rogue or a thief
Is a gentleman worthy implicit belief,
Because his attorney has sent me a brief,
(Said I to myself, said I).

Ere I go into court I will read my brief through
(Said I to myself, said I),
And I’ll never take work I’m unable to do
(Said I to myself, said I).
My learned profession I’ll never disgrace
By taking a fee with a grin on my face,
When I haven’t been there to attend to the case
(Said I to myself, said I).

I’ll never throw dust in a juryman’s eyes
(Said I to myself, said I),
Or hoodwink a judge who is not over-wise
(Said I to myself, said I).
Or assume that the witnesses summoned in force
In Exchequer, Queen’s Bench, Common Pleas, or Divorce,
Have perjured themselves as a matter of course
(Said I to myself, said I).

In other professions in which men engage
(Said I to myself, said I),
The Army, the Navy, the Church and the Stage
(Said I to myself, said I),
Professional license, if carried too far,
Your chance of promotion will certainly mar—
And I fancy the rule might apply to the Bar
(Said I to myself, said I).

…but it’s not pretty

Ruthlessness is critical to the success of any organized crime enterprise, and the Organization is no exception. Organization operatives will not stop at killing if the situation warrants, and there are indications that they may at times kill without formal authorization. The second part of this song from The Yeomen of the Guard also fits the scene where the steadfast little girl is killed:

When our gallant Norman foes
Made our merry land their own,
And the Saxons from the Conqueror were flying,
At his bidding it arose,
In its panoply of stone,
A sentinel unliving and undying.
Insensible, I trow,
As a sentinel should be,
Though a Queen to save her head should come a-suing.
But there’s a legend on its brow
Which is eloquent to me,
And it talks of duty done and duty doing:

“The screw may twist and the rack may turn,
And men may bleed and men may burn,
O’er London town and its golden hoard
I keep my silent watch and ward!”

Within its wall of rock
The flower of the brave
Have perished with a constancy unshaken.
From the dungeon to the block,
From the scaffold to the grave,
Is a journey many gallant hearts have taken.
And the wicked flames may hiss
Round the heroes who have fought
For conscience and for home in all its beauty,
But the grim old fortalice
Takes little heed of aught
That comes not in the measure of his duty.

“The screw may twist and the rack may turn,
And men may bleed and men may burn,
O’er London town and its golden hoard
I keep my silent watch and ward!”

Verses: The Organization and its Clients

Comes the Client

A client (Rhodes, for example) engages the Organization’s services. Readers so inclined may visualize the client as soloist and Organization personnel as chorus. Song from Princess Ida:



As the client commands, so shall it be

Now hearken to my strict command
On every hand, on every hand—
To your command,
On every hand,
We dutifully bow!
If Gama bring the Princess here,
Give him good cheer, give him good cheer,
If she come here,
Will give him a cheer,
And we will show you how!
We’ll shout and sing
“Long live the King”,
And his daughter, too, I trow!
Then shout ha! Ha! Hip, hip hurrah!
For the fair Princess and her good papa!

But if he fail to keep his troth,
Upon our oath, we’ll trounce them both!
He’ll trounce them both
Upon his oath,
As sure as a quarter-day!
We’ll shut him up in a dungeon cell,
And toll his knell on a funeral bell.
From his dungeon cell,
His funeral knell
Shall strike him with dismay!
As up we string
The faithless King
In the old familiar way!
We’ll shout ha! Ha! Hip, hip, hurrah!
As we make an end of her false papa!

Power and Influence

In this duet, readers so inclined may envision an Organization representative as the first voice and the client as the second voice. The first 12-line verse also fits the scene where Heather assures Noah that she will be able to get her weapons through airport security. Song from Utopia Limited:

Let all your doubts take wing—
Our influence is great.
If Paramount our King
Presume to hesitate,
Put on the screw
And caution him
That he will rue
Disaster grim
That must ensue
To life and limb
Should he pooh-pooh
This harmless whim.

Observe this dance
Which I employ
When I, by chance,
Go mad with joy.
What sentiment
Does this express?
Supreme content
And happiness!
Your friendly aid conferred,
I need no longer pine.
I’ve but to speak the word,
And lo! The maid is mine!
I do not choose
To be denied,
Or wish to lose
A lovely bride—
If to refuse
The King decide,
The Royal shoes
Then woe betide!
This step to use
I condescend
Whene’er I choose
To serve a friend
What it implies
Now try to guess;
It typifies


The Organization sometimes takes hostages on a client’s behalf, the better to gain another party’s cooperation, and is not above killing said hostages if that’s what the client wants. Recitative & song from Princess Ida (excerpt from Finale Act I, MIDI file 4:15 – 6:17):



The better to gain another party's cooperation

‘Till then, must we in prison cell be thrust?
You must!
This seems unnecessarily severe!
Hear, hear!

For a month to dwell
In a dungeon cell;
Growing thin and wizen
In a solitary prison,
Is a poor look-out
For a soldier stout
Who is longing for the rattle
Of a complicated battle—
For the rum-tum-tum
Of the military drum
And the guns that go Boom! Boom!

When Hilarion’s bride
Has at length complied
With the just conditions
Of our requisitions,
You may go in haste
And indulge your taste
For the fascinating rattle
Of a complicated battle—
For the rum-tum-tum
Of the military drum
And the guns that go Boom! Boom!
But till that time you’ll here remain,
And bail we will not entertain,
Should she our mandate disobey,
Your lives the penalty will pay!

Professional Detachment

To operate as it does, the Organization needs its agents to maintain a professional detachment, which Heather describes as “indifference to the problems of others”. This song from Thespis is about the danger of a boss getting too chummy with his staff, which is a reasonably similar concept. The music for this song, like most of the music for Thespis, has been lost.

I once knew a chap who discharged a function
On the North South East West Diddlesex junction,
He was conspicuous exceeding,
For his affable ways and his easy breeding.
Although a Chairman of Directors,
He was hand in glove with the ticket inspectors,
He tipped the guards with brand new fivers,
And sang little songs to the engine drivers.

Each Christmas Day he gave each stoker
A silver shovel and a golden poker,
He’d buttonhole flowers for the ticket sorters,
And rich Bath buns for the outside porters.
He’d mount the clerks on his first-class hunters
And he built little villas for the roadside shunters,
And if any were fond of pigeon shooting,
He’d ask them down to his place at Tooting.

In course of time there spread a rumor
That he did all this from a sense of humor,
So instead of signaling and stoking,
They gave themselves up to a course of joking.
Whenever they knew that he was riding,
They shunted his train on lonely siding,
Or stopped all night in the middle of a tunnel,
On the plea that the boiler was a-coming through the funnel.

If he wished to go to Perth or Stirling,
His train through several counties whirling,
Would set him down in a fit of larking,
At four a.m. in the wilds of Barking.
This pleased his whim and seemed to strike it,
But the general Public did not like it;
The receipts fell, after a few repeatings,
And he got it hot at the annual meetings.

He followed out his whim with vigor,
The shares went down to a nominal figure,
These are the sad results proceeding
From his affable ways and his easy breeding!
The line, with its rails and guards and peelers,
Was sold for a song to marine store dealers.
The shareholders are all in the work’us,
And he sells pipe-lights in the Regent Circus.

‘Twas told to me with much compunction,
By one who had discharged with unction
A Chairman of Directors’ function,
At the North South East West Diddlesex junction.

Verses: Scene References

Heather watches her “funeral” (ch 1)

In this song from The Mikado, town officials assure the Mikado that they have recently held an execution (as per his orders) when, in fact, they have not. They go on to describe the spurious execution “with most affecting particulars”, as the Mikado later puts it. (In the original, soloists sing the 15-line verses and the chorus sings the 6-line verses, but there is no corresponding division in the LAL reference.)

The criminal cried, as he dropped him down,
In a state of wild alarm—
With a frightful, frantic, fearful frown,
I bared my big right arm.
I seized him by his little pigtail
And on his knees fell he,
As he squirmed and struggled,
And gurgled and guggled,
I drew my snickersnee!
Oh, never shall I
Forget the cry,
Or the shriek that shrieked he!
As I gnashed my teeth,
When from its sheath
I drew my snickersnee!

We know him well,
He cannot tell
Untrue or groundless tales—
He always tries
To utter lies,
And every time he fails.

He shivered and shook as he gave the sign
For the stroke he didn’t deserve;
When all of a sudden his eye met mine,
And it seemed to brace his nerve;
For he nodded his head and kissed his hand,
And he whistled an air, did he,
As the saber true
Cut cleanly through
His cervical vertebrae.
When a man’s afraid,
A beautiful maid
Is a cheering sight to see;
And it’s oh, I’m glad
That moment sad
Was soothed by sight of me!

Her terrible tale
You can’t assail,
With truth it quite agrees:
Her taste exact
For faultless fact
Amounts to a disease!
Now, though you’d have said that head was dead
(For its owner, dead was he),
It stood on its neck with a smile well-bred,
And bowed three times to me!
It was none of your impudent off-hand nods,
But as humble as could be;
For it clearly knew
The deference due
To a man of pedigree!
And it’s oh, I vow,
This deathly bow
Was a touching sight to see;
Though trunkless, yet
It couldn’t forget
The deference due to me!
This haughty youth,
He speaks the truth
Whenever he finds it pays:
And in this case
It all took place
Exactly as he says!

DeMiller briefs Heather (ch 1)

The curious case of Rhodes v. Wilshire: Rhodes lent Wilshire a large sum that Wilshire invested profitably, only to (purportedly) up and die when Rhodes asked to be repaid. (This is the only long playlist item that does not also appear in TDI-G&S.) Excerpts from Act I Finale of Utopia, Limited (MIDI file 6:06 – 6:59 & 11:00 – 13:37):

A Company Promoter this, with special education,
Which teaches what Contango means and also Backwardation—
To speculators he supplies a grand financial leaven,
Time was when two were company—but now it must be seven.
Time was when two were company—but now it must be seven.

Stupendous loans to foreign thrones
I’ve largely advocated;
In ginger pops and peppermint drops
I’ve freely speculated;
Then mines of gold, of wealth untold,
Successfully I’ve floated,
And sudden falls in apple stalls
Occasionally quoted:
And soon or late I always call
For Stock Exchange quotation—
No schemes too great and none too small
For Companification!


UTOPIA LIMITED Mr. Goldbury's Song (Gilbert & Sullivan)

DeMiller briefs Heather (ch 1)

Some seven men form an Association
(If possible, all Peers and Baronets),
They start off with a public declaration
To what extent they mean to pay their debts.
That’s called their Capital: if they are wary
They will not quote it at a sum immense.
The figure’s immaterial—it may vary
From eighteen million down to eighteenpence.
I should put it rather low;
The good sense of doing so
Will be evident at once to any debtor.
When it’s left for you to say
What amount you mean to pay,
Why, the lower you can put it at, the better.

They then proceed to trade with all who’ll trust ‘em,
Quite irrespective of their capital
(It’s shady, but it’s sanctified by custom);
Bank, Railway, Loan, or Panama Canal.
You can’t embark on trading too tremendous—
It’s strictly fair, and based on common sense—
If you succeed, your profits are stupendous—
And if you fail, pop goes your eighteenpence.
Make the money-spinner spin!
For you only stand to win,
And you’ll never with dishonesty be twitted,
For nobody can know,
To a million or so,
To what extent your capital’s committed!

If you come to grief, and creditors are craving
(For nothing that is planned by mortal head
Is certain in this Vale of Sorrow—saving
That one’s Liability is Limited),
Do you suppose that signifies perdition?
If so you’re but a monetary dunce—
You merely file a Winding-Up Petition,
And start another company at once!
Though a Rothschild you may be
In your own capacity,
As a Company you’ve come to utter sorrow—
But the Liquidators say,
“Never mind—you needn’t pay,”
So you start another Company tomorrow!

Once a snark, always a snark (ch 2)

In her first encounter with Noah, Heather learns that captivity has neither cowed him nor dulled his tongue. Song from H.M.S. Pinafore:


Startrek British Tar

Neither cowed him nor dulled his tongue (ch 2)

A British tar is a soaring soul,
As free as a mountain bird,
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word.
His nose should pant and his lip should curl
His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready for a knockdown blow.

His eyes should flash with an inborn fire,
His brow with scorn be wrung;
He never should bow down to a domineering frown,
Or the tang of a tyrant tongue.
His foot should stamp and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl and his face should scowl,
His eyes should flash and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude—[belligerent pose]

No sleep tonight (ch 2-3)

After her first encounter with Noah, Heather assumes that she will not be getting any sleep that night, although she does manage to get two hours. Recitative and song (the famous “Nightmare Song” from Iolanthe. (At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the reference to “love” in the recitative verse is not to be taken literally here):


Iolanthe - The Nightmare Song

No sleep tonight

Love, unrequited, robs me of my rest;
Love, hopeless love, my ardent soul encumbers;
Love, nightmare-like, lies heavy on my chest,
And weaves itself into my midnight slumbers.

When you’re lying awake
With a dismal headache,
And repose is tabooed by anxiety,
I conceive you may use
Any language you choose
To indulge in, without impropriety;
For your brain is on fire—
The bedclothes conspire
Of usual slumber to plunder you:
First the counterpane goes,
And uncovers your toes,
And your sheet slips demurely from under you;
Then the blanketing tickles—
You feel like mixed pickles—
So terribly sharp is the pricking,
And you’re hot, and you’re cross,
And you tumble and toss
Till there’s nothing twixt you and the ticking.
Then the bedclothes all creep
To the ground in a heap,
And you pick ‘em all up in a tangle;
Next your pillow resigns
And politely declines
To remain at its usual angle!
Well, you get some repose
In the form of a doze,
With hot eyeballs and head ever aching,
But your slumbering teems
With such horrible dreams
That you’d very much better be waking;

For you dream you are crossing
The Channel, and tossing
About on a steamer from Harwich—
Which is something between
A large bathing machine
And a very small second-class carriage—
And you’re give a treat
(Penny ice and cold meat)
To a party of friends and relations—
They’re a ravenous horde—
And they all came on board
At Sloane Square and South Kensington stations.
And bound on that journey
You find your attorney
(Who started that morning from Devon);
He’s a bit undersized,
And you don’t feel surprised
When he tells you he’s only eleven.
Well, you’re driving like mad
With this singular lad
(By the by, the ship’s now a four-wheeler),
And you’re playing round games,
And he calls you bad names
When you tell him that “ties pay the dealer”;
But this you can’t stand,
So you throw up your hand,
And you find you’re as cold as an icicle,
In your shirt and your socks
(The black silk with gold clocks),
Crossing Salisbury Plain on a bicycle:

And he and the crew
Are on bicycles, too—
Which they’ve somehow or other invested in—
And he’s telling the tars
All the particulars
Of a company he’s interested in—
It’s a scheme of devices,
To get at low prices
All goods from cough mixtures to cables
(Which tickled the sailors)
By treating retailers
As though they were all vegetables—
You get a good spadesman
To plant a small tradesman
(First take off his boots with a boot tree),
And his legs will take root,
And his fingers will shoot,
And they’ll blossom and bud like a fruit tree—
From the greengrocer tree
You get grapes and green pea,
Cauliflower, pineapple, and cranberries,
While the pastrycook plant
Cherry brandy will grant,
Apple puffs, and three-corners, and Banburys—
The shares are a penny,
And ever so many
Are taken by Rothschild and Baring,
And just as a few
Are allotted to you,
You awake with a shudder despairing—

You’re a regular wreck,
With a crick in your neck,
And no wonder you snore,
For your head’s on the floor,
And you’ve needles and pins
From your soles to your shins,
And your flesh is a-creep,
For your left leg’s asleep,
And you’ve cramp in your toes,
And a fly on your nose,
And some fluff in your lung,
And a feverish tongue,
And a thirst that’s intense,
And a general sense
That you haven’t been sleeping in clover;
But the darkness is past,
And it’s daylight at last,
And the night has been long—
Ditto ditto my song—
And thank goodness they’re both of them over!

A monster in the making (ch 4)

With knife in hand and heavy heart, Heather prepares to torture Noah. The haggard and sleep-deprived Heather looks awful, a fact that naturally does not escape Noah’s notice. Song from Ruddigore:

Oh, why am I moody and sad?
Can’t guess!
And why am I guiltily mad?
Because I am thoroughly bad!
Oh, yes—
You’ll see it at once in my face,

Oh, why am I husky and hoarse?
Ah, why?
It’s the workings of conscience, of course.
Fie, fie!
And huskiness stands for remorse,
Oh, my!
At least it does so in my case.

When in crime one is fully employed—
Like you—
Your expression gets warped and destroyed:
It do.
It’s a penalty none can avoid;
How true!
I once was a nice-looking youth;

But like stone from a strong catapult—
A trice—
I rushed at my terrible cult—
That’s vice—
Observe the unpleasant result!
Not nice.
Indeed I am telling the truth!

Oh, innocent, happy though poor!
That’s we—
If I had been virtuous, I’m sure—
Like me—
I should be as nice-looking as you’re!
May be,
You are very nice looking indeed!

Oh, innocents, listen in time—
We doe,
Avoid an existence of crime—
Just so—
Or you’ll be as ugly as I’m—
No! No!
And now, if you please, we’ll proceed.

Heather carves Noah’s face (ch 4)

The LAL reference does not have the singer changes noted in the original. Excerpts from the Incantation Scene from The Sorcerer:


The Sorcerer, 15. "Sprites of earth and air"

This dreadful deed inspire (ch 4)

Sprites of earth and air
Fiends of flame and fire—
Demon souls,
Come here in shoals,
This dreadful deed inspire!
Appear! Appear! Appear!
Good master, we are here!
Let us fly to a far-off land,
Where peace and plenty dwell—
Where the sigh of the silver strand
Is echoed in every shell
To the joy that land will give,
On the wings of Love we’ll fly;
In innocence there to live—
In innocence there to die!
Too late—too late
It may not be!
That happy fate
Is not for thee!

Now, shriveled hags, with poison bags,
Discharge your loathsome loads!
Spit flame and fire, unholy choir!
Belch forth your venom, toads!
Ye demons fell, with yelp and yell,
Shed curses far afield—
Ye fiends of night, your filthy blight
In noisome plenty yield!

Number One!
It is done!
Number Two!
One too few!
Number Three!
Set us free!
Set us free—our work is done!
Set us free—our course is run!

A small mercy (ch 4)

In the face-carving scene, Heather advises Noah that he will suffer less if he screams quickly. Noah is skeptical of her motives, but Heather explains she has enough burdening her soul as it its. After considering his options, Noah decides to cooperate. Verses from Ruddigore:


Ruddigore 40 he yields

All accurst in days of yore (ch 4)

He yields! He answers to our call!
We do not ask for more.
A sturdy fellow, after all,
This latest Ruddigore!
All perish in unheard-of woe
Who dare our wills defy:
We want your pardon, ere we go.
For having agonized you so—
So pardon us—
So pardon us—
So pardon us—
Or die!

I pardon you!
He pardons us—
He pardons us—

Painted emblems of a race,
All accurst in days of yore,
Each to his accustomed place
Steps unwillingly once more!

Wilshire dismisses Rhodes’ threats

On multiple occasions, Wilshire suggests that Rhodes doesn’t have it in him to do Noah serious harm. In the stage directions, Noah stands in for King Gama. From Act 1 finale of Princess Ida:

P’r’aps if you address the lady
Most politely, most politely—
Flatter and impress the lady,
Most politely, most politely—
Humbly beg and humbly sue—
She may deign to look on you,
But your doing you must do
Most politely, most politely!

Go you, and inform the lady,
Most politely, most politely,
If she don’t, we’ll storm the lady,
Most politely, most politely!
[To Gama] You’ll remain as hostage here;
Should Hilarion disappear,
We will hang you, never fear,
Most politely, most politely!

Rhodes pronounces sentence of death upon Noah (ch 9)

Rhodes has had all he can take of Wilshire’s dismissive attitude, so he instructs DeMiller to kill Noah. Trio from The Pirates of Penzance:

Away, away! My heart’s on fire;
I burn this base deception to repay!
This very night, my vengeance dire
Shall glut itself in gore. Away, away!

Away, away! Ere I expire—
I find my duty hard to do today!
My heart is filled with anguish dire,
It strikes me to the core! Away, away!

With falsehood foul
He tricked us of our brides.
Let vengeance howl;
The Pirate so decides.
Our nature stern
He softened with his lies,
And, in return,
Tonight the traitor dies.

Tonight he dies!
Yes, or early tomorrow.
His girls likewise?
They will welter in sorrow.
The one soft spot
In our natures we cherish,
And all those who plot
To abuse it shall perish!

Noah accepts his fate (ch 10)

Noah, having been told that he will die within a week, appears to accept his fate, at least outwardly. Song from The Yeomen of the Guard:

Is life a boon?
If so, it must befall,
That Death, whene’er he call
Must call too soon.
Though fourscore years he give,
Yet one would pray to live
Another moon!
What plaint have I,
Who perish in July?
I might have had to die,
Perchance, in June!

Is life a thorn?
Then count it not a whit!
Man is well done with it;
Soon as he’s born
He should all means essay
To put the plague away;
And I, war-worn,
Poor, captured fugitive,
My life most gladly give—
I might have had to live
Another morn!

Heather resolves to liberate Noah (ch 11)

Scene (originally a quartet) from The Yeomen of the Guard:

Alas, I waver to and fro!
Dark danger hangs upon the deed!
The scheme is rash and well may fail,
But ours are not the hearts that quail,
The hands that shrink, the cheeks that pale
In hours of need!

And shall I reckon risks I run
When services are to be done
To save the life of such a one?
Unworthy thought!
We may succeed—who can foretell?
May heaven help our hope—farewell!

Noah gives up his bed to Heather (ch 13)

When Heather falls asleep, Noah carries her to his bed. Act 2 Opening chorus & solo from The Pirates of Penzance

Oh, dry the glistening tear
That dews that martial cheek;
Thy loving children hear,
In them thy comfort seek.
With sympathetic care
Their arms around thee creep,
For oh, they cannot bear
To see their father weep!

Dear father, why leave your bed
At this untimely hour,
When happy daylight is dead,
And darksome dangers lower?
See heaven has lit her lamp,
The midnight hour is past,
The chilly night air is damp,
And the dews are falling fast!
Dear father, why leave your bed
When happy daylight is dead?

An avenging angel takes wing (ch 14)

Heather is dispatched, with Noah in tow, to follow up a lead on Wilshire’s whereabouts. Recitative verse from Thespis; the music has been lost:

Oh rage and fury! Oh shame and sorrow!
We’ll be resuming our ranks tomorrow,
Since from Olympus we have departed,
We’ve been distracted and brokenhearted.
Oh wicked Thespis! Oh villain scurvy;
Through him Olympus is topsy-turvy!
Compelled to silence to grin and bear it!
He’s caused our sorrow and he shall share it.
Where is the monster? Avenge his blunders,
He has awakened Olympian thunders.

Sunrise scene & Crying scene (ch 14)

Sunrise scene (verse 1) and Crying scene (verse 2); madrigal from The Mikado:

Brightly dawns our wedding day;
Joyous hour, we give thee greeting!
Whither, whither art thou fleeting?
Fickle moment, prithee stay!
What though mortal joys be hollow?
Pleasures come, if sorrows follow:
Though the tocsin sound, ere long,
Ding dong! Ding dong!
Yet until the shadows fall
Over one and over all,
Sing a merry madrigal—
A madrigal! [all weep]

Let us dry the ready tear,
Though the hours are surely creeping
Little need for woeful weeping,
Till the sad sundown is near.
All must sip the cup of sorrow—
I today and thou tomorrow;
This the close of every song—
Ding, dong! Ding, dong!
What, though solemn shadows fall,
Sooner, later, over all?
Sing a merry madrigal—
A madrigal! [all weep]

Airport scene (ch 14)

When Heather presents her skull card to the airport security screener, he grumbles about the Organization but obediently deactivates the detector so Heather can get through with her weapons. Song from The Pirates of Penzance:

When a felon’s not engaged in his employment,
Or maturing his felonious little plans,
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is just as great as any honest man’s.
Our feelings we with difficulty smother
When constabulary duty’s to be done.
Ah, take one consideration with another,
A policeman’s lot is not a happy one.

When the enterprising burglar’s not a-burgling,
When the cutthroat isn’t occupied in crime,
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
And listen to the merry village chime.
When the coster’s finished jumping on his mother,
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun—
Ah, take one consideration with another,
A policeman’s lot is not a happy one.

Crying scene (ch 14)

First verse of a duet from Ruddigore. Readers so inclined may visualize Heather as the first voice and Noah as the second:

I once was a very abandoned person
Making the most of evil chances,
Nobody could conceive a worse ‘un—
Even in all the old romances.
I blush for my wild extravagances,
But be so kind
To bear in mind,
We were the victims of circumstances!

Heather instructs Noah (ch 14)

Heather, preparing to intrude upon Wilshire and his paramour, reminds Noah to play along, since he is supposed to be her prisoner. Readers so inclined may visualize Heather as the first voice and Noah as the second in this duet from Ruddigore:


Ruddigore You Understand?

With vigor unshaken/ This step shall be taken (ch 14)

You understand?
I think I do;
With vigor unshaken
This step shall be taken.
It’s neatly planned.
I think so too;
I’ll readily bet it
You’ll never regret it!

For duty, duty must be done;
The rule applies to everyone,
And painful though that duty be,
To shirk the task were fiddle-de-dee!
The bridegroom comes—
Likewise the bride—
The maidens are very
Elated and merry;
They are her chums,
To lash their pride
Were almost a pity,
The pretty committee!
But duty, duty must be done;
The rule applies to everyone,
And painful though that duty be,
To shirk the task were fiddle-de-dee!

A party at the door (ch 14)

Heather prepares to enter the Mendez house, by force if she must, to confront Wilshire. Chorus & solo from The Pirates of Penzance. (The tune for the section beginning “Come, friends who plow the sea” later became the tune for “Hail, hail, the gang’s all here”.)

[Chorus without, in the distance]
A rollicking band of pirates we,
Who, tired of tossing on the sea,
Are trying their hand at a burglary
With weapons grim and gory.

Hush, hush! I hear them on the manor poaching,
With stealthy steps the pirates are approaching.

[Chorus, resumed nearer]
We are not coming for plate or gold—
A story General Stanley told—
We seek a penalty fifty-fold,
For General Stanley’s story.

They come in force, with stealthy stride,
Our obvious course is now—to hide.

[very loud]
With cat-like tread,
Upon our prey we steal,
In silence dread
Our cautious way we feel.
No sound at all,
We never speak a word,
A fly’s footfall
Would be distinctly heard.

So stealthily the pirate creeps,
While all the household soundly sleeps.

Come, friends who plow the sea;
Truce to navigation
Take another station
Let’s vary piracy
With a little burglary.

Here’s your crowbar, and your centerbit,
Your life preserver—you may want to hit;
Your silent matches, your dark lantern sieze—
Take your file and your skeletonic keys.

Heather gains entry (ch 15)

Seeing her chance, Heather kicks open the door, gains entry to the Mendez house, and confronts Wilshire. She informs him that she is authorized to kill Noah if see sees fit.

Scene and song excerpted from Act 2 Finale of Princess Ida (MIDI file 3:16 – 8:46):

Madam, without the castle walls
An armed band
Demand admittance to our halls
For Hildebrand!

Deny them!
We will defy them!
Too late—too late!
The castle gate
Is battered by them!

Walls and fences scaling,
Promptly we appear;
Walls are unavailing,
We have entered here.
Female execration
Stifle if you’re wise;
Stop your lamentation,
Dry you pretty eyes!

Rend the air with wailing,
Shed the shameful tear!
Walls are unavailing,
Man has entered here!
Shame and desecration
Are his staunch allies,
Let your lamentation
Echo to the skies!

Audacious tyrant, do you dare
To beard a maiden in her lair?
Since you inquire,
We’ve no desire
To beard a maiden here, or anywhere!
Some years ago
No doubt you know
(And if you don’t, I’ll tell you so)
You gave your troth
Upon your oath
To Hilarion my son.
A vow you make
You must not break,
(If you think you may, it’s a great mistake),
For a bride’s a bride
Though the knot were tied
At the early age of one!
And I’m a peppery kind of king
Who’s indisposed to parleying
To fit the wit of a bit of a chit,
And that’s the long and the short of it!
If you decide
To pocket your pride
And let Hilarion claim his bride,
Why well and good,
It’s understood
We’ll let bygones go by—
But if you choose
To sulk in the blues
I’ll make the whole of you shake in your shoes.
I’ll storm your walls
And level your halls
In the twinkling of an eye
For I’m a peppery potentate
Who’s little inclined his claim to bate
To fit the wit of a bit of a chit,
And that’s the long and the short of it!
We may remark, though nothing can
Dismay us,
That if you offend this gentleman,
He’ll slay us.
We don’t fear death, of course—we’re taught
To shame it;
But still upon the whole we thought
We’d name it.
Our interests we would not press
With chatter,
Three hulking brothers more or less
Don’t matter;
If you would pooh-pooh this monarch’s plan,
Pooh-pooh it,
But when he says he’ll hang a man,
He’ll do it.

Be reassured, nor fear his anger blind,
His menaces are idle as the wind,
He dares not kill you—vengeance lurks behind!
We rather think he dares, but never, never mind!
I rather think I dare, but never, never mind!

Wilshire dismisses Heather’s threat (ch 15)

Heather threatens to kill Noah before Wilshire’s eyes; but Wilshire, seeing a hint of hesitation in Heather, concludes that she is all talk and doesn’t think the Organization poses much of a threat, either. Heather is momentarily at a loss for how to proceed. Trio from Utopia, Limited:

If you think that, when banded in unity,
We may both be defied with impunity,
You are sadly misled of a verity!
If you value repose and tranquility,
You’ll revert to a state of docility,
Or prepare to regret your temerity!
If my speech is unduly refractory
You will find it a course satisfactory
At a early Board meeting to show it up.
Though if proper excuse you can trump any,
You may wind up a Limited Company,
You cannot conveniently blow it up!

Whene’er I chance to baffle you,
I, also, dance a step or two—
Of this now guess the hidden sense:
It means—complete indifference.
As we’ve a dance for every mood
With pas de trois we will conclude.
What this may mean you all may guess—
It typifies remorselessness!
It means unruffled cheerfulness!

Heather defers to Noah (ch 15)

Sensing that Noah wishes to speak to his father, Heather stands aside so that he may do so. Duet from Utopia, Limited:

With fury deep we burn
We fume with smothered rage—
These Englishmen who rule supreme,
Their undertaking they redeem
By stifling every harmless scheme
In which we both engage.
We think it is our turn—
We think our turn has come—
These Englishmen, they must prepare
To seek at once their native air.
The King, as heretofore, we swear,
Shall be beneath our thumb—
For this musn’t be,
And this won’t do,
If you’ll back me,
Then I’ll back you,
No, this won’t do,
No, this mustn’t be.

Noah confronts his father (ch 15)

Song from Trial By Jury:

With a sense of deep emotion,
I approach this painful case;
For I never had a notion
That a man could be so base,
Or deceive a girl confiding,
Vows, etcetera, deriding.

See my interesting client,
Victim of a heartless wile!
See the traitor all defiant
Wear a supercilious smile!
Sweetly smiled my client on him,
Coyly wooed and gently won him.

Swiftly fled each honeyed hour
Spent with this unmanly male!
Camberwell became a bower,
Peckham an Arcadian Vale,
Breathing concentrated otto—
An existence ala Watteau.

Picture, then, my client naming,
And insisting on the day:
Picture him excuses framing—
Going from her far away;
Doubly criminal to do so,
For the maid had bought her trousseau!

Noah and his father have words (ch 16)

Noah and Wilshire have a "heart to heart" heavy with recriminations on both sides. Heather, while nominally in control of the situation, has made a number of mistakes related to her inexperience and her sympathy for Noah, and there is some danger that she could lose control of the situation at any time. (Note that, in the operetta, a Statutory Duel is a bloodless alternative to a traditional duel with swords or pistols.) Readers so inclined may visualize Wilshire as the first voice, Noah as the second, and Heather as the chorus. Scene from Act I Finale of The Grand Duke (MIDI file 0:00 - 2:48).

Come hither, all you people
When you hear the fearful news,
All the pretty women weep’ll,
Men will shiver in their shoes.
And they’ll all cry, “Lord, defend us!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .And they’ll all cry, “Lord, defend us!”
When they learn the fact tremendous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .When they learn the fact tremendous
That to give this man his gruel
In a Statutory Duel—
This plebeian man of shoddy—
This contemptible nobody—
Your Grand Duke does not refuse! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Your Grand Duke does not refuse!


The Grand Duke by Gilbert & Sullivan - Act I Finale

Father vs. son (ch 16, 0:20 - 3:00)

With faltering feet,
And our muscles in a quiver,
Our fate we meet
With our feelings all unstrung!
If our plot complete
He has managed to diskiver,
There is no retreat—
We shall certainly be hung!

Now you begin and pitch it strong—walk into me abusively—
I’ve several epithets that I’ve reserved for you exclusively.
A choice selection I have here when you are ready to begin.
No, you begin—
No, you begin—
No, you begin—
No, you begin—

Has it happed as we expected?
Is our little plot detected?

Big bombs, small bombs, great guns and little ones!
Put him in a pillory!
Rack him with artillery!
Long swords, short swords, tough swords and brittle ones!
Fright him into fits!
Blow him into bits!
You muff, sir!
You lout, sir!
Enough, sir!
Get out, sir! [pushes]
A hit, sir?
Take that, sir! [slaps]
It’s tit, sir,
For tat, sir!

When two doughty heroes thunder,
All the world is lost in wonder;
When such men their tempers lose,
Awful are the words they use!

Tall snobs, short snobs, rich snobs and needy ones!
Whom are you alluding to? [jostles]
Where are you intruding to? [jostles]
Fat snobs, thin snobs, swell snobs and seedy ones!
I rather think you err.
To whom do you refer?
To you, sir!
To me, sir?
I do, sir!
We’ll see, sir!
I jeer, sir! [makes a face]
Grimace, sir!
Look here, sir— [makes a face]
A face, sir!

When two doughty heroes thunder,
All the world is lost in wonder;
When two heroes, once pacific,
Quarrel, the effect’s terrific!

[recit., in canon]
He has insulted me, and in a breath, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .He has insulted me, and in a breath,
This day we fight a duel to the death! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This day we fight a duel to the death!

Heather is feeling poorly (ch 16)

Part of the reason Heather's control is tenuous is that she finds the situation physically taxing. She has a bitter headache, her arms are sore from holding two guns for an extended period, a revelation during Noah's "chat" with his father has left her ready to heave, and she also has a number of lesser complaints. Song from The Grand Duke:


Benjamin Luxon sings Gilbert & Sullivan (1)

a broken-down critter (ch 16)

When you find you’re a broken-down critter,
Who is all of a trimmle and twitter
With your palate unpleasantly bitter,
As if you’d just eaten a pill—
When your legs are as thin as dividers,
And you’re plagued with unruly insiders,
And your spine is all creepy with spiders,
And you’re highly gamboge in the gill—

When you’ve got a beehive in your head,
And a sewing machine in each ear,
And you feel like you’ve eaten your bed,
And you’ve got a bad headache down here
When such facts are about,
And these symptoms you find
In your body or crown—
Well, you’d better look out,
You may make up your mind
You had better lie down!

When your lips are all smeary—like tallow,
And your tongue is decidedly yallow,
With a pint of warm oil in your swallow,
And a pound of tin-tacks in your chest—
When you’re down in the mouth with the vapors,
And all over you Morris wall-papers,
Black beetles are cutting their capers,
And crawly things never at rest—

When you doubt that your head is your own,
And you jump when an open door slams—
Then you’ve got to a state that is known
To the medical world as “jim-jams”.
If such symptoms you find
In your body or head
They’re not easy to quell—
You may make up your mind
You are better in bed,
For you’re not at all well!

Heather leaves Noah to guard his father (ch 16)

Before Heather departs with Rose to get the payment she came for, Heather warns Wilshire that neither the Organization nor the government will react if he is killed. Duet from Utopia, Limited (MIDI file 1:26 - 2:39):

In every mental lore
(The statement smacks of vanity)
We claim to rank before
The wisest of humanity.
As gifts of head and heart
We wasted on “utility,”
We’re “cast” to play a part
Of great responsibility.

Our duty is to spy
Upon our King’s illicities,
And keep a watchful eye
On all his eccentricities.
If ever a trick he tries
That savors of rascality,
At our decree he dies
Without the least formality.

We fear no rude rebuff,
Or newspaper publicity;
Our word is quite enough,
The rest is electricity.
A pound of dynamite
Explodes in his auriculars;
It’s not a pretty sight—
We’ll spare you the particulars.

Its force all men confess,
The King needs no admonishing—
We may say its success
Is something quite astonishing.
Our despot it imbues
With virtues quite delectable,
He minds his P’s and Q’s—
And keeps himself respectable.

Wilshire defends his relationship with Rose (ch 16)

Noah is not impressed.


Song from Trial By Jury:

When first my old, old love I knew,
My bosom welled with joy;
My riches at her feet I threw—
I was a lovesick boy!
No terms seemed too extravagant
Upon her to employ—
I used to mope, and sigh, and pant,
Just like a lovesick boy!

But joy incessant palls the sense,
And love unchanged will cloy,
And she became a bore intense
Unto her lovesick boy!
With fitful glimmer burnt my flame,
And I grew cold and coy;
At last, one morning, I became
Another’s lovesick boy.

Oh, I was like that when a lad!
A shocking young scamp of a rover;
I behaved like a regular cad,
But that sort of thing is all over.
I’m now a respectable chap,
And shine with a virtue resplendent
And, therefore, I haven’t a scrap
Of sympathy with the defendant!


Song from Trial By Jury:

Oh, gentlemen, listen, I pray,
Though I own that my heart has been ranging,
Of nature the laws I obey,
For nature is constantly changing.
The moon in her phases is found,
The time and the wind and the weather,
The months in succession come round,
And you don’t find two Mondays together.
Consider the moral, I pray,
Nor bring a young fellow to sorrow,
Who loves this young lady today,
And loves that young lady tomorrow.

You cannot eat breakfast all day,
Nor is it the act of a sinner,
When breakfast is taken away,
To turn his attention to dinner;
And it’s not in the range of belief,
To look upon him as a glutton,
Who, when he is tired of beef,
Determines to tackle the mutton.
But this I am willing to say,
If it will appease her sorrow,
I’ll marry this lady today,
And I’ll marry the other tomorrow!

Noah is about to kill his father (ch 16)

Noah, with his hand on Wilshire's throat, looks ready to kill him with his bare hands, and that his fury just might give him the manic strength he needs to do so. Wilshire seems to be egging Noah on, as if daring him to kill. Excerpt from the Finale of The Pirates of Penzance (MIDI file 5:09 - 5:26):

With base deceit
You practiced on our feelings!
Revenge is sweet,
And flavors all our dealings!
With courage rare
And resolution manly,
For death prepare,
Unhappy General Stanley!

Wilshire's parting shot (ch 16)

With their "business" concluded and Rhodes' payment--talisman of Noah's freedom--in hand, Heather departs with her "hostage". Wilshire calls out after them, declaring that Noah's life is not worth one dollar, much less $35,000. Conclusion to Finale Act I of The Mikado (MIDI file 10:33 – 13:01)

Ye torrents roar!
Ye tempests howl!
Your wrath outpour
With angry growl!
Do ye your worst, my vengeance call
Shall rise triumphant over all!
We’ll hear no more,
Ill-omened owl;
With joy we soar,
Despite your scowl!
The echoes of our festival
Shall rise triumphant over all!
Prepare for woe,
Ye haughty lords,
At once I go
Away you go,
Collect your hordes;
Proclaim your woe
In dismal chords;
We do not heed their dismal sound,
For joy reigns everywhere around.
My wrongs with vengeance shall be crowned!
My wrongs with vengeance shall be crowned!

Crossroads scene (ch 17)

As Heather sits in the rain, pondering her and Noah’s uncertain futures, Noah claims an abandoned umbrella nearby. As he deploys it, the slight, susurrous sound is enough to interrupt Heather’s reverie. Recitative and mood song (i.e. the song doesn’t advance Gilbert’s story, either) from Finale Act II of The Pirates of Penzance (MIDI file 0:26 – 3:56):


The Pirates of Penzance Sighing Softly

Crossroads scene (ch 17)

Tormented with the anguish dread
Of falsehood unatoned,
I lay upon my sleepless bed,
And tossed and turned and groaned.
A man who feels his conscience ache
No peace at all enjoys,
And as I lay in bed awake,
I thought I heard a noise.
No, all is still
In dale, on hill;
My mind is set at ease—
So still the scene,
It must have been
The sighing of the breeze.

Sighing softly to the river
Comes the loving breeze,
Setting nature all a-quiver,
Rustling through the trees.
And the brook, in rippling measure,
Laughs for very love
While the poplars, in their pleasure
Wave their arms above.

Yes, the trees, for very love,
Wave their leafy arms above.
River, river, little river,
May thy loving prosper ever.
Heaven speed thee, poplar tree,
May thy wooing happy be!
Yet, the breeze is but a rover;
When he wings away,
Brook and poplar mourn a lover,
Sighing, well-a-day!
Ah, the doing and undoing
That the rogue could tell!
When the breeze is out a-wooing,
Who can woo so well?

Shocking tales the rogue could tell—
Nobody can woo so well.
Pretty brook, thy dream is over,
For thy love is but a rover!
Sad the lot of poplar trees,
Courted by a fickle breeze!

Noah will not leave Heather (ch 17)

As they prepare to enter the warehouse, Heather tries one last time to convince Noah to “get out while the getting is good”; but Noah is determined that, whatever may be in store for them, they will face it together. Song from Finale Act II of Princess Ida (MIDI file 1:18 – 3:16):

Whom thou hast chained must wear his chain,
Thou canst not set him free,
He wrestles with his bonds in vain
Who lives by loving thee!
If heart of stone for heart of fire,
Be all thou hast to give,
If dead to me my heart’s desire,
Why should I wish to live?

No word of thine--no stern command
Can teach my heart to rove,
Then rather perish by thy hand,
Than live without thy love!
A loveless life apart from thee
Were hopeless slavery.
If kindly death will set me free,
Why should I fear to die?

Louder than words (ch 17)

When Noah insists on staying with Heather, they share a brief hug and Noah very nearly confesses…something. This duet from Utopia, Limited is also the compiler’s response to the author’s concern that she is perhaps being too subtle with the story’s romance elements:

Words of love too loudly spoken
Ring their own untimely knell;
Noisy vows are rudely broken,
Soft the song of Philomel.
Whisper sweetly, whisper slowly,
Hour by hour and day by day;
Sweet and low as accents holy
Are the notes of lover’s lay!

Let the conqueror, flushed with glory,
Bid his noisy clarion bray;
Lovers tell their artless story
In a whispered virelay.
False is he whose vows alluring
Make the listening echoes ring;
Sweet and low when all-enduring
Are the songs that lovers sing!

Not so clever as she thought (ch 17)

Rhoades reveals that he is wise (or, at least, wise enough) to Heather’s plans and knows of her history with Noah. Recitative and song from The Grand Duke. Readers so inclined may visualize the first and second song verses (second and third overall) directed at Noah, with the other verses directed at Heather, although there was no such division in the original (MIDI file 0:13 – 2:47):

Forbear! This may not be!
Frustrated are your plans!
With paramount decree
The Law forbids the banns!

Well, you’re a pretty kind of fellow, thus my life to shatter, O!
My little store of gold and silver recklessly you scatter, O!
You guzzle and you gourmandize all day with cup and platter, O!
And eat my food and drink my wine—especially the latter, O!
But when compared with other crimes, for which your head I’ll batter, O!
This flibberty, gibberty
Kind of a liberty
Scarcely seems to matter, O!

My dainty bride—my bride-elect—you wheedle and you flatter, O!
With coarse and clumsy compliment, her senses you bespatter, O!
You fascinate her tough old heart with vain and vulgar patter, O!
Although—the deuce confound you—you’re unworthy to look at her, O!
But even this, compared with deeds that drive me mad as hatter, O!
This flibberty, gibberty
Kind of a liberty
Scarcely seems to matter, O!

For O, you vulgar vagabond, you fount of idle chatter, O!
You’ve done a deed on which I vow you won’t get any fatter, O!
You fancy you’ve revived the law—mere empty brag and clatter, O!
You can’t—you shan’t—you don’t—you won’t—you thing of rag and tatter, O!
For this you’ll suffer agonies like rat in clutch of ratter, O!
This flibberty, gibberty
Kind of a liberty
‘S quite another matter, O!

Tipped off (ch 17)

Rhoades reveals that he and DeMiller had discussed what to do with Heather when her softness came to light. Duet from H.M.S. Pinafore:

Kind Captain, I’ve important information,
Sing hey, the kind commander that you are,
About a certain intimate relation,
Sing hey, the merry maiden and the tar.

Good fellow, in conundrums you are speaking,
Sing hey, the mystic sailor that you are;
The answer to them vainly I am seeking;
Sing hey, the merry maiden and the tar.
Kind Captain, your young lady is a-sighing,
Sing hey, the simple captain that you are,
This very night with Rackstraw to be flying;
Sing hey, the merry maiden and the tar.

Good fellow, you have given timely warning,
Sing hey, the thoughtful sailor that you are,
I’ll talk to Master Rackstraw in the morning:
Sing hey, that cat-o’-nine-tails and the tar.

Just as she feared (ch 17)

Heather’s worst fears are realized when it becomes clear that Rhoades is not satisfied with getting the money Wilshire owed him. As Rhoades prepares to take his frustrations out on Noah, possibly to the point of death, Heather realizes that all her machinations to protect Noah are for nothing. Song from Princess Ida:

I built upon a rock,
But ere Destruction’s hand
Dealt equal lot
To Court and cot,
My rock had turned to sand!
I leant upon an oak,
But in the hour of need,
My trusted stay
Was but a bruised reed!
Ah, faithless rock,
My simple faith to mock!
Ah, trait’rous oak,
Thy worthlessness to cloak.

I drew a sword of steel,
But when to home and hearth
The battle’s breath
Bore fire and death,
My sword was but a lath!
I lit a beacon fire,
But on a stormy day
Of frost and rime,
In wintertime,
My fire had died away!
Ah, coward steel,
That fear can unanneal!
False fire indeed,
To fail me in my need!

Helpless (ch 17)

Powerless, Heather can do nothing but watch as Rhoades has his vicarious fun. The music has been lost to this excerpt from Finale Act II of Thespis. Readers so inclined may visualize Rhoades as the first voice and Heather as the second:

Enough, your reign is ended;
Upon this sacred hill
Let him be apprehended,
And learn our awful will.

Away to earth, contemptible comedians,
And hear our curse, before we set you free;
You shall all be eminent tragedians,
Whom no one ever, ever goes to see!

Now, here you see the arrant folly
Of doing your best to make things jolly
I’ve ruled the world like a chap in his senses--
Observe the terrible consequences.
Great Jupiter, whom nothing pleases,
Splutters and swears, and kicks up breezes,
And sends us home in a mood avengin’,
In double quick time, like a railroad engine.
And this he does without compunction,
Because I have discharged with unction
A highly complicated function,
Complying with his own injunction.

Charlie chides Heather (ch 17)

Charlie, who has schemed to get himself planted in Rhoades’ entourage, bluntly tells Heather that she has blundered terribly, All is not lost, however. Scene from H.M.S. Pinafore (MIDI file 1:32 – 2:41)

Pretty daughter of mine,
I insist upon knowing
Where you may be going
With these sons of the brine.
For my excellent crew,
Though foes they could thump any,
Are scarcely fit company,
My daughter, for you.

Now, hark at that, do!
Though foes we could thump any,
We are scarcely fit company
For a lady like you!

Proud officer, that haughty lip uncurl!
Vain man, suppress that supercilious sneer,
For I have dared to love your matchless girl,
A fact well known to all my messmates here!

He, humble, poor, and lowly born,
The meanest in the port division—
The butt of epauletted scorn,
The mark of quarterdeck derision—
Has dared to raise his wormy eyes
Above the dust to which you’d mould him,
In manhood’s glorious pride to rise,
He is an Englishman—behold him!


Auricular: pertaining to the ear. Gilbert uses it as a synonym for an ear.

Banns: wedding announcements.

Baronet: The lowest of British hereditary titles, below a Baron (“Lord” in British parlance) and above a Knight

Bath bun: a pastry named for its place of origin, the town of Bath.

Bathing machine: a mobile booth where women could preserve decorum when changing into their bathing suits.

Brave: (archaic) noble. Use of the archaic meaning is especially common in The Yeomen of the Guard because that play is set in the Tudor period, but also appears at times in other G&S plays.

Chit: an impertinent woman, similar to a minx.

Clerk: pronounced “clark” in the British fashion.

Coster: short for costermonger, originally a person who sells small apples called costers, but later a seller of produce generally. Costermongers had a reputation for being brutish and ill-mannered.

Cot: short for “cottage”.

Dear: expensive. This usage, while still extant, is no longer common.

Deuce: a euphemism for “devil”

Diskiver: (substandard): discover

Doing: (chiefly British) cheating. Gilbert also uses the better known (and more innocent) meaning in various places.

Fortalice: a small fort. The Tower of London is not exactly small, but Gilbert needed a rhyme for “hiss”.

Hunter: a horse used for hunting.

Indite: dictate

Jim-jams: (slang) delerium tremens

Life preserver: a nonlethal weapon, now called a “blackjack”.

Lower: threaten. Rhymes with “hour”

M.P.: Member of Parliament

Old Bailey: London’s Central Criminal Court is commonly known as “The Old Bailey”

Pas de trois: a dance for three parts.

Peeler: (slang) policeman, after the reformer Robert Peel (1788-1850). “Bobby”, also slang for a policeman, has the same origin.

Pipe-lights: matches.

Prithee: short for “I pray thee”. The modern equivalent is “please”, short for “if you please”

Quarter-day: the day quarterly rents are collected, so “as sure as a quarter-day” is equivalent to “as sure as death and taxes”

Patter: rapid speech. A “patter song” is therefore a song where the words themselves are less important than rapid delivery. Gilbert and Sullivan are credited with perfecting this form, which is a distinctive element of their style.

Recitative: essentially, operatic talk-singing. Recitatives tend to not be very tuneful, and may be in either rhymed or blank verse. Grand operas deliver substantially all dialogue in this style, whereas light (aka comic) operas such as the G&S plays most commonly use recitative to introduce a song.

Snuff: The charred part of a candlewick

Tar: (slang) a British sailor.

Tocsin: an alarm bell or other warning signal

Troth: promise

Trousseau: (French) a new bride’s personal effects such as her wedding dress, jewelry, etc. Literally, “bundle”.

Trow: believe

Undoing: (chiefly British) seducing, or bringing to ruin. Gilbert uses the former meaning in The Pirates of Penzance, and the latter in The Yeomen of the Guard. In still other places, he uses the more obvious meaning of “the opposite of ‘doing’”.

Watteau: Jean Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), a French painter of rustic scenes.

Whit: the smallest imaginable portion of something

Work’us: (substandard) workhouse, a.k.a. poorhouse.

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