The Modern Major-General's Song
composed by Gilbert and Sullivan
This Song is played in Fathers and Sons
I am the very model of a modern Major-General, I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral, I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical; I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical, I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical, About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news, With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse. I'm very good at integral and differential calculus; I know the scientific names of beings animalculous: In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral, I am the very model of a modern Major-General. I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's; I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox, I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus, In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous; I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies, I know the croaking chorus from The Frogs of Aristophanes! Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore, And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore. Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform, And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform: In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral, I am the very model of a modern Major-General. In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin", When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a Javelin, When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at, And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat", When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery, When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee. For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury, Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century; But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral, I am the very model of a modern Major-General.