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I wrote all but the last verse in 2004 while I was in a Gilbert & Sullivan mood due to having been taken by a friend to a local performance of Pirates.
Then on June 23, 2016, I sent the lyrics to a friend with birthday congratulations and the comment that he lives in a more enlightened time and place than the person who is the subject of the last verse, whose birthday is the same day. I hadn't yet written that last verse, but this inspired me to write it. Consider it a little birthday present, K.J.
As you read or sing these verses see if you can identify all the persons referenced.
(Note : I do realize, of course, that many persons with an extreme talent, a genius, live relatively contented and happy lives, often with more fulfilment than those who have no particular gift. But the ones in this song did have a few problems.)

<a href="genius_lot.mid">[Play Sound]</a>


A Genius' Lot is Not an Easy One

(to tune of "A Policeman's Lot is Not a Happy One",
Gilbert & Sullivan, Pirates of Penzance)

by Pam Green , © 2004, 2016


An artist's life is thought to be romantic;
The reality is quite a different one.
Drinking absinthe in the Moulin Rouge till morning,
Combing beaches in Tahiti in the sun,
It's enough to make you want to cut your ear off :
   An artist's life is not an easy one !

A composer's life is thought to be harmonious;
But it's not quite so when all is said and done.
Coughing from tuberculosis in Majorca
While George bitches you're no longer any fun;
It's enough to make deafness sound attractive :
   A composer's lot is not an easy one !

An author's life is thought to be reclusive,
Working late nights in a room that is one's own.
More confining than a cell in Reading Gaol,
More brutal than a shotgun to one's skull,
It's enough to put your head inside the oven :
   An author's lot is not an easy one !

The discoverer's the one we all admire,
Especially if he's safely dead and gone.
For saying "Wash your hands" to the physicians
Being locked in an asylum in Lausanne;
Being threatened by the Holy Inquisition
Because you've said the earth goes round the sun;
It's enough to make you take monastic orders :
   A genius' lot is not an easy one !

The mathematician is assumed to be eccentric,
Well accepted by most colleagues at the "U",
But it's naivetÈ to go public that you're gay,
Don't out yourself unto the blokes in blue,
Not in England when it's 1952.
After solving the enigma of Enigma,
Helping save the nation from the horrid Hun,
Now Royally Pardon-ed, 6 decades' dead still dead,
Suicide by cyanide, age 41.
   A genius' lot is not an easy one !





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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 8/18/2004 revised 6/29/2016
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