Patience

In early drafts of Patience, Gilbert had originally planned for the operetta to be about two rival clergymen vying for the attention of the ladies of the parish, based on his humorous poem, “The Rival Curates.”  In those early drafts, the soldiers’ entrance number was a two verse song:

The twenty-first hussars,
Are linked in friendly tether;
Upon the field of Mars
They fight the foe together.
There every mother’s son
Prepared to fight and fall is;
The enemy of one
The enemy of all is!
The enemy of one
The enemy of all is!

United as a clan
We have arranged between us
To introduce this plan
Within the courts of Venus:
With one emotion stirred
Beneath our belts of leather,
The Colonel gives the word
And all propose together!
The Colonel gives the word
And all propose together!

By the time that Patience opened, however, Gilbert had substantially revised the operetta so that the clergymen had become aesthetic poets, the Hussars had become Dragoons and “The Soldiers of Our Queen” had been rewritten as a one verse song.

The soldiers of our Queen
Are linked in friendly tether;
Upon the battle scene
They fight the foe together.
There ev’ry mother’s son
Prepared to fight and fall is;
The enemy of one
The enemy of all is!
The enemy of one
The enemy of all is!

For our 1990 production of Patience, members of our company asked the director, Zoe Kuester, if she might be willing to add a second verse, as it was such a delightful, but all too short song.  As Gilbert’s original second verse was not appropriate in context with the current first verse, Zoe invited the members of the company to write a new second verse.  Holly Windle did so and her new text was used in that production and in the company’s subsequent production of Patience in 2002.  It was very well received by our audiences in both productions.

The soldiers of our Queen
Are doughty strong and fearless;
For Military Spleen
We’re reckoned to be peerless.
From danger we don’t shrink
And here’s our main attraction;
We do before we think
For we are men of action!
We do before we think
For we are men of action!

Patience Video 2002

Patience Video 1990

It should be noted that throughout the run of the 1990 production, Holly continued to write “second verses” to the song.  She provided these verses to the men of the chorus, who in the Green Room, before almost every performance, would sing the verse to the rest of the company to everyone’s delight.

Colonel Calverley’s “If You Want a Receipt” song contains the largest number and, perhaps, the most obscure collection of references to Victorian individuals and fictional characters found anywhere in the Gilbert & Sullivan canon.  This listing is detailed and defined, at great length, in our Patience Glossary.  Robert Neu, the Director for our 2012 production of Patience, decided to revise the text, in the spirit of The Mikado’s “I’ve Got a Little List” song, to refer to modern personalities and institutions whose character attributes … or faults … might be considered “the elements” that make a “Heavy Dragoon.”  The rewritten song was performed in our production by Bill Marshall, as Colonel Calverley.

If you want a receipt for that popular mystery
Known to the world as a heavy Dragoon,
Take all the remarkable people in history,
Rattle them off to a popular tune:

The pluck of Lord Nelson on board of the Victory,
Genius of Target – a marketing plan,
The humor of Chekov (which sounds contradictory),
Lack of a marriage for Kim Kardashian.

A bit of Bruce Lee, who’s the king of karate,
The charm of Ms. Bachman upon her campaign,
The best of an auto, a red Maserati,
The five incarnations of Shirley McLaine.

The wit of Steve Sondheim, the talents of Meryl Streep,
Congress in session which, yes, makes us want to weep,
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mikhail Gorbachev,
Thomas Aquinas and N. Rimsky-Korsakov,

Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe,
Andrew Lloyd Webber, who aims rather low.

Take of these elements all that is fusible,
Melt ‘em all down in a pipkin or crucible,
Set  ‘em to simmer and take off the scum,
And a Heavy Dragoon is the residuum.

If you want a receipt for this soldierly prototype,
Get at the wealth of Don Trump (if you can),
The vocal mis-stylings of Bieber and all that hype,
Force of Newt Gingrich (in case you’re a fan).

The technical prowess of Apple and iPhones,
Occupy Wall Street (if you think you can),
No Tea Party, please, and avoid all those bad bank loans,
How ‘bout Obama?  Steve Jobs is the man.

The genius strategic of Caesar or Hannibal,
Maybe the Vikings will win what is winnable,
Flavor of Hamlet, Ms. Palin, (a touch of her),
Little of Gaga (but not very much of her).

Gilbert and Sullivan, we love them so,
This song is hard and now on with the show!

Take of these elements all that is fusible,
Melt ‘em all down in a pipkin or crucible,
Set  ‘em to simmer and take off the scum,
And a Heavy Dragoon is the residuum.