The Beggar's Opera: 21. Before the Barn-door Crowing

By: trad.
For: Large mixed ensemble
page one of The Beggar's Opera: 21. Before the Barn-door Crowing

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The Beggar's Opera: 21. Before the Barn-door Crowing

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Composer
trad.
Arranger
Lyricist
John Gay
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
1 minute
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Peachum, having realised that Polly will not betray MacHeath to him, has instead turned to Jenny Diver, a known favouurite of MacHeath's, and bribed her to turn him over. In the play script, she and Suky Tawdry simply divest him of his pistols as a prelude to love-play, so that he has no defence when Peachum enters on a cue with the constables.

However, this song works extremely well as a game of blind-man's buff, with the girls circling around the blindfolded MacHeath who eventually "catches" Peachum. The tune is still sung today to its original words, "All on a misty morning".

If you can get a hurdy-gurdy tuned to the key of F, it's extremely effective and you can then dispense with the drones on double bass and viola.

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