Poor Fish

  • humorous song for voice and piano

  • Duration 3' 30"


by Robin Bailey


sheet music (PDF with permission to print or download) available from via this website: GBP 8.00


Monkeys, gibbons and baboons
Can hum quite complicated tunes;
The Himalayan bear and yeti
Harmonise in Donizetti,
But fish that in deep waters feed
Singen nicht ein Schubert Lied.

Wasps, without a sense of danger
Fly, like moths, to Percy Grainger;
The cabbage white and clouded yellow
Bring fresh colour to Otello,
But for fish that in deep waters lie
There's no Entführung aus dem Serail.

All lizards, and not just iguana,
Like Cavalleria Rusticana,
Reptilian taste, though sometimes patchy,
Includes, of ourse, I Pagliacci,
But fish that through deep waters dart
Can't comprehend the D'Oyly Carte.

The aardvark can, despite the heat,
Follow Solti's awesome beat;
And even irreligious bison
Cope with Kyrie e-lei-son,
But fish that through deep waters crawl
Will never play the Wigmore Hall.

The horse for Trojans has a nose,
Indeed for most of Berlioz;
And mules will always fill the house
At matinées of Fledermaus,
But fish still from deep waters wet
Will never populate the Met.

All blue and blow and white whales
Can musically excite Wales;
But never at an Eisteddfod
Was prize awarded to a cod;
For if the deep's your motherland
You'll never be Joan Sutherland.

(Robin Bailey, printed by kind permission of Nick Bailey)