The Beggars Opera (ca. 1727) provides the basis for Bertolt Brechts play of the late 1920s, The Threepenny Opera, which, in the US, was regurgitated in the 1960s. To appreciate the full impact of the play, some historical background is necessary. Fortunately, this publication provides just that. The play is a satire on Italian opera as well as on the government at that time. The lyrics are all sung to the melodies of traditional ditties of the day. Follow this reading with one of Bertolt Brechts The Threepenny Opera.