The Pirates of Penzance


   

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No. 27: RECITATIVE
No. 28: SONG (Major-General) & FINALE

"Hush, hush! not a word...
Sighing softly to the river"

Midi Symbol MIDI File [70 KB, 10' 47"]


Frederic.
Hush, hush! not a word; I see a light inside!
The Major-General comes, so quickly hide!
Pirates.
Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!

Pirates conceal themselves. Exeunt KING, FREDERIC, SAMUEL, and RUTH.

Police.
Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!
General.
(entering in dressing-gown, carrying a light)

Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!

Tormented with the anguish dread
Of falsehood unatoned,
I lay upon my sleepless bed,
And tossed and turned and groaned.
The man who finds his conscience ache
No peace at all enjoys;
And as I lay in bed awake,
I thought I heard a noise.

Henry Lytton thinks he heard a noise 1926
Click on picture to enlarge
Chorus.
He thought he heard a noise – ha! ha!
General.
No, all is still
In dale, on hill;
My mind is set at ease –
So still the scene,
It must have been
The sighing of the breeze.

Sighing softly to the river
Comes the loving breeze,
Setting nature all a-quiver,
Rustling through the trees.
Chorus.
Through the trees.

Peter Pratt as the Major-General 1950s
Click on picture to enlarge
General.
And the brook, in rippling measure,
Laughs for very love,
While the poplars, in their pleasure,
Wave their arms above.
Chorus.
Yes, the trees, for very love,
Wave their leafy arms above.
General & Chorus.
River, river, little river,
May thy loving prosper ever!
Heaven speed thee, poplar tree,
May thy wooing happy be.
Heaven speed thee, poplar tree,
May thy wooing happy be.

General.
Yet, the breeze is but a rover,
When he wings away,
Brook and poplar mourn a lover
Sighing, “Well-a-day!”
Chorus.
Well-a-day!
General.
Ah! the doing and undoing,
That the rogue could tell!
When the breeze is out a-wooing,
Who can woo so well?
Chorus.
Shocking tales the rogue could tell,
Nobody can woo so well.
General & Chorus.
Pretty brook, thy dream is over,
For thy love is but a rover;
Sad the lot of poplar trees,
Courted by a fickle breeze,
Sad the lot of poplar trees,
Courted by a fickle breeze!

Enter the GENERAL’s daughters, led by MABEL, all in white peignoirs and night-caps, and carrying lighted candles.

Girls.
General Stanley's daughters 1961
click on picture to enlarge
Now what is this, and what is that, and why does father leave his rest
At such a time of night as this, so very incompletely dressed?
Dear father is, and always was, the most methodical of men!
It’s his invariable rule to go to bed at half-past ten.
What strange occurrence can it be that calls dear father from his rest
At such a time of night as this, so very incompletely dressed?
So very incompletely dressed,
At such a time of night.

Enter KING, SAMUEL, and FREDERIC.

King. (spoken)
Forward, my men, and seize that General there!

They seize the GENERAL.

Girls.
The pirates! the pirates! Oh, despair!
Pirates. (springing up)
Yes, we’re the pirates, so despair!

General.
Frederic here! Oh, joy! Oh. rapture!
Summon your men and effect their capture!
Mabel.
Frederic, save us!
Frederic.
Beautiful Mabel,
I would if I could, but I am not able.
Pirates.
He’s telling the truth, he is not able.

The Pirate King prepares to take revenge on the
Major-General 1926
Click on picture to enlarge
King.
With base deceit
You worked upon our feelings!
Revenge is sweet,
And flavours all our dealings!
With courage rare
And resolution manly,
For death prepare,
Unhappy General Stanley.
Mabel. (wildly)
Is he to die, unshriven – unannealed?
Girls.
Oh, spare him!

Mabel.
Will no one in his cause a weapon wield?
Girls.
Oh, spare him!
Police. (springing up)
Yes, we are here, though hitherto concealed!
Girls.
Oh, rapture!
Police.
So to Constabulary, pirates yield!
Girls.
Oh, rapture!

A struggle ensues between Pirates and Police, Eventually the Police are overcome and fall prostrate, the Pirates standing over them with drawn swords.

Pirates & Police.
We/You triumph now, for well we trow
Your/Our mortal career’s cut short;
No pirate band will take its stand
At the Central Criminal Court.

Sergeant.
To gain a brief advantage you’ve contrived,
But your proud triumph will not be long-lived.
King.
Don’t say you are orphans, for we know that game.
Sergeant.
On your allegiance we’ve a stronger claim –
We charge you yield, we charge you yield,
In Queen Victoria’s name!
King. (baffled)
You do?
Police.
We do!
We charge you yield,
In Queen Victoria’s name!

Pirates kneel, Police stand over them triumphantly.

King.
We yield at once, with humbled mien,
Because, with all our faults, we love our Queen.
Police.
Yes, yes, with all their faults, they love their Queen.
All.
Yes, yes, with all their faults, they love their Queen.

Police, holding Pirates by the collar, take out handkerchiefs and weep.

The Pirates yield in Queen Victoria's Name
1926
Click on picture to enlarge

General.
Away with them, and place them at the bar!

Enter RUTH.

Ruth.

One moment! let me tell you who they are.
They are no members of the common throng;
They are all noblemen who have gone wrong.

Girls.

They are all noblemen who have gone wrong.

General.

No Englishman unmoved that statement hears,
Because, with all our faults, we love our House of Peers.
I pray you, pardon me, ex-Pirate King!
Peers will be peers, and youth will have its fling.
Resume your ranks and legislative duties,
And take my daughters, all of whom are beauties.

FINALE.

Mabel.

Poor wandering ones!
Though ye have surely strayed,
Take heart of grace,
Your steps retrace,
Poor wandering ones!

Poor wandering ones!
If such poor love as ours
Can help you find
True peace of mind,
Why, take it, it is yours!


Mabel. Edith. Other Principals. Chorus.
      Poor wand'ring one,
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Poor wand'ring one, Poor wand'ring one,  
      Poor wand'ring one,
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Poor wand'ring one, Poor wand'ring one,  
Fair days will shine. Fair days will shine. Take heart, Take heart,
Take heart, Take heart, Take heart, Take heart,
take mine! take mine! Take any heart, Take any heart,
Take heart, Take heart, Take ours! Take ours!
________ ________ Take heart, Take heart,
________ ________ Take ours! Take ours!
Take mine! Take mine! Take heart, Take heart,
    Fair days will shine. Fair days will shine.
  Take heart, Take heart, Take heart,
  Fair days will shine. Fair days will shine. Fair days will shine.
Take heart, Take heart, Take heart, Take heart,
Take heart, Take heart, Take heart, Take heart,
Take heart, Take heart, Take heart, Take heart,
Take ours! Take ours! Take ours! Take ours!

CURTAIN

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