Never stew your sister


Never stew your sister - (2014)    

Lewis Carroll

for medium voice and piano


"Sister, sister, go to bed!
Go and rest your weary head."
Thus the prudent brother said.

"Do you want a battered hide,
Or scratches to your face applied?"
Thus his sister calm replied.

"Sister, do not raise my wrath.
I'd make you into mutton broth
As easily as kill a moth."

The sister raised her beaming eye
And looked on him indignantly
And sternly answered, "Only try!"

Off to the cook he quickly ran.
"Dear Cook, please lend a frying-pan
To me as quickly as you can."

"And wherefore should I lend it you?"
"The reason, Cook, is plain to view.
I wish to make an Irish stew."

"What meat is in that stew to go?"
"My sister'll be the contents!"
"You'll lend the pan to me, Cook?"

Moral: Never stew your sister.

4 pages, circa 2' 30"

Lewis Carroll


The battle of the sexes, written from childhood' seeming innocence on has provided humor for many. Here brother and sister trade sibling blows through the wit of Carroll's prose and the constraint of the sensible cook, far more sensible than the cook found in Alice  .  The original title of the poem is "Brother and Sister."  For other settings of Carroll's poems, click here.



The wide leaps of ninths flavor introductions and interjections between strophes, while the seemingly innocuous C major gives way to D flat and beyond, and thence G minor before a diatonic last burst of parallelism in the tonic major.



The score for Never stew your sister is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


Never stew your sister