Mr. Chips and the Valkyries

There was a second work of music that Mr. Chips liked nearly as much as “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”

It’s been driving me crazy that I couldn’t remember the music.

Today I tried to get motivated to clean the house.  And it hit me. Mr. Chips second favorite work of music: The Ride of the Valkyries.

I’m probably the only one of you who couldn’t have guessed Mr. Chips would like this.

I thought it was terrific housecleaning music.  It used to energize me to clean, and motivate me to finish.  Yup, it was energizing. It was also overbearing and irritating.  Perfect!   I cleaned in record time.

Someone must’ve given me a “Classic Works” album of “Great Composers Greatest Hits” for Christmas one year, and that’s how I came to own music I pretty much…hated.

I went looking for it on YouTube, to add it to Mr. Chips Greatest Hits page.  All I knew was the title and the composer.  (This explains the amnesia.  Mental block.  Not a Wagner fan.) Found a good orchestra version. (It’s on his playlist)

I, uh, never did bother to learn anything about Wagner or some famous opera he wrote.  (um, that would be The Ring.  The one that brought us Brunhilde(a)?)

I scrolled down YouTube results a little more, and found an opera version of The Ride of the Valkyries.

Ooooo.  Subtitles.  In English.  Now I’m curious. Here’s my chance to learn what the Valkyrie thing is about!

I sit back and try to relax as a passel of intimidating-looking, designer-gowned, opera divas file out on stage.  Cue the orchestra, and there it is!  The music Chips loved.

Then one woman starts singing.  And the subtitles appear.


No flippin way!

Is this a parody?  They’re singing about HORSES?!

They’re having this whole operatic argument: “Get your horse away from my horse!” (???!?) “No!  YOU get  your horse away from MY horse!”

THIS was Mr. Chips second favorite piece of music??

I’m dumbstruck.

For your listening (earplugs help) pleasure….The Ride of the Valkyries, the opera version:

Partial transcript for those who don’t want to spend 9 minutes of their life watching the video:

Sister 1: Helmwige, here!  Over here with your horse!

Sister 2: Tie up your mare next to my stallion.  Let your bay graze with my bay.

Sister 1: Keep your bay away from my grey!  Ortlinde’s mare bears Witting the Irming.

Sister 3: Sintolt & Wittig were always enemies…

(Jane: Raaaandom.  Obviously the peace making sister).

Sister 4: The heroes quarrel maddens the horses!  Quiet!  Stop making trouble!

(Greeting other riders)

Sister 5: Leave your horses to rest and graze!

Sister 6: Keep the mares apart till the heroes hate has abated!

Sister 1: My grey has atoned for the heroes hate!

(Bunch more comments: Brunnhilde shows up with her horse exhausted to the point of staggering – there’s some horrified tsk-tsking from the sisters who would never do that.  They’re scared of daddy coming (War Father).  He’s pretty darn ticked off that one of his daughters (Brunnhilde) helped a human.  He’s so mad he’s over-riding is horse, a sight so shocking the sisters are momentarily stunned into silence.  Clearly whatever battle they are/will/have been doing, the horses come first.  No wonder Chips liked it.  Horses first, story line second!)

Geeze.  Come to think of it, this could be an overheard barn aisle conversation with an angry trainer coming into view…

14 thoughts on “Mr. Chips and the Valkyries

  1. Isn’t this the “kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit!” theme song for Elmer Fudd?

    I… uh… um… yeah, my knowledge of classical music is limited to what cartoon it appears in.

    I’ll just go back to my corner, shall I?

    1. *gasping for breath, laughing so hard I’m doing the snorting thing*

      You’re RIGHT! I knew it was vaguely familiar. Elmer Fudd I enjoy, the divas…(sorry ladies) not so much.

      Off to bed singing: “Kill da wabbit…kill da wabbit…kill the wabbit.

      And no no no to the corner! We need you right in the middle of things. 😉 I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.

      Um. I know all the words to Spongebob Squarepants…

  2. Those expressions reminded me of why I never liked watching opera. Screaming Diva’s.

    Mr. Chips had such a flare for drama. I imagine he’s in his own production of the Rings as one of the top steeds…

  3. Jane: I often wonder if my dogs like any of the music I play them, or if there’s anything like ‘Eye of the Tiger’ that will work to get vizslas super-fired-up to run.

    Thanks for all the attire tips. That Mountain Horse stuff looks really nice. I’ve looked at it before. As for Wranglers: I tried on several pairs of their ‘Pro’ riding jeans and maybe they work for while you’re on the horse, but there wasn’t enough room to get up and down a bunch of times in them.

    all best wishes

  4. Update: I stuck a partial transcript (with my editorial comments) at the bottom of the post.

    On the off chance you might not want to spend 9 minutes of your life listening to, uh, ‘singing’, and waiting for subtitles.

    1. Mr. Chips continues to amuse and amaze me from his all-you-can-eat-and-not-founder pastures in heaven, where I am sure he holds court. And nudges me from time to time.

      I am positive he’s laughing his head off.

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