February 17, 2009

More William Topaz McGonagall & also The Royal Thibaw Min, Golden-footed Lord of the White Elephant, Master of a Thousand Gold Umbrellas...

Mr Mary & I were doing some research for our William McGonagall project today, & happened upon some interesting history. First of all, it turns out our idea of throwing a McGonagall supper is already a tradition in Dundee. "The William Topaz McGonagall Appreciation Society held a McGonagall Supper on board the frigate Unicorn on 12 June 1997, during which the courses were allegedly served in reverse order, starting with the coffee and ending with the starters. A short play was performed by local actors."

Sadly the William Topaz McGonagall Appreciation Society's website is down, but I sent an e-mail to the person responsible, asking a few questions about the itineraries & rituals for a McGonagall Supper, & what the significance of June 12th is - I think September 28th, the day of McGonagall's death, might be as good of a night as any. If anyone out there reading this knows anything, please contact me! o [[at]] itwaslost.org.

Then, there are some amazing bits in McGonagall's wiki-biography (the whole thing is worth reading here.) My favorite was his production of Macbeth where "McGonagall believed that the actor playing Macduff was trying to upstage him, and so refused to die."

Then there's this mysterious tidbit:

In 1892, following the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, he walked from Dundee to Balmoral, a distance of about 60 miles over mountainous terrain and through a violent thunderstorm, "wet to the skin", to ask Queen Victoria if he might be considered for the post of Poet Laureate. Unfortunately, he was informed the Queen was not in residence, and returned home. In 1894, representatives of King Thibaw Min of Burma knighted him as Sir Topaz, Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah, a title he used in his advertising.
We looked up Thibaw Min, the last king of Burma, where it says his full name is The Royal Thibaw Min, Golden-footed Lord of the White Elephant, Master of a Thousand Gold Umbrellas, Owner of the Royal Peacocks, Lord of the Sea and of the World, Whose face is like the Sun. In his own words, the reason he fell from the throne is:
My late father, the Royal Mindon Min, the golden-footed lord of the white elephant, master of a thousand gold umbrellas, owner of the Royal peacocks, lord of the sea and of the world, whose face was like the sun, always smoked the Esoof cheroot while meditating on his treatment of the bull-faced, earthswallowing English. Had I done the same I should never have lost my throne, but I used the opium-drugged cheroots from Manila and the trash which was sent to me from San Francisco, and I fell.
Our hip-hop rendering of An Address to the New Tay Bridge is below.

2 comments:

pele said...

The Revelations Don't
St-a-a-a-a-p!(?) Peace.

ß. Andrigon said...

I thought you'd like that, Pele.