Happy Hallowe’en from The Itch-Witch

 

2017 saw the first performances of The Itch-Witch, an opera for children of around nine years old – to be rehearsed and performed by them.

Emily Hall wrote the music. It was a Snappy Opera commission from Mahogany Opera Group.

I wrote a lot more lyrics than were used. This one tells the origin story of The Itch-Witch – how she came to be, and why she is the cause of the nits that plague children, and their parents.

(To be chanted as the nit comb digs in and the wailing begins.)

How the Itch-Witch Came to Be

Once upon a time a little babe was born
Late in the evening, early in the morn
Sorry little babe was from her mother torn
Late in the evening, early in the morn

Spirits came and stole the baby newly born
Late in the evening, early in the morn
Hungry little babe, so weak and woebegone
Late in the evening, early in the morn

Spirits had no milk to feed the babe upon
Late in the evening, early in the morn
Spirits gave it blood and so a Witch was born
Late in the evening, early in the morn

Baby Witch grew fast and Spirits soon were gone
Late in the evening, early in the morn
The Itch-Witch sprinkles nits out of her magic wand
Late in the evening, early in the morn
The Itch-Witch wants your blood to gorge herself upon
Late in the evening, early in the morn
The Itch-Witch wants your blood to gorge herself upon
Late in the evening, early in the morn

 

And this is a spooky little song, to be sung to a child refusing to go near the nit comb:

 

Riverweed so greenly flowing

                        flowing, flowing with the stream

Flames above the fire glowing

                        glowing, glowing with the gleam

Barley with the breezes blowing

            blowing, blowing with the air

Stop your going, your no-no-noing

                        Come, and let me comb your hair

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