The Grand Panjandrum (Edwin Matthew Lott)
- Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-10). Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 413 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes:
First published: ca. 1890 Edwin Ashdown, Ltd.
Description: Cornish dramatist Samuel Foote wrote a nonsense paragraph to test the memory of the actor Charles Macklin (1690–1797), who claimed he could read any paragraph once and then recite it verbatim. In 1885, illustrator Randolph Caldecott published it with poetic form in a picture book “The Great Panjandrum Himself”. The book became popular and the text well-known. The word "panjandrum" has become a term to describe a powerful person, or a self-important official.
Original text and translations
So she went into the garden
to cut a cabbage-leaf
to make an apple-pie;
and at the same time
a great she-bear, coming down the street,°
pops its head into the shop.
What! no soap?
So he died.
And she very imprudently married the Barber:
and there were present
and the Joblillies,
and the Garyulies,°
and the great Panjandrum himself,
with the little round button at top.
And they all fell to playing the game of catch-as-catch-can,
till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots.
°Italicized lines of Foote’s lyric are omitted in Lott’s musical setting.