A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One

Album: The Pirates Of Penzance (1879)
  • songfacts ®
  • This song by composer Arthur Sullivan and lyricist (or should that be librettist?) W.S. Gilbert, gave us the popular phrase "a policeman's lot" (to which the title is often shortened), and the preceding phrase "when constabulary duty's to be done".
  • "A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One" is from the The Pirates Of Penzance. Subtitled The Slave Of Duty, this comic opera by two leading British songwriters of the day was actually premiered at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York City, on December 31, 1879.
    The title has leant its name to a number of books, including at least one monograph on the Metropolitan (by Harry Cole).
  • The song was parodied (rather poorly) in an episode of the 1960s American TV series Car 54, Where Are You? >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3
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