The Old Person of Cassel, [1905-1909]. Margaret Ruthven Lang, 1867-1972. Holograph in pen. A. P. Schmidt Collection, box 148, folder 11. Music Division, Library of Congress
Margaret Ruthven Lang's father often conducted his daughter's works at his choral concerts. In 1890, his Apollo Club premiered her Jumblies, op. 5, an ambitious part-song on a humorous text by Edward Lear (1812-88) scored for men's chorus, baritone solo, and two pianos. She set at least eight of Lear's nonsense rhymes to music.
In her SATB [soprano, alto, tenor, bass] setting with piano accompaniment of Lear's The Old Person of Cassel (1905), she humorously interjects numerous "ha, ha," responses to each line of text. The nose of the old person of Cassel was "finished off in a tassel," which Lang paints with a stuttering musical figure that sounds like a stifled sneeze.