Have Some Madeira M'Dear

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Have Some Madeira M'Dear, also titled "Madeira, M'Dear?",[n 1] is a darkly comic song by Flanders and Swann.[2] It is a song about seduction and alcohol, containing complex and witty wordplay.

The lyric[3] tells of an elderly rake who "slyly inveigles" an attractive young girl of seventeen to his flat where he offers her a glass of Madeira, a fortified Portuguese wine. The girl enthusiastically drains her glass, becoming slightly drunk in the process: "She lowered her standards by raising her glass/Her courage, her eyes—and his hopes"[4] Sensing victory, the rake offers the young girl another glass of wine which she accepts, but before raising it to her lips she recalls her dying mother's warning to avoid red wine. With a cry, the girl drops the glass and flees the apartment, the old roué's pleas for her to remain echoing in her ears. The following morning, however, the young lady awakens in bed with a hangover and a beard tickling her ear.

The song contains three much-quoted instances of syllepsis,[5][6] including "she made no reply, up her mind and a dash for the door."[4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ The shorter title is used on the original LP records of the show; the longer is adopted in the 1977 collected songs of Flanders and Swann, edited by Flanders's widow Claudia.[1]
  1. ^ Parlophone LPs PMC 1033 (1957) and PCS 3001 (1959); and Flanders and Swann, p. 143
  2. ^ Blocker, Jack S.; David M. Fahey, Ian R. Tyrrell (2003). Alcohol and temperance in modern history: an international encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-57607-833-4. 
  3. ^ http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiMADERA.html
  4. ^ a b Flanders and Swann, pp. 143–145
  5. ^ Oliver, A. (2001). "Strategies for a Logic of Plurals". The Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204): 289. doi:10.1111/j.0031-8094.2001.00231.x.  edit
  6. ^ Everett, Anthony (2005). "Recent Defenses of Descriptivism". Mind & Language 20: 103. doi:10.1111/j.0268-1064.2005.00279.x.  edit


  • Flanders, Michael; Donald Swann; Claudia Flanders (1977). The Songs of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann. London: Elm Tree Books and Saint George's Press. ISBN 0241897386.