READ MORE ...
STUFF & NONSENSE
Settings of five nonsense poems for young voices with (optional) interspersed epitaphs and limericks for SATB choir and piano (plus optional organ).
1. Nongtongpaw (Charles Dibdin 1745–1813)
Conscience (Dr. James Ball Naylor fl. 1860
Respire, Aspire, Suspire (anon.)
2. A Dutchman’s Story (J. T Brown)
3. Song by Rogero, in the Rovers (George Canning 1770–1827)
Frederick Twitchell (anon.)
The Rash Lady of Ryde (anon.)
4. On the Motor Bus (A. D. Godley)
The Tired Woman’s Epitaph (anon.)
5. Two Old Crows (Vachel Lindsay 1879–1931)
This set of songs was commissioned to celebrate European Year 1992, by Tonbridge Grammar School with funds from Seeboard (South Eastern Electricity) in support of Pestalozzi Children’s Village Trust. They were first performed in Kent in 1992 and were subsequently taken on tour to various venues in France and Switzerland.
They are an attempt to dispel the notion that choral music has to be religious or serious.
The first song parodies the Englishman abroad with his poor linguistic skills, as does the Rogero song where the incorrect pronunciation of the name Gottingen gives rise to some interesting rhymes.
The second gently mocks the Dutch and their very wurst (sic) treatment of our canine friends.
On the Motorbus is all a pun on motor and bus having similar endings to many nouns in Latin – almost every case-ending is used, in both singular and plural. Part of the humour is perhaps in the need to anglicise the Latin pronunciation to make the rhymes work.
The final song, Two Old Crows, is a take-off of the buzzing of a bee and the caws of a crow. The interspersed epitaphs and limericks parody Anglican chant.