The Mikado


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No. 7: Trio (Pitti-Sing, Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah & Chorus)
"The criminal cried"

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The criminal cried, as he dropped him down,
In a state of wild alarm —
With a frightful, frantic, fearful frown,
I bared my big right arm.
I seized him by his little pig-tail,
And on his knees fell he,
As he squirmed and struggled,
And gurgled and guggled,
I drew my snickersnee,
My snickersnee!

Oh, never shall I
Forget the cry,
Or the shriek that shrieked he,
As I gnashed my teeth,
When from its sheath
I drew my snickersnee!

Ko-Ko (James Conroy-Ward) describes the execution to the Mikado (John Ayldon) & Katisha (Patricia Leonard), 1980
Click on picture to enlarge

We know him well,
He cannot tell
Untrue or groundless tales —
He always tries
To utter lies,
And every time he fails.


He shivered and shook as he gave the sign
For the stroke he didn't deserve;
When all of a sudden his eye met mine,
And it seemed to brace his nerve;
For he nodded his head and kissed his hand,
And he whistled an air, did he,
As the sabre true
Cut cleanly through
His cervical vertebrae,
His vertebrae!

When a man's afraid,
A beautiful maid
Is a cheering sight to see;
And it's oh, I'm glad
That moment sad
Was soothed by sight of me!

Her terrible tale
You can't assail,
With truth it quite agrees:
Her taste exact
For faultless fact
Amounts to a disease.


Now though you'd have said that head was dead
(For its owner dead was he),
It stood on its neck, with a smile well-bred,
And bowed three times to me!
It was none of your impudent off-hand nods,
But as humble as could be;
For it clearly knew
The deference due
To a man of pedigree,
Of pedigree!

And it's oh, I vow,
This deathly bow
Was a touching sight to see;
Though trunkless, yet
It couldn't forget
The deference due to me!

This haughty youth,
He speaks the truth
Whenever he finds it pays:
And in this case
It all took place
Exactly as he says!
Exactly, exactly, exactly,
Exactly as he says!

Exeunt Chorus.

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