Our Great Mikado Virtuous Man Lyrics


Our great Mikado, virtuous man,
When he to rule our land began,
Resolved to try
A plan whereby
Young men might best be steadied.

So he decreed, in words succinct,
That all who flirted, leered or winked
(Unless connubially linked),
Should forthwith be beheaded.

And I expect you'll all agree
That he was right to so decree.
And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right as right can be!

CHORUS. And you are right.
And we are right, etc

This stem decree, you'll understand,
Caused great dismay throughout the land!
For young and old
And shy and bold
Were equally affected.
The youth who winked a roving eye,
Or breathed a non-connubial sigh,
Was thereupon condemned to die--
He usually objected.

And you'll allow, as I expect,
That he was right to so object.
And I am right,
And you are right,
And everything is quite correct!

CHORUS. And you are right,
And we are right, etc.

And so we straight let out on bail
A convict from the county jail,
Whose head was next
On some pretext
Condemned to be mown off,
And made him Headsman, for we said,
"Who's next to be decapited
Cannot cut off another's head
Until he's cut his own off."

And we are right, I think you'll say,
To argue in this kind of way;
And I am right,
And you are right,
And all is right--too-looral-lay!

CHORUS. And you are right,
And we are right, etc.

[Exeunt Chorus.

Enter Pooh-Bah.

NANK. Ko-Ko, the cheap tailor, Lord High Executioner of
Titipu! Why, that's the highest rank a citizen can
POOH. It is. Our logical Mikado, seeing no moral
difference between the dignified judge who condemns a
criminal to
die, and the industrious mechanic who carries out the
has rolled the two offices into one, and every judge is
now his
own executioner.
NANK. But how good of you (for I see that you are a
nobleman of the highest rank) to condescend to tell all
this to
me, a mere strolling minstrel!
POOH. Don't mention it. I am, in point of fact, a
particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-
ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell
you that
I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal
primordial atomic
globule. Consequently, my family pride is something
inconceivable. I can't help it. I was born sneering.
But I
struggle hard to overcome this defect. I mortify my
continually. When all the great officers of State
resigned in a
body because they were too proud to serve under an ex-
tailor, did
I not unhesitatingly accept all their posts at once?
PISH. And the salaries attached to them? You did.
POOH. It is consequently my degrading duty to serve
upstart as First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief
Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral, Master of the
Groom of the Back Stairs, Archbishop of Titipu, and
Lord Mayor,
both acting and elect, all rolled into one. And at a
salary! A
Pooh-Bah paid for his services! I a salaried minion!
But I do
it! It revolts me, but I do it!
NANK. And it does you credit.
POOH. But I don't stop at that. I go and dine with
middle-class people on reasonable terms. I dance at
suburban parties for a moderate fee. I accept
refreshment at any
hands, however lowly. I also retail State secrets at a
very low
figure. For instance, any further information about
would come under the head of a State secret. (Nanki-Poo
takes his
hint, and gives him money.) (Aside.) Another insult
and, I
think, a light one!

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