Fascination Frantic

 

Dear Sir,

No doubt I am the one millionth reader to write to you on the subject, but nevertheless: ‘There’s a fascination frantic in a ruin that’s romantic’ is not from a popular 1930s song (review by Christopher Woodward of Antiquarians, May LR). It is from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, Act II. KO-KO and Katisha, both considerably advanced in age, recognise all that they have in common and decide to marry. KO-KO sings:

Are you old enough to marry, do you think? Won’t you wait until you’re eighty in the shade? There’s a fascination frantic In a ruin that’s romantic; Do you think you are sufficiently decayed?

 

Katisha replies:

To the matter that you mention I have given some attention And I think I am sufficiently decayed.

Didn’t Christopher Woodward’s old school put on a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta every year, as mine did in the 1960sl Yours faithfully,

Susan James, Mainz, Germany (but long ago of

Hangdon, Middlesex)

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