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"I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" was a satirical song from the operetta The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. It depicted a military leader, a major general who was well-educated in every field except the ones that a military leader ought to be knowledgeable about.

Una Chin-Riley considered the song to be part of her "freaky" to be kept to herself, but in 2254 nonetheless sang part of the song when she was stuck in a turbolift with Spock. After a short pause, Spock continued with two slightly paraphrased lines of the responding chorus, before being interrupted by Lieutenant Amin's rescue. Una then ordered Spock to forget the incident. (ST: "Q&A")

In 2368, Beverly Crusher convinced a reluctant Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge to attempt the Major-General's song. However, La Forge called it "silly" and could only bring himself to sing the first two lines. Despite this, Crusher was impressed with his performance despite it being a little off pitch, saying she could take care of this. She cast La Forge in the general's role over his objections. (TNG: "Disaster")

Lyrics (excerpt)

I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

Chorus, as paraphrased by Spock:

In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
you are the very model of a modern Major-General.

Appendices

Background

The actual line in the chorus is "In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral/ He is the very model of a modern Major-General."

The Major-General's song was included in "Q&A" because Rebecca Romijn, who plays Number One, enjoys singing Gilbert and Sullivan songs. (Inside Short Treks: How Rebecca Romijn Helped Sneak Gilbert and Sullivan into Star Trek at CBS All Access)

External link

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