Snare Drum part from The Beggar's Opera: 18. Let us Take the Road

Composer
trad.
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Classical music

MacHeath is in hiding from Polly's father. Just how much protection a local ale-house gives is a matter of opinion, but he has told his gang of highwaymen that it's not safe for him to venture out on the road with them tonight.

The words of the second half are among the cleverest in the whole play, when you consider that "chemists" refers to alchemists, trying to transform base metals into gold.

The tune is the March from Rinaldo by Handel. Gay specifies it as being "with trumpets and drums" - here we have just a brass instrument off-stage suggesting a post-horn. If the chorus can march off singing, it's very effective.

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