【朗読】“The Upside-Down Mice” by Roald Dahl

本当に久しぶりの更新です。今回は、イギリスの人気作家 Roald Dahl の “The Upside-Down Mice” を朗読してみたいと思います。まずは本文に出てくるいくつかの単語の発音を確認してみます。(発音は General British です)↓

quiet /ˈkwaɪət/, multiply /ˈmʌltɪplaɪ/, 
bother /
ˈbɒðə/, mousetrap /ˈmaʊstræp/, glue /gluː/,
tremendous /trɪˈmendəs/, gracious /ˈgreɪʃəs/,
hysterical /hɪˈsterɪkəl/, obediently /əˈbiːdiəntli/,
firmly /ˈfɜːmli/

‘obediently’ の ‘-tly’ (/-tli/) の部分は側面開放(lateral release)で発音しましょう。

では、本文を朗読してみます。(発音は General British です。)↓

Once upon a time there lived an old man of 87 whose name was Labon. All his life he had been a quiet and peaceful person. He was very poor and very happy.

When Labon discovered that he had mice in his house, it did not bother him much at first. But the mice multiplied. They began to bother him. They kept on multiplying and finally there came a time when even he could stand no longer.

“This is too much,” he said. “This really is going a bit too far.” He hobbled out of the house down the road to a shop where he bought some mousetraps, a piece of cheese and some glue.

When he got home, he put the glue on the underneath of the mousetraps and stuck them to the ceiling. Then he baited them carefully with pieces of cheese and set them to go off.

That night when the mice came out of their holes and saw the mousetraps on the ceiling, they thought it was a tremendous joke. They walked around on the floor, nudging each other and pointing up with their front paws and roaring with laughter. After all, it was pretty silly, mousetraps on the ceiling.

When Labon came down the next morning and saw that there were no mice caught in the traps, he smiled but said nothing.

He took a chair and put glue on the bottom of its legs and stuck it upside-down to the ceiling, near the mousetraps. He did the same with the table, the television set and the lamp. He took everything that was on the floor and stuck it upside-down on the ceiling. He even put a little carpet up there.

The next night when the mice came out of their holes they were still joking and laughing about what they had seen the night before. But now, when they looked up at the ceiling, they stopped laughing very suddenly.

“Good gracious me!” cried one. “Look up there! There’s the floor!”

“Heavens above!” shouted another. “We must be standing on the ceiling!”

“I’m beginning to feel a little giddy,” said another.

“All the blood’s going to my head,” said another.

“This is terrible!” said a very senior mouse with long whiskers. “This is really terrible! We must do something about it at once!”

“I shall faint if I have to stand on my head any longer!” shouted a young mouse.

“Me too!”

“I can’t stand it!”

“Save us! Do something, somebody, quick!”

They were getting hysterical now. “I know what we’ll do,” said the very senior mouse. “We’ll all stand on our heads, then we’ll be the right way up.”

Obediently, they all stood on their heads, and after a long time, one by one they fainted from a rush of blood to their brains.

When Labon came down the next morning the floor was littered with mice. Quickly he gathered them up and popped them all in a basket.

So the thing to remember is this: whenever the world seems to be terribly upside-down, make sure you keep your feet firmly on the ground.

お話しの朗読は本当に難しいですね。何度やっても満足できることがありませんが、練習あるのみですね。

——————

Today’s my singing

今回の歌は ‘Tonight Is So Right For Love’ という古い歌に挑戦です。General American のような rhotic accent で発音する人であっても、歌うときは ‘appear’, ‘here’, ‘near’, ‘door’, ‘for’, ‘more’ などの語中の ‘r’ を発音しない(少なくとも強く発音しない)ようにするのがポイントと言えるでしょう。

Hold me tight
The moon is so bright
Tonight is so right for love

Now’s the time
To say
 you’ll be mine
Tonight is so right for love

One by one the stars appear
They twinkle in your eyes
Who’d believe that we’d be here
So near to paradise

This could be the kiss
To unlock heaven’s door
That magic hour of bliss
That we both waited for
I love you more and more

Oh, we could fly
Right up to the sky
The things that we’ve been dreamin’ of
And how real they would seem
A midsummer night’s dream
Can’t you see that tonight’s so right for love

And how real they would seem
A midsummer night’s dream
Can’t you see that tonight’s so right for love

Hold me tight
The moon’s so bright
Tonight is so right for love

(*発音矯正を望まれる歌手・俳優、また、英語教師などの英語を使うお仕事をされている方は、ホームページをご覧の上メールにてお気軽にご相談ください。)

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