Category Archives: Gilbert & Sullivan

J.B. Chifley’s fine discernment

1] Chifley’s musical taste and enthusiasm, for instance, were for light opera and musical revues. On one occasion Coombs came into his office to find him humming a Gilbert and Sullivan tune. “How is it, Doc,” he asked, “that nobody writes music like that any more?” Coombs replied: “Probably because he’d starve- at least if he lived in Australia!” “Well, anyway,” concluded Chifley before turning to the business in hand, “If you find a fellow who can write that stuff you put him on the Post-War Reconstruction payroll and I won’t enquire too closely what he’s doing.” He was also fond of band music- a fact which was decisive for the founding of the Canberra City Band.

L.F. Crisp Ben Chifley: A Biography. Melbourne: Longman, 1961;3 (pbk.) p154, fn1.


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Filed under Books, Gilbert & Sullivan, Government, History, Political, Trade Unions

Two Ronnies and G&S

Note the nod to Ko-Ko from 2:48 to 3:18.

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Filed under Gilbert & Sullivan, Uncategorized

Change of blog name

Regular readers might notice that the name of this blog changed earlier today.  As to why – never mind

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Filed under Gilbert & Sullivan

Postscript to “Living out Scripture meme”

As it happens, W.S. Gilbert seems to have anticipated my concern in the second paragraph of commentary in last post through the Judge in Trial by Jury.

All thieves who could my fees afford
Relied on my orations,
And many a burglar I’ve restored
To his friends and his relations.

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Filed under Gilbert & Sullivan, Scripture

Atonement in the Mikado

Enter Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum. They kneel.

Nanki-Poo. The Heir Apparent is not slain.

Mikado. Bless my heart, my son!

Yum-Yum. And your daughter-in-law elected!

Katisha. (seizing Ko-Ko) Traitor, you have deceived me!

Mikado. Yes, you are entitled to a little explanation, but I think he will give it better whole than in pieces.

Ko-Ko. Your Majesty, it’s like this: It is true that I stated that I had killed Nanki-Poo —

Mikado. Yes, with most affecting particulars.

Pooh-Bah. Merely corroborative detail intended to give artistic verisimilitude to a bald and —

Ko-Ko. Will you refrain from putting in your oar? (to Mikado) It’s like this: When your Majesty says, “Let a thing be done,” it’s as good as done — practically, it is done — because your Majesty’s will is law. Your Majesty says, “Kill a gentleman,” and a gentleman is told off to be killed. Consequently, that gentleman is as good as dead — practically, he is dead — and if he is dead, why not say so?

Mikado. I see. Nothing could possibly be more satisfactory!

I remain, as ever,
In your humble and obedient service:
Michael Thomas Augustine Canaris.

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Patience. True love must single-hearted be —
Bunthorne. Exactly so!
Patience. From ev’ry selfish fancy free —
Bunthorne. Exactly so!
Patience. No idle thought of gain or joy
A maiden’s fancy should employ —
True love must be without alloy,
True love must be without alloy.
Dragoons. Exactly so!
Patience. Imposture to contempt must lead —
Colonel. Exactly so!
Blind vanity’s dissension’s seed —
Major. Exactly so!
Patience. It follows, then, a maiden who
Devotes herself to loving you
(indicating Bunthorne)
Is prompted by no selfish view,
Is prompted by no selfish view!
Dragoons. Exactly so!

“Patience.” Savoy operas / Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck (1836-1911). – London : Folio Society, 1994 impression.

Due to an upcoming gastric-bypass operation, my thoughts of late have turned rather morbid, which paradoxically has also occasioned thoughts concerning my suitability for matrimony (which, due partly to the above, partly to my bohemian lifestyle (which in some respects resembles that of the above-quoted Reginald Bunthorne) and partly to my various conditions at present appears non-existant, but one might as well forget that for the moment.)

At a cocktail-dinner I attended last night, in some of my conversations I must admit that I made various private assessments as to the potential suitability of certain female conversation-partners for spousal material. Lest one read this blog in search of scandal, I shan’t affront anyone’s dignity by revealing their identities. Nonetheless, a few general remarks might perhaps be made.

It seems that an inverse correlation exists between the fervour of an entertainer who implores the guests at a function to engage in amatory activity and the propensity of said guests to propose a course of action which might (given a ceremony or two) potentially lead to such activity occurring. Paradoxically, it seems that the crooning of “I will always love you” or some such mush tends to divert guests at social functions from finding various areas of mutual agreement or synergetic divergence which, all things being equal, might otherwise lead some of them to become betrothed to one another.

Next, to what extent is it ethical to assess persons at functions in terms of their suitability to become espoused to one? While the propogation of humanity demands that some degree of such assessment occur, it nonetheless seems rather dishonest to suborn a dinner which had other ends in mind to that purpose, especially if done surreptitiously.

I’d better stop writing this entry presently, lest the name of one particularly interesting conversation-partner be divulged.

I remain, as ever,
In Your Humble and Obedient Service:
Michael Thomas Augustine Canaris.

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The following line of Mabel’s in No. 27 from The Pirates of Penzance seems to suggest that Maj. Gen. Stanley was either Roman Catholic or a “Top of the Candlestick” Anglo-Catholic:

    Is he to die, unshriven – unannealed?

I remain, as ever,
Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant:
Michael Thomas Augustine Canaris.

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Filed under Churchmanship, Gilbert & Sullivan