December 21, 2006

Sisters, cousins and aunts

When these verses were first sung, they were immensely popular because they were that close to reality then. And there.

In running into them again recently, I was struck by how close to reality they are now. Here.

Maybe you think so too?

***

Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
That they took me into partnership.
And that junior partnership, I ween,
Was the only ship I ever had seen.

But that kind of ship so suited me,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough to Parliament.
I always voted at my party's call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.

I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

Now landsmen all, whoever ye may be,
If you want to rise to the top of the tree,
If your soul isn't fettered to an office stool,
Be careful to be guided by this golden rule:

Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navee!

[Aside: simple question, why the title?]

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gilbert and Sullivan? Pinnafore, if I remember. "Sisters, cousins and aunts" is the a line for the chorus.

Regards,
Sudhir

Dilip D'Souza said...

Yeah Sudhir, G&S and Pinafore it is! The lines I quote are from a song sung by Sir Joseph Porter, the cartoonish First Lord. He arrives on the ship complete with his sisters and cousins and aunts and that title is indeed from the chorus sung then.

Unknown said...

"I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough to Parliament.
I always voted at my party's call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all."

Industrialists elected to the Rajya Sabha?