Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pirates of Penzance

Often, orphan (said with a British accent)...this is one of my favorite comedic lines of all time and today when I got in the car to drive home after dinner Pirates of Penzance had just started on the radio. Boy was I excited. The people in cars near me must have thought I was on drugs or something because I was bouncing up and down and head banging to the music and laughing hysterically.

So you can appreciate and join in my merriment of this evening; here is my favorite dialogue in verse:
(please enjoy with much laughter and frivolity of spirit)


General. (aside) Hah! an idea! (aloud) And do you mean to say that you would deliberately rob me of these, the sole remaining props of my old age, and leave me to go through the remainder of my life unfriended, unprotected, and alone?
King. Well, yes, that’s the idea.
General. Tell me, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
Pirates. (disgusted) Oh, dash it all!
King. Here we are again!
General. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
King. Often!
General. Yes, orphan. Have you ever known what it is to be one?
King. I say, often.
Pirates. (disgusted) Often, often, often. (Turning away)
General. I don’t think we quite understand one another. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan, and you say “orphan”. As I understand you, you are merely repeating the word “orphan” to show that you understand me.
King. I didn’t repeat the word often.
General. Pardon me, you did indeed.
King. I only repeated it once.
General. True, but you repeated it.
King. But not often.
General. Stop! I think I see where we are getting confused. When you said “orphan”, did you mean “orphan” – a person who has lost his parents, or “often”, frequently?
King. Ah! I beg pardon – I see what you mean – frequently.
General. Ah! you said "often", frequently.
King. No, only once.
General. (irritated) Exactly – you said “often”, frequently, only once.