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A British Tar

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"A British Tar" was an aria in the operetta HMS Pinafore written by the Human lyricist-composer duo Gilbert and Sullivan. In 2375, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lieutenant Commander Worf used the song to distract the malfunctioning android Data while engaged with him in the atmosphere of the Ba'ku homeworld. The tactic proved partly successful, and Data was ultimately captured. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

Lyrics Edit

A British tar is a soaring soul,
As free as a mountain bird,
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word.
His nose should pant,
and his lip should curl,
His cheeks should flame
and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave,
and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow!

(Refrain)
His nose should pant and his lip should curl,
His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl,
His bosom should heave and his heart should glow,
And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow.

His eyes should flash with an inborn fire,
His brow with scorn be wrung;
He never should bow down to a domineering frown,
Or the tang of a tyrant tongue!

His foot should stamp,
and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl,
and his face should scowl,
His eyes should flash,
and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude.

(Refrain)
His foot should stamp, and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl, and his face should scowl;
His eyes should flash, and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude, his attitude, his attitude, his attitude.

Background Edit

Data sang the part of the character Ralph Rackstraw, Captain Picard sang the part of the Boatswain, and Worf sang the part of the Carpenter. On the second verse, Picard mistakenly said "heart" instead of "foot."

"A British Tar" was also sung by John Rhys-Davies in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Early drafts of Star Trek: Insurrection had Picard distract Data by quoting from King Lear. It was Patrick Stewart who suggested using Gilbert and Sullivan instead. (Fade In: The Writing of Star Trek: Insurrection)

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