The librarian’s little list – a patter song


So, I rather enjoyed yesterday’s post, as it was very cathartic.  I also very much enjoy taking existing songs and abusing them horribly by altering the lyrics.  Since Gilbert and Sullivan are long-dead and very much out of copyright, I’m afraid that the song from The Mikado which started the whole thing off has now undergone a library rewrite.  You really can sing these lyrics to Sullivan’s music, but I can’t imagine why you’d want to, particularly as you have to cheat by giving ‘library’ three syllables.  Mr Gilbert, I’m so very, very sorry…

The Librarian’s List

As someday it may happen that a victim must be found,
I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list
Of library offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed – who never would be missed!
There’s the people who break copyright and think it’s not a crime,
The folks who never think, so that their questions waste your time,
All people who would hide the books and save them for their own,
And those who are so arrogant, you’d think they had the throne.
And all the students who on running riot do persist:
They’d none of them be missed.
They’d none of them be missed!

I’ve got them on the list, I’ve got them on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed, they’ll none of ’em be missed.

There’s the bacon-rasher bookmarker and others of his ilk –
We just can’t coexist, so I’ve got ’em on the list.
And people who eat pizza, chew tobacco or drink milk
In the library’s hallowed midst! They never would be missed.
Then the people who assume you know their weight and date of birth,
And those who think that calling you a [BLEEP] is cause for mirth.
The clever ones who think that we’re the lowest of the low,
The stupid ones who cannot tell an index from their toe.
And that singular annoyance, who you simply can’t assist –
I don’t think he’ll be missed
No, surely won’t be missed

Yes, I’ve got him on the list, yes I’ve got him on the list;
And I don’t think he’ll be missed, I’m sure he won’t be missed!

And that idiot who uses Sellotape to ‘fix’ the books
Why couldn’t she resist?  I’ve put her on list!
And leering people, coming in who give us creepy looks
They never will be kissed, and they truly won’t be missed!
Plus the FBI and others, they’re too nosy to abide
Or those who think you’ll never know that they have baldly lied
And anyone who hurts the books – how can they sleep at night?
But I can see this list is rather full, has reached it’s height.
And there’s many other patrons who could surely make the list
And they’d none of them be missed – they’d none of them be missed.

You may put them on the list, you may put them on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed, they’ll none of ’em be missed!

    • Lilian
    • August 30th, 2006

    Genius!

    • phil
    • August 30th, 2006

    But what will you do with the ‘none of ’em be missed’ shelve them in amongst a stack of periodicals that no-one but the library staff remember are there and the users never go and look at.

  1. Oh, there are so many possibilities. I could put them to song a la ‘A More Humane Mikado’ (making the punishment fit the crime), but I think we’ve had enough of that! The rolling stack could be useful for either imprisonment of general squashing, and this library has a handy deep pond… I do like your idea of shelving them in the most forgotten periodicals, though. Mwah ha ha!

    • Phil
    • August 30th, 2006

    As long as they were tagged and catalogued, neat and tidily. Be quite fitting in a library I’d say.

  2. Bravo! Bravo! A tour de farce indeed.

    Why not box them and put them in the archives?

  3. You are fantastic. And extrememly clever. Oh, my, how I laughed.. Especially as yet another helpful wee sprite so very kindly sellotaped all the photographic plates back into an art book for me… in the wrong order… now, how easy would it be lure him into the basement where we keep the rolling stacks? *Evil laughter*

    • Teuchter
    • August 30th, 2006

    Brilliant, D 😀

  4. *takes a bow, and is very jealous that Reed works in a proper library with a basement*

  5. Don’t be jealous – the basement has been swilling about with grubby rust-stained water for most of the summer. Me, I’m jealous of the pond and the fowl. We ahve to make do with the soggy basement and the occasional mouse. Oh, and students. Sometimes they’re foul (heh heh heh).

  6. *snorts with laughter and has visions of Librarians everywhere singing merrily away at work*

    • Bob
    • December 4th, 2006

    Stumbled ‘cross this while looking for the lyrics to the G&S original. Wicked-funny; has struck quite a chord here at the Cadet Library…

    Thanks much!

    • sally
    • February 20th, 2007

    Do you know more about patter songs?

  7. Wonderful! I always thing G&S and libraries go together – it’s something about the absurdity of life…

    I assume you’ve also seen this: http://www.cheekybeef.co.uk/library.html
    “The Library, the library, it’s a place where books are free”

    Brava! However I now have “I am the very model of a modern major general…” going through my head. Earworm!

  8. Louise, I hadn’t seen that – how very odd, yet endearing.

    Sally, I don’t know a great deal about patter songs. They’re fast, they’re blooming difficult to sing (since you have to get the words out quickly and clearly) and nobody has ever written better ones than Gilbert and Sullivan. Not opinion – surely fact!

    • Wayne Rogers
    • June 21st, 2007

    ” Imitation is the greatest form of flattery ” I’m sure Mr Gilbert as is evident in his texts had a sense of humour .
    It was brilliant I laughed so much the tears rolled down my legs . hehehe .

  9. I’m so glad this continues to amuse, but I hope that amount of laughter didn’t cause excessive discomfort…

    • Maldronah
    • October 5th, 2008

    Patter songs are as difficult to sing
    as the writer makes them. As an example
    I offer ‘Agent M (M.I.B.)’ which may be
    found on allpoetry.com under ‘Maldronah’.

    Gilbert and Sullivan forever!

  1. December 8th, 2009
  2. February 5th, 2011

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