The Hobbit: An Unexpected Gilbert & Sullivan Parody

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If it had been available during their lifetimes, W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan might have made a great comic opera out of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  To show you how it could have happened, I’ve fit part of the movie’s storyline to G&S songs. (I could go on and on — indeed, I have — but not here. The full parody, plus others, are on the C19 message board here. Mine is the third post in the thread. Also, I’ve just posted the long version on AO3.)

Anyone unfamiliar with Gilbert & Sullivan can find their works online at the brilliant and comprehensive Gilbert & Sullivan Archive, http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/index.html   I’ve also added YouTube clips for anyone who’d be interested in seeing the original versions of the songs performed.

At Bag End: The Dwarves Arrive
(Bilbo opens his door to the dwarves, who enter and pillage his pantry.)
To the tune of “I’m called Little Buttercup” from HMS Pinafore http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/pinafore/web_opera/pin02.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a76ar-zIjq8

Bilbo
I’m called Bilbo Baggins — just plain Bilbo Baggins,
Though I could never tell why,
But still I’m called Bilbo — yes, just plain old Bilbo,
plain Bilbo Baggins am I !

I’ve lots of tobaccy, and excellent jacky,
I’ve plenty of foodstuffs and cheese;
I’ve ham and tomatoes and roasted potatoes
And cookies and jam, if you please.

I’ve treacle and toffee, I’ve tea and I’ve coffee,
Bread pudding and succulent chops;
I’ve omelets and French Toast, and leftover pot-roast,
And excellent peppermint drops.

A Hobbit likes visitors – some kinds of visitors;
But now these dwarves ate all my food;
So, leave me something to eat, any old bit of meat;
Gandalf, you’ve done me no good!

(Gandalf the Wizard explains—but only a little bit)
To the tune of “When I, good friends, was call’d to the bar” from Trial by Jury
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/trial/webopera/tbj04.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FiOmiiX48I

Gandalf
When these good dwarves to Bag End they came
With their appetites fresh and hearty,
I planned to make Bilbo part of the game,
At this unexpected party.
I’ve a pointy old hat of a beautiful blue –
A staff which was carved by a booby –
A bright silver scarf and an old gray robe,
And a ring that looks like a ruby!
For I am a Wizard!

Dwarves
(swinging their ale mugs)
And a good Wizard, too!

Gandalf
Yes, I am a wizard!

Dwarves

And a good wizard, too!

Gandalf
I can’t make a man a lizard,
Or conjure fire in a blizzard,
But I’ll live and die a wizard!

Dwarves
And a good wizard, too!

Thorin Oakenshield arrives at Bag End
 (Three knocks sound at Bilbo’s door. Thorin enters and rallies the dwarves to follow him on the quest.)
To the tune of “A wand’ring minstrel I” from The Mikado http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/mikado/webopera/mk102.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTZHC1nF6SA

Thorin
A wandering dwarf-prince I —
A thing of shreds and patches,
Of ballads, songs and snatches,
And dreams of days gone by!

My goal, you see, is clear,
Though every danger trails us,
Before our courage fails us
I call you to my quest!
I call you to my quest!

Are you in gold-reclaiming mood?
I’ll rage with you,
Baruk khazad ai-menu!
On dragon fire do you brood?
I’ll do so, too —
Baruk khazad ai-menu!

I’ll tell of days of old,
With songs of ancient gold,
While glittering tales are told
Of treasure lost —
Baruk khazad ai-menu!

The Troll-shaws
(Bilbo tries to rescue the horses from being eaten by the trolls William, Bert, and Tom, and is captured by them instead. The dwarves try to rescue him, but they are caught too.  In the end Gandalf saves them all.)

To the tune of “Oi, where be I, and what be I a-doing?” from The Sorcerer
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/sorcerer/web_opera/sorc15.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ_51O7nElQ

William
Oi, them’s horses! And what be you a doin’,
A-sneezin’ in the stew, so floaters rise?

Bert
Why, that’s the very way the taste to ruin,
And don’t seem quite respectable likewise!

Tom (seeing Bilbo)
Eh, that’s you! Only think o’ that now!
What may you be at, now? Tell me, du!

Bilbo
Ugh, what a stench! Oh no, they caught me!
The smell makes me blench, and now they’ll pot me.

Bert (to the trussed-up dwarves)
Oi tell you true, and I’m not boastin’,
Oi loike you, especially when roastin’.

Gandalf (breaking the stone and letting in the light)
Eh, but the dawn take you!

Visiting the elves at Rivendell
(After being chased by orcs on Wargs, the company rests at Rivendell among the elves)

To the tune of “Tripping hither, Tripping thither,” from  Iolanthe
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/iolanthe/web_op/iol01.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_-lmvXO2dE

Elves
Riding hither, riding thither,
Nobody knows why or whither;
On our horses we will swing
Round about dwarves in a ring!

We are tall and slender elf-kind,
We like singing, we like dancing;
Our dwarf guests appear disinclined
To eat food that’s health-enhancing.

If you ask us how to translate
Your map’s special hidden moon-runes,
Our Lord Elrond is no lightweight,
He can do it while he croons tunes!

Stone Giants
(High in the Misty Mountains, a terrible thunderstorm has roused the Stone Giants, whose battle causes avalanches and rockfalls that threaten the company.)

To the tune of “When the night-wind howls…” from Ruddigore
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/ruddigore/web_opera/rudd19.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjyD0ORkzCk

Stone Giants
When the night wind shrieks in the mountain peaks, and a boulder in the moonlight flies,
And inky clouds, like funeral shrouds, sail across the midnight skies –
When the travelers hide from the fierce rock-slide, and thunder-battle blots out the moon,
Then are the Stone Giants dangerous – hide in a cave real soon!

In Goblin-Town, meeting the Great Goblin
(The dwarves don’t realize that the cave they’ve found is a trap. They are dumped down into Goblin-Town, where they face the grotesque and vile Great Goblin.)

To the tune of “A more humane Mikado…” from The Mikado
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/mikado/webopera/mk206.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuvERdcEX6Q

The Great Goblin
A more urbane Great Goblin never
Has reigned in Goblin-Town,
To nobody second,
I’m certainly reckoned
The skankiest one around.
It is my completely vile endeavour
To ensure, to great extent,
Each dwarf we’ve captured
Has their bones fractured
For goblin merriment.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
Don’t let those dwarves get free!

Yikes! Goblin-Cleaver! Flee—
And there goes all our merriment!
Oops, now my life is spent!

Bilbo meets Gollum
(Bilbo gets separated from the others, and falls into a cave inhabited by the twisted and homicidal Gollum, a strange creature with a magical ring.)

To the tune of  “As someday it may happen…” from The Mikado
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/mikado/webopera/mk105a.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NLV24qTnlg

Gollum
As someday it may happen that a sequel must be writ,
I’ve got a little ring – I’ve got a little ring
That nobody has realized was hiding in my pit,
It’s such a precious thing — such a precious thing!
I’ve been eating batses, fishes, yes, and Goblins when I can —
Now a Hobbit comes to riddle me and beat me if he can —
I’ll tell him that I’ll show him out, and hit him with a rock —
He’ll make a juicy mouthful, once we’ve had our chance to talk —
But oh, what’s this! My ring is gone, my precious, precious ring —
That Baggins stole my ring — he stole my precious ring!


Fighting Azog and the Wargs 

(With Gandalf’s help, the dwarves escape the Goblins. Bilbo, with the help of the magic ring, has escaped Gollum and rejoined the company. The dwarves have retreated as far as they can get from Azog and the Wargs. Although Azog will surely kill him, Thorin has no choice but to attack his ancient enemy.)

To the tune of  “My eyes are fully open to my awful situation…” from Ruddigore
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/ruddigore/web_opera/rudd24.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmBri9kvptE (yes, that’s Vincent Price)

Thorin
My eyes are fully open to my awful situation –
Somehow Azog has survived, now I must end his desecration.
I shall stand up in this leaning tree, and charge at his defenses
And I don’t care twopence-halfpenny for any consequences.
Though it’s likely that I’ll perish when that ugly white Warg shakes me,
I would rather go defiantly and fight until he breaks me,
And a word or two of common sense just seems like empty chatter,
‘Cause I’m gonna kill him now, so it really doesn’t matter!

Bilbo
If were not a little mad and generally silly
I would stay up in this tree and let you fight him, willy-nilly;
But I can’t ignore the fact that you have often been my savior,
So I bet you’d be amazed at my adventurous behavior.
Though Balin said my sword is good for opening a letter,
If it can stab an orc I think that would be even better,
And at present I’m afraid I am as mad as any hatter,
But I’ll probably die anyway, so logic doesn’t matter!

Azog
If I had been originally added to this story
Say, if Tolkien ever thought he’d need an orc to make things gory,
I might have had a chance to be a truly 3-D villain –
Who had history and depth and whom the chicks thought rather thrillin’
My existence would have made a rather interesting subplot,
And I might have had a few fans who think that a pale orc’s real hot.
My particularly nasty, unintelligible patter
Isn’t generally heard, and if it is, it doesn’t matter!

Rescue by Eagles
(Just as Azog and his orcs are moving in for the kill, the Eagles, summoned by Gandalf, swoop in and rescue the dwarves and Bilbo, carrying them off to a safe landing-place –the Carrock.)

Finale: “Soon as we may” from Iolanthe
http://diamond.boisestate.edu/gas/iolanthe/web_op/iol25.html

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4vzyEwBoAw

Dwarves

Soon as we may,
Off and away!
We’ll commence our journey regal –
Happy are we –
As you can see,
Every one’s aboard an Eagle!

Every, every, every,
Every one’s aboard an Eagle!
Though as a general rule we know
We’ve got two movies left to go,
Seeing the mountain makes us think
That of success we’re on the brink.

Up in the sky,
Ever so high,
Now we’re repaid for our persistence;
We see it rise
‘Gainst morning skies  –
Erebor, our home, in the distance!

THE END

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26 thoughts on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Gilbert & Sullivan Parody

  1. Pingback: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Gilbert & Sullivan Parody | FanstRAvaganza

    • Thanks! Funny thing is, I never intended it to be a gender inversion — just that both songs that seemed appropriate for Bilbo happened to be sung by women! (Bilbo’s verse in the “Matter” trio is meant to be sung by a woman).

      • Nah! 🙂 I’m already a diehard G&S fan. So for this, I just cut and pasted my favorite songs from the G&S Archive, found a free rhyming dictionary online, and let my imagination do the rest.

  2. Looks like a true labour of love. I am unfamiliar with all these operettas, so I am going to use a quite moment and then immerse myself. What a truly original post for FanstRA!

    • Thank you! I hope that you enjoy the little clips I found. They really put a smile on my face — sometimes, just to see all sorts of performers in all sorts of G&S productions around the globe, makes me happy.

  3. This is brilliant! And so clever! =D After playing Katisha in Mikado I really get a good laugh out of this now. Might just have to start singing these around the house! Weeee :))

  4. I just can’t believe how extraordinarily clever this is, saraleee! I’m a fan of G&S and have been singing your Hobbit version in my head all day, LOL. Just brilliant!

    • LOL Thanks, jaydee! I don’t know if this version is ready to be staged yet, but I’m glad you’re enjoying it. G&S are so funny, I don’t think they ever will go out of style. At least, they won’t with me!

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