Lucky Number Seven (Excuse): It’s a Mystery to Me

Let’s switch things up… usually I explain myself (somewhat) and then play some music.  This time, play first… talk later.

Its a Mystery to Me

(from the musical It’s a Mystery to Me)

 

It’s a mystery to me

How we just cannot see

It’s a mystery to me

 

It’s a mystery so great

Act before it’s too late

It’s a mystery so great

 

Think of all that we have-

Water, land, air and plants-

We’ve been all called to care for these things

For our daughters and sons

For the ones yet to come

Wonder what kind of world they’ll inherit?

 

There’s no mystery at all

We must all heed the call

There’s no mystery at all

 

There’s no mystery for you

You know what you must do

For our dream to come true.

 

(instrumental bridge)

 

Think of all that we have-

Water, land, air and plants-

We’ve been all called to care for these things

For our daughters and sons

For the ones yet to come

Wonder what kind of world they’ll inherit?

 

There’s no mystery at all

We must all heed the call

There’s no mystery at all

 

There’s no mystery for you

You know what you must do

Help our dream to come true.

 

 

 

 

In case you wondered… 

First, during this decade of teaching music, it wasn’t just the self-composed musicals which occupied my time at school.  During most of the period we usually had two ongoing choirs, a large volunteer group (sometimes called Coda) and an auditioned ensemble (named Syncopation).  We were also prepared and presented two divisional musical productions per year and, while the ones we (Jane and I) created were performed among these, we were certainly not the sole (or even principal) source of material for shows.   Of course the “bread and butter” of my position was providing classroom music instruction throughout the school and, because that percentage of  time fell just shy of 100% , I also acted as the school’s “computer contact” (a gas-like position which filled any available void).  Throw in family (immediate and extended) life, some university courses and church involvement and I had little problem occupying my time.   

Second… ideas for musicals?  It is probably apparent that my fondness for history and some consideration of student interests and musical abilities factored in my  choices.  Although I had been ruminating about the notions leading to the writing of It’s a Mystery to Me longer than the rest (basically for almost ten years), the show actually became my final kick at writing a student musical.

It’s a Mystery to Me

For this one, I chose to combine a look at ecological responsibility with my fondness for mysteries and detective fiction (yes, blame Jim Rockford).  The plotline centres a case taken on by a detective (Homes) and his sidekick (Dr. Watt)… you’re probably sensing parody, right?

The plot goes something like this…

Mr. (or Ms.- depending on casting) Homes is the owner of the Homes Sweet Homes Detective Agency.  A new client, Ms. Woo, engages the investigator and his assistant, Dr. Watt, to discover the creator of pollution in the town.

Their investigations take them to several local “scenes of the crime” where pollution has been reported.  Homes believes that he has finally discovered the culprit only to find that the real perpetrator is much close to “home(s)” that he would care to admit.

from the script synopsis

The show (featuring the primary division) gave us the opportunity to

  • write a musical that wasn’t on a Christmas theme
  • borrow our secretary’s son’s electric car for Homes to drive around on stage (cool, eh)
  • visit the crime scenes by grade (eg. grade one children dressed a fish) and write a scene-appropropiate song for each ie. A Little Litter, Oceans, Rivers, Lakes and Streams, Breathe, Why Is It? and It’s Not My Fault (Homes’ theme)
  • indulge my fondness for mysteries
  • discuss care for the environment and
  • produce a surprise ending (move over, Agatha Christie)… Homes is himself responsible for the “crimes” in this tale (spoiler alert!) 

 

Two other in case you wondereds

1.  Why was this my final self-composed musical? 

I’ll explain that one in an upcoming rant…

2. Why haven’t you sung the songs you’ve posted or uploaded portions of the actual productions?

Good question… the answer in several parts.

  • I can’t sing (at least not especially well)… a real handicap for a vocal music teacher (but you know the old saying… those who can’t, teach)
  • I don’t have a particularly good mike/connection into the computer for recording voice (time may solve this one)
  • I’ve tried in these posts to avoid anything questionable regarding privacy issues… why I haven’t usually mentioned others by name (unless specifically obtaining their consent to do so)… and why I wouldn’t post video clips without similar consent (difficult to obtain after the passage of  time) and
  • frankly, while we did videotape all these shows over the years, the taping was always an afterthought so that the students could see themselves on stage… the quality of the equipment and recorded sound left something to be desired 

 

That said I’m going to try to finish this post with several audio clips from this show (with a pre-emptive “excuse the sound quality”).  I need to migrate the sound from the source (VHS tape) to decrepit VHS machine to the computer, convert to mp3 and upload… so… back in a while… oh, and, by the way, happy spring (officially).

Think spring.

Think of trying to get about 120 primary-aged children to snap fingers in time… one of the joys of primary productions… here’s It’s a Mystery
  
Take some water drops, add fish and you get Oceans, Rivers, Lakes and Streams
 
         
    
  
And the lyrics…
 

 

 

 

Oceans, Rivers, Lakes and Streams

 

Oceans, rivers, lakes and streams

Source of life on earth

Ever flowing, ever new

Do you know our worth?

 

We can help your plants to grow

By us seeds can thrive

Birds and mammals- people

Need water to survive

 

Yet you dump your many wastes

And you waste our wealth

Forgetting in the end

Our health is your own health

 

Oceans, rivers, lakes and streams

Source of life on earth

Ever flowing, ever new

Do you know our worth?

 

And now, Homes gets put in his (in this case, her) place…

 

 

It’s Not My Fault

 

(Homes-each time) It is not my fault

What about the litter?

-It is not my fault

The poison in the stream?

-It is not my fault

Your car belches pollution

-It is not my fault.

 

-It is not my fault

Why make so much garbage?

-It is not my fault

Why can’t you even see-

-It is not my fault

See the harm you’re doing?

-It is not my fault.

 

(bridge- entire cast dances)

 

-It is not my fault

But we’ve all just seen it

-It is not my fault

And they (indicate audience) have seen it too

-It is not my fault

(Watt) Homes, you must admit it!

-It is not my fault!

 

-It is not my fault…

(silence, entire cast stares accusingly, arms crossed etc.)

-It is not my fault…

(silence)

-It is not my fault

(silence)

-It is not my fault!

 

…well just a little my fault

…maybe it is my fault

…guess it is my fault!

 

And I guess it’s time to  wrap up this post… and our parade of musicals.  Next time… we’ll rant and we’ll roar…

 

 

 

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