It’s been a long time since I posted one of these! And now – Gilbert & Sullivan. Years back I hated them – to me they seemed saccharine, sentimental, vulgar and asinine. It’s taken me a very long time to appreciate the brilliant wit of Gilbert’s words, and the sheer brilliance of Sullivan’s setting of them. Individually, the two men may have been bombastic, self-aggrandizing, and annoying, but together they produced works of total genius and of ever-lasting freshness and appeal. Who has ever done more?
This is a fine song from H.M.S. Pinafore, where a typical Gilbertian character – in this case a ridiculously polite and gentlemanly ship’s captain, tells his crew how proud he is of them. You can see the lyrics here.