The Beggar's Opera: 6. Our Polly is a Sad Slut

John Gay
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
1 minute
Classical music
Large mixed ensemble
Related scores
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Polly has indeed married MacHeath, as her mother has just discovered, much to her anger!

This is the first song in this version to use every member of the orchestra, and a mention should be made of the Salt-box.

This was a wooden kitchen container of the 18th and 19th centuries, with a handle and a hinged lid, and appears in drawings and verse of the period as a makeshift musical instrument, together with such treasures as the bellows-and-tongs and marrowbones-and-cleavers. In the production which this musical arrangement was part of, all of these were visibly used at some time or another. If you can't get a salt-box a woodblock will sound just as good if not better!

The original of this tune is a popular song called "Oh London is a Fine Town"

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