The Crocodile’s Xmas Ball

May 16, 2006

Here is the solo performance of “The Crocodile’s Xmas Ball” with lyrics by William MacDuff. Juliana Gondek is the soprano and Neal Stulberg is the pianist. The original was for chorus, solo, and wind ensemble. In that the choral world and the wind ensemble worlds rarely commingle, I think that this version for voice and piano, is the one that might have legs. The piano part is a bitch to play though. Having written it originally for winds, the tunes fit winds, and are tricky when set in the piano. Neal crashes through those awkward passages like the pro he is. Juliana clearly has a lot of fun on this number. What you are missing are her arm gestures and big facial expressions.

Erica Pinto sang in the chorus and contributed this perfect illustration of the story.


The Crocodile’s Christmas Ball

Across the Kalahari
The vulture brought the word,
From Chad to Zanzibar, he
Declared to beast and bird.
“It’s Christmas in the jungle,
A time for harmony,
The beetle in his dung’ll
Soon trim a tiny tree.

Beside the Nile
The crocodile
Hangs holly in the hall.
So grab a date
And don’t be late
To the Crocodile’s Christmas Ball.”

The mighty zebra nation
In caps of scarlet felt
Began the great migration
Across the grassy veldt.
The antelope came bringing
The prettiest gazelles.
Flamingos came awinging
and singing “Jingle Bells.”

The shy guh-nu,
The kudu, too,
Traversed the Transva-al.
With all due pomp
They crossed the swamp
To the Crocodile’s Christmas Ball.

No other jungle gala
Was ever quite so gay,
A team of eight impala
Gave rides upon a sleigh.
Hyena pitched a battle
With artificial snow,
Okapi kissed the cattle
Then ate the mistletoe.

The elephant
Could only grunt
To see such folderol.
And yet the fun
Had just begun
At the Crocodile’s Christmas Ball.

The crocodile
Began to smile
And hug a wildebeest.
He said, “My friends,
No Christmas ends
Without a proper feast.
I’ve planned a meal
That’s quite ideal,
A culinary winner.
And here’s your part:
You’re a la carte
At the Crocodile’s Christmas Dinner!”

With that, he grabbed a pheasant
And made a nice paté.
The zebra were unpleasant-
Ly eaten en flambé.
He ate a dozen dik-dik
And still unsatisfied,
He made himself a picnic
Of all the lion’s pride.

The poor guh-nu
Became a stew,
All creatures great and small
Soon met their fate
Upon a plate
At the Crocodile’s Christmas Ball.

The moral is that when you
Attend a table d’hote,
Be sure to check the menu
Before you check your coat.
Beware of eager strangers
Too full of Christmas cheer,
For Christmas has its dangers
Like any time of year.

In Santa’s suit
A croc is cute
But he’s an ani-mall.
He’ll have your hide
Sautéed or fried
At the Crocodile’s Christmas Ball!

© 2002 by William MacDuff and Roger Bourland


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