THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Dec 14) ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

’TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) written in 1823. Moore was an American Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, as well as Divinity and Biblical Learning, at the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in New York City. Located on land donated by the “Bard of Chelsea” himself, the seminary…

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THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Oct 14) Summer is icumen in

SUMMER IS ICUMEN IN   Medieval (Middle English) lyrics (c.1250) Svmer is icumen in Lhude sing cuccu! Groweþ sed and bloweþ med and springþ þe wde nu. Sing cuccu! Awe bleteþ after lomb, lhouþ after calue cu, Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ. Murie sing cuccu! Cuccu, cuccu, Wel singes þu cuccu. ne swik þu nauer nu!…

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THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Sept 14) I never nurs’d a dear gazelle

THOMAS MOORE (1779-1852) Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron’s memoirs after his death Oh! Ever Thus, From Childhood’s Hour Oh! ever thus, from childhood’s hour,…

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THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Aug 14) Puttin’ on the Ritz

Puttin’ On The Ritz Irving Berlin Berlin wrote these ingeniously syncopated lyrics as a stand-alone song in 1927 (published 1929). It was recorded, most famously, by Fred Astaire (see the parody, below, in which he is mentioned) in 1930. When the song was used in the 1946 film ‘Blue Skies’, Berlin rewrote the lyrics changing…

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THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Jul 14) Hiawatha

THE STORY OF HIAWATHA Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1855) Longfellow’s epic poem, written in trochaic tetrameter, has been much parodied. It begins thus: Should you ask me, whence these stories? Whence these legends and traditions, With the odors of the forest With the dew and damp of meadows, With the curling smoke of wigwams, With the…

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THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Jun 14) The (Stately) Homes of England

Felicia Hemans (1793-1835) makes her second appearance in this series having already given us ‘Casabianca’ (‘The boy stood on the buring deck’). This poem of hers is now only famous because of Noel Coward’s superb parody but Hemans’s verse has the distinction of being the source of our use of the phrase ‘stately home’. The…

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Pianist with a bus to catch

KHATIA BUNIATISHVILI at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, 4 June 2014 The Georgian pianist, now 26, is, let us say, very pleasing to the eye. Last night she gave us a shimmering, figure-hugging, full-length silver gown. With that mop of black hair and trademark carmine lips, Khatia Buniatishvili cuts a charismatic figure. You can’t teach stage…

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