Rock Around the Croc: Jacques Offenbach

Happy Sunday, my friends, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that once again you’re here to learn about and listen to the music with me. Today we continue with our exploration of the Romantic Era, and German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach. Shall we? Let’s!

Jacques Offenbach was born in 1819 in Bratwurst, Germany, to a prominent family of weevil-gluers (in case you don’t know, weevil-gluers capture weevils and glue them into the shape of larger weevils). But young Offenbach rebelled against his father’s wishes that he continue the family business, so in 1819, at the age of 14, he ran away to study music composition under the tutelage of his idols: Johann Sebastian Bach, Marvin Underbach, and the famous zither-player Julio Prepositionbach. All three recognized and encouraged his talent, and at the young age of 13 he published his first composition, the soundtrack to Ishtar:

Impressively, although he had not yet developed the personal style that would cement his fame in the western canon of music, you can still hear the germs of ideas for musical innovations that would blossom throughout his decades as a composer and performer.

In the year 1792, Offenbach was caught up in what later historians have called the Gwen Marcoli is a Smelly Eskimo Prostitute Affair (although the scandal actually centered on bribe payments for admission to French conservatories, so other historians dispute using that term, even if they agree that Marcoli was a total slut). Offenbach was forced to flee in ignominy to the magical land of Lilliput, where he remained until he was deported for being too big. By the time he got back to France, the political pressure had died down sufficiently that he was allowed to stay in Paris, resume his musical studies, and stage an opera he had plagiarized from an unidentified Lilliputian shampoo manufacturer. That opera became his most famous piece, “Orphee dans l’enfer,” which features the well-known Can Can chorus:

Pay attention especially to his use of complex polyrhythms that serve as both a nod to genius of the Baroque era, while still bring a fresh, modern sound that fits so perfectly well in the Romantic. Parisian society was so enthralled with Offenbach’s musical triumph that he reportedly couldn’t walk in the streets without being violently assaulted or being victimized in Nigerian email scams. Even so, the next year he published and staged a sequel, “Orphee even deeper dans l’enfers.” The piece became his even more most famous work, with both critics and audiences demanding that the composer be promptly tortured to death. The highlight of the work comes at the opening of Act III, after forty-three seconds of monkey and shark noises:

At this point, with Offenbach increasingly fearing for his safety, he again fled the country by being smuggled out in a barrel of factory-rejected Gummy Bears (they tasted normal, but they looked like and had the texture of centipedes, for some reason). He spent the next two minutes and nineteen seconds backpacking around eastern Europe trying to “find himself,” then made his triumphant return to music when he debuted the nine-hour version of Inna Gadda Devida at Madison Square Garden:

The piece revitalized his flagging career, and has since become his most famous work. Audiences were so excited by his daring use of high explosives in the rhythm section that they tied him to a broken chair in a filthy basement and amputated his left foot, feeding him on nothing but fast food restaurant ketchup packets for the following two weeks. When he was finally released from captivity, he was so psychologically broken that he could only communicate in pathetic whimpers. Naturally, he vowed never to write another note of music again.

Even so, if you know anything about Jaques Offenbach, it’s that the world was not about to be denied of his genius, so in 1819, he again set pen to paper and composed what would become his indisputably most famous work, “S’il vous plaît aidez-moi, je ne plaisante pas, s’il vous plaît envoyez de l’aide, ils ne me laisseront pas partir,” which debuted in Effingham, Illinois to thunderous applause and a killing spree the likes of which the world has never seen since. Here’s the famous aria from act LXII, scene 2:

Those high notes send chills down my spine. While Offenbach was recovering from the mental effort involved in creating such a monumental work of art, he was also recovering from the physical effects of being beaten unconscious with pipe wrenches by his adoring fans every night for a month.

Jacques Offenbach died in 1819, but his legacy lives on through his music and the muffled screams that some say they can still hear from his coffin. I hope you have an amazing day. I love you all.

96 Comments

  1. https://is.gd/x3Zk5R

    (Imgur gif for Sobek)

  2. https://is.gd/buC5ot

    (Imgur Bambi Video)

  3. test

  4. Typed out 3 comments and got the “This comment could not be posted” screen with no other explanation. Test comment finally got me to the log in page.

  5. Peel, look into “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” for movie night. My boys liked it. Solid family entertainment.

  6. I had accidently clicked “Block all Cookies” in my browser settings, that what was causing me issues Friday evening, so my log-in trouble was self-inflicted.

    Still, WP seems a little unstable for the last few days.

  7. I’ve got my security settings blocking me from seeing some images in certain locations. If I post a tweet I only see it as it appears on my phone. My desktop and iPad show only text. When email newsletters link an instagram post I see “view on instagram”. I use that as a time saving device because I never view it on instagram

  8. How do I arrange a submission to Nutrition N’ Farts? I’ve generated some data that applies to American Chop Suey

  9. Sobek, did Peter Schickle discover this information about Jacques Offenbach, or Jacques-Off as his friends called him? His history and oeuvre of work seem very P.D.Q. Bach-esque 🙂

  10. Oh, and Bitte helft mir, ich mache keine Witze, bitte schickt mir Hilfe, sie werden mich nicht gehen lassen

  11. Ooh, that reminds me Tom, Oktoberfest is underway

    https://tinyurl.com/yz23nm4s

    The best of both worlds, German style costumes and the sorority squat!

  12. Wakey wakey

  13. I didn’t know this is a real song.

  14. FYI, the new journolist word for flying or busing illegals to Blue cities and islands is “stunt”

  15. For the first time, though, I really knew all about Offenbach. My parents used to play his shit all the time, and I did a report on him in 5th grade. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS STUFF SOBEK.

  16. Jimbro, they’re desperate to control the narrative. You guys see that thing from the TikTok dude who said he was offered $400 to post lies about trump?

  17. Ethan passed all his tests this week. Mod 10 is a long one. Most of them have been a week and few days. This one is a few weeks long.

    I told him once he got through the super hard ones, he’d use his improved study skills for the rest. Called him last night and he was studying.

    He said he should get his orders soon, so that’s sorta exciting.

  18. They love The Incredible Mr. Limpet. You know what else they love? The Lost World – the silent movie from the 1920s where a claymation brontosaurus rampages through London.

    Our kids are weird.

    (Let’s gloss over why I even had a DVD of a claymation brontosaurus movie in the first place)

  19. I’ve been wondering how he was doing. 3 week long module probably meant nothing to report.

    Does he have any say in where he goes? I mean, there’s only so many spots for his specialty open and needing someone there so that probably limits the choices

  20. I’m trying to think of the movies the boys had on all the time … Goonies, Lost Boys, Time Bandits, Harry Potter ones, etc

    Ben was famous for watching Christmas movies all year long. Santa Clause and Home Alone – all the versions

  21. Laffin’ my ass off here

  22. He has zero say. lol.

  23. Ethan’s favorite movie as a toddler was “Willow”. He loved it. I think it eventually “broke”.

  24. Whoever had Post #47 in the “When Does Sobek Start Mailing It In” pool please collect your winnings at the cashier window.

  25. I dunno. It probably took him a while to come up with that. Of course, he could have found other videos.

  26. You are right CARin, I should be grateful for the original prose and not let the dick-smelling musical subject matter take away from the heartfelt, well researched and documented presentation of back-up historical data.

    I withdraw my snarky comment.

  27. Also this: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322562

  28. Tomswiftly, the only PDQ Bach song I’ve heard is Oedipus Rex, back in college, in a Classics course. I did not get the impression his stuff involved as much sadistic violence as my post, but given how screwed up Greek mythology is, who’s to say? Not me, is my point.

  29. “I didn’t know this is a real song.”

    I knew it was a real song, but hadn’t heard it before I started writing this post. I would have expected the chorus to sound a lot more hostile and less melodic. Whatevs.

  30. “YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS STUFF SOBEK.”

    I bet your report wasn’t as good as mine, but also that it didn’t get you into as much trouble as mine would have.

  31. “Laffin’ my ass off here”

    Thank you, Tim. I’ve been cracking myself up about this post all week, but when I actually sat down to write it I genuinely wondered if someone would ask me to delete it.

    My favorite part about the video is the stupid little smirk on Johnny’s face at the beginning. (In the original video, he was dancing to Poker Face, and I guess he thought that was clever somehow. Joke’s on you, dude, now you’re skating to Jaques Offenbach!)

  32. “I dunno. It probably took him a while to come up with that. Of course, he could have found other videos.”

    I did put some work into this, but it was a very different kind of work, obvs. I considered doing different videos, but couldn’t give up the gag of a nineteen century composer writing a piece of music called “Smell Yo Dick” over and over.

  33. Either Oso or Beasn said in the past that you wanted to share my music posts with a friend, but was hesitant because of the kind of humor around here. I sincerely, deeply hope this wasn’t the week you decided to share.

  34. So, I’m trying a Garmin watch right now a friend loaned to me (more advanced that the one I bought years ago). I really like some of the apple watch things – texts ,etc, but for training it’s not so awesome.

    I can’t decide. I may just keep the apple watch for when I’m working? I dunno.

  35. In my experiences Garmin does GPS better than anything else, but if it’s not GPS as the primary mission it can be clunky.

  36. I’m so conflicted. It gives much better stats. Apple watch tracks a lot of things I don’t care about. Gimmicky stuff (competing with friends). Garmin does everything else better.

  37. Normalizing it, I guess? My gym friends – her new husband lost an infant to myocarditis 17 years ago. She doesn’t know how the baby got it.

  38. I can’t keep track of the watch devices Paula owns. I know there’s an Apple watch, maybe a Garmin and somehow she shares her bike rides with me on wahoo. I don’t think that’s a watch, maybe a computer. There’s also something called Strava for tracking segments of rides.

  39. The main reason she has the Apple watch is to see and respond to texts at work discreetly without pulling her phone out. Her voice texts need a secret decoder ring half the time but the message gets through.

  40. Just caught the $400 anti-Trump one

  41. Re: myocarditis. Is this the first time something like this has happened, or just the first time we’ve noticed?

  42. Yea, that’s why I like my Apple Watch too. Strava is an app and it goes to whatever device you have.

  43. They have been, like, SO enriched.

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/17/us/marthas-vineyard-migrants-journey-desantis/index.html

  44. My former CoW started reading the Sunday posts. I asked him not to read the comments. Just the Sunday posts. I really hope he stayed away today. Until I think about his face watching the Johnny Weir.

  45. They’ll be patting each other on the back about how well they treated the migrants for years. Unfortunately I think this will be a one time thing. I can’t imagine them being hoodwinked again.

  46. She survived Timberman

    F40-44: 15 of 45
    Female:104 of 287
    Overall: 512 of 1025

    Remained steady during the run which was described as “the hardest thing she’s done in her life”. She felt like she was going to barf during the run but was grateful she didn’t poop. After the run while walking around after the race her quads went into spasm briefly.

  47. The MV people really, really don’t know that they aren’t fooling anyone, do they?

    They’d better stay in gated communities with private security. I don’t like their odds out in the real world.

  48. I’ve been to MV about a half dozen times in my life. My HS girlfriend and her family rented a condo there every summer and I visited a few times. Took a couple of day trips there in med school/residency and stayed a couple of nights after I got married in Round One. All of the times I went except the last I didn’t have all that much money and had more fun by just hanging out on the beach, biking and gawking at tourists while walking around. The last time I went it was part of my honeymoon and we stayed at a fancy place and got to spend a lot of money around pretentious people. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy that trip as much as the others.

  49. Good week to be a Dolphins fan.

    28 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to win by 4.

  50. Tua Mania

  51. My former CoW started reading the Sunday posts.

    He he he.

  52. “My former CoW started reading the Sunday posts. I asked him not to read the comments. Just the Sunday posts.”

    Feel free to offer my apologies.

  53. He converted to Catholicism. I was one of his biggest supporters. He would blast classical music at work. I introduced him to Sobek Sundays. I steered him to some pretty awesome Catholic follows on Twitter. Kept him away from Knights and Ladies of the Holy Flaming Skull. I share posts with him, but shelter him from Morons and Splitters.

  54. In the original video, he was dancing to Poker Face, and I guess he thought that was clever somehow.

    I confess that while I didn’t think Smuckers (sponsor of the skate show) would be too happy with Johnny Weird skating to “Smell Yo Dick”, it was not an impossibility that he would have picked that.

  55. What was the distance for the tri? I get them all mixed up. A friend does Ironmans which is just stupid

  56. Apparently the vaccine causes rejection of cornea grafts. So they strongarm you into getting the vaccine, or else you can’t get a transplant. Then the vax causes rejection of the transplanted tissue.

    I’m past being understanding. These people are monsters.

  57. Just fyi-they never made Ethan get a booster. He was going to refuse.

  58. They are all monsters. CoW got boosters for her kids. Her dad is MAGA. She thinks we are conspiracy theorists about the Vax/booster. Watches the “News” religiously. I pray that I am wrong, but I provide valuable support for CoWs that choose not to mRNA.

  59. Links. I give them links. 18 year old CoW was bullied by his grandparents to get the jab. I gave him links when it was time to boost. Made them the selfish ones. My new boss was coerced by Walmart/Sam’s as management to take the jab. 4 surgeries later, she won’t boost. WM has backed WTF off with jabs, boosters, and masks.

  60. We’re trying to decide our Monday tee shirt troll. Dan is wearing a Tua tee. If the Texans win, I’m wearing a Texan tee.

  61. Good for you Osita.

  62. In case you guys didn’t notice – the lions won.

  63. Yay Loins.

  64. Lumps, I’m crying for the people I couldn’t reach. Former CoW just had her 4th miscarriage. New 9-5 job at UNMH. The hospitals are the worst. I have an appointment on 10/3. Requires a mask. Debating if I will attend,

  65. Half Ironman or Ironman 70.3

    1.2 mile swim
    56 mile bike ride
    13.1 run

    I’m not a fan of her running that far on her total hip. She’s well aware of the implications but it’s impossible for her to restrain herself. She did say this is the last one she’s doing other than sprint distances. She’s been training for months and has had a lot of ups and downs along the way.

  66. May all your ups and downs be underneath the sheets.

  67. Heh heh!

  68. I am once again in FB jail. Suspended on Twitter. Y’all need to comment faster.

  69. Ted Cruz said that there needs to be more shipments of illegals to MV. I would add that the illegals should be given some money and provisions to feed themselves for a few days. Then coached to break no laws, but to scatter all around the island after they arrive, No congregating into big groups of dependents, easy to sweep away en masse because they need the next meal. I want to see footage of MV cops running brown people down, tackling them in the blue hydrangeas in the front border of some cedar shake cottage and dragging them away, “merely for the crime of being a foreigner.”

  70. Yup. I know for a fact this is happening.

  71. Pretty funny. Watch to the end.

  72. 7:34, click through and read the whole thread

  73. This video should have ended with a beating, not a bawling out.

  74. Karen Carpenter trending. They get it half right about eating disorders about control. They ignore the sexual abuse elephant in the room.

  75. Question for the medical people. Ex-sister-in-law says she has E-6 E-7 plus disease of the spinal cord. All I find on DDG and Google is there’s an HPV E6/E7 that may lead to cervical cancer. It’s entirely possible she means C6/C7, but I don’t know what the plus would mean.

    She says she’s numb on one side of her body.

  76. I think you’re right about C6-7

    https://www.orthobullets.com/spine/2030/cervical-radiculopathy

  77. “In case you guys didn’t notice – the lions won.”

    I did not notice.

  78. “Former CoW just had her 4th miscarriage.”

    You’ve mentioned this CoW before. Did she have any kids before?

  79. Thank you, Jimbro.

  80. Queen Elizabeth may have set a new Guinness record for longest queue ever recorded. The Telegraph is saying over a million people went through the line. It’s still miles long, but they have closed it to new people in order to finish before the funeral begins tomorrow.

  81. “Pretty funny. Watch to the end.”

    You misspelled horrifying, Lumps.

  82. It’s a cartoon

  83. Reminds me of the Three Little Pigs cartoon with the pic of “Dear Old Dad” on the wall (sausage).

  84. This is how screwed up my sleep is now: I am staying up late because I have to get up early.

    If I go to bed at a reasonable time, I’ll be up at 3 or 4, toss and fret until I fall back asleep at 6 or later, and then wildly oversleep.

    Wish me luck. G’night!

  85. Good luck, Lumps!

    I am frustrated that the ceiling fan in the bedroom where I’m supposed to sleep makes a grinding noise. If this were my house, I would replace it or (more likely) get Mr. RFH to replace it. I have been told to leave it alone.

  86. Dinah’s expensive rhododendrons perished.

  87. Nyoooop. Kicked the covers off at 4:30 and slept fitfully and half-conscious since then. I gotta get a handle on this.

  88. MMM 511

  89. Sobek
    This poat is a masterpiece.

  90. Listen not to the sayers of nay.

  91. I’m dyin ova heaaah.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Comments RSS