Bab Ballads (version 2) cover

Bab Ballads (version 2)

W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

1. Captain Reece
2. The Rival Curates
3. Only A Dancing Girl
4. General John
5. To A Little Maid—By A Policeman
6. John And Freddy
7. Sir Guy The Crusader
8. Haunted
9. The Bishop And The `Busman
10. The Troubadour
11. Ferdinando And Elvira; Or, The Gentle Pieman
12. Lorenzo De Lardy
13. Disillusioned—By An Ex-Enthusiast
14. Babette’s Love
15. To My Bride—(Whoever She May Be)
16. The Folly Of Brown—By A General Agent
17. Sir Macklin
18. The Yarn Of The “Nancy Bell”
19. The Bishop Of Rum-Ti-Foo
20. The Precocious Baby. A Very True Tale
21. To Phoebe
22. Baines Carew, Gentleman
23. Thomas Winterbottom Hance
24. The Reverend Micah Sowls
25. A Discontented Sugar Broker
26. The Pantomime “Super” To His Mask
27. The Force Of Argument
28. The Ghost, The Gallant, The Gael, And The Goblin
29. The Phantom Curate. A Fable
30. The Sensation Captain
31. Tempora Mutantur
32. At A Pantomime. By A Bilious One
33. King Borria Bungalee Boo
34. The Periwinkle Girl
35. Thomson Green And Harriet Hale
36. Bob Polter
37. The Story Of Prince Agib
38. Ellen McJones Aberdeen
39. Peter The Wag
40. Ben Allah Achmet;—Or, The Fatal Tum
41. The Three Kings Of Chickeraboo
42. Joe Golightly—Or, The First Lord’s Daughter
43. To The Terrestrial Globe. By A Miserable Wretch
44. Gentle Alice Brown

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    The Bab Ballads are a collection of light verse by W. S. Gilbert, illustrated with his own comic drawings. Gilbert wrote the Ballads before he became famous for his comic opera librettos with Arthur Sullivan. In writing the Bab Ballads, Gilbert developed his unique "topsy-turvy" style, where the humor was derived by setting up a ridiculous premise and working out its logical consequences, however absurd. The Ballads also reveal Gilbert's cynical and satirical approach to humor. They became famous on their own, as well as being a source for plot elements, characters and songs that Gilbert would recycle in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. The Bab Ballads take their name from Gilbert's childhood nickname, and he later began to sign his illustrations "Bab". Nothing else quite like the Ballads has ever been produced in the English language. They contain both satire and nonsense, as well as a great deal of utter absurdity. The Ballads were read aloud at private dinner-parties, public banquets and even in the House of Lords.