I have always dreamed of writing a substantial collection of choral works that might enter the standard repertoire, something with the depth and passion of Monteverdi’s Fourth Book of Madrigals and the charm and timelessness of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes.
I wrote this instead.
These are the first two ‘volumes’ of Animal Crackers, and if everything goes as planned I’ll write several more. (Ogden Nash wrote scores of these ridiculous animal poems, all of them crying out for musical settings.) Feel free to mix and match pieces between volumes to create your very own personalized zoo, and remember: the performance will be infinitely more effective if you play these as seriously and soberly as possible.
The panther is like a leopard,
Except it hasn’t been peppered.
If you behold a panther crouch,
Prepare to say Ouch.
Better yet, if called by a panther,
The cow is of the bovine ilk;
One end is moo, the other milk.
The firefly’s flame Is something for which science has no name
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
The song of canaries
And when they’re molting
They’re pretty revolting.
I don’t mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.
O Kangaroo, O Kangaroo,
Be grateful that you’re in the zoo.
And not transmuted by a boomerang
Into zestful tangy Kangaroo meringue.
Ogden Nash, 1902-1971