Saturday, November 23, 2013

"The Plunkville Symphony Concert" by Victor W. Smith (1908)

The Plunkville Symphony Concert.


The first violins they scraped their strings,

        Their tones were weak and thin,

The first flute played crescendo trills

        As he gayly butted in.

First clarinet blew a long, whole note,

        With tone so rich and clear

The viola bows made tremelos

        That fairly quaked with fear.

First oboe (a one-keyed musette)

        Breathed out a plaintive plaint,

The first horn tried to answer,

        But was too full of red paint.

The second violins played quarter notes,

        Pizzicato on each beat;

The basses were unsteady,

        They could hardly keep their feet.

The second, third and fourth French-horns

        Were there, at least in looks,

They were old E flat alto horns

        Not fitted with "F" crooks.

The English-horn was from New York,

        His tongue was full of blisters;

The second oboe (old C clarinet)

        Played by a guy with whiskers.

The kettle-drums played tum, tum, tum,

        And also tome, tome, tome,

The second clarinet lost his place

        And wished he had stayed home.

The hero was deftly fingered

        By a girl who made it twang;

The bass drum and cymbals

        Got together with a bang!

The tuba had one note to play,

        His instrument was tall;

Bewildered, in a forest of rests,

        He left it out; that's all.

The piccolo laughed aloud with glee,

        Just like a brazen huzzy.

The first and second old trombones

        Were very thick and fuzzy.

The trumpets blew a piercing blast,

        With shrill, ear-splitting tone,

"I'll hand you one: ta-ra-ra-ra! ! ! !"

        Says the big bass slide trombone.

"Oh, listen to my tale of woe,"

        Sobbed the artistic 'cello.

First bassoon blamed his wrong notes

        Upon the second fellow.

The castinets, they clicked

        With a suggestive Spanish measure.

The audience thought to cut it out

        Indeed would be a pleasure.

The concert-master, at his post,

        Was crazy as a loon,

He broke his wire "E" string,

        And went sky-high to the moon.

The conductor cried, "You're rotten, all,

        You've put me on the bum."

He tried to beat his board bill

        While the drummer beat the drum.

Troy Times. September 5, 1908.

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