The Hubbard Saga SATB choir, children’s choir, orchestra – rental of parts


The Hubbard Saga was written specially for Sale Festival 2001 and follows the antique antics of the fabulous dog of Old Mother Hubbard. The children’s chorus echoes the barking of the dog whilst the adult choir takes us through the story. Then the children — one by one tell us the story behind the poem itself. There is real emotion as the dog dies (twice!) and there is a fun jig with flute and clarinet solos which forms the centrepiece from the compositional point of view. The 20th century gets a mention with an added anachronistic verse involving modern technology!

The forces are:
Children’s choir (in 2 parts)
Adult choir (SATB)
String quartet

Old Mother Hubbard she went to the cupboard
to get her poor doggie a bone
but when she got there
the cupboard was bare
and so the poor doggie had none

She went to the baker’s
to buy him some bread
But when she came back
the poor dog was dead

(Oh my poor dog my poor doggy)

She went to the joiner’s
to buy him a coffin
But when she came back
The doggie was laffin’

(Ha! Ha!)

She took a clean dish
to get him some tripe
but when she came back
he was smoking a pipe

(puff puff cough cough
coughing fit)

She went to the fishmonger’s
to buy him some fish
But when she came back
He was licking the dish

(yum yum)

She went to the market
to buy him a scooter
but when she came back
(beep beep)
he was on the computer

She went to the tavern
for white wine and red
but when she came back
he was stood on his head

(Historical narration)
Sarah Catherine Martin was born in 1768;
her father was Admiral of the fleet,
so she moved in high society in her younger days.

A young prince, the future William IV,
met her and they fell in love, but the
law in those days would not allow a prince to marry a mere commoner.

The Admiral’s family banished themselves
to the country to avoid compromising the
position of the future King.

Sarah was heartbroken and lonely.
What could she do with her life now?

She concentrated on her creative skills
and set to writing poetry.
One of these was Old Mother Hubbard,
which she wrote in 1804, at the age of 36.

It was published the next year,
with her own illustrations,
and became an immediate bestseller.

History does not relate whether
she had a dog as gifted
as the one in this poem or whether
there may have been some hidden meaning behind the nonsense verses.

The original manuscript was discovered
by Sarah’s greatgreat niece in the 1950s.
It was taken to America where it was sold for nearly 5,000 US dollars.

Avid response from adult choir to the $5,000
Woof woof!!!
General chorus of woofs and bow-wows

She went to the hatter’s
to buy him a hat
but when she came back
he was feeding the cat
(miaow miaow)

She went to the barber’s
to buy him a wig
but when she came back
he was dancing a jig

(instrumental dance interlude)

She went to the fruit’rer’s
To buy him some fruit
But when she came back
He was playing the flute

(instrumental interlude with flute solo)

She went to the tailor’s
to buy him a suit
But when she came back
he was riding a goat
(woof baaa!)

She went to the cobbler’s
to buy him some shoes
but when she came back
he was reading the news
(listen out for the cheeky quote
from the old ITN News theme)

She went to the seamstress
to buy him some linen
but when she came back
the old dog was a-spinning

The Dame made a curtsey
The dog made a bow
The dame said “Your servant”
The dog said “Bow-wow”
(woof woof)

This wonderful dog
was Dame Hubbard’s delight
he could sing he could dance
he could read he could write.

She gave him rich dainties
Whenever he fed
And built him a monument
When he was dead
(oh my poor doggie)

(instrumental interlude)

Old Mother Hubbard
Oh Woof!