December 12, 2006


All was happy-go-lucky joy; and, at two o’clock, as Branton Hills’ Municipal Band, (a part of Gadsby’s Organization of Youth’s work, you know) struck up a bright march, not a glum physiognomy was found in all that big park.

Gadsby and Lucy had much curiosity in watching what such crashing music would do to various animals. At first a spirit akin to worry had baboons, gorillas, and such, staring about, as still as so many posts; until, finding that no harm was coming from such sounds, soon took to climbing and swinging again. Stags, yaks and llamas did a bit of high-kicking at first; Gadsby figuring that drums, and not actual music, did it. But a lilting waltzing aria did not worry any part of this big zoo family; in fact, a fox, wolf and jackal, in a quandary at first actually lay down, as though music truly “hath charms to calm a wild bosom.”

—Ernest Vincent Wright,
Gadsby, 1939

IGOR STRAVINSKY was such a firebird that he loved going to the zoo "to watch the wild animals at feeding time, when they devoured the raw meat."

"Shadows From a Lunarium,"
Time Magazine, February 24, 1958
(review of First Person Plural by Dagmar Godowsky)

Some say that music hath charms
To soothe the savage beast
I've also heard some people say
That enough is as good as a feast
Now I once paid court to a maid
I'd have stuck to her too, like gum
But she went music mad, alas
Thro' her violent taste for the drum

G.W. Hunt, "Music Hath Charms"

Music Hath Charms sheet music cover

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