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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

02 DEC 2009

More on Music, Bankruptcy and Insolvency - Some snippets from Gilbert and Sullivan

I have touched on the subjects of bankruptcy and debts as they feature in song on this blog before. Another commentator (Top Five Law) has provided a list of the top 10 bankruptcy songs:

"9> (I Can’t Make No) Cash Transaction
8> Don’t Fear the Creditor
7> I Fought the Debt and the Debt Won
6> I Wanna Hold Your Note
5> I’m Too Sexy (to Pay My Bills)
4> You’ve Lost That Liquid Feelin’
3> Pennies (on the Dollar) From Heaven
2> Can’t Buy Me Love (Without a Motion to Incur Debt)
and the Number 1 Song About Bankruptcy…
1> To Those Whom I Owe Cash: I Can’t Pay You"

Gilbert and Sullivan were perhaps a bit more subtle in their references to the insolvency jurisdiction in their many famous operas. In Utopia, Limited Mr Goldbury sings:

"If you come to grief, and creditors are craving,
(For nothing that is planned by mortal head
Is certain in the Vale of Sorrow-saving
That one's Liability is Limited),--
Do you suppose that signifies perdition?
If so you're but a monetary dunce--
You merely file a Winding-Up Petition,
And start another Company at once!
Though a Rothschild you may be
In your own capacity,
As a Company you've come to utter sorrow--
But the Liquidators say,
"Never mind--you needn't pay,"
So you start another company to-morrow!
But the Liquidators say, etc."

In the Gondoliers the following exchange occurs:

   "CAS.  I, the Queen of Barataria!  But I've nothing to wear! We are practically penniless! DUKE.  That point has not escaped me.  Although I am unhappily in straitened circumstances at present, my social influence is something enormous; and a Company, to be called the Duke of Plaza-Toro, Limited, is in course of formation to work me.  An influential directorate has been secured, and I shall myself join the Board after allotment.   CAS.  Am I to understand that the Queen of Barataria may be called upon at any time to witness her honoured sire in process of liquidation?  DUCH.  The speculation is not exempt from that drawback.  If your father should stop, it will, of course, be necessary to wind him up. CAS.  But it's so undignified--it's so degrading!  A Grandee of Spain turned into a public company!  Such a thing was never heard of!"

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