Ear Worm / Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
wrote fourteen operas together, and there's at least one Ear Worm
in every one of them. For instance:
Trial By Jury
- "Olympus is now in a terrible muddle/The deputy deities all are at fault..." sticks in one's head even with the music lost.
- "Climbing Over Rocky Mountain" was later recycled from this show for The Pirates of Penzance, and suggests that the score would have indeed been full of Ear Worms.
- "For I am a judge/And a good judge too..."
- "Ring forth, ye bells/With clarion sound/Forget your knells/For joys abound..."
- "My name is John Wellington Wells/I'm a dealer of magic and spells..."
- "Thou hast the power thy vaunted love/To sanctify all vows above..."
- "Oh, I have wrought/Much evil with my spells/And ill I-I can't undo..."
- "Oh, joyous boon! oh, mad delight!/Oh, sun and moon! oh, day and night!"
- "Alas, that lovers thus should meet/Oh, pity, pity me!"
The Pirates of Penzance
- "I am the monarch of the sea/The ruler of the Queen's Na-vee/Whose praise Great Britain loudly chants"/"And we are his sisters and his cousins and his aunts!"
- "When I was a lad I served a term/As office boy to an attorney's firm..."
- "A British tar is a soaring soul..."
- "Never mind the why and wherefore/Love can level ranks, and therefore/Though his lordship's station's mighty/Though stupendous be his brain..."
- "For he is an Englishman!"
- "Oh, better far to live and die/ Under the brave black flag I fly/ Than play a sanctimonious part/ With a pirate head and a pirate heart..."
- "How beautifully blue the sky, the glass is rising very high..."
- "I am the very model of a modern major general..."
- "When the foeman bares his steel" ("Tarantara, tarantara!")/ "We uncomfortable feel" ("Tarantara!")
- "When you had left our pirate fold/ We tried to raise our spirits faint/ According to our custom old/ With quips and quibbles quaint..."
- "When a felon's not engaged in his employment (his employment) or maturing his felonious little plans (little plans)"
- "WITH CATLIKE TREAD! UPON OUR PREY WE STEAL!"
- "Climbing over rocky mountain, skipping rivulet and fountain, passing over where the willows quiver!"
- "Oh, false one, you have deceived me!"
- "You told me you were fair as gold!"
- "Hail, poetry! Thou heav'n-born maid! / Thou gildest e'en the Pirates' trade!"
- "If you want a receipt [sic] for that popular mystery/Known to the world as the Heavy Dragoon..."
- "In a doleful train/Two and two we walk all day..."
- "If you're anxious for to shine/In the high aesthetic line/As a man of culture rare..."
- "Come walk up and purchase with avidity/Overcome your diffidence and natural timidity..."
- "It's clear that mediaeval art/Alone retains its zest..."
- "If Saphir I choose to marry/I shall be fixed up for life..."
- "So go to him and say to him with compliment ironical..."
- "Go away madam/I should say madam/You display madam/Shocking taste..."
- Really, the entire Act I Finale.
- "When you're lying awake/With a dismal headache/And repose is tabooed by anxiety..."
- Be sure to check out the Todd Rundgren version.
- "When Britain really ruled the waves..."
- "Soon as we may/Off and away/We'll commence our journey airy/Happy are we/As you can see/Everyone is now a fairy!"
- "LOUDLY LET THE TRUMPETS BRAY! TAN-TAN-TARA! TAN-TAN-TARA!"
- "Search throughout the panorama / For a sign of royal Gama / Who today shall cross the water / With his fascinating daughter / Ida is her name!"
- "If you give me your attention I will tell you what I am/I'm a genuine philanthropist all other kinds are sham."
- "Gently gently evidently we are safe so far/After scaling fence and paling here at last we are"
- "This helmet, I suppose / Was meant to ward off blows..."
- "Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me, kiss me, tho' I die of shame-a!"
- "Sing hoity-toity, sorry for some! / Sing marry come up, and her day will come!"
- "The maiden fair, whom the monkey craved, was a radiant being with a brain far-seeing!"
- "To yield at once to such a foe with shame were rife! / So quick away with him, although he saved my life!"
- "If you want to know who we are, / We are gentlemen of Japan..."
- "A wandering minstrel, I/A thing of shreds and patches..."
- "As someday it may happen that a victim must be found/I've got a little list/I've got a little list..."
- "To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock / In a pestilential prison with a life long lock / Awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock / From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!" So earwormy, Pink Floyd just had to sample it.
- "A more humane Mikado never did in Japan exist/To nobody second/I'm certainly reckoned/A true philanthropist."
- "My object all sublime / I shall achieve in time; / To let the punishment fit the crime, / The punishment fit the crime!"
- "Three little maids from school are we/ Pert as a school-girl well can be/ Filled to the brim with girlish glee/ Three little maids from school..."
- "Here's a how-de-do / If I marry you / When your time has come to perish / Then the maiden whom you cherish / must be slaughtered too / Here's a how-de-do / Here's a how-de-do"
The Yeomen of the Guard
- "If somebody there chanced to be/Who loved me in a manner true..."
- "Welcome, gentry/For your entry/Sets our tender hearts a-beating..."
- "You understand/I think I do/With vigor unshaken/This step shall be taken..."
- "When I'm a bad Bart. I will tell taradiddles/He'll tell taradiddles when he's a bad Bart..."
- "When the night wind howls/In the chimney cowls/And the bat in the moonlight flies..."
- "Henceforth all the crimes/That I find in the Times/I've promised to perpetrate daily..."
- "My eyes are fully open to my awful situation/I must go at once to Roderic and make him an oration..." So wonderful, the melody reappears in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
- "I shipped, d'ye see, on a Revenue sloop..."
- "When jealous torments rack my soul/My agonies I can't control/Oh, better sit on red hot coal/Than love a heartless jade."
- "Oh a private buffoon is a lighthearted loon/If you listen to popular rumor..."
- "Tower warders, under orders, gallant pikemen, valiant sworders!"
- "I have a song to sing, O!" "Sing me a song, O!"
- "Heighdy, heighdy, miserey me, lackadaydee!"
- "From morn to afternoon~/From afternoon till night~"
- "Like a ghost his vigil keeping" ("Or a spectre all appalling")/ "I beheld a figure creeping" ("I should rather call it crawling")...
- "It is purely a matter of skill/Which all may attain if they will"
- "But every Jack he must study the knack/If he wants to make sure of his Jill!"
- "There lived a king as I've been told/In the wonder-working days of old/When hearts were twice as good as gold/And twenty times as mellow..."
- "Then one of us will be a queen and sit on a golden throne..."
- "I am a courtier, grave and serious..."
- "On the day when I was wedded / To your admirable sire / I acknowledge that I dreaded / An explosion of his ire..."
The Grand Duke
- "In every mental lore/'Tal lore/The statement smacks of vanity..."
- "Society has quite forsaken all her wicked courses, / Which empties our police courts and abolishes divorces. / (Divorce is nearly obsolete in England!)"
- "By the mystic regulation/Of our dark Association/Ere you open conversation/With another kindred soul/You must eat a sausage-roll!"
- "When you find you're a broken-down critter/Who is all of a trimmle and twitter/With your palette exceedingly bitter/As if you've just bitten a pill..."
- "Big bombs/Small bombs/Great guns and little ones/Put him in a pillory/Rack him with artillery..."
- "Take my advice - when deep in debt/Set up a bank, and play Roulette!"
- "Oh, the man who can rule a theatrical crew / Each member a genius and some of 'em two..."