The Hubbard Saga
This live performance of the Hubbard Saga - commissioned by Trafford Council for Sale Festival - took place at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester in October 2001.
The performers were Moorlands Junior School Choir under Pat Quirk, the Owen Wynne Chorale under Owen Wynne and the Sale Festival Orchestra (leader Esther Laing)
You can hear an "mp3pro" file (which is a high quality 64 kpbs mp3 file) below.
The words more or less follow the original poem (by Sarah Catherine Martin):
Old Mother Hubbard she went to the cupboard to get her poor doggy a bone
But when she got there the cupboard was bare and so the poor doggy had none
and so on
but I've added a few modern additions!
For those unfamiliar with the background to the poem, here it is, as related by the children during the performance
Sarah Catherine Martin was born in 1768; her father was Admiral of the fleet, so she moved in high society in her younger days.
A young prince, the future William the fourth, met her and they fell in love, but the law in those days would not allow a prince to marry a mere commoner.
The Admiral's family banished themselves to the country to avoid compromising the position of the future King.
Sarah was heart-broken and lonely. What could she do with her life now?
She concentrated on her creative skills and set to writing poetry. One of these was Old Mother Hubbard, which she wrote in 1804, at the age of 36.
It was published the next year, with her own illustrations, and became an immediate best-seller.
History does not relate whether she had a dog as gifted as the one in this poem or whether there may have been some hidden meaning behind the nonsense verses.
The original manuscript was discovered by Sarah's great-great niece in the 1950s. It was taken to America where it was sold for nearly 5,000 US dollars.
(To which the adult choir, thinking of all that money, responds with a lascivious
"woof! woof! ")