Tuesday 1 July 2014

The Modern Hamlet Monologue, Scene ii: "The Play's a Sting"

POST #48
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Major General's Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance". 
LYRICS: modified from W. Shakespeare "Hamlet (Prince of Denmark)"; the soliloquy "O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I"
Notes to the Lyrics: The lines sung by MG Stanley and by the Chorus generally exhibit the 3-syllable rhyming which has come to characterize the original and parodies of the "Major General's Song". In the present circumstance, neither the MG or I was able to convince the Prince of Denmark to use a rhyming convention adopted by British naval officers several centuries later; his lines here have only single-syllable rhyming.
Parody Composed: Giorgio Coniglio, April 2013, a sequel to the song, "Modern Major General" posted here in May 2014.   


(to the tune of "TheMajor-General's Song") 

(Maj. Gen. Stanley)
As proudly demonstrated in my proof-of-concept parody*,
Iambic harmonizing with Will Shakespeare’s lines has meritry
For modern adaptations, costumed uniformly or bespoke,
        D                                       A7                D  
And at your local bar for Open-Mike or tokey karaok’.

     D7                                                          Gm
To cite just one example from a spectacle eponymous,
      F7                                                        Bb 
Protagonizing recitation of his pond’rings ominous         
D7                                                                                  Gm 
Gives Hamlet back-row status, when upstaged by old Polonius 
           Eb7                                                                 D7 
Who’s scatting catchy melodies by Brubeck and Thelonious.

So now I am alone. O what a rogue and peasant slave I am !
Is it not monstrous that this player here got Heckie in a jam ?
He feigns tears in his eyes, a broken voice and passioned sympathy,   
        D                                               A7                  D               
Full-knowing that she’s going to pursue him for paternity.

      D7                                                                   Gm                   
Yet I, unpregnant of my cause, a muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
F7                                                                                           Bb 
And I say nothing when my throat is burned or when my nose is tweaked;    
   D7                                                            Gm 
Amazed indeed the very faculties of Eyes and ENT –   
  Eb7                                                                 D7 
I protest not defeat of most dear life and royal property.

I, prompted to revenge with both the motive and my passion’s cues
Should far out-kvetch the actor cleaving ears with his Hecuba-blues,
And so I fall a-cursing, but keep watch for ghost-like devils loose – 
     D                                                       A7                      D 
Unpack my heart with words about the square of the hypotenuse !

        D7                                                                       Gm 
I’ve heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play have been soul-struck 
     F7                                                                           Bb       
By very cunning scenes, so un-tongued malefactions get unstuck;
      D7                                                                                   Gm 
I’ll have these players voice their prose and check after the mustering
    Eb7                                                                                  D7 
If C. should blench or leave to pee on viewing bros’ ghost-bustering.

       G                   D7                      G            D7                  
Ear-poison rerun in our skit might irritate a kingly snit:
       G                           C                      G        D7      G   
The play’s a sting wherein we’ll finger Claudius the Illegit.

(MajGen Stanley)
The seating for such theatre-shorts, and photo-ops we should confirm,
With front-row tickets organized by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
         G                  D7                    G                          D7               
With such a crazy family I’ll have grounds more relative than bunk;
        G                                C                      G                D7     G    
The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of my sleazy Unc.

       G                   D7                      G            D7                  
Ear-poison rerun in our skit might irritate a kingly snit:
       G                           C                      G        D7      G   
The play’s a sting wherein we’ll finger Claudius the Illegit.

(MajGen Stanley)
      G                   D7                         G           D7       
Let Branagh vocalize whole-hog, in digital or analog,
     G                           C                      G        D7      G  
My Sing-Along Soliloquy’s the Modern Hamlet Monologue. 

           G                        D7                                  G                       D7       
We’ve kissed the lips of Prince and Frog **, and now it's posted on a blog,
      G                       C                                      G           D7       G  
"O! What a peasant slave and rogue.."  -  the Modern Hamlet Monologue.

The Modern Hamlet Monologueposted on this site May 2014.

**A planned but unproduced episode of the Muppet Show was entitled “Kermit, Prince of Denmark”.

PlayingNotes: Eb7 is easily fingered by using the barred version of D7, up the neck 1 position.

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