When I was an undergrad

Author: Bryan Caplan

When I was an undergrad

When I was a lad

Author: My Son, The Greatest: The Best Of Allan ShermanAllan Sherman

When I was a lad I went to Yale
And I knew then that I would never fail
For I studied very hard and furthermore
I polished up the apple for the pro-fess-or
(He polished up the apple for the pro-fess-or)

I polished up the apple so frequently
That soon I had a phi beta kappa key
(He soon had a phi beta kappa key
from polishing the apple very frequently)

On graduation day I made a stop
At a very exclusive clothing shop
I opened up a charge account and asked them for
The best gray flannel in the clothing store
(The best gray flannel in the clothing store)

The suit was a part of a great intrigue
For it proved I was a member of the Ivy League
(It was part *beat* of *beat* a great intrigue
For it proved he was a member of the Ivy Leauge)

I wore my new suit and a sincere tie
And for my first job I did apply
A job in an advertising agency
Sharpening the pencils of a big VP
(Oh, he honed a lot of pencils for a big VP)

I sharpened all the pencils so pointedly
That soon I was a member of the agency
(He sharpened all the pencils so pointedly
That soon he was a member of the agency)

I kept my ears open and my big mouth shut
And I learned all the agency scuttlebutt
I learned who was going out with whom
And who had the keys to the powder room
(And who had the keys to the powder room)

The key to the powder room you see
Is the the key to the power of the agency
(The key *beat* to the powder room *beat*
Is the key to the power of the agency)

I worked real hard for the dear ol’ firm
I learned ‘most ev’ry advertising term
I said to the men in the dark gray suits
“Let’s run it up the flagpole and see who salutes”
(Let’s run it up the flagpole and see who salutes)

I ran it up the flagpole perfectly
So now I am a partner in the agency
(He ran it up the flagpole perfectly
So now he is a partner in the agency)

Now I have a big office at the end of the hall
With very fancy carpeting from wall to wall
I keep my mouth open and I keep my ears shut
And I have a little palace in Connecticut
(Yes he has a little palace in Connecticut)

So I thank old Yale…
And I thank the Lord….
And I also thank my father who was chairman of the board
(yes he’s grateful to his father
yes he’s grateful to his father
yes he’s grateful to his father who was chairman of the bo-ARD!)

A Mathematician’s progress

Attributed to “Hurwitz”

When I was a lad and went to school
arithmetic was taught by rote and rule;
I did long division and I learned cube root;
at the rule of three I was especially astute.

I was so astute at the rule of three
that now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(He was so astute at the rule of three
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

In high school geometry I made my mark;
the teachers called me a regular shark.
I memorized theorems through and through;
originals I never was required to do.

I committed so much to memory
that now I am the holder of a Ph. D.
(HE committed so much to memory
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

I chose college courses carefully:
the first digit had to be less than three.
By arranging for my courses to intersect,
I avoided putting pressure on my intellect.

I arranged so much redundancy
that now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(He arranged so much redundancy
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

The faculty though that I was such a jerk,
I was obviously destined for graduate work.
They gave me a job to earn my pelf,
by teaching younger morons like myself.

I taught those morons with such esprit
that now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(He taught those morons with such esprit
that now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

Oh they had a silly rule that a thesis was required,
so a found a kind professor whose assistance I desired;
he said, “Do this,” and he said, “Do that,”
and he had my thesis finished up in two months flat.

It was not a brilliant thesis, but it didn’t have to be
so now I am the holder of a Ph.D.
(it was not a brilliant thesis, but it didn’t have to be,
so now he is the holder of a Ph.D.)

All that remained was my defense;
the questioning was less than intense.
the profs all said I made a very bad show,
but I knew as much at present as I ever would know.

So in order to be rid of me,
they finally had to let me have a Ph.D.
(So in order to be rid of he,
they finally had to let him have a Ph.D.)

Now students all, both far and near,
if you are thinking of an academic career,
if you don’t want to teach in a secondary school,
be careful to be guided by this golden rule.

Don’t ever try to show originality,
and you all may be holders of a Ph.D.
(Don’t ever try to show originality,
and you all may be holders of a Ph.D.)

He’s a Unitarian

Author: Ruth S. Shur

He’s-a U-nitarian.
With a Unitarian intellect,
He was never one to genuflect,
He’s a Unitarian, He’s a Unitarian.

For he might have been a Quaker,
Cath’lic, Lutheran or Shaker,
Or Episcopalian, or Episcopalian.

But in spite of all temptation,
For a safe denomination,
He’s a Unitarian,
He’s a Uni-Uni-Uni-Uni-Uni-Unitarian.

But in spite of all temptation,
For a safe denomination,
He’s a Unitarian,
He’s a Uni-Uni-Uni-Uni-Uni-Unitarian.

tune: “He is an Englishman”

(collected) Alternate Verses to The Soldiers of our Queen

Collected alternate version to the Soldiers of our Queen, compiled by The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company of the Twin Cities

The Auditionee’s Lament

Author: Sharon Brindle

Oh, a chorus girl’s fate is at best second-rate
When she’s trying to win an audition,
A prospective young star’ll wear sexy apparel
To influence panel decision.
But there’s no man in sight when you come to audite,
So you’re dressed up a bit indecorous,
Though you pull out the stops – and you even brought props –
Still, you have to go back to the chorus.
Oh, it’s certain that many a maiden or lad
Has been through this ordeal, disappointed and sad,
So they have to return to the chorus!

Though we try to pretend it’s the same in the end
When we find out we’ve not been selected,
And we know that the chorus is better place for us,
There’s no doubt we feel most dejected.
Still, we show much restraint, not a single complaint,
And one tries not to seem a bad loser
But you stand there aghast when you note who’s been cast –
She’s a relative of the producer!
Oh, it’s really unfair, nepotism is rife,
And you may not get cast for the rest of your life,
While you’re stuck with a selfish producer!

Yeomen ala Dr. Seuss

Author: Sharon Brindle

Phoebe: I mope alone and why, oh why
This Fairfax man is going to die
Wilfred: You weep for him to no avail
He’ll live and perish in my jail (Exit Wilfred)

(enter Meryll)

Meryll: You must not weep, you must not weep,
I’ll save him from his endless sleep
Your brother’s back – get Fairfax out
We’ll own him as a Yeoman stout (exeunt)

(enter Fairfax + Lieut)

Fairfax: One night remains ere head I lose,
What ho, my man? What news? What news?
Lieut: Your head will roll – I’ve no reprieve
Fairfax: Aha – I’ve something up my sleeve

I need a bride – I don’t care which
I’ll be a corpse, and she’ll be rich (exit Fairfax)

(enter Point + Elsie)

Elsie: Alas, my mother’s very ill
Lieut: Will money help?
Elsie It will! It will!

Lieut: My friend desires a bride to find
Elsie: I’m not so sure…
Point: Well, I don’t mind! (exit Elsie)
Lieut: You need a job? Well, if you’re fun
I may have need for such an one

Point: A pretty wit, a pretty wit
My japes have always been a hit
Just test me on my jollity
Lieut: A truce to fooling, follow me (exeunt)

(enter Meryll + Phoebe)

Meryll: The Colonel’s free, the deed is done
I’ve dressed him up to be my son.
Phoebe: But list, they ring the funeral bell
Instead they’ll find an empty cell

(enter Lieut + Fairfax + Elsie + Point + Wilfred)

Fairfax: My lord bad tidings here I bear
He is not there, he is not there!
Lieut: What say you, man, he is not there?
He can’t have vanished into air!

The jailer must die in his place
If of the prisoner there’s no trace
Wilfred: It was not me, it was not me
I hate the man, my rival he!

Elsie: Alas, what am I now to do
I’m married now to Heav’n knows who
Point: You think you’re smart to wed a con
But now the man is gone, gone, gone! (exeunt)


(enter Women and Yeomen)

Women: Where is Fairfax? Where is he?
Where, oh where can Fairfax be?

Yeomen: Up and down, and in and out,
Here and there, and round about;

Every chamber, every house,
Every chink that holds a mouse,
Every crevice in the keep
Where a beetle black could creep,

Every outlet, every drain
Have we searched, but all in vain!
No-one in this town so wide
Has found the place where he doth hide! (exeunt)

(enter Fairfax)

Fairfax: Though I am free from fetters grim
I wish I’d not wed on a whim
I’m landed with an unknown wife
I may be shackled to for life! (exit)

(enter Wilfred and Point)

Point: My Elsie’s gone to someone new
What shall I do? What shall I do?
Wilfred: If you make me a jester man
I’ll help you in a cunning plan

Point: You’ll fire a shot and we’ll pretend
That that’s how Fairfax met his end
Then I will have my Elsie back
Wilfred: And I can be a Jumping Jack (exeunt)

(enter Fairfax + Elsie)

Fairfax: I now know Elsie is my bride
I’ll play a trick and test her pride
I love thee, Elsie, fly with me!
Elsie: What trick is this? I’m shocked at thee!

(enter Meryll + Phoebe)

Meryll: What was that shot? What was that shot?
Fairfax: A gun, was my initial thought

(enter Point and Wilfred)

Wilfred: I fired that arquebus, ’twas me!
Point: And all was witnessed by Jack P.

Wilfred: I shot this Fairfax through the head
Point: And now he’s dead!
Wilfred: And now he’s dead!
Lieut: To find this body now attend
Before the night is at an end! (exeunt Lieut, Point, Wilfred)

Fairfax: Now Elsie fair, I love thee well
Will you become my wife, pray tell?
Phoebe: What do they do? What do they do?
Point: You can’t do that! I love her too!

Elsie: Now ’tis my marriage day, it’s said
I will, I must and shall be wed
Lieut: But hold, my girl, ’tis not to be
Your husband lives and he is free

Elsie: Oh no! Oh no! What shall I do?
How can I face this torment new?
Fairfax: I am your husband, look at me
Elsie: Oh joy! Oh rapture! It is thee!

All: Hurray! Hurray! Oh happy day
Again we say Hurray! Hurray!
Jack: Since this is writ by Dr Seuss
A downbeat ending is no use

I’ll find myself another mate
And fall in love with pretty Kate!


John Wellington Wells (video)

Okay, it’s not really a parody, but a video of John Wellington Wells being performed by a dancing skeleton has to count for something, right?

Now, somebody send me more Sorceror parodies!

PULP OPERETTA: (My Eyes are Fully Open To) The Bonnie Situation

Author: Andrew Solovay

Author’s Note:
(If you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction, this scene is about… um… it’s where… Oh, just see the darned movie.)

The scene: Jules and Vincent have just arrived at Jimmy’s home, covered with Marvin’s blood. They need to get rid of the body before Jimmy’s wife Bonnie gets home…


I know that you’ve gone straight, so I regret my rude intruding
But I hope our ugly business will be presently concluding.
Vincent Vega is my partner, or he was until this morning
But I’m ready now to dump him (I am giving him fair warning).
He’s a pleasant natured fellow, friendly once you get to know him,
But I’ll never trust him anymore as far as I can throw him
What with waving guns around like traffic safety doesn’t matter–
Now our prisoner is dead, and I am covered with the splatter!

Vince: And I’m covered with the splatter splatter splatter…
Jimmy: Ew, he’s dripping all the splatter splatter splatter…


I resent your allegation that I’m cranially lacking,
Or that when it comes to safety I indulge in any slacking.
I was careful with the gun, and I don’t think that it was loaded–
So I’ve no idea why Marvin’s head spontaneously exploded.
All today I haven’t had a chance to light myself a spliff in
And I haven’t touched the heroin since yesterday at tiffin,
So I’m quite as level-headed as Detective Phil Vanatter,
So whatever else you say, you can’t blame me for all the splatter!

Jules: Yes, I blame you for the splatter splatter splatter…
Jimmy: What’s the deal with all the splatter splatter splatter…


I don’t think you appreciate the Bonnie Situation.
If she sees the way you look I’m facing imminent castration.
I’ve repented all my history of murderous adventures,
And your boss was good enough to have forgiven my indentures.
Now you’ve thrown it out the window,
’cause I doubt she’ll be ignoring
The undoubted illegality of negro-body-storing,
So get out of here before this moron makes me any madder
And I cream him with a frying-pan and add to all the splatter!

Jules: Just be cool about the splatter splatter splatter…
Vince: Jimmy’s head is gonna splatter splatter splatter…

All: I bet we get an Oscar for this hip and witty patter,
But the rest will go to _Gump_ ’cause it is lower on the splatter!

The Martyr Trio

Author: Sharon Brindle

Point:My eyes are fully open to my awful situation
Elsie’s gone to live with Fairfax and I’m left in desolation
When I told her she could marry I believed he’d be beheaded,
But he fled as Leonard Merryl, and so Elsie still was wedded,

Though I tried to spin a story how I shot him in the noddle
He returned to claim his widow, and so I was left with sod all,
Now I don’t know whether suicide or fainting is the smarter
*So I’ll leave it to you to decide if I’m to be a martyr

Elsie, Fairfax: If he is to be a martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr
Point: If I am to be a martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr

Fairfax: If I had not been quite so bad and generally naughty
I’d have granted a divorce and let the jester have his totty
But the girl was quite a corker, in my loins I felt a stirring
And then when I made a pass at her I found she was concurring,

That I’m witty, rich and fascinating there is no denying,
Although when it comes to women I am not averse to lying,
Whilst I feel a trifle guilty, I just cannot live withart’er,
So I’ll keep her for myself and Master Point can be a martyr

All: Master Point can be a martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr

Elsie: I’m very well aware of all the failings of my suitor
He’s a sneaky piece of work, but he is infinitely cuter
He pretended to be Leonard with deception cruel and shocking
Till I found out he was Fairfax in a different-coloured stocking

It’s a sticky situation and I’m caught up in the middle
Should I wed the hunky charmer or the master of the riddle?
Though the very thought of wedded bliss with either’s a non-starter
I will listen to my hormones and desert my loyal martyr

Point, Fairfax: She’ll desert her loyal martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr,
Elsie: I’ll desert my loyal martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr,
Elsie: Though you may say “Che peccata”, he will always be a martyr
All: He will always be a martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr, martyr.

*But unconscious or deceased, you must allow I am a martyr

( Sharon Brindle 1997)

My eyes are fully open [math/academia]

Author: Robin Pemantle

My eyes are fully open to my awful situation:
work for business, wear a suit, get only ten days of vacation,
and the fact that I’ll be getting almost twice the compensation
doesn’t even start to balance out the moral indignation.
For the letters I got back from every hiring committee
said in essence, tinged with varying expressions of their pity,
“Though we’ve never seen a thesis that was better typed or fatter,
if you were to die tomorrow, sir … this work just wouldn’t matter.”

sir, this work just wouldn’t matter
sir, this work just wouldn’t matter
sir, this work just wouldn’t matter, matter, matter, matter, matter!

After passing all my quals, I started studying connections
between holomorphic localized commutative transvections
and the inverse limit complex they induce by intersections
but, alas, all the examples have thus far escaped detection.
So I switched into the area of meta-mathematics,
where I found a universal form for third-degree quadratics.
Now I’m mad as a logician, madder still than any hatter,
and my discourse is reduced from math to infantile chatter.

math to infantile chatter
math to infantile chatter
math to infantile chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter!

If I had been so lucky as to have a good advisor
who was just a little older, grayer, richer, smarter, wiser,
who could give me good direction when he saw me start to wander
from those fields of mathematics of which NSF is fonder,
Then I might have had a job at an upstanding institution,
gotten tenure, won a medal for “distinguished contribution” —
as it is this rapid, vapid, unintelligible patter
isn’t generally heard and if it is it doesn’t matter!

if it is it doesn’t matter
if it is it doesn’t matter
if it is it doesn’t matter, matter, matter, matter, matter!

Starr Struck

Author: Raymond Frost, 1998

As Independent Counsel, elite of all the Bar
I run my own Star Chamber, of which I am the Starr
Each little fault of nature and character defect
In our erring politicians I endeavour to correct
Their little indiscretions I’ll unerringly reveal
Whatever the anatomy exposed to touch or feel,
I aim to be impartial- at least, I always try,
Yet everybody says I’m such a disagreable guy
And I can’t think why

With the ladies I am courteous and kindly as can be
I question them politely over little cups of tea
To get the evidence I want, immunity may fail
A more effective method is to throw them into jail.
Alas, they think the honest truth will help to get them freed,
But truth may never quite convey the evidence I need
Although I’m just a pilgrim on a pure and holy mission,
They say I’m like McCarthy or the Spanish Inquisition
And I can’t think why

The evidence in Whitewater and Vincent Foster too
Was never really useful if it was entirely true,
But now I’ve got a witness who says she always lies,
The kind of evidence I want, to her is no surprise.
Let not the marriage of true minds admit impediment
The gods are working with me, from heaven she was sent
She’ll make two million dollars, her story soon to sell
And I will send this Lefty to a Righteous kind of hell
And you’ll all know why

(tune: King Gama’s song (And I can’t think why) )

We Ice Warriors Three

Author: Doug MacKenzie,Lakeshore Light Opera, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

From the distant frozen prairie
come the goons of Donald Cherry.
They played hockey violently,
were suspended, consequently.
Goons of Cherry, hail! Oh, hail!

We ice warriors three,
like our body checks.
Like most jocks are we,
masculine in sex!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Masculine in sex!

Strategy we bar,
we are somewhat bent.
On the whole we are
not intelligent!
No! No! No!
Not intelligent!

But with booted blade
we can crush and maim.
You should be afraid!
Hockey is our game!
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Hockey is our game!

Bold and fierce and strong, ha, ha!
That’s the way we play!
Up and down the ice, ha, ha!
Don’t get in our way!
We will drop our gloves and fight!
Watch us with dismay!
We are not too bright, ha, ha!
Hockey is our game! Yes! Yes! Yes! Hockey is our game! Ha! Ha!

From the author:

Dear Sirs,
I wrote this parody of Arac’s song from Princess Ida for our annual Halloween party and involved three rather large guys dressed as battered and bruised hockey players (at the last minute, Scynthius had to cancel and was replaced by his girlfriend who became, with a slight costume modification, Scynthia). The concept, if not the execution, won first prize. The intro was performed by various friends.

If you give me your attention…

Author: Sharon Brindle

1.If you give me your attention I will tell you what I am
I’m a G&S enthusiast who spouts ad nauseam
I know the lib from every show and point out each defect
To the erring fellow actors I endeavour to correct

My thinking is traditional, some call me prejudiced
When I gasp in scorn and horror at a rehashed “Little List”
I love the Savoy Operas – I quote them where I can –
Yet everybody says I’m such a disagreeable man!
And I can’t think why!

2. My walls at home are all adorned with every print from “Spy”,
The Players’ cigarette cards to impress the passer-by,
I bought a PC so I could subscribe to Savoynet
*Of the G&S discography I’m sure I’ve got the set

I know about the lozenge plot and carpet quarrel too,
How Arthur wrote “Come Mighty Must” when he was on the brew,
I often entertain my peers with stories partisan,
Yet everybody says I’m such a disagreeable man!
And I can’t think why!

3. My cerebral dexterity is something to behold,
I’ve written lengthy parodies, quite promising I’m told
I read the “Precious Nonsense”, “NODA News”, “The Trumpet Bray”
And I write them monthly letters ‘cos I’ve always lots to say.

When Buxton comes around again you won’t see me for dust
To hob-nob with the D’Oyly Carte, it really is a must
I’ve fraternised with Thomas Round and darling Peggy Ann,
Yet everybody says I’m such a disagreeable man!
And I can’t think why!

*And I cheerfully subscribe to all the rules of S’nettiquette

The Professor’s Song

Author: Tom Lehrer

originally printed in American Mathematical Monthly, 81 (1974) 745:

If you give me your attention, I will tell you what I am.
I’m a brilliant math’matician – also something of a ham.
I have tried for numerous degrees, in fact I’ve one of each;
Of course that makes me eminently qualified to teach.
I understand the subject matter thoroughly, it’s true,
And I can’t see why it isn’t all as obvious to you.
Each lecture is a masterpiece, meticulously planned,
Yet everybody tells me that I’m hard to understand,
And I can’t think why.

My diagrams are models of true art, you must agree,
And my handwriting is famous for its legibility.
Take a word like “minimum” (to choose a random word),
{This was performed at a blackboard, and the professor wrote:
For anyone to say he cannot read that, is absurd.
The anecdotes I tell get more amusing every year,
Though frankly, what they go to prove is sometimes less than clear,
And all my explanations are quite lucid, I am sure,
Yet everybody tells me that my lectures are obscure,
And I can’t think why.

Consider, for example, just the force of gravity:
It’s inversely proportional to something – let me see –
It’s r^3 – no, r^2 – no, it’s just r, I’ll bet –
The sign in front is plus – or is it minus, I forget –
Well, anyway, there is a force, of that there is no doubt.
All these formulas are trivial if you only think them out.
Yet students tell me, “I have memorized the whole year through
Ev’rything you’ve told us, but the problems I can’t do.”
And I can’t think why!


Bow, Bow Ye Ninevetic Masses

Bow, Bow Ye Ninevetic Masses

This take on Iolanthe’s March of the Peers is part of a full scale opera, Jonah Was a Prophet (Minor) by Leland Bryant Ross

Lord Irvine’s Nightmare Song

Author: Andrew Crowther

When you’re under attack at the front and the back from some low, penny-pinching nonentities,
It is hardly worth while to attempt with a smile to remember their worthless identities:
For your brain is immense, and no person of sense would be foolish enough to gainsay of it;
You’re before the Committee, and now, more’s the pity, it seems that they’re making a day of it.
They’re asking you questions and making suggestions about your official expenses:
They’re so very officious, so sneaky suspicious, you’d think they were doing a Census.
They’re discussing wallpapers and similar capers, and laugh when they think they’ve been funny –
Which doesn’t distract you from noting the fact that the one thing they care for is money.
You answer the lot and you tell them what’s what without losing your temper or screaming,
But it’s so deathly dull, you’re bored out of your skull and you find yourself idly day-dreaming.

You find in your dream that you suddenly seem to be stuck on a ferry from Trondheim,
And down in the water you notice Cole Porter is synchronised-swimming with Sondheim.
The rest of the crew, and the passengers, too, all appear to be starring in _Showboat_,
While Gloria Swanson, Bob Hope, and Ben Johnson are drifting below in a row-boat.
They’re arguing over the best route to Dover (by Cromarty, Firth or Utsere?):
They fail to agree on the best of the three, so they choose to go via Madeira.
With Ben Johnson rowing, they set themselves going, and soon disappear in the distance;
With a flash and three cheers Richard Dawkins appears and attempts to dispute your existence.
The vision dissolves and a whirlpool revolves, as the very best dreams in this manner do,
And next thing you know you are in a chateau with a sign on the door that says “Xanadu”.

There’s mould on the ceiling, the wallpaper’s peeling (of course – it’s a B & Q pattern):
From foundation to slating it needs decorating to make it a place fit to chat in.
So, after some smart work, you fill it with artwork – some Breughels, Picassos and Turners –
And fill the Library with works by John Carey, Hall Caine, T.H. White and Lord Berners;
When all this is netted it’s viewed and then vetted by critics in terms that are fervent.
The tableware’s gold, all the furniture’s old, and the plumbing is worked by a servant.
You ransack the nation for all that’s palatian, to make it the peak of perfection:
A delight to the eye that would rival Versailles if it had an impartial inspection.
You put in some candles an’ find Peter Mandelson looking it over and grinning –
He thinks that your home would look great in the Dome – but you wake up to find the world spinning –

And while you’ve been asleep they’ve declared you a creep with a snobbish disdain for the poor and the plain, who believes it bad taste to be suddenly faced with the facts of expense and of monet’ry sense, when you’ve always assumed the polite and well-groomed were the only worthwhile people on this great isle, only now all your sneers are misjudged, it appears, for your standing is sadly diminished –
But it isn’t all gloom: you may now leave the room, for the session’s been long – and that goes for this song – and thank Christ that they’re both of ’em finished!

Jet Lag

Author: Jeremy Hele

Note from author: W.S Gilbert’s Chancellor in “Iolanthe” may have had his nightmare in a ‘very small second class carriage’, mine is in an aeroplane.

If you’re travelling far, beyond reach of your car
and no railways will coincide their ways
With the end of your trip, and you can’t find a ship,
You’ve no choice but to go to the Airways.
Now, for double the fare, you can travel by air,
and for Hindus and Jews they will cater;
From Madras to L.A., you can fly in day
and your stomach arrives a week later.

For planning your ticket, the computer’s so quick it
can work out diverse permutations;
Thus your trip to Japan, can call in at Sudan
and each of the United Nations.
Airport roads systems twist and all seem to consist
of crossovers, ramps without function,
Roundabouts like a fair, and some bridges to spare;
a regular spaghetti junction.

Then your car you must park, walk for miles in the dark,
and the trolleys have all gone off shopping;
Or you’re left high and dry, with a lightning goodbye
as the Airport won’t tolerate stopping.
When you check your bags in, she’ll look up with a grin
and tell your booking got twisted;
But you needn’t look ill, you can go via Brazil,
or gamble on being wait-listed.

Your next place to stop is the duty-free shop
and with goodies you’ll stock up ‘ere take-off.
But the prices all prove, that the tax they remove,
they replace by increasing their rake-off.
Now you’re ready to go, and a voice tells you so
with a noise like a mangled steel moron.
Or you think you can hear, but it’s not very clear
if that plane is the one you think you’re on.

When you get to your seat, there’s no room for your feet
as your neighbour’s brief case has obtruded.
Your head gets a crack from the overhead rack,
from which your small case is excluded.
Everyone is then shown, in a bored monotone
what to do when the oxygen’s cut off.
And the music, which serves to soothe jumpy nerves,
when you need it, at take-off, is shut off.

So you hear the ice clink and you ring for a drink
as your nerves have all started to quiver,
But its then that you find there’s a child just behind
who is kicking you hard in the liver.
When you saw that brochure, it told you for sure
that the food would be really fantastic;
When it comes on the tray, it is quite hard to say
if its made out of cardboard or plastic.

Don’t try counting sheep, as your efforts to sleep
almost for sure be aborted;
The pillows are small and they’re no good at all
and your neck has to stay unsupported.
You’ll awake from that dream to an ear-splitting scream
from a baby, who gives you no warning.
Then in case you’re dejected, a movie’s projected
at two forty five in the morning.

So at last you arrive, far more dead than alive,
and your stomach gets over the landing;
But whichever you choose, its the slowest of queues
and it seems to take hours, when you’re standing.
If you’re lucky, your cases all reach the right places
and by customs will soon be inspected;
But it’s just not your day -they’ve been sent to Norway
and will now have to be re-directed

So, from Perth to Jakarta, though they say it’s smarter
it’s quicker, there’s no real denying.
But I’d rather by far, just not go to Qatar,
as for me, there is no fun in flying

Baby Got Back

“Baby Got Back”, a video using clips from “The Pirate Movie” that tranforms Sir Mix-a-lot’s rap into, if not patter, at least operetta.

Camilla’s Lament

Author Madame X

I’m called little Rottweiler,
Mean little Rottweiler,
Tho’ I could never say why.
But still I’m called Rottweiler,
Poor little Rottweiler–
‘Cause I’m not pretty like Di!

I tried to appease them but I just can’t please them
I wear nice tweed suits and old pearls.
I’m not a “Sloane Ranger,” I’d muck out a manger;
I’ve bad teeth like all British girls!

I thought we’d be wed when she met El-Fayed,
So I found something borrowed and blue.
But one day I read that Diana was dead–
And our wedding plans went down the loo!

So pity your Rottweiler,
Poor single Rottweiler,
Bad news for Charles and I.
I’ll die as a Rottweiler,
Unmarried Rottweiler.
Oh, why did that silly Di die?

(added June 2003)

New format, classic content

This is still the same Gilbert and Sullivan Parody Archive you have known and loved since, er, sometime before 1999? The old site structure was not so pretty, and a pain to update, so it kind of fell into disuse. But I would like to fix all that, so I’m going to be using WordPress as a light CMS to make it much easier to keep up with fast-breaking news in the, uh, not so fast paced world of Gilbert and Sullivan parodies. Each Operetta has its own category, with each song going into it is own individual post. Freshly added parodies will show on the main, blog-esque page.

If I get a big burst of energy, I’ll try to cross-index by subject or author, but since I have two jobs, three websites, and two kids, don’t hold your breath on that front.

Hail to the Chief, O

Author: Raymond Frost

When Congress had him in a bind
And there was any fighting
He led his party from behind
He found it less exciting
But when away his Party ran,
His place was at the fore, O
That celebrated,
Middle of the Road, O

He left them in their plight,ha ha
Because he would not fight, ha ha
That celebrated
Middle of the Road, O

When to avoid Whitewater’s blast
To hide his friends proceeded
No lawyer, banker in the cast,
Acted as well as he did
Impervious to Starr’s attack,
His armor never showed a crack,
That unaffected
Arkansas PoliticO

For every implied deed, ha ha
Innocence he would plead, ha ha
That unaffected
Arkansas PoliticO

When Monika laid on her Tripp
Of Presidential service
Our hero hesitated not
So marvellous his nerve is
He sent his bold denials in,
Of anything that smacked of sin,
That very knowing
Pure as Driven Snow,O

To men of grosser clay, ha ha
He always showed the way, ha ha
That very knowing
Pure as Driven Snow,O Return to the Gilbert and Sullivan Parody Archive

I once was a very abandoned soul

Author: Sharon Brindle

M: I once was a very abandoned soul
F: Known as the last of the great big spenders,
M: Now I am broke and on the dole,
F: We have to stay home and watch “Eastenders”.
M: No more can I go on raucus benders,
We’re living rough,
She’s up the duff,
F: And Kev’s in a home for young offenders.


M: Our son Roberta is changing genders.

F: I was once an exceedingly slim young lady,
M: Trying out every kind of diet,
F: I used to stop traffic in my heyday,
M: She was the cause of the Brixton Riot.
F: He won’t eat my food unless I fry it,
But still, it’s true
I’m eating for two,
M: (Aside) She’s eating for twelve but I’m keeping quiet!


F: (Aside) I’ve told him I’m pregnant, I think he’ll buy it!

M: I’ve given up all my aimless drifting,
F: Mooching around and looking slobby,
M: I’ve taken up gambling and shoplifting,
F: It’s lovely to think he’s got a hobby,
M: We keep a Rottweiler in the lobby,
I spend my fill
Down William Hill,
M: He’s very well known by the local bobby.


M+F: I’m starting to look like Mr Blobby.

The Ruddigore Hillbillies

Author: Sharon Brindle

1. Come and listen to my story ’bout Rupert Murgatroyd
He was the sort of fella that you’re better to avoid
He liked to torture witches and would duck ’em in his lake
But a palsied hag gave him a gift as she burned at the stake

Curse, that is
On his soul
No parole

2. Well, the next thing you know, it’s passed down the family tree
Through Roderic and Despard, not a generation’s free
But Sir Ruthven had the right idea, it really must be said,
He got out of the problem by pretending to be dead

Late, that is
Ceased to be

3. Now Ruthven, known as Robin, is enamoured of a girl
Who captivates the village boys and gets them in a whirl
But though the bridesmaids think that she is playing hard to get
Her curious behaviour’s in the name of etiquette

Manners, that is
Show respect

4. When Robin’s brother Richard comes rolling into town
He tries to cheer up Robin ‘cos he’s feeling kinda down
Romances Rose by proxy ‘cos his brother’s really shy
But he takes her for himself ‘cos he’s a sneaky kind of guy

Cad, that is
Cupid’s dart
Blames his heart

5. Now Rose goes back to Robin, he’s the one she really wants,
Dick wanders to the graveyard, one of Despard’s favourite haunts
He lets it slip to Murgatroyd that Rose’s valentine
Is older brother Ruthven, keeping oxen, sheep and swine

Pigs, that is
Former crook
Off the hook

6. Now Ruthven is the criminal and does a crime a day
To keep the painted emblems and Sir Roderick at bay
While Despard’s married Crazy Meg and goes to tend the sick
When she goes mad, a “Basingstoke” will always do the trick

Calm, that is
Makes her wiser

7. When Ruthven tries to kidnap Rose, he thinks he’s played his part
But Gideon Crawle returns with Roddy Doddy’s “tiger caht”,
But by some crazy twist of fate that will amaze y’all,
Since Roderic had topped himself, he wasn’t dead at all

Free, that is
Family curse
Is reversed

8. So happy ever after, every couple’s getting hitched,
And now the Murgatroyds are not the only ones bewitched
The moral of the story if you’re virtuous at all
Is make sure that all your paintings are turned in towards the wall

Y’all come back now, y’hear?

I’ve got a little list [spam/procmail]

Author Unknown

Ko-Ko (Lord High Executioner and Postmaster@titipu.com):

As some days it can happen that my in-box gets too full,
I’ve got a little list– a little procmail list
Of annoying e-mail senders whose spew goes to dev/null,
And who never would be missed– who never would be missed!
There’s the idiotic nuisances who say “Make money fast!
Just send a buck to each of us and add your name on last,
I’ve made a bunch of money now, and you can join the fun,
Ignore the dull statistics proving it cannot be done,
So what if it would take more folks than currently exist?”
They’d none of ’em be missed– they’d none of ’em be missed!


He’s got ’em on the list– he’s got ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed– they’ll none of ’em be missed.


Then there’s evil Spamford Wallace and his Cyberpromo slime–
The e-mail terrorist– I’ve got *him* on the list!
With his unrepentant attitude and arrogance sublime,
It’s easy to insist– he *must* be on the list.
He harvests our addresses, which he sells to other jerks
Then he spams us selling software we can buy to block their works.
New domains most every day, a tough man to ignore,
Send him a “Remove” request, he only spams you more.
He wants to make a profit, doesn’t care how much he’s dissed.
But I don’t think he’ll be missed– I’m *sure* he’ll not be missed!


He’s got him on the list– got Spamford on the list;
And I don’t think he’ll be missed– I’m *sure* he’ll not be missed!


Headers saying “FREE,” “X-Rated,” “Bulk Mail,” dollar signs–
Don’t let them get you pissed– just put them on the list.
Anything from Nancynet, Quantcom, and all their kind,
They’d none of ’em be missed– they’d none of ’em be missed.
The folks you’ve flamed on Usenet who might want to get you back,
Anyone whose Web site you decided you should hack,
And all the many pseudonyms of Caro You-Know-Who–
The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you.
But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list,
For they’d none of ’em be missed– they’d none of ’em be missed!


You may put ’em on the list– you may put ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed– they’ll none of ’em be missed!