(For the musicians on the site)
After assembling his entire company, but without the Marshal present, the General addresses his officers and soldiers:
“If you know, or do not, it is the Marshal’s birthday today…”
Murmuring gently interrupted the General’s address; but he continued:
“I think it would please our esteemed Marshal if we were to regale him with song and a celebration. What say all of you?”
The officers and soldiers were all too happy to concur and voiced their unanimous approval–
“For he’s a jolly good fellow…”
Raising his hands high, the General silenced the officers and soldiers and said, “We will start with ‘The Birthday Song’ and then continue with…”
Suddenly, a scuffle broke out between a small faction of the group–the scouts and the lieutenants were engaging in “push and shove” and fisticuffs with the miners. The officers and soldiers were more resembling a rabble than a military unit when the General shouted above the noise, “ATTENTION!!!”
Silence prevailed through the chaos as the General’s stern visage could be seen by all who were present. Disappointed and even a bit angry with his company, the General demanded, “What is the meaning of this outrage?!” Pointing to an officer in the front–“Captain? Explain!”
The captain, adjusting his uniform and captain's hat, composed himself and answered the General as follows:
“Sir! As you well know, we hold you and our Marshal in the highest regard, and with the highest esteem…”
“Thank you, captain,” said the General.
“You must know that ‘The Birthday Song’ is a well known and cheerful piece and that as men of this company, we refuse to allow any kind of discord to tarnish the celebration you have so generously and wisely proposed…”
“Yes, yes…all true…,” said the General.
Continuing, the captain said, “Well… we refuse to allow anyone to muck things up as they’ll ruin everything, and as this music is in a bright key, in C major…we need to get rid of all the miners…”