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In the Garage of the Mountain King

YouTube user "nothinghereok," who lives in the UK, made a visual record of his rebuild of a Triumph four-cylinder engine. The music is "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

"In the Hall of the Mountain King" was written for Henrik Ibsen's surreal 1876 play Peer Gynt. Chronicling the guilt-wracked wanderings of its Bohemian anti-hero from the Norwegian mountains to the North African desert and back again, Peer Gynt includes a cameo appearance by Satan, a lot of binge drinking, and several dozen trolls. The play is described by one critic as infused with "[t]he irony of isolated individuals in a mass society," and by Wikipedia as "the story of a life based on procrastination and avoidance." Worlds away from Rogers and Hammerstein, that's for sure.

In the play, "Hall of the Mountain King" plays when Peer enters--you guessed it!--the main hall of the #1 troll in charge. There are lyrics in Norwegian in which various trolls discuss comparative methods for dismembering, cooking, and eating Peer--these are usually left out of modern orchestral performances for what should be obvious reasons. The composer described it as "something that so reeks of cowpats, ultra-Norwegianism, and 'to-thyself-be-enough-ness' that I can't bear to hear it."

With this video, the composition has been transformed into something that so reeks of degreaser, side-draft carburetors, and Car Lust that you can't help but love it.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

(Hat tip to Car Lust reader and commenter "Weirddave.")


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An instant Internet classic. I kept waiting for Gumby and Pokey to appear! And the ending made me LOL.

If I'm tearing a motor down, I'm not reusing the pistons, even if I cleaned them up.

Love it. Especially since I drive an MG Midget 1500, which uses that very same engine! (albeit without the dual SUs.)

Oh my goodness, I don't think I have enjoyed two minutes and twenty seconds as much in my life in a long time--I love Grieg, and I love old Triumphs, and I am a frustrated untalented mechanic who would love to be able to tear down and rebuild and old engine some day. Brilliant!

Can we have a Stag engine accompanied by Beethoven's Fifth next?

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