MOREHEAD’S MENAGERIE

After the Big Show See the Keepers Feed the Animals in the Big Tent

        Mr. Morehead has a choir

        That can sing up high and higher

Than any other choir in the town;

        And when they reach the top

        They can very easy flop—

There’s no telling just how far they can go down.

        There’s the prima donna, Bess—

        She’s the nightingale, I guess,

Or some other sort of bird—a parrot, owl—

        You should hear her, how she screeches

        When for upper “C” she reaches—

It’s a cross between a bellow and a howl.

        Then there’s little Minnie J.;

        Who could sing from night till day

And never strike a note as it is writ:

        Then the next two chairs belong

        To Mrs. Cass, whose song

Would cause a steam calliope to quit.

        Then there’s Shucraft, Cravens Warren—

        They all sing in language foreign,

Or, at least, you can not understand their words;
        But they chirp, an[d] chirp, and jingle,

        And their voices intermingle,

Like a flock of sparrows, geese, or other birds.

        Mrs. Berryhill, oh, my,

        She’s to leave us (how we sigh);

We console ourselves by saying: “P’r’aps ‘tis best.”

        The Pacific coast can stand it

        For a while, and we demand it—

It’s come to where we need a little rest.

        Mrs. Morehead, the possessor

        Of the lionized professor,

Sings lightly, in the fear she’ll make a break.

        When the boss man looks her way

        She has nothing more to say,

And she trembles ‘neath the glance that makes her quake.

        Mrs. Bunyan thinks she’s Mike—

        Greatest ever struck the pike—

And she blazes at a tone, but misses far;

        And she fears to try again—

        So she rests awhile, and then

Sings just one note to every seventh bar.

        Mrs. Stone—what shall I say?—

        This attempt will turn me gray;

But my aim in this is only to be just;

        Does she sing, or does she howl?

        Does she grumble, groan or growl?

I give it up (my head’s about to bust).

        Mr. Becker—he sings bass—

        (Pass der beer und Limburg kase)—

And his voice starts just an inch above his feet.

        Then the Granger boy, whose head

        Is the reddest sort of red,

Makes a racket that is anything but sweet.

        Mr. Stone, so very meek,

        Tunes pianos through the week,

But neglects to get his voice up to the pitch.

        Mr. Forstner screams out: “I-c-e”—

        Sells potatoes, bacon, rice;

Though no singer, he is destined to be rich.

        And McDonald—he is swell—

        Has a voice that’s like a bell

(The kind the farmer hangs upon the calf)—

        But he always sings the best

        Where his score denotes a rest,

Or where all the notes are on the treble staff.

        There is little Earlie Wester,

        Who thinks he’s quite a jester,

And who for music has a real passion;

        He would have made a singer,        

        In fact, he’d been a ringer,

If only tunes had never come in fashion.

        Mr. Campbell doesn’t count

        For any great amount—

He only comes to fill a vacant seat.

        Then the tenor singer, Joe,

        Should a little longer grow

So his voice would not get tangled with his feet.

        Davis, with his tremolo,

        Makes a fellow feel as though

He had swallowed just about a pound of tacks,

        And Shippey—let me see—

        Who the dickens, now, is he?

He had slipped my mind, and left not even tracks.

        Then there’s Clemens—reads at sight—

        Reads by day, or reads by night;

To him all sorts of notes look just alike.

        Got his practice calling hogs;

        Should go back to rolling logs;

He’s almost the worst that ever hit the pike.

        And the organist, Miss Ward,

        How she works, and puffs—oh, Lord—

But she gets there just the same, though sometimes late;

        She plays everything “long metre,”

        Though they’re singing fleet and fleeter

Let the leader go to blazes very straight.

        The professor is so stunning—

        So bow-legged, cute and cunning—

And from this conglomerate mass of noise he brings

        Many sweet and soothing tones.

        And the marrow in your bones

That was frozen, melts when Morehead’s choir sings.

        Now the writer of this letter

        Tried to make the choir better

By quitting, to remove the worst discord.

        But his heart is with the bunch

        (When there’s anything like lunch),

And he loves to mix and mingle with the horde.