Recordings of Edward Lear’s Poems

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Columbia Quartet. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. 78rpm. Columbia A-0398 (751), 1902.

McDonnell, Craig. The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Songs. Music by Helen E. Myers. 3-78rpm set. Bluebird Records BC-49, 1941 c.

Mack, Gilbert. Edward Lear Nonsense Alphabet. 78rpm. Mercury Miniature Playhouse 32-98, 1948 c.

Hayes, Elton. The Table and the Chair & the Jumblies. 78rpm. Parlophone R 3329, 1950.

Hayes, Elton. The Broom, the Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs & the Quangle Wangle’s Hat. 78rpm. Parlophone R 3602, 1952.

Hayes, Elton. The Owl and the Pussy-cat. 1955/56.

Hayes, Elton. The Duck and the Kangaroo & the Owl and the Pussy-Cat. 78rpm. Parlophone R 3692, 1953.

Hayes, Elton. For the Children. EP. Parlophone GEP 8551, 1955.
[Collects the previously released 78-rpm records].

Nonsense Verse of Carroll and Lear. Read by Beatrice Lillie, Cyril Ritchard, Stanley Holloway. Cadmon Literary Series, LP, TC 1078, 1957.

The Nonsense Songs of Edward Lear. Read by David Davis. Delysé, 45RPM, DEL 158, 1966.
[The Daddy Long-Legs & the Fly, The Broom, the Shovel, the Poker & the Tongs, The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò].

The Owl and the Pussycat. The Jolly Nonsense of Edward Lear in Story, Song & Poetry. Sunset Records (Talespinners for Children), LP, Stereo UAC11078.

Edward Lear’s Nonsense Stories and Poems. Read by Claire Bloom. Caedmon Children’s Classics, LP, TCp 1279, 1970.
[Includes a booklet with the illustrated texts: The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-Popple, Incidents in the Life of My Uncle Arly, The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went Round the World, The Quangle Wangle’s Hat].

People Past and Present: Edward Lear. Devised and presented by Charles Lewsen. Recorded live at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Argo, LP, ZPL 1163, 1971.

Ardley, Neil. A Symphony of Amaranths. LP Record. Regal Zonophone SLRZ 1028, 1972.
[Includes “The Dong with a Luminous Nose”].

Kelen, Emery, and (narrator) Genevieve Goff. Mr. Nonsense; a Life of Edward Lear. Cassette recording. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1973.

Uttered Nonsense (The Owl and the Pussycat). Words: Edward Lear, Music: John Sangster, Spoken: Ivan Smith. Rainforest Records (Australia), 2LP, RF LP001, 1980.
[The music is instrumental Nonsense (?) jazz, all tracks with titles taken from Lear; a number of poems are recited by I. Smith].

Anderson, Laurie. Bright Red – Tightrope. Audio CD. Warner Bros. Records 9 45534-2, 1994.
[Tightrope, the second part of the album, includes Beautiful Pea Green Boat, a version of Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy-Cat].

Westergaard, Peter. Mr and Mrs Discobbolos. Divertimento on Discobbolic Fragments. Ariel Music. Audio CD. CRI CD 696, 1995.

The Owl and the Pussycat. Written and performed by Eric Idle, based on the poems, drawings, and writings of Edward Lear. Music and Lyrics Composed by Eric Idle and John Duprez. Audio CD. Dove Music, 2 CDs, 1997.

Jim’s Big Ego. Don’t Get Smart. Audio CD. Eastern Front Records, 1997.
[Includes: The Jumblies].

Lyrics and Limericks. Philip Lawson (soloist) and Howard Moody (piano). VIF Records, 1997.
[Includes: The Hardy Norse-Woman, The Compleat Virtuoso, The Absent Barber, The Cow And The Coward, Barkerolle, Dithyramb, The Generous Parishioner, Limmerich Ohne Worte, Boat Song, Nileinsamkeit, The Aquiline Snub, Tone Poem, Gongdichtung, A Visit Of Elizabeth by Edward Lear and Karel Drofnatski.]

Radunsky, Vladimir. An Edward Lear Alphabet. Audio CD. Self produced, 1998.

Nordine, Ken. A Transparent Mask. Audio CD. Asphodel ASP 2004, 2001.
[Includes “The Akond of Swat”].

On This Island. Lynne Dawson (soprano) and Malcolm Martineau (piano). Audio CD. Hyperion CDA 67227, 2001.
[Includes: The aquiline snub, Op 375 (There was an old man with a nose), The compleat virtuoso, Op 366 (There was an old man of the isles), The hardy Norse-woman, Op 365 (There was a young lady from Norway) by Karel Drofnatski (1852-1924), as well as Limmerich ohne Worte, Op 372 by Karel Drofnatski & Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924). Drofnatski and Stanford are actually the same person.] Listen

Boykan, Martin. Flume: Selected Chamber Works. Audio CD. CRI CD 897, 2002.
[As part of “A Packet for Susan”, includes The Owl and the Pussycat].

Hatchard, Mike, and Andra Sparks. The Owl, the Pussy-Cat and All That Jazz. Audio CD. Self produced, 2002.

Terfel, Bryn. Silent Noon. DG 00289 474 2192. 2004.
[Includes The Aquiline Snub & The Compleat Virtuoso, Composed By – Karel Drofnatski, from Lear limericks.]

VOX Vocal Quartet. Such Is Life. Audio CD. Footprint Records  FRCD-009, 2004.
[Includes François Sarhan’s Such is Life, lyrics by Edward Lear]. 

Stewart, Al. A Beach Full of Shells. Audio CD. Appleseed Records APR CD 1088, 2005.
[Includes: Mr Lear].

Price, Richard, and Friends. The Owl and the Pussy Cat & Other Stuff and Nonsense from the Great Gromboolian Plain. Audio CD. The Histiocystosis Research Trust, 2005.

Williams, Kenneth. Parlour Poetry. Saydisc CD-SDL 294, 2005.
[Includes: The Pobble Who Has No Toes, The Dong With The Luminous Nose. See web page].

Lee, Stewart. Pea Green Boat. 2004. Radio programme. Inner Voices 3. Produced by Liz Webb. BBC Radio 4, 28 December 2005 and 4 January 2006, 11 January 2006.

“The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear”.  2006. 21 different readings of Lear’s best-known poem. LibriVox. Acoustical Liberation of Books in the Public Domain. 1 December 2006. Listen

KC, Beeg Srahka and. “Calico Pie”.  2006. Four mixes (including an instrumental one) based on Edward Lear’s poem. 30 December 2006.

Kósa, György. Boldog bolondsagok (Happy Nonsense) (1979). In In Praise of Creation / Mocking / A Refutation of Transitoriness / Afterlife / Happy Nonsense. Hungaroton HCD32486. 2007. [Korondi, Anna – soprano; Kósa, Gábor – percussion.]
No. 1. Az asztal es a szek (The Table and the Chair); No. 2. Udvarol a Jongi-Bongi-Bo (The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo); No. 3. A dzsomblik (The Jumblies).

Merchant, Natalie. “Calico Pie.” Leave Your Sleep. Nonesuch 8341921. 2010.

Edward Lear – The Poems & Rhymes. Word of Mouth, 2011.

Seiber, Mátyás. “Nonsense Songs: 1. There was an Old Lady of France, 2. There was an Old Person of Cromer, 3. There was an Old Man in a Tree.” Mátyás Seiber – A Cappella: Yugoslav, Hungarian & Nonsense Songs & Other Chroral Music. Choir of the 21st Century, conducted by Howard Williams. SOMMCD 0105, 2012.

Somers, Harry. “Birminal Trilogy.” Singing Somers Theatre. Russell Hartenberger (percussion), Monica Whicher (soprano), Robert Cram (flute), Ryan Scott (percussion), John Hess (piano), Krisztina Szabo (mezzo-soprano), Michael Colvin (tenor), Julian Armour (cello), Andrew Tunis (piano), Kimberley Briggs (soprano), Tanya Turner (vocals), Barbara Chilcott (narrator), David Dunbar (narrator), Charles Fowler (vocals), Sung Chung (vocals): Centrediscs CMCCD6901, 2012.
No. 1. The Owl and the Pussycat.
No. 2. Pelican Chorus.
No. 3. Abstemious Asses, Zealous Zebras and others.

Ford, Andrew. There was a man lived in the moon : nursery rhymes and children’s songs / traditional tunes arranged by Andrew Ford ; performed by Jane Sheldon and Teddy Tahu Rhodes. ABC Classics 4812235, 2015.
Nonsense 1. The Owl and the Pussycat.
Nonsense 2. The Quangle Wangle’s Hat.
Nonsense3. The Jumblies.

Seiber, Mátyás. “The Owl and the Pussycat for Soprano, Violin and Guitar.” More Nonsense: Clarinet Chamber Music and Nonsense Songs. Kilian Herold, clarinet; Sarah Maria Su, Soprano & Ensemble. CAvi-music B071NHFCXC, 2017.

Mathias, William. “Learsongs.” Choral Music. Naxos B081KRDQQF, 2020.
Learsongs: No. 1, Calico Pie.
Learsongs: No. 2, The Owl and the Pussycat.
Learsongs: No. 3, The Duck and the Kangaroo.
Learsongs: No. 4, Uncle Arly.
Learsongs: No. 5, The Pelican Chorus.

Stanford, Sir Charles Villiers. “Nonsense Rhymes nos. 1-14.” Songs of Faith, Love and Nonsense. Ed. Roderick Williams, baritone; James Way, tenor; Andrew West, piano. SOMMCD 0627, 2021.

3 Responses to Recordings of Edward Lear’s Poems

  1. Pingback: Who is Karel Drofnatski? | A Blog of Bosh

  2. Jasmine says:

    Dear Marco,
    Do you know the best resource for listening to Lear’s original settings of his songs i.e. not interpretations, but the original music?
    Many thanks!

  3. KaitlynR says:

    I think you are missing the 1940 Columbia Records Set 78rpm version by Betty Martin.

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