And I’ve Got a Little List


W.S. Gilbert — the “Mr. Words” of Gilbert and Sullivan — liked to poke fun at the aristocracy; for example:

I am, in point of fact, a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-Adamite ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal atomic globule. Consequently, my family pride is something inconceivable.

Pooh-Bah (The Mikado, Act I, Part III)

Lest you think that Gilbert was some kind of democrat who swooned over the masses, consider a song that occurs in Act I, Part Va, It’s sung by Ko-Ko (the Lord High Executioner), and known popularly as “I’ve Got a Little List.” My updated version goes like this:

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list
Of irritating persons to be taken out and shot,
And who never would be missed – who never would be missed!
There’s the pestilential nuisances who shout into their phones,
Baring inner secrets at the volume of trombones –
All people who wear stubbly beards and iridescent tats –
All children who are petulant and whiny little brats –
All drivers who in changing lanes do so without a glance –
And others who stare at green lights as if in lost a trance –
They’d none of ‘em be missed – they’d none of ‘em be missed!

CHORUS. He’s got ‘em on the list – he’s got ‘em on the list;
And they’ll none of ‘em be missed – they’ll none of
‘em be missed.

There’s the rap and hip-hop devotee, and the others of his ilk,
And the break-dance enthusiast – I’ve got him on the list!
And the people who eat a sushi roll and puff it in your face,
They never would be missed – they never would be missed!
Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
Films that don’t have endings, and all races but his own;
And the “lady” in the leotard, who looks just like a guy,
And who doesn’t need to marry, but would rather like to
And that singular anomaly, the wealthy socialist –
I don’t think he’d be missed – I’m sure he’d not he missed!

CHORUS. He’s got him on the list – he’s got him on the list;
And I don’t think he’ll be missed – I’m sure
he’ll not be missed!

And that jurisprudential malcontent, who just now is rather rife,
The loose constructionist – I’ve got him on the list!
All perfumed fellows, girly men, and dykes who seek a “wife”–
They’d none of ‘em be missed–they’d none of ‘em be missed.
And apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as – What d’ye call him –  Thing’em-bob, and
likewise – Never-mind,
And ‘St–’st–’st – and What’s-his-name, and also You-know-who –
The task of filling up the blanks I’d rather leave to you.
But it really doesn’t matter whom you put upon the list,
For they’d none of ‘em be missed – they’d none of ‘em be

CHORUS. You may put ‘em on the list – you may put ‘em on the list;
And they’ll none of ‘em be missed – they’ll none of
‘em be missed!

Compare it with the original. I would have updated the lines about apologetic statesmen to include references to Obama and Kerry, but the meter would have been disrupted.


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