powered by FreeFind


The Old Guard

Musical in 3 acts. Book and lyrics by H. B. Farnie; Music by Robert Planquette; additional music by John Crook. A re-working of Les Voltigeurs de la 32ème

Avenue Theatre, London - 26th October, 1887. (300 perfs)

Musical Numbers


Act I - The Village Inn at Vaudrez-les-Vignes, near Macon in Burgundy, France.

  1. Conscription Chorus - "In there, our young men draw, from the urn and by the law, lots, who shall conscript be, shoulder gun and service see! ..."
  2. Chorus and Song - Fraisette - "Fraisette! Just look alive! Little care for us is shown; True 'tis, in ev'ry hive, there is sure to be a drone! ..."
    1. Exit - "Who will in the ranks quick fall, ready at their country's call, in their haversack mayhap, bâton of a mareschal! ..."
  3. Waltz Song - Marcel - "Only a moment love was mine, yet drank I deep the draught divine! Only a moment and no more, yet she's my fate for evermore!"
  4. Diligence Chorus - "From the coach they're getting down; now for news from Paris town!"
  5. Valse - Murielle - "Wild brigands creeping, through thicket sleeping, lurk'd on our way to make us their prey! All round was lonely, all still..."
    1. Exit - "That we further news may hear, coachman! come and have some beer! ..."
  6. Duet - Fraisette and Gaston - "All I have to give's my heart; take it, love, since we must part! Poor gift, I know, yet let it go, 'twill only live were'er thou art..."
  7. Air - Fraisette - "Fare thee well, my humble home, where I slept beneath the eaves. It is no gilded dome my heart with sorrow leaves..."
  8. Finale Act I - "Here they come! Here they come! Here they come! Here they come! Hark! the bugle, hark! the drum! ..."

Act II - The Hall of the Château D'Artemare, that night.

  1. Entr'Acte
  2. Recruiting Song - Patatout(?) and Chorus - "Now ladies, whom there's no resisting, just list to me, whilst you I'm 'listing, if so ye all would guardsmen be..."
    1. Reprise and Exit - "March, march away! March, march away! Shoulder to shoulder, ah it is gay! ..."
  3. Romance - Marcel - "A soldier I, yet never knew heart-aching, 'tho on hard earth I've laid my weary head, not very sure, ma foi! of ever waking..."
  4. Song - Murielle - "A lowly servant lass am I, all in the house supposed to do, to dust, sew, milk, wash, boil and fry, as well as put things in a stew! ..."
  5. Ci-Devant Chorus - "To the rabble rout who rule our land, vow we hatred cordial and hearty; not forgetting him who heads the band, Corsican canaille ..."
    1. Melodrame
  6. Concerted Number - "Ah! she's very pretty! Ah! she's very pretty, tho' the girl seems ill at ease, bedizen'd thus! Ah! it is a pity..."
    1. Melodrame - Chorus Exit - "Ah! she's very pretty! Ah! she's very pretty..." etc.
  7. Duet - Fraisette and Marcel - "Young, and divinely fair, to her trembling now, feignèd love and vow, shall I falsely swear? No! I'd rather break my sword..."
  8. Valse Chantée - Fraisette, Murielle, Gaston, Marcel and Chorus - "'Neath the lamplight warmly glowing, all too soon the night is going..."
  9. Melodrame
    1. Melodrame
  10. Finale Act II - "Hail! the welcome danger that recalls me! ... (What a cursèd accident befalls me!) ... (For a time, at least, the tempest's o'er) ..."

Act III - The Park of the Château D'Artemare, three days later.

  1. Entr'acte
  2. Chorus - "Hang the kettle up to warm, and stir the brushwood fire! Here the village lasses swarm, with all that we require! Soldiers have such an air! ..."
  3. Song - Patatout and Chorus - "A prudent girl, at fall of night, the shortcut home should always take; above all, if some village wight should see her in..."
  4. Duet - Marcel and Gaston - "Soldier! alerte! Nor dream of home and beauty! ... That will be hard, but, captain, it is well! ... Sentinel! 'tis well! ..."
  5. Trio - Murielle, Marquis and Marcel - "You give consent? .. Yes! .. 'Tis your intent? .. Yes! .. No room for doubt! .. I may not doubt, yet cannot make it out!"
  6. Rustic Air - Fraisette and Chorus - "Tho' poor Fraisette in fine brocade and silk array'd be, and tho' he bade the servants all to call me lady! ..."
  7. Melodrame
  8. Melodrame
  9. Finale Act III - "Duty bids me march away, Love's too true to bid me stay! Think not, comrades, that my dearer life ere shall make me falter in the strife..."

Additional Songs:

  1. Maire's Song - Poupart and Chorus - "I am a most tremendous local swell, who admiration must compel ... "
  2. Duet - Marquis and Poupart - "It seems to me but yesterday, although so very long ago, that you and I (I blush to say) were look'd upon as far from slow..."
  3. Song - Poupart - "At the first I was nervous on ent'ring the service, with goose-step and barrack-drilling, one, two, three! ..."
  4. Song - Gaston - "The lovers' hour is nigh; from belfry old, hark! the angelus is chiming. Light foot and glancing eye with shepherd pipe..."


Scenes and settings

Act 1- The Village Inn at Vaudrez-les-Vignes near Macon in Burgundy.
Act 2 - The Hall of the Château D'Artemare, that night.
Act 3 - The Park of the Château D'Artemare, three days later.