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Pub etiquette according to opera

I spotted the bit below in the opera Peter Grimes (music by Benjamin Britten, words adapted by Montagu Slater from a poem by George Crabbe) and thought it was interesting. The setting is a pub in a small town on the Suffolk coast.

Balstrode
Pub conversation should depend
On this eternal moral;
So long as satire don’t descend
To fisticuff or quarrel.
We live and let live, and look
We keep our hands to ourselves.

Chorus
We live and let live, and look
We keep our hands to ourselves.

Balstrode
We sit and drink the evening through
Not deigning to devote a
Thought to the daily cud we chew
But buying drinks by rota.

All
We live and let live, and look
We keep our hands to ourselves.

Boak

2 replies on “Pub etiquette according to opera”

there’s a good drinking song in Vaughan Williams’ opera Sir John in Love; mind you given its subject is Falstaff that’s not surprising.

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