The Pied Piper (Geoff Allan)

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  • (Posted 2016-06-28)  CPDL #40182:      (NWC) Network.png (MP3)
Editor: Geoff Allan (submitted 2016-06-28).   Score information: A4, 74 pages, 2.71 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: First performed by Milborne Port Primary School in 1999.

General Information

Title: The Pied Piper
Composer: Geoff Allan
Lyricist: Robert Browning

Number of voices: 4 + solosvv   Voicing: Choir Childrens Choir T and B and Child Solos
Genre: SecularCantata

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: 1999
    2nd published: 2016 Revised
Description: Secular Cantata for For Children's Choir, SATB (Adult) Choir, Child (Lame Child), Tenor (Piper), Mayor (Baritone). 30 mins in length.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

 In Transylvania there's a tribe
 of alien people who ascribe
 the outlandish ways and dress
 on which their neighbours lay stress,
 to their fathers and mothers having risen
 out of some subterraneous prison
 out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
 but how or why, they don't understand.

 Hamelin Town's in Brunswick,
 By famous Hanover city;
 The river Weser, deep and wide,
 Washes its wall on the southern side;
 A pleasanter spot you never spied;
 never spied;
 But, five hundred years ago,
 To see the townsfolk suffer so
 From vermin, was a pity.

 Rats! Rats! Rats!
 They fought the dogs and cats,
 And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
 Split open the kegs of sprats,
 Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
 And spoiled women's chats
 By drowning their speaking
 With shrieking and squeaking
 In fifty sharps and flats.
 By drowning their speaking
 With shrieking and squeaking
 In fifty sharps and flats.

At last the peo-ple in a bo-dy
To the Town Hall came flo-cking:
T'is clear" cried they "our Mayor's a nod-dy;
And as for our Cor-po-ra-tion sho-cking
Rouse up, sirs!
Give your brains a ra-cking
find the re-me-dy we're la-cking,
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you pa-cking!"
At this the Mayor and Cor-po-ra-tion
Quaked with a migh-ty con-ster-na-tion.
MAYOR - Baritone
I'd sell my gown if I had sense
I wish that I were a mile hence!
It's eas-y to bid one rack one's brain
I'm sure my poor head aches ag-ain,
I've scratched it so, and all in vain.
Oh, for a trap, a trap, a trap!"
Just as he said this, what should hap
At the cham-ber door a gen-tle tap?
"Bless us",
cried the Mayor
"What's that? Come in!"

The Mayor he cried, loo-king big-ger:
And in did come the stran-gest fi-gure!
His queer long coat from heel to head
Was half of yel-low and half of red,
And he him-self was tall and thin,
There was no gues-sing his kith and kin:
And no-bo-dy could en-ough ad-mire
The tall man and his quaint at-tire.
He ad-vanced to the coun-cil ta-ble:

 To please, your honours I am able,
 with secret charm, which is no fable to draw
 All creatures 'neath the sun,
 That creep or swim or fly or run,
 After me as you never saw!

 I chiefly use my charm
 On creatures that all do people harm,
 The mole and toad the newt and viper;
 and people call me the Pied Piper.
 Yes people call me the Pied Piper

 Yet, As for what your brain bewilders,

 If I can rid your town of rats
 Will you give me a thousand guilders?


 A scant one thousand?
 No no no far too few
 No no no far too few
 far too few far too few

 Full fifty thousand we'd pay you!
 we'd pay you! Yes Yes Yes we'd pay you
 Yes Yes Yes we'd pay you

 Yes Yes Yes!
 Yes Yes Yes!
 Yes Yes Yes!

 Full fifty thousand guilder
 we would gladly pay to you!

 Into the street the Piper stept,
 Smiling first a little smile,
 As if he knew what magic slept
 In his quiet pipe the while;

 And ere three notes the pipe had uttered,
 You heard as if an army muttered;

 And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
 And the grumbling grew to a rumbling;
 Grumbling Rumbling Muttering Stuttering
 Muttering Stuttering Grumbling Rumbling
 Out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
 out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
 Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawn rats,

 Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawn rats,
 Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
 Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
 Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,
 Families by tens and dozens,
 Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives
 Followed the Piper for their lives.

 From street to street he piped advancing,
 Step by step they followed dancing,
 'til they came to rivers border,
 Wherein all plunged and drowned in order.
 Wherein all plunged and drowned in order.

 You should have heard the Hamelin people
 Ring the bells and rock the steeple
 Dong Bell
 Ding a Ding a Bell
 Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Dong bell
 Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Dong
 Ding Dong Ding Dong Ding Dong
 You should have heard the Hamelin people
 Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple.
 Ding Dong
 When suddenly, up the face
 Of the Piper perked in the marketplace,
 With a

 "First, if you please, my thousand guilders!"
 A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue.
 So did the corporation too.
 quoth the Mayor with a knowing wink,
 "Our bus'ness was ended at river's brink;
 We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
 So, friend, we're not the folks to shrink
 From duty of giving you something for drink,
 A matter of money to put in your poke
 But as for the guilders, of them, what we spoke,
 As you very well know, now that was a joke.
 Besides, our losses have now made us thrifty.
 A thousand guilders! Come man take fifty!"
 The Piper's face fell, and loudly he cried,
 "No trifling O Mayor, I can't wait, beside!
 Those Folks who now put me in a passion
 May find me pipe after another fashion."
 Then loud cried the Mayor,
 "You threaten us, fellow? Go on do your worst,
 Go play your tunes piper until your cheeks burst!"


 Once more he stept into the street,
 And to his lips once again,
 Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
 Yes to his lips again
 He laid his pipe of smoothest cane;
 smoothest cane;

 There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
 Merry crowds all justling and hustling;
 Rustling bustling justling hustling

 Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,
 Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
 Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,

 And, like fowls in a farmyard when barley is scattering,
 Out came the children running.
 Tripping and skipping, merrily after
 The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

 The Mayor was dumb, and the Council stood
 As if they were changed into blocks of wood,
 Unable to move a step, or cry
 To the children who were skipping by,
 Could only follow with the eye

 The piper turned from the High Street
 To where the Weser rolled its waters
 Right in the way of their sons and daughters!
 However, he turned from South to West,
 And to Koppelberg Hill his steps addressed,
 And after him the children pressed

 When, lo, as they reached the mountain side,
 A wondrous portal opened wide,
 As if a cavern was suddenly hollowed,
 The Piper lead and the children followed,
 When all were in to the very last,
 The door in the mountain side shut fast.

 Yes when all the children were in to the last,
 That dark door in mountain side shut tightly fast.

 Did I say all? No! one was lame,
 And could not dance the whole of the way;
 In after years, was used to say,
 "It's dull in our town since my playmates left!
 I can't forget that I'm bereft

 The music stopped and I stood still,
 And found myself outside the hill,
 Left alone against my will,
 To go now limping as before,
 And I will hear of my friends no more!"

 The Mayor sent East, West, North and South
 To offer the Piper, by word of mouth,
 Wherever it was men's lot to find him,
 Silver and gold to his heart's content,
 If he'd only return the way he went,
 And bring the children behind him.

 Alas, alas for Hamelin!
 Alas Alas Alas
 There came into many a burgher's pate
 A text which says that heaven's gate
 Opes to the rich at such easy rate
 As the needle's eye takes a camel in!
 And opposite the place of the cavern
 They wrote the story on a column,
 And on the great church window painted
 The same, to make the world acquainted
 How their children were stolen away,
 And there it stands to this very day.

 In Transylvania there's a tribe
 of alien people who ascribe
 the outlandish ways and dress
 on which their neighbours lay stress,
 to their fathers and mothers having risen
 out of some subterraneous prison
 out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
 and now we think you understand.