Jazz Songs



Betty Roe

Words by:

  1. Euphonium Dance - Jaqueline Froom
  2. Madam and the Minister - Langston Hughes

German translations by Stefan de Haan.

Date of composition:



Yorke Edition (1972) YE0024


Soprano and Double Bass


 1. 01:30, 2. 02:30

Vocal Range(s):

 A3 to F5




The first of Roe's settings for voice and double bass.  Both songs inspired additional compositions.  Madam and the Minister led to Madam Songs and Madam's Three Callers.  Euphonium Dance lead to London Fantasies.

Euphonium Dance

A delightful short song.  The lyric imagines a range of orchestral instruments as the euphonium dance with them around London landmarks, then waddles "off down to St James".

Madam and the Minister

One of Roe's most enduring songs with several performances on YouTube.  Having been reminded by the Minister that she has not been to church since she was baptised, Madam concludes that she "ain't in no mood for sin today."

Roe arranged Madam and the Minister for voice and piano for a cabaret performance by Penny Mackay (Soprano) and Robin Bowman (Piano).  This arrangement is unpublished.

More songs for voice and double bass;

  • Cat and Mouse
  • London Fantasies


Roe's compositions for Soprano and Double Bass originated with a request from David Heyes, for the publisher Yorke Edition, a specialist publisher of music for Double Bass.

The first was the two Jazz Songs, described by Making Music as "Real fun for both the soprano and the double bass... a splendid light hearted item for a school concert"

The publisher rates the Double Bass parts of Jazz Songs and Cat and Mouse as Grade 1-3.  However, both sets require an accomplished singer with some strong low notes and the ability to bring out the humour in the songs.

In Betty Roe's archive there is also an unpublished manuscript of an arrangement of The Adventures of Isabel  annotated by David Heyes.