The Land Rover Owners Wife

“Your set is on fire!” Oh no it isn’t ……..


Whilst chuckling over another funny posting by one of my favourite bloggers, Jennie Orbell (oh and I apologise in advance, Jennie, for the ‘You have a new comment‘ message you have probably now received due to the above link), memories of my Amateur Operatic days and, in particular, Pantomime came flooding back. It was all I could do to stop myself from launching into a 2 hour long marathon sing song, in which I revisited every single one of the songs I ever had to learn for 5 pantomimes and 2 shows.

I love to sing and oddly enough it was a song with that very phrase as its’ title, that I had to sing, during my first ever audition for Panto chorus at the tender age of 14. I still sing at every given opportunity: whether it be to the plants in the greenhouses, the wren nesting in the ivy or just as a way to make tedious jobs such as ironing and washing up, pass in a haze of remembered enjoyment, I will raise my voice and belt out a traditional Panto tune with complete lack of self-consciousness and no consideration for the feelings of neighbours or passing strangers.

When I sing, I am immediately transported back to the Panto stage, where who you were in real life was left at the stage door and your Panto personna took over in glorious techni-colour with over the top make-up and beautiful costumes.

I have some very happy memories of my time doing the Pantos including collapsing scenery during the opening scene of ‘Dick Whittington’, when an over enthusiastic villager pushed the windows of the street scene house open with a huge amount of force as we burst into a jolly and cheerful opening number:

‘Good morning, Good morning, We’ve danced the whole night through, Good morning, Good morning to you!”

Of course the first rule of Panto is that the show must go on and so, as a young village girl, I danced merrily with the others, pretending that having to leap over a demolished village house was actually part of the show.

Mind you the best opening scene disaster had to go to Aladdin, when a flash which had signaled the arrival of  the evil Abanazar at the very start of the show, before the inner curtain had gone up, to reveal us villagers (the chorus were generally always villagers) merrily going about our business again, had accidentally set fire to the dried flowers on one of the market stalls.

Once again, in the true nature of Panto, we, not quite so happily this time it has to be said, continued to sing about the sun getting its’ hat on and coming out to play. We must have been very convincing though because one very helpful member of the audience, hurried up to the stage to whisper that the set was on fire! Really? You don’t say!

Thankfully a quick witted stage hand donned a spare villager coat and a thick pair of work gloves and stood smiling out at the audience, miming the words and clapping his hands together over the flower heads to try and put the fire out whilst another ran for the fire extinguisher. I remember being quite impressed that he even managed to clap in time with the music 🙂

The tricks and teases the main cast members played on each other, the hilarious bloopers from rehearsals and the amazingly cute dwarfs (played by a group of 7 – 10 year olds) are all still fresh in my memory, as are quite a number of the songs we sang and I sing them all! Often! And the Mudlets are starting to join in.

Of course, I’m not delusional and would never put myself through the humiliation of a TV talent show but at least I can hold a tune, unlike Mud. Mud also likes to sing. Sometimes! We would really rather that he didn’t!

Mind you that’s also pretty mutual, as my choice of songs which, being Panto songs are generally cheerful in the extreme, together with remembered choreography (and I use the word ‘choreography’ in its’ loosest sense) drive him mad but then I’m a woman and that’s part of the job description …… isn’t it?


5 thoughts on ““Your set is on fire!” Oh no it isn’t ……..

  1. What a picture you paint! I think people who ‘sing’ carry true joy in their hearts. Now all we need to do is convince the people around us! x

  2. The world would definitely be a happier place if everyone sang panto songs while they worked! I’m relieved to hear I’m not the only one singing my way through household chores, but sadly unlike you, I cannot hold a tune so it’s probably painful to anyone who hears me! I have to thank you for giving the words to the good morning song, I often wake my son (much to his disgust) by singing this loudly but have to go ‘good morning, good morning, lalalalalalala, etc’ what a treat he’ll get tomorrow! Alex x

    • Morning Alex, you could really surprise him with the second line which is sung to the same tune as the first:

      “Good morning,Good morning, It’s great to stay up late, Good morning, Good morning to you”

      and if you know the rest of the tune, as far as I can remember, the next part goes like:

      “When the band began to play the sun was shining bright, Now the milkman’s on his way, it’s too late to say goodnight”

      We sang the last line at:

      “Soooooooooo Good morning, good morning Sunbeams are shining through, Good morning, good morning to you.”

      But I seem to think these aren’t the correct lyrics because I heard the song several years ago and was singing along merrily to it and was fine up to the middle part of the last line. I guess either our producer at the time (took her job really seriously) changed the words to better fit in with the Panto which she often did, or my memory is at fault. Either way, my version fits the tune so it does for me 🙂

      Now think how delighted your household will be tomorrow morning 😀


  3. Thank you!!! That’s brilliant. I will be practising all day while I’m gardening, what a surprise in the morning 🙂 though I’ll probably get the usual grunt in return (less than a year until teenage begins eeek!) 😀 x

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