Letter to the Editor - A Bass's Lament

Type of post: News
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 22 Oct 2018

A BASS’S LAMENT
By E. Ralph Andrew

I wasn’t feeling very well;
The nurses hovered near.
They seemed a little worried,

But I really had no fear.
I’d sometimes sung a hymn or two,
Or sometimes said a prayer,
So if I shuffled off this coil
I shouldn’t have a care.

My quartet came to visit me;
I thought it rather odd
That rather than an uppie piece

They sang, “I’ll Walk with God.”
And then they sang, “Abide with Me”
As the nurses changed my dressing.
I knew I was in trouble when
I heard “The Irish Blessing.”

“I thought you came to cheer me up,”
I said, “Sing something cheerful!”
But the boys seemed sad and out of sorts,
And lachrymose. (That’s “tearful”).
I had to send them out of there
To come another day.
Then I lay back on my pillow, and
I quietly passed away.

But soon I opened up my eyes
Like waking from a coma.
My nostrils were assaulted by
A sulphurous aroma.
I squirmed in some discomfort,
And no wonder that I did,
Because my comfy bed was now
A heated iron grid.

“At least it’s warmer here,” I thought,
As I started to perspire,
For all around me I could see
A roaring, blazing fire.
A fellow stood beside me,
Dressed in red, all quiet and still.
“Uh, oh,” I thought,” this hospital
Has really gone downhill.”

The fellow smiled, and welcomed me,
Despite his horns and tail.
“I’m really glad you’re here,” he said.
I felt myself go pale.
“Don’t worry, man, we’ve plenty here
Of lawyers, priests and coppers.
It’s only rarely we can welcome
Any barbershoppers.”

I gasped in fear, “Oh, you must be
The Evil One, the Devil!”
He laughed and said, “Don’t worry,
I am far below that level.
I’m just about as lowly as
A garbage dump inspector!
In fact, I’m even lower:
I’m our Musical Director.

“A man of your experience
Is really quite a gift!
I want you in our chorus.”
And I felt my spirits lift.
“We need a choreographer,
A treasurer as well.
And you’ll be singing baritone.”
Then I knew I was in hell.