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"Decomposing Composers" is a Monty Python comedic song released on Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album and the Monty Python Sings album. It was written and composed by Michael Palin and arranged by John Du Prez.
Palin sings the song in what appears to be the persona of Luigi Vercotti, a seedy character who appeared in some sketches in the TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus, notably "Ethel the Frog" and "Ron Obvious".
The backing to the song is based on Pachelbel's Canon, and in the final spoken coda, there is a medley of classical favourites in the background. It even includes an attempt to play Beethoven's 5th Symphony, which keeps starting up and winding down, possibly to add to the "death" humour of the song.
After an initial spoken section where Luigi talks to his wife on the phone, he begins to sing about dead classical composers, including the following:
The final, spoken coda to the song includes a list of dead composers, as follows:
- Claude Achille Debussy, died, 1918.
- Christoph Willibald Gluck, died, 1787.
- Carl Maria von Weber, not at all well, 1825. Died, 1826.
- Giacomo Meyerbeer, still alive, 1863. Not still alive, 1864.
- Modest Mussorgsky, 1880, going to parties. No fun anymore, 1881.
- Johann Nepomuk Hummel, chatting away nineteen to the dozen with his mates down the pub every evening, 1836. 1837, nothing.
- Monty Python Sings CD booklet. 1989 Virgin Records
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