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From Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.

Back to 'Oh, False One, You Have Deceived Me'
On to 'Oh, Is There Not One Maiden Breast'

Frederic has just returned to civilization after thirteen years of pirating. During this time, he has seen no females but his old nursemaid, Ruth. Shortly after landfall, he sees a bevy of beautiful maidens. This song and dialogue is their introduction; as you can see, they are airheads. But Frederic has no basis for comparison, and falls in love, in a general sort of way.

Note: although Edith, Kate, and Isabel (and Mabel, who comes along later) are all the daughters that Gilbert gives names too, there are often more than four daughters in any given production of the opera.


GIRLS:
Climbing over rocky mountain,
Skipping rivulet and fountain,
Passing where the willows quiver
By the ever-rolling river,
Swollen with the summer rain;
Threading long and leafy mazes
Dotted with unnumbered daisies;
Scaling rough and rugged passes,
Climb the hardy little lasses,
Till the bright sea-shore they gain!

EDITH:
Let us gaily tread the measure,
Make the most of fleeting leisure;
Hail it as a true ally,
Though it perish by-and-by.

GIRLS:
Hail it as a true ally,
Though it perish by-and-by.

EDITH:
Every moment brings a treasure
Of its own especial pleasure,
Though the moments quickly die,
Greet them gaily as they fly.

KATE:
Far away from toil and care,
Revelling in fresh sea-air,
Here we live and reign alone
In a world that's all our own.
Here, in this our rocky den,
Far away from mortal men,
We'll be queens, and make decrees--
They may honour them who please.

(It usually goes on for another verse or so from here; just repeating a verse that has already been sung. My copy of the script says ALL: Let us gaily tread the measure, etc. Others will repeat the last two lines, or some other variation. -- Tem42)


KATE:
What a picturesque spot! I wonder where we are!

EDITH:
And I wonder where Papa is. We have left him ever so far behind.

ISABEL:
Oh, he will be here presently! Remember poor Papa is not as young as we are, and we have come over a rather difficult country.

KATE:
But how thoroughly delightful it is to be so entirely alone! Why, in all probability we are the first human beings who ever set foot on this enchanting spot.

ISABEL:
Except the mermaids -- it's the very place for mermaids.

KATE:
Who are only human beings down to the waist!

EDITH:
And who can't be said strictly to set foot anywhere. Tails they may, but feet they cannot.

KATE:
But what shall we do until Papa and the servants arrive with the luncheon?

EDITH:
We are quite alone, and the sea is as smooth as glass. Suppose we take off our shoes and stockings and paddle?

ALL:
Yes, yes! The very thing! (They prepare to carry out the suggestion. They have all taken off one shoe, when FREDERIC comes forward from cave.)

FREDERIC:
(recitative). Stop, ladies, pray!

ALL:
(hopping on one foot). A man!

FREDERIC:
I had intended
Not to intrude myself upon your notice
In this effective but alarming costume,
But under these peculiar circumstances,
It is my bounden duty to inform you
That your proceedings will not be unwitnessed!

EDITH:
But who are you, sir? Speak! (All hopping)

FREDERIC:
I am a pirate!

GIRLS:
(recoiling, hopping) A pirate! Horror!

FREDERIC:
Ladies, do not shun me!
This evening I renounce my wild profession;
And, to that end, oh pure and peerless maidens!
Oh, blushing buds of ever-blooming beauty!
I, sore at heart, implore your kind assistance.

EDITH:
How pitiful his tale!

KATE:
How rare his beauty!

GIRLS:
How pitiful his tale! How rare his beauty!

Song: Oh, Is There Not One Maiden Breast

Back to 'Oh, False One, You Have Deceived Me'

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