Morse Episode ‘Second Time Around’: Music, Art and Literary References.

Hello my fellow Morsonians and welcome to another post in the series about the art, music and literary references used in Morse episodes.

This is an interesting episode in relation to the Endeavour series. It’s mentioned in this episode that Morse and Chief Inspector Dawson, who was a Detective Sergeant at the same time as Morse, were debating delegates at a conference in Blackpool in 1969. The next series of Endeavour, series four, is to be set in 1968. This should mean that we get to meet Dawson, who was a Detective Sergeant in Oxford in 1969, and Charlie Hillian who Morse mentions was Chief Inspector in Oxford at that time, very soon in the series.

If Russell Lewis, the writer and creator of the Endeavour series, adheres to the timeline laid out in the Inspector Morse series he may not make them fully fledged characters but may simply mention them in the passing. Or, one or both characters may have a walk on role during the fourth or fifth series.

To read my review of this episode which includes things like pub locations, click here. I have of course added the information here to the review which was written some years ago.

Once I have finished with each series I will post a downloadable excel sheet for each category; music, art and literary references. This would allow everyone who downloads said excel sheets to print them off for personal use. Hopefully, having these print outs next to you while you watch the episode will be of help in identifying your favourite pieces of music from all three series. In the same vein the downloadable excel sheets will I hope help in your enjoyment and appreciation of the art and literary references used in all three series.

Of course I am not infallible (I know I was shocked to realise that trait in myself😉 ) so if you should spot an error or omission then please let me know and I will update my post with the new information.

The time of the pieces of music et cetera are based on the British DVD versions of the shows. However, the times shown should not be to dissimilar from other countries versions or should be easy to pinpoint what I am referring to and when.

Second Time Around. Series 5, Episode 1.

Chronologically this is episode 16.



While Lewis is waiting for Dawson at the railway station a quartet are playing Roman Hoffstetter‘s (1742 – 1815) String Quartet in F major.


IIn Morse’s house, while he reads through the diary extract supposedly from the killer, we hear a an aria, Senza Mamma, from Giacomo Puccini’s (1858 – 1924) opera Suor Angelica.


We hear the above piece again while watching a montage of scenes; Lewis visiting the Mitchell house, Morse interviewing Barbara Redpath (at The Trout Inn) and then we are back at Morse’s house when he and Lewis are washing up.


We again hear from Puccini’s opera Suor Angelica while Morse is working late at the police station.


Again an extract from the afore mentioned opera while Morse sits thinking at home and then decides to visit Walter Majors. The music then continues through to further scenes.

If you enjoy all the music from the Morse series I have collected all the pieces I have identified thus far and have created playlists on YouTube. On how to access these playlists please read the relevant post by clicking here.

Or click here to my Youtube channel where you will find the music of Morse and Endeavour contained in playlists.

Literary References.


Morse and Lewis are leaving the hospital after seeing the pathologist. Lewis quotes the proverb, ‘many hands make light work‘. This proverb like so many others were collected by John Heywood and contextualized in his work The Proverbs and Epigrams of John Heywood (1562).

In the same scene Morse quotes the antonym to the above proverb, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’. This proverb most likely dates back to at least the late medieval period. In 1575, it was cited by the English poet George Gascoigne, (1535 – 1577) who noted that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ was a common proverb.

Again in the same scene Morse says ‘procrastination is the thief of time‘. This is from a poem by Edward Young titled ‘Night Thoughts‘.

Be wise to-day; ’tis madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push’d out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.


Morse catches Majors going through Hillian’s papers. Majors turns to Morse and says “an inspector calls‘. This is a reference to An Inspector Calls a play written by English dramatist J. B. Priestley.


In the previous Morse episode, Masonic Mysteries, Chief Superintendent Strange’s office had a painting of Queen Elizabeth II on the wall behind his desk.

In this episode we are back to the paintings of sailing ships as has been shown in some previous episodes.

All other paintings in the episode are generic amateur paintings.

Thank you all for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed it. Up next to get the art, music and literary references work done will be Fat Chance.

Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

4 thoughts

  1. Thank you for this it is by far my favourite episode! it is so moving when Dawson says it should of been me that found her she should have been held, and Morse replies maybe she was.

  2. Hi: Thanks for the information. I just saw the episode Second Time Around. I would like to know the name of the Choral piece that Morse is singing. It sounds familiar, as I was in local choirs when I was young.

  3. Morse disparages Madame butterfly when he tells lewis never interrupt him when he is booking opera tickets.
    I am also sure that in some episodes he also sneers at Puccini when Lewis says he likes some arias in the car and tells him to listen to Wagner etc. Yet in the ghost in the machine he says he likes Puccini and went to see Tosca. what was his attitude to Puccini?

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