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The Little Snicket Lad is a ballad whose sheet music is featured in Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography.

The folk ballad describes the kidnapping ("recruitment") of the Snicket siblings- Jacques, Kit, and the titular little Snicket lad, Lemony.

Lyrics

Verse One:

On a charming little cattle farm
Near a pretty deadly lake,
Was a very pregnant woman,
And her husband, known as Jake.
Though they lived in a big mansion,
Down Robber Road a tad,
It was at the farm the lady
Bore the little Snicket lad.

Chorus:

And then they took him, yea they took him,
They took him far away,
They took him in the dead of night
Beneath a moon of gray.
They took him from the kitchen
Like you'd take a midnight snack,
The V.F.D. they took him,
And they never brought him back.

Verse Two:

He was lively, and intelligent,
And drank a lot of milk,
His crib was made of silver,
And his diapers sewn from silk.
Both his siblings watched him
And his mother, and his dad,
But someone else was watching
O'er the little Snicket lad.

Chorus:

And then they took him, yea they took him,
They took him far away,
They took him in the dead of night
Beneath a moon of gray.
They took him from the kitchen
Like you'd take a midnight snack,
The V.F.D. they took him,
And they never brought him back.


Verse Three:

One evening Jake was chooping wood,
And his wife was at the mill,
The siblings two were drinking tea,
And the house was very still.
They came in through the windows,
Not the door, which was the fad,
A long black car was parked outside
For the little Snicket lad.

Chorus:

And then they took him, yea they took him,
They took him far away,
They took him in the dead of night
Beneath a moon of gray.
They took him from the kitchen
Like you'd take a midnight snack,
The V.F.D. they took him,
And they never brought him back.

Coda:

"When we grab you by the ankles,
Where our mark is to be made,
You'll soon be doing noble work,
Although you won't be paid.
When we drive away in secret,
You'll be a volunteer,
So don't scream when we take you:
The world is quiet here."

Alternate version

The Second Half of the Chorus, as sung in the North, is as follows:

They took him from the kitchen,
And dropped him on the way,
He fell upon the darkened ground,
And tried to crawl away.

History

It is noted as a folk ballad and one of the most popular of its region, and it has been played in various places, usually accompanied by accordion. The tune is described as "pleasant."

The sheet music received by Lemony Snicket is said to be the wrong tune, and accompanies "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."[1] This is noted to be Violet Baudelaire's least favorite song;[2] seeing as she also references remembering being sung "the world is quiet here", it is likely that her parents sang her this song as a young child.[3]

Contradictions by Lemony Snicket

In a letter to Professor Charley Patton, Lemony Snicket lists several issues he has with the song, claiming it to be contradictory. However, as all readers are given are his word on the matter, and he was an infant when abducted, it is unknown whether he or the song is more accurate.

  • Whotookthis

    Who took this?

    First Verse:
    • Snicket was not born on a cattle farm, but on Valorous Farms Dairy, a dairy farm that did not slaughter cattle. His family became associates with the cheesemakers after they helped with his delivery.
    • He claims that his father, Jacob Snicket, was only "known as Jake" to his longtime bridge partner, and was known as Jacob to everyone else.
    • He also says that Robber Road is located across the country from where he was born, though the name may have been chosen to emphasize the thieving nature of the chorus.
  • Verse Two:
    • Snicket says that his parents would never have indulged in silver cribs and silk diapers. He encloses a photograph taken by his stalkers as proof.
  • Verse Three:
    • Jacques Snicket insisted he was allowed to finish his tea before departure, but Snicket claims this was disputed over the years.
  • Chorus:
    • Snicket tried without success to look up the date of his kidnapping in an almanac, but was unable to verify that the moon was indeed gray.
    • He claims that he was not taken while still in diapers or still crawling. He claims he will attach a photo of himself at the age he was taken; however, the photo he attaches seems to be of another child of the same age, implying that he is incorrect about this.
    • Snicket also claims that he did return at some point; however, considering that Gifford and Ghede thought they would be able to impersonate his parents in order to abduct him,[4] which implies that he would not know what his parents looked like, this could also be incorrect.
  • Coda:
    • Snicket says this is entirely accurate, though he does not see why it is in quotations.

Trivia

  • Due to its being composed in the common meter, it can also be sung to a number of other tunes, including Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Amazing Grace, the Pokemon theme tune, the Yellow Rose of Texas, and most appropriately, another "well-known hymn of naval disaster", the Gilligan's Island theme.
  • The postpostscript reads:
P.P.S. I don't think I can be of any help as to the other ballad you mentioned.... I don't remember anybody named "Old MacDonald" at the Valorous Farms Dairy, and I don't think 'E.I.E.I.O.' refers to a secret organization of any kind.
This is an obvious yet humorous reference to "Old MacDonald Had a Farm".

Gallery

Sheet Music

Attached Photos

Appearances


Sources

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