D'OYLY CARTE OPERA COMPANY


Things Are Seldom What They Seem Lyrics

BUT. Things are seldom what they seem,
Skim milk masquerades as cream;
Highlows pass as patent leathers;
Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers.
CAPT. (puzzled). Very true,
So they do.
BUT. Black sheep dwell in every fold;
All that glitters is not gold;
Storks turn out to be but logs;
Bulls are but inflated frogs.
CAPT. (puzzled). So they be,
Frequentlee.
BUT. Drops the wind and stops the mill;
Turbot is ambitious brill;
Gild the farthing if you will,
Yet it is a farthing still.
CAPT. (puzzled). Yes, I know.
That is so.
BUT. Though to catch your drift I'm striving,
It is shady -- it is shady;
I don't see at what you're driving,
Mystic lady -- mystic lady.
(Aside.) Stern conviction's o'er me stealing,
That the mystic lady's dealing
In oracular revealing.
BUT. (aside). Stern conviction's o'er him stealing,
That the mystic lady's dealing
In oracular revealing.
Yes, I know--
That is so!
CAPT. Though I'm anything but clever,
I could talk like that for ever:
Once a cat was killed by care;
Only brave deserve the fair.
Very true,
So they do.
CAPT. Wink is often good as nod;
Spoils the child who spares the rod;
Thirsty lambs run foxy dangers;
Dogs are found in many mangers.
BUT. Frequentlee,
I agree.
CAPT. Paw of cat the chestnut snatches;
Worn-out garments show new patches;
Only count the chick that hatches;
Men are grown-up catchy-catchies.
BUT. Yes, I know,
That is so.
(Aside.) Though to catch my drift he's striving,
I'll dissemble -- I'll dissemble;
When he sees at what I'm driving,
Let him tremble -- let him tremble!

ENSEMBLE

Though a mystic tone I/you borrow,
You will/I shall learn the truth with sorrow,
Here to-day and gone to-morrow;
Yes, I know--
That is so!
[At the end exit Little Buttercup melodramatically.

CAPT. Incomprehensible as her utterances are, I
nevertheless feel that they are dictated by a sincere
regard for
me. But to what new misery is she referring? Time alone
can
tell!

Enter Sir Joseph

SIR JOSEPH. Captain Corcoran, I am much disappointed
with
your daughter. In fact, I don't think she will do.
CAPT. She won't do, Sir Joseph!
SIR JOSEPH. I'm afraid not. The fact is, that although
I
have urged my suit with as much eloquence as is
consistent with
an official utterance, I have done so hitherto without
success.
How do you account for this?
CAPT. Really, Sir Joseph, I hardly know. Josephine is
of
course sensible of your condescension.
SIR JOSEPH. She naturally would be.
CAPT. But perhaps your exalted rank dazzles her.
SIR JOSEPH. You think it does?
CAPT. I can hardly say; but she is a modest girl, and
her
social position is far below your own. It may be that
she feels
she is not worthy of you.
SIR JOSEPH. That is really a very sensible suggestion,
and
displays more knowledge of human nature than I had
given you
credit for.
CAPT. See, she comes. If your lordship would kindly
reason
with her and assure her officially that it is a
standing rule at
the Admiralty that love levels all ranks, her respect
for an
official utterance might induce her to look upon your
offer in
its proper light.
SIR JOSEPH. It is not unlikely. I will adopt your
suggestion. But soft, she is here. Let us withdraw, and
watch
our opportunity.

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Record Label(s): 2011 Stage Door Records

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