The Pirates of Penzance


   

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No. 13: SONG (Major-General & Chorus)

"I am the very model of a modern Major-General"

Midi Symbol MIDI File [32 KB, 2' 54"]


General.  
I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news –
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.
Henry Lytton as the Major General 1920s
Click on picture to enlarge
All.
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypoten- potenuse.
General.
I’m very good at integral and differential calculus;
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
All.
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
He is the very model of a modern Major-General.

General.
I know our mythic history, King Arthur’s and Sir Caradoc’s;
I answer hard acrostics, I’ve a pretty taste for paradox,
I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous;
I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,
I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes!
Then I can hum a fugue of which I’ve heard the music’s din afore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore.
All.

And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pina- Pinafore,

General.
Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform,
And tell you every detail of Caractacus’s uniform:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
All.
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
He is the very model of a modern Major-General.

  General.
Alistair Donkin as the Major- General 1980s
Click on picture to enlarge
In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon” and “ravelin”,
When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin,
When such affairs as sorties and surprises I’m more wary at,
And when I know precisely what is meant by “commissariat”,
When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery,
When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery;
In short, when I’ve a smattering of elemental strategy,
You’ll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee.
All.
You’ll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee,
You’ll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee,
You’ll say a better Major-General has never sat a, sat a gee.
General.
For my military knowledge, though I’m plucky and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
All.
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
He is the very model of a modern Major-General.

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