The Mikado/Act I/Part V

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The Mikado by W. S. Gilbert
Act I, part V. Behold the Lord High Executioner

The song Behold the Lord High Executioner was written by W. S. Gilbert for Gilbert and Sullivan's 1885 comic operetta The Mikado. It is the song in Act I that introduces Ko-Ko, the aforementioned Lord High Executioner; this piece is performed by him and the male chorus.

[Enter Chorus of NOBLES]

Behold the Lord High Executioner
A personage of noble rank and title-
A dignified and potent officer,
Whose functions are particularly vital!
Defer, defer,
To the Lord High Executioner!

[Enter KO-KO]

Taken from the county jail
By a set of curious chances;
Liberated then on bail,
On my own recognizances;
Wafted by a favouring gale
As one sometimes is in trances,
To a height that few can scale,
Save by long and weary dances;
surely, never had a male
Under such like circumstances
So adventurous a tale
Which may rank with most romances.


Defer, defer
To the Lord High Executioner, etc.