Thomson Green and Harriet Hale

William Schwenck Gilbert 1836 – 1911

(To be sung to the Air of "An 'Orrible Tale.")

Oh list to this incredible tale
Of THOMSON GREEN and HARRIET HALE;
Its truth in one remark you'll sum -
"Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!"

Oh, THOMSON GREEN was an auctioneer,
And made three hundred pounds a year;
And HARRIET HALE, most strange to say,
Gave pianoforte lessons at a sovereign a day.

Oh, THOMSON GREEN, I may remark,
Met HARRIET HALE in Regent's Park,
Where he, in a casual kind of way,
Spoke of the extraordinary beauty of the day.

They met again, and strange, though true,
He courted her for a month or two,
Then to her pa he said, says he,
"Old man, I love your daughter and your daughter worships me!"

Their names were regularly banned,
The wedding day was settled, and
I've ascertained by dint of search
They were married on the quiet at St. Mary Abbot's Church.

Oh, list to this incredible tale
Of THOMSON GREEN and HARRIET HALE,
Its truth in one remark you'll sum -
"Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!"

That very self-same afternoon
They started on their honeymoon,
And (oh, astonishment!) took flight
To a pretty little cottage close to Shanklin, Isle of Wight.

But now - you'll doubt my word, I know -
In a month they both returned, and lo!
Astounding fact! this happy pair
Took a gentlemanly residence in Canonbury Square!

They led a weird and reckless life,
They dined each day, this man and wife
(Pray disbelieve it, if you please),
On a joint of meat, a pudding, and a little bit of cheese.

In time came those maternal joys
Which take the form of girls or boys,
And strange to say of each they'd one -
A tiddy-iddy daughter, and a tiddy-iddy son!

Oh, list to this incredible tale
Of THOMSON GREEN and HARRIET HALE,
Its truth in one remark you'll sum -
"Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!"

My name for truth is gone, I fear,
But, monstrous as it may appear,
They let their drawing-room one day
To an eligible person in the cotton-broking way.

Whenever THOMSON GREEN fell sick
His wife called in a doctor, quick,
From whom some words like these would come -
FIAT MIST. SUMENDUM HAUSTUS, in a COCHLEYAREUM.

For thirty years this curious pair
Hung out in Canonbury Square,
And somehow, wonderful to say,
They loved each other dearly in a quiet sort of way.

Well, THOMSON GREEN fell ill and died;
For just a year his widow cried,
And then her heart she gave away
To the eligible lodger in the cotton-broking way.

Oh, list to this incredible tale
Of THOMSON GREEN and HARRIET HALE,
Its truth in one remark you'll sum -
"Twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twaddle twum!"

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

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