Quote: I know only two tunes; one is Yankee Doodle, and the other isn't. (U. S. Grant variant Lincoln)

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Dec 28 01:10:47 UTC 2013

At 12/27/2013 06:49 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>Joel S. Berson
> >
> > And what about Lord Peter?  His first was "God Save the King".
>Joel, do you remember which work contained the version of the joke you
>mention above. I did not see it while I was searching.

No I don't remember, and I didn't find it
searching either.  Maybe another Sayers aficionado will remember.


>I did find the
>variants below. Garson
>[Begin excerpt]
>In September 1888 “The Musical World” periodical in London printed
>another instance of the joke which mentioned a culturally important
>song of the British Commonwealth: [7]
>[Begin nested quote]
>We know a military man who complains that he has no “ear for music.”
>He says he only recognizes two tunes—one is “God Save the Queen,” and
>the other isn’t!
>[End nested quote]
>[End excerpt]
>[Begin excerpt]
>In 1891 an elaborate extended version of the joke appeared in “The
>Musical Times” which was printed in London: [11]
>[Begin nested quote]
>Three ladies met at afternoon tea, and as ladies sometimes do, they
>began to discuss the merits of their respective husbands. Mrs. A.
>said: “My husband is not very musical; in fact, he only knows two
>tunes, one is ‘God save the Queen’ and the other is the ‘Old
>Hundredth.’” Mrs. B. replied: “Really, how strange, that is like my
>husband; he knows two tunes, one is ‘God save the Queen’ and the other
>isn’t.” “I am afraid,” added Mrs. C., “that my husband is even less
>musical; he only knows ‘God save the Queen’ when he sees the people
>stand up.”
>[End nested quote]
>In 1911 W. S. Gilbert who was the librettist member of the famous
>Gilbert & Sullivan theatrical team died, and “The Bookman” published a
>set of recollections about his life. A popular performer and friend
>named by George Grossmith stated that he heard Gilbert employ a
>version of the jest: [12] [13]
>[Begin nested quote]
>I heard a lady say to him. “Oh, Mr. Gilbert, you must be a consummate
>musician, or you never could write such perfect rhythm.” “Indeed, I am
>not,” replied Gilbert. “I only know two tunes. One is ‘God save the
>Queen,’ and the other isn’t.”
>[End nested quote]
>[End excerpt]
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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