Dedicated to Jane Yeats
Mary, Polly, Sukie, Jack and Jill
In composing Mary, Polly, Sukey, Jack and Jill, I wanted to create the opportunity to set several traditional nursery rhymes to my own original music, and, more importantly, by setting these rhymes to music, completely alter the emotional world they were originally intended to inhabit. In so doing, I have tried to write a contiguous drama where musical links between each of thesongs can be picked up in all the pieces, and, toa lesser extent, through the content of the text and the activities of the characters where an on-going nonsense drama is unfolding. Performed with sufficient effect (and costume), the songs can be performed and viewd as a piece of music theatre. The texts remains largely true to their originals, although I have altered the order of some of the phrases and repetitions to suit my own purposes. In Jack and Jill, there’s even the inclusions of lines from another ‘rogue’ nursery rhyme! These are children’s songs set for an adult audience, inhabiting a somethimes dark, turbulent, manic and scatty world.
I had great fun writing them. I hope my sense of fun and mischief is conveyed through the music. Marc Yeats | April 2001