Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Sound of Pangloss

Scene I. The castle in Thunder-ten-tronkch. It is a beautiful castle, perhaps the best of all possible castles. It sits on a hill (one of the best) which nestles between many other hills (others among the best) which are bright and green and beautiful. CANDIDE comes rushing up a hill, singing exuberantly:

CANDIDE: The hills are alive
    With the sound of Pangloss!
    The words that he says
    Ring so loud and clear.
    The hills fill my heart
    With the sound of Pangloss!
    Those best of all possible sounds are dear.

    He tells me that cardinals are red
    So they'll match the sky
    As they fly overhead.
    He tells me that this is the best of all worlds --
    Yes, that's what he said!
    The best of all fates
    Is to be the Baron
    Whose home I share;
    And then, after that,
    Is to be Lady Cunegonde Fair!

    My life is sublime
    Thanks to wise old Pangloss.
    His knowledge of life
    Hasn't any hitch!
    This best of all worlds
    Plus the sound of Pangloss --
    They make my life rich!


Thus begins the very best musical I ever wrote (with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein).

I wrote this for an assignment in AP English in High School, and I see that it got an A++. I am quite proud of it. The opening scene, above, is the best part; though I am also pleased with the song I wrote for Cunegonde (sung to the tune of "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria"):

CUNEGONDE: I am a very popular young lady.
    Loved by many; two, to be exact.
    I am a very popular young lady.
    Shared by two:
    A bishop and Jew,
    That's fact!
    Don't believe I don't find you attractive,
    Don't believe I think you're less than best.
    But I am in awful straits!
    This is the worst of all fates!
    To be loved by two with so much zest!
    Yes, I am a very popular young lady!
    I'd go with you, if only for some rest!

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