Nigerian Scam Cycle for soprano and piano is a song cycle based on texts that found me. I began collecting the subject lines of spam and phishing e-mails after noticing the character of these often humorous and audacious messages. In the lyrics, I preserved the original capitalization and grammar. Sometimes, someone’s e-mail trash can be another’s treasure.

This cycle was premiered by Deborah Mae Hill, soprano, with the composer (Yvonne Freckmann) at the piano, in University of Louisville’s Comstock Hall on October 19. 2011.

Lyrics:

1) “Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you”

DO NOT FAIL MY REQUEST IMPORTANT URGENT RESPOND. DO NOT FAIL MY REQUEST IMPORTANT URGENT RESPOND. I NEED YOUR URGENT RESPONSE – Compliments Of The Season. Forgive my
indignation if this message comes to you.
I NEED YOUR HELP IN THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY
Mr. Williams Nana writes:
Dear Friend, This message might meet you in utmost surprise. Please I Need Your Urgent Reply.
Dear Friend, I urge you to exercise a little patience and read. Dear Friend, Although you might be apprehensive as we have never met before.
DO NOT FAIL MY REQUEST IMPORTANT URGENT RESPOND. DO NOT FAIL
MY REQUEST IMPORTANT URGENT RESPOND.
Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you.

2) “I am a staff of one”

Miss Merry
My Dearest one,
Hi, My name is Merry Justin Yak,
23 years old originated from Sudan. I decide to write to you.
GOOD DAY, GOOD DAY
My Name is Mr. Kabodialo
I am writing from Burkina Faso, West Africa.
I am a staff of one.

3) “MY HEART CHOOSING TO BLESS YOU”

MY HEART CHOOSING TO BLESS YOU.
Dear Beloved, my name is Mrs. Alisa Josif and I am suffering from ovarian…
Dear Friend, I am Mrs. TAMARA ZAHRAN, and I have been suffering from
ovarian cancer disease. BLESS YOU FROM MY HEART.
Dear One, I am Madam Aidata Hinda. I am a widow being that I lost my husband.
Please I Need Your Help.

4) “LET’S DO THIS BUSINESS WITH TRUST”

I want to transfer $10.5 Million dollars to your bank account.
VERY URGENT
Send Detail to Claim Your 750,000.00 Pounds Awarded to You By the Premier.
(READ CAREFULLY AND KEEP SECRET)
LET’S DO THIS BUSINESS WITH TRUST.
You reached first place.
Make money. Be happy.
Don’t miss out on this.
What do you think?
I will be very glad if you do assist me to relocate the sum…
VERY URGENT
Immediate transfer of $23.5 Million Dollars to you.
LET’S DO THIS BUSINESS WITH TRUST.
TRUSTING YOU and your family.

5) “Boost your ego”

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(c) copyright 2011 by Yvonne Freckmann

Additional Performance: New Voices @ CUA Art Song & Cabaret Concert on January 25, 2013 at 9 p.m. in Washington, D.C. by  Catherine Wethington, soprano and John Henderson, piano.

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