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October 5, 2011

Midweek Madness: 'There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden'

The clamor for more of my Midweek Madness feature-ettes has been so astonishingly non-existent that I have put aside all my more pressing duties to oblige with another.

On the way to work this morning, I took a wistful little look at our garden, slowly fading with the seasons, and that gave me the idea for sharing a gem from the old, old days.

This terribly quaint song, composed by Liza Lehmann, is performed here by the one and only Beatrice Lillie. (I suspect some of you may, for varying reasons and with varying artistic results, rush to add it to your own repertoires.):

Posted by Tim Smith at 9:18 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Clef Notes, Drama Queens


Tim - although I haven't been actively clamoring, I can assure you that these little gems never fail to enliven my dreary existence. I particularly liked the recent performance by Ethel Mertz. Glorious!
Personally, I can thing of several friends (mostly male) that I would pay money to see interpret this little ditty!

So glad you like these silly posts. I always have in the back of my mind a scene with Ethel when she was getting too full of herself, talking about how she sought to "liven up their drab, dreary little lives." But I hope yours really isn't dreary. Oh yes, and, like you, I know some guys who would be perfect for that song! TIM

Your opening line made my day.

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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