The Nightmare Song

I love Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. The music is fun, and the lyrics are always amusing, sometimes downright hilarious, especially the “patter songs.”

The patter songs from HMS Pinafore, The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance are widely known, but a less well-known G&S work, Iolanthe, has a good one called “The Nightmare Song.” The subject, as it often is in G&S works, is unrequited love, and the tortured fantasies of a lovesick Lord Chancellor. If you hear this performed, you had better have very good hearing and speech cognition.  I usually get about one word in ten, even if I am following the text.

It’s too long to include the whole thing, but here’s a link.

http://www.gilbertandsullivanarchive.org/iolanthe/web_op/iol20.html

And here’s a link to a performance.  How many words can you get?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoIUtwFQhdI

As funny as the original is, I stumbled onto a couple of parodies of The Nightmare Song, one describes the travails of a politician who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, but the second one, titled Jet Lag, really resonated with me.  It describes in detail the “joys” of airline travel these days.  Anybody who has flown recently will find this much too accurate. Here is a link where you can access both of these.

http://www.jeliza.net/parody/category/iolanthe/nightmare

NOTE:  Both of these were written in 2007, before the travails of TSA.

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