A Diversion….

A friend on mine from the Gilbert and Sullivan crowd issued a challenge to write a parody of Koko’s “I’ve Got A Little List” from “The Mikado.” Well, I couldn’t pass that up: I wrote my first parody of the song when I was 16 and played The Lord High Executioner in high school. I wrote another one years later when I played the part again in my 20’s, and yet again, several times, when I wrote and directed a political satire revue that played at a D.C. hotel for several months.It’s also a very easy song to write new lyrics to, which was by Gilbert’s design.

This took me only a bit longer to write than it took to type it. It’s not an ethics post, but hell, if I can’t post something on my own blog just because I feel like it, what’s the point?

I promise not to abuse the privilege.

Here’s the Wuhan virus version of Koko’s list…

As it’s becoming crucial that a virus must be stopped
I’ve got a little list — I’ve got a little list
Of people, things and conduct that should probably be dropped
And that never would be missed — that never would be missed!
There’s the lazy social distancer you’re terrified to meet —
Whose estimates of six foot gaps are always incomplete.
All children who jump in your lap, and kiss you on the lips
All persons who must shake your hand, ignoring doctors’ tips —
And whoever caused the toilet paper trove apocalypse…
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
We can do without those “we’re in this together!” TV spots…
And the Safe at Home check list — I’ve got THAT on the list!
The people who can’t think who say “I’ve got you in my thoughts!”
They never would be missed — they never would be missed!
And the governors who tell us what’s essential and what ain’t,
Like seeds and toys, abortions, beauty products, guns and paint….
The obnoxious statistician, who will look you in the eye
Explaining why its worth it to let all the old folks die,
And all those weird conspiracies the crazies think exist
I don’t think they’d be missed — I’m sure they’d not he missed!
He’s got them on the list — he’s got them on the list;
And I don’t think they’d be missed — I’m sure they’d not be missed!
And the “We’re all doomed!” hysteric who scares people half to death
And the spring break hedonist— I’ve got him on the list!
Gloomy models and projections that will send you straight to meth —
They’d none of ’em be missed — they’d none of ’em be missed!
And grandstanding politicians of excruciating taste
Who say that one must never let a crisis go to waste;
Or the ones who break their own rules, or who flip-flop, spin and lurch
One minute saying “Stay at home!” and then “Let’s go to church!”
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!

14 thoughts on “A Diversion….

  1. A wandering minstrel You
    A thing of shreds and patches
    Of ballads, songs and snatches
    And ethics bye and bye
    Your ethics blog is long
    Through every passion ranging
    And to your humours changing
    You tune your subtle song!
    You tune your subtle song!

    Am I in sentimental mood?
    You’ll not sigh with me
    Oh, sorrow, sorrow!
    On Trump deranged do you brood?
    I’ll do so, too —
    Oh, sorrow, sorrow!
    You’ll charm unwilling willing ears
    With songs of their unfounded fears
    While sympathetic tears
    My cheeks bedew —
    Oh, sorrow, sorrow!

    But if patriotic sentiment is wanted
    You’ve patriotic ballads cut and dried;
    For where’er our country’s banner may be planted
    All other local banners are defied!
    Our commenters, in serried ranks assembled
    Never quail — or they conceal it from all harms —
    And I shouldn’t be surprised if nations trembled
    Before the scorn of Ethics Alarms.

  2. I’m impressed by the talent here.
    The only poems I can write start with “There once was a man from Nantucket”

    • ARRGH! You reminded me that I had almost finished an earlier version of my take-down of the now-banned commenter’s nonsense about illegal immigration, and at the end, reacting to his citing “The New Colossus” as support for his position. In that version, I had written that the poem was irrelevant, and that he might as well have used “There Once Was A Man From Pawtucket”! And I forgot to use that line when I had to reconstruct the whole thing!

  3. And this one’s for Jack, who seems to bear it in mind when writing the blog. It is NOT adapted, but is appearing as written:

    Oh! a private buffoon is a light-hearted loon, If you listen to popular rumour; From the morn to the night he’s so joyous and bright, And he bubbles with wit and good humour! He’s so quaint and so terse, both in prose and in verse; Yet though people forgive his transgression, There are one or two rules that all family fools Must observe, if they love their profession.

      • At age 11, Patrick opened the US International G&S festival (held in Philadelphia that year) with The Nightmare Song. Huge ovation, as you might imagine. That summer, we attended the festival in Buxton, England where Patrick was in a children’s production of Trial by Jury.

  4. Jack, I read your revised lyrics as I listened – I’m sorry to say I had not heard the song – and you nailed it! I’m no poet, but I would think the longer phrasing actually makes it more difficult to fit ideas together. Very appropriate, and humorous.

    As for your editorial decisions, Bob Ross always used to say, “It’s your world. You want ten trees? You want no trees?”

    Well done!

  5. Today’s the day for song parodies.

    I finally found disinfectant wipes at the grocery store this morning and, in celebration, my husband posted of my victory on Facebook with lyrics sung to the tune of the theme to the “Beverly Hilllbillies”

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