[Ads-l] Quote: Please do not shoot the pianist (organist). He is doing his best.
adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 18 10:44:46 EDT 2017
Fred has an entry in "The Yale Book of Quotations" for the entreaty in
the subject line which is usually printed on a sign. Oscar Wilde
observed such a sign when he toured the United States. Barry Popik has
an entry on this topic with a first citation dated December 20, 1879.
The earliest instance of this comical and plaintive request I've
located appeared in a newspaper in Northamptonshire, England on August
2, 1879. The short item referred to a religious service in faraway
Arkansas. The instrument was an organ instead of a piano, and the
entreaty was spoken instead of written.
[ref] 1879 August 2, The Northampton Mercury, Untitled short item,
Quote Page 7, Column 6, Northamptonshire, England. (British Newspaper
The minister, during a service at Pooleville, Arkansas, some years
ago, said: "I have again to apologise for the absence of the
newly-engaged tenor for the choir. He is expected on the next train,
however, and will be at his post next Sunday without fail. And while I
think of it, I would suggest that the present practice of shooting at
the organist during the service be discontinued. It is a ridiculous
habit, and annoys the congregation by filling the church with smoke.
The poor man has his faults, but he does the best can. Besides, it
chips the new organ."
Here is a link to the QI article:
Earlier citations and feedback welcome,
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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