Flanders and Swann online email Tim

At the Drop of Another Hat
At the Drop of a Hat
The Bestiary
Tried by the Centre Court
And Then We Wrote...
Other albums

Album index
Alphabetical index

Ill Wind

MF: It has long been my earnest wish to improve the standard of the music we have in these shows of ours -
DS: Thank you very much!
MF: Not at all my dear chap - nothing per. . . - you know that nobody has a higher opinion of your work than you do yourself. I simply meant we should have some more good music; and to this end I have been practicing the horn, or French horn, as they call it, or German horn, as the French call it, not to be confused with the cor anglais.
It's a marvelous instrument. I took it up because I very much wanted to play the music of Mozart, in particular his wonderful horn concerto in E-flat, Köchel rating 495, which he wrote at the age of about 18 months. Marvelous man. I practiced very hard, against considerable opposition, I may say, and I had hoped this evening to give you the very first performance of the last movement, the rondo allegro vivace. Owing to curious circumstances as yet unexplained I am not able to do this. I can only tell you why...

I once had a whim and I had to obey it
To buy a French Horn in a second-hand shop;
I polished it up and I started to play it
In spite of the neighbours who begged me to stop.

To sound my Horn, I had to develop my embouchure;
I found my Horn was a bit of a devil to play.

So artfully wound
To give you a sound,
A beautiful sound so rich and round.

Oh, the hours I had to spend
Before I mastered it in the end.

But that was yesterday and just today I looked in the usual place-
There was the case but the Horn itself was missing.

Oh, where can it have gone?
Haven't you-hasn't anyone seen my Horn?
Oh, where can it have gone?
What a blow! Now I know
I'm unable to play my Allegro.

Who swiped that Horn?
I'll bet you a quid
Somebody did,
Knowing I'd found a concerto and wanted to play it,
Afraid of my talent at playing the Horn.
For early today to my utter dismay
it had vanished away like the dew in the mom.

I've lost that Hom-I know I was using it yesterday.
I've lost that Horn, lost that Horn, found that Horn ... gorn.
There's not much hope of getting it back though I'd willingly pay a reward.

I know some Hearty Folk whose party joke's
Pretending to hunt with the Quorn,
Gone away! Gone away! Was it one of them took it away?
Will you kindly return that Horn? Where is the devil who pinched my Horn?

I shall tell the Police I want that French Horn back.
I miss its music more and more and more.
Without that Horn I'm feeling sad and so forlorn.

I found a concerto, I wanted to play it,
Displaying my talent at playing the Horn,
But early today to my utter dismay it had totally vanished away.
I practised the Horn, and I wanted to play it but somebody took it away.
I practised the Horn and was longing to play it but somebody took it away.

My neighbour's asleep in his bed.
I'll soon make him wish he were dead.
I'll take up the Tuba instead!

Thank you very much. I should warn you that he wrote two more in E-flat alone. Next time we'll take the Festival Hall.

Originally from the album 'At The Drop of Another Hat'.