Lord of the Flies: The Musical

Of the books we read in English class this year, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, affected me the most. It did not affect me as much this year, however, as it did when I read it in eighth grade. The book completely changed my outlook on humanity.

When I first picked up the book, I was a naïve and impressionable youth attending a Catholic school where the graduating class had known each other for years and all hated each other. If I had any fault, it was trusting people too much; I expected everyone to be naturally inclined towards good because God created them. They continually proved me wrong.

Lord of the Flies was a revelation to me. It was the first truly realistic book I had ever read. Fantasies are nice, but if the people in a fantasy are not people, then everything falls apart; Lord of the Flies gave me a world where the characters truly human. It also helped me to realize that though people are essentially good because of their creation, they are not inclined to good; rather, when left to their own devices, people almost always resort to chaos and destruction. Man can completely trust God, but he cannot completely trust humanity.

The realism (and even cynicism) that pervade Lord of the Flies inspired my final project: Lord of the Flies as a musical. Since musicals are inclined towards happiness and fantasy, I thought it would be interesting to combine the two. Unfortunately, the time limits of my presentation prevented me from writing the entire story, so I settled with a summarization of the beginning of the book. I still consider the project satisfactory.

Note: I performed this during our English final presentations with a piano, then a couple more times by request at parties.

Lord of the Flies: A Musical Adventure
Demo Lyrics

1. The Lord of the Flies (I Love it When You Call Me Big Poppa)
(Wicked crashing dissonant chords on a heavy beat accompanied by a rap)
Lord of the Flies
Long, long, long have I waited for this
Mankind has betrayed the world to me with a kiss

The Cold War gets hot from the East to the West
And JFK goes down with a steak knife in his chest
Fat Man goes to Moscow, spills the blood of the masses
Little Boy burns Buckingham Palace to ashes

The people think they know what they want
They think that they wanna be free
But if they wanna get what they want
They gotta sell their souls to me

And now the British think they’re gonna save their boys
But all they’re doin’s givin’ me a few more toys.
I’ll kill their pilot, crash their plane into the ground
And it’ll be a month before they are found.
They’ll try to work together under Daddy’s rules
But what they don’t know is that their daddies are fools
They’ll turn on each other and make themselves bleed
And before it’s all over they’ll be worshiping me.

The people think they know what they want
They think that they wanna be free
But if they wanna get what they want
They gotta sell their souls to me

2. The Sound of the Shell (Meeting #1)
(Collegial, swinging tune, like Toy Story’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”)
Ralph
I don’t know any of you
But I know that we’re gonna be rescued
Because my dad’s in the Navy
And he’s gonna save me
And we could be back home in a week or two, but
Until then, we better become friends, ‘cause
With all of us here
We’ve got nothin’ to fear, so
My name’s Ralph
Nothing rhymes with Ralph…
But, let’s go in a circle and introduce ourselves

Jack
My name’s Jack
I’m the head of the pack, and
These are my choirboys:
Maurice Robert Harold Henry Bill and then there are

Roger
(Stamping both hands on the piano indiscriminately)
I’MMMMMMM…..ROGERRRRRRR!!!!!

Simon
(Light, high chords fading out)
My-
My name-
My name is-
My name is Simon! Simon! Simon! Simon! Si…
(Short dissonant chords as he falls down)

Ralph
What a weirdo. Well buddy, now it’s your turn.

Piggy
(Goofy, awkward melody)
Hi, my name is Piggy
But please don’t call me Piggy
My real name is- (piano interrupts him)

I am very smart
But I can’t do work
On account of my-
Asthma!

(Piano gets noisy)
Please stop talking!
I am speaking!

Hey, Ralph! Let’s make the conch
Like raising hands in school!
So I can talk, yeah that would be
Really, really cool!

Ralph
Ok, that works.

Jack
Yeah.

Piggy
(Goofy, awkward melody)
Now, who
Among the grownups knows our current location?
As they
Only know of our final destination!
And why-
[Cough]
Sorry. That was on account of my asthma.

Jack
Sucks to your ass-mar!

(The next section has dueling call and response choruses like in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Piggy has the high chord, Jack the low.)
Piggy
I’ve got the conch!

Jack
Sucks to your ass-mar!

Piggy
I’ve got the conch!

Jack
Sucks to your-

Piggy
Conch!

Jack
Ass-mar!

Piggy
Conch!

Jack
Ass-mar!

Both
Conch! Ass-mar-assconchassmarconch…

Ralph
Hey! Shut up!
Seems like we ought to have a chief to decide things. Who wants it?

Jack
I.

Ralph
And why you?

Jack
If I am elected Chief
I will make sure we get some beef
And if there are no cows around
We’ll taste the meat that can be found

And…

(Piano taps high C Sharp in rhythm with the lyrics)
I can sing C Sharp!
I can sing C Sharp!
I’m a pimp ‘cause I can hit
That blasted note, C Sharp!

Ceeeeeeee Shaaaaarp!
Ceeeeeeee Shaaaaarp!
Waaaaah!

Ralph
…Right. So, who wants Jack to be Chief?
(Quiet chords)
Who wants me to be chief?
(Loud chords)
Well then, I guess I’m chief.

3. The Island
Ralph
Well, my first act as chief is to get a team together to climb that mountain. We need to scout this place out. See what it is, what we can do on it. It’ll be me, Jack, and Simon.

Piggy
I want to go-

All
NO!

Ralph
Well, let’s see what’s here.

All
Wacco! Wizard! Smashing!

(Lovely, idyllic with rising and falling melodies accompany their climb up the mountain.)

(Call and response)
Ralph
This will be a good island

Jack
This will be a good island

Ralph
We can build a signal fire here

Jack
We can build a smashing fortress there

Ralph
We can eat fruit anytime

Jack
We can go hunting anytime

Ralph
We can build some shelters if it rains

Jack
We can wait for pigs to run past here

All
Oh, this can be
A very grand place
Like the Coral Island
Or the Swallows and the Amazons!

Wacco! Wizard! Smashing!

(Frantic operatic music getting more dissonant as he continues)
Jack
Oh my God, it’s a pig!
What shall I do? What shall I do?
Oh my God, it’s running away!
What shall I do? What shall I do?
I’ll rip its guts out next time!
That’s what I’ll do! That’s what I’ll do!
I’ll kill every pig that crosses my path!
That’s what I’ll do! That’s what I’ll do!

4. Interlude
(The wicked dissonant and percussive beat returns)
Lord of the Flies
So you think you can stop me?
So you think you can chug along?
Your conches and your chiefs and your boys with sticks
Ain’t gonna mean nothin’ ‘gainst my bag of tricks!
You’ll see a ship and you’ll think I’ve been fair
But how they gonna see you if your fire’s not there?
Your hunters are gonna go out of control
Then I’ll drink your fire and I’ll eat your soul!
Long, long, long have I waited for this
Give it up Ralph, lean over and give me a kiss.

Explore posts in the same categories: Literature, Music, Schoolwork

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