The Music Man (song)

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"The Music Man" (Roud 17774) is a popular cumulative folksong among children, rugby players, and Hash House Harriers.

History[edit]

Peter Kennedy published a song called "The German Musicianer" in "Folk Songs of Britain and Northern Ireland" (1975). It has some similarities with this song. Even earlier, "The Wonderful Musician", written by Walter Greenaway, was published in 1871. The chorus begins: "A big drum, a kettle drum, the fiddle, flute, and piccolo, piano, harp, harmonium and many more beside". The song is also known in Germany as "Ich bin ein Musikante".

For each verse the participants act out different instruments with specific actions. Some of the actions for the adult version can be rude or crude. They may also attempt to imitate the sound of each instrument. It is sometimes performed in cabaret with the audience challenging the artistes to ever more extravagant - and difficult - renditions of, for example, the flugelhorn.

Commercial recordings[edit]

Later, it was recorded by Black Lace, a British pop group from Ossett in West Yorkshire.

Song structure and lyrics[edit]

Each verse begins with the following chorus lines, divided between the lead singer ("The Music Man") and the audience:

The Music Man: "I am the music man, And I come from down your way[1] and I can play!"
Audience: "What can you play?"

Each verse features a specific instrument with accompanying actions. After each verse, singers sing the previous verses in reverse order before singing the main chorus lines again. The song proceeds thus:

Chorus
Singer: Everybody clap your hands in the air and follow the Music Man!
Singer:I am the music man, I come from down your way, and I can play!
Audience: What can you play?
Piano
The Music Man: "I play the piano!"
Sing "Pia-pia-pia-no, pia-no, pia-no; pia-pia-pia-no, pia-pia-no" to the tune
Actions: act out playing chords on a piano
Follow with chorus
Trombone
The Music Man: "I play the trombone!"
Sing "oomp-pa-oomp-pa-ooomp-pa-paaaa, oomp-pa-paaaa, oomp-pa-paaa; oomp-pa-oomp-pa-oomp-pa-paaaa, oomp-pa-oomp-pa-pa" to the tune
Actions: mime playing trombone
Follow with piano and chorus
Bagpipes
The Music Man: "I play the bagpipes!"
Sing "Scotland the Brave"
Actions: mime playing bagpipes/ Scottish jig
Follow with trombone, piano, and chorus
Call and response section
The Music Man: "Whoawhooaa!"
Audience: "Whoawhooaa!"
The Music Man: "Yeeaah-yeah-yeah-yeah"
Audience: "Yeeaah-yeah-yeah-yeah"
The Music Man: "Oggy oggy oggy!"
Audience: "Oi oi oi!"
The Music Man: "Oggy oggy oggy!"
Audience: "Oi oi oi!"
Football section
Sing theme from Match of the Day
Actions: scarf waving
Follow with bagpipes, trombone, piano, and chorus
Dambusters
The Music Man: "I play The Dam Busters!"
Sing the theme to The Dam Busters
Actions: with arms outstretched running around, like bomber aircraft flying; alternatively, make an "okay" sign with both hands and place over eyes (with palms touching cheeks, thumbs over eyebrows and the 3 loose fingers of each hand pointing down) in the manner of an aviator's goggles.
Follow with football, bagpipes, trombone, piano, and chorus
"Here We Go, Here We Go" Theme
Sing: Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go; Here we go, here we go, here we go....
Actions: Scarf waving to "Here We Go"
Singer: I am the Music man!
Audience: Oi!

References[edit]

  1. ^ I Am The Music Man. United Kingdom: Peter Haddock Publishing. ISBN 0-710-51376-3. 

External links[edit]