The Orchestra

The Orchestra is alive with strange creatures called musicians
Who lurk behind a music stand and study compositions
Their hours of sitting motionless require clinical physicians
And they suffer from tinnitus from the adverse noise conditions
They perform in frosty church halls, no need to make predictions
The truth is that their feet rot and need to hire pediatricians
Listen now as I go through the sectional positions
And explain how this organism has come to its fruition

The percussionists all pretend that they are incredible magicians
Who can play a hundred instruments and are skilled in demolition
They play their little drums like soldiers with unlimited ammunition
And bang and crash like toddlers without social inhibitions
They count almost audibly to show that they have mastered addition
But most the time they joke about crazy American politicians
If you meet this awful tribe avoid their coalition
Or you’ll end up being visited by the Spanish Inquisition

Why the brass are in the orchestra is a mystery of tradition
They should be in a marching band or scouting expedition
They are very contrary and love to be in opposition
When other instruments are playing soft they roar in loud sedition
They are the first to leave the concert and in the intermission
And have a considerable appetite for alcohol acquisition
Spend no time with these hedonists, there’s no need for definition
The brass will make you wish for the return of prohibition

The woodwind are a pain as most require transposition
The flutes are the exception but are annoying aestheticians
They all believe they’re amazing and revel in renditions
Of ornithological, ornamental birdsong emissions
They like to discuss the merits of different scored editions
And talk of recapitulation and sonata form exposition
If you want to be a know-it-all and a cultural patrician
Join the woodwind union – if you pass their hard audition

The section of the orchestra with the most adverse competition
Is the strings with their hierarchy that shows their grave ambition
The violins see advancement up the ranks as their very holy mission
Yet no one knows what a viola is, they are always an omission
The cellos think they’re the embodiment of an instrument beautician
And basses bore us all with speeches from the European Union commission
Don’t even try to buy a harp, they cost half a million
Just avoid all the strings – and campaign for their abolition

The Orchestra is an unruly beast, they must be treated with suspicion
They should all listen carefully and not speak without permission
Instrumentalists think they’re clever, full of very wise erudition
They fancy themselves as philosophers – as Hegelian dialecticians
They need to know who is the boss, and must bow in recognition
That the conductor is the greatest so fall in subdued submission
So now my friends it is time to give my final admonition
Obey the baton for it’s wielded by the masterful tactician

24 thoughts on “The Orchestra

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