Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blue Beard by Philip Abraham

I think what still amazes me about Bluebeard at times is the light-hearted, spoofiness that pervades so many interpretations. That discussion is an entire thesis in itself, the comic approach to spouse murder. Oh well. That's heavy enough for a Saturday, so here is:

Blue Beard
A Comic Version
by Philip Abraham

ONE day said Blue Beard to his spouse,
“I’m off to town this morning;
Here, take the keys of all the house,
But listen to my warning;
In every room you wish to go,
My leave you have to enter,
Except the one that’s just below,
The blue room in the centre. (Repeat.)

This is the key; now pray attend;
Look well, it’s bright and chub-by.”
Says she, “You may on me depend;
Good-bye, my darling hubby.”
But scarcely gone, his words she mocks,
In every room doth venture,
At length she turns the little locks
Of the blue room in the centre.

She screamed, she squalled, she saw a sight,
For wives lay round about, dead,
Like porter that has stood all night,
Each wife was flat—without head!
The key she dropped, it turned all rust,
In vain was all her rubbing;
“Bless me,” says she, “here’ll be a dust,
Oh! sha’nt I catch a drubbing.”

Blue Beard came home, she gave the keys,
Says he, “I think I miss one.”
“Here ‘t is.” “Ha! ha! pray, if you please,
How came the stain on this one?
One hour I give, go say your prayers,
You would not heed my warning,
Be off—despatch—come quick downstairs,
For you must die this morning.”

From out the tower looked sister Anne,
To see if help was near them,
No help was there of boy or man,
Nor brothers’ aid to cheer them.
“Come down!” said Blue Beard, with a roar,
“Your faults shall now be paid off.”
But the brothers rushed in through the door,
And shaved his beard and head off.

Found in Bluebeard Tales From Around the World.

Bluebeard Tales From Around the World

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