Pianist’s Nightmare, The

Genre: Vocal

Mood: Comic

Forces: Female voice, Piano

Length: 4 Minutes


The Pianist’s Nightmare (1996) – Comic song about the perils of the pianist, 5’.

Commissioned by Ev Meynell.

Sheet Music

Watermarked (Free)




Printed Copies



The Pianist’s Nightmare

So at last, your dream comes true
You’re booked to play at a prime venue
Come the day, your train runs late
By the time that you get there you’re in a nervous state
No time to practise, the caretaker lets you in
He looks you up and down, he doesn’t crack a grin
He leads you to a dressing-room somewhere beneath the earth
Ask for a mirror, he says: “It’s more than my job’s worth”.

The time has come, you walk to the wings
Your palms are sweating, the blood in your ears sings
Someone introduces you and when he’s done his worst
You trip up on your dress and make your entrance head first
Pick yourself up, the show must go on
Sit down at the keyboard as if there’s nothing wrong
First piece on the programme is a sonata in E flat
The B flat key sticks down and puts an end to that.

The piano’s a model you’ve never seen before
The last time they tuned it was 1904
You hit a crashing chord, the pedal-board squeals
Suddenly you realise they haven’t locked the wheels
With every chord you play
It slips a little further away.

Regaining control you think somehow perhaps
You just might get through it, then you get a memory lapse…
You get a memory lapse… You get a memory lapse…
It all comes back to you, you know where you should be
The you realise you’re playing in the wrong key
At this point your troubles really begin
You forget what piece you’re playing.

Struggling through to the end of the piece
While the man in the third row tries to fondle his neighbour’s knees
Play it all forte to cover the snores
Yet when you finish you get seven encores
A standing ovation and a bouquet in the shape of a treble clef
They must be stone deaf.

F L Dunkin Wedd ©1991