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Age of Bronze

Niccolo's Piccolo


Sung by Cynthia Cynch

Not with the sighing flute,
Sought he to press his suit.
Nor with the twinkling lute
Came he zum-zumming.
Not on, the light guitar,
Under the twilight star,
Could he be heard afar
Tenderly strumming.

But from his piercing piccolo,
My highly-gifted Niccolo
Could charm with much celerity
This melody divine.
Defying fell malaria,
He'd execute this aria
With marvelous dexterity,
Each night at half past nine.

(Piccolo Chorus)

Not with the violin,
Sought he my heart to win,
Nor with the mandolin
Came he a wooing.
Not on the slide trombone,
Played he a mellow tone,
Singing of love alone,
Sighing and sueing.

But from his piercing piccolo . . .
(Piccolo Chorus)

Tiger Tunes
Niccolo's Piccolo

From the 1903 Broadway Musical
The Wizard of Oz
Words by L. Frank Baum
& Glen MacDonough
Music by Paul Tietjens

Bet you didn't know that Nick Chopper played the piccolo! Or even what "Nick" stood for! Well, apparently he does play -- and quite well -- at least according to his girlfriend, Cynthia Cynch. Of lasting importance is the fact that this song provided the Tin Woodman with his proper name. Baum must have thought highly of the rhyme since Nick Chopper's name was one of very few elements of the stage show to be incorporated into the Oz books.

The history of this song is fairly complicated. When The Wizard of Oz opened in Chicago of 1902 the song was credited to Baum and Tietjens. After the 1903 Broadway premiere the song was suddenly credited to A. Baldwin Sloane and Glen MacDonough. Was it a major typo? Was it a sly device on the part of director Julian Mitchell to make Sloane's contribution to the show appear greater than it actually was? It is impossible to say.

What is known is that Paul Tietjens wrote the music; his manuscript copy survives among his papers. Regarding the lyrics, the version that was performed is slightly more polished than Baum's copyrighted lyric. It is known that Glen MacDonough did come in at the last minute to doctor the script so he may well have tidied Baum's lyrics. We have therefore added MacDonough's name to the song.

You can download or play a MIDI of this delightfully catchy number; or you can download the sheet music in PDF format which will allow you to save it on disc or print copies for yourself.

View sheet music as a PDF View/Save a PDF of the Sheet Music Listen to the Orchestral MIDI for the song Listen/Save the MIDI

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