Scene 5

Full ScriptsScene 1 | Scene 2 | Scene 3 | Scene 4 | Scene 5 | Scene 6 | Scene 7 | Scene 8

1972 1981 2000 2013
FASTRADA
Terrible. A son speaking against his very own father that way. I’d rather be drawn and quartered than think that I was in anyway responsible for what happened next. After all, I’m just an ordinary housewife and mother, just like all you housewives and mothers out there. Word had come to me that Pippin was holding secret meetings… of a treasonous nature.

MAN 1
Revolution.

MAN 2
Revolution.

MAN 3
Revolution.

MAN 4
Follow Pippin!

MAN 5
We pledge to stand by Pippin… forever!

ALL
Forever!
PIPPIN
Now gentleman, first let me say that I admire the dedication and the courage which has brought you all here this evening.

ALL
Forever!

PIPPIN
Thank you. Second, let me be honest about some of the dangers which may lie ahead. If during this insurrection any one of us is caught, the king’s vengeance will be swift and terrible. You will undoubtedly be tortured, broken on the wheel, cruelly maimed, even dismembered. But I am sure that the prospect of these terrible agonies will not deter you in joining me in…
(Realizing they all left.)
They may appear frightened now, but once the deed is done, once action against the king is taken, they will flock to my side… maybe.

FASTRADA and LEWIS
Oh!

LEWIS
Mama if Pippin kills father…

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
But, if father discovered Pippin’s plot and executes him?

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
Mama, no matter what happens, I’ll move up…

FASTRADA
Yes, darling.
Back in my younger days, if things were going wrong
I Might Sulk, I might pout
Now I’ve learned if I just pitch in and do what’s right
Things will always work out
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could think before we strike
We all would be a little closer to our heart’s desire
In fear of my beloved husband’s life, I brought Pippin’s activities to his attention. Pippin is disloyal to you, my lord.

CHARLES
Every son is disloyal to his father at one time or another, my lady.

FASTRADA
But Lewis loves you, my lord.

CHARLES
Lewis is an asshole, my lady.

FASTRADA
Despite this rejection, I took upon my tiny shoulders the task of effecting a rapprochement between two men whom I felt… deeply.
Lord knows we’ve seen enough troubles already,
We’ve had our fill of grey skies
So put down the vinegar, take up the honey jar
You’ll catch many more flies
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could think before we strike
We all would be a little closer
To the world we’d like
My lord?

CHARLES
Yes, my lady?

FASTRADA
Will you be praying at Arles next month?

CHARLES
No, I don’t think so.

FASTRADA
Oh, but my lord, you always feel so much better after your yearly prayer.

CHARLES
Yes I do, don’t I?

FASTRADA
I sought out Pippin… Your father loves you, Pippin.

PIPPIN
Freedom and dignity for all men is more important than the love between one father and one son.

FASTRADA
Still, your name will be on his lips when he prays… at Arles… next month.

PIPPIN
He prays at Arles next month?

FASTRADA
Alone and unguarded.

PIPPIN
Alone and unguarded. What date?

FASTRADA
The 15th.

PIPPIN
What time?

FASTRADA
When the cock crows. Pippin, Pippin, I beg you to bring this estrangement to an end.

PIPPIN
I intend to.

FASTRADA
May I tell your father of this resolve?

PIPPIN
No, no, no, no. Let it be a surprise.

FASTRADA
A surprise. Isn’t that sweet? Your intentions make me very happy.

PIPPIN
You’ve been a great help to me, Fastrada.

FASTRADA
Oh, what sweeter words could a mother hear?
I know the parables told in the holy book
I keep close on my shelf
God’s wisdom teaches me when I help others, I’m
Really helping myself
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.

It later occurred to me that Pippin might be planning to harm my Charles. I therefore decided to warn him…

CHARLES
Well, I’m off to Arles to pray.

FASTRADA
Goodbye, my lord… Oh dear. In the hustle and bustle of my lord’s departure I completely forgot to warn him. Oh my, what a busy day. Events move so swiftly it’s hard for a simple woman like me to keep up. But something tells me that one day… soon… I will be able to say what every mother wants to say… “My son, the King.”
and if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

After all, I’m just an ordinary housewife and mother, just like all you ordinary housewives and mothers out there.
(Scene change.)

LEADING PLAYER
Intrigue. Plots to bring disaster.
The chapel at Arles.

CHARLES
It’s alright father, you may come in.

PIPPIN
I’m sorry to disturb you, my son. I know you like to pray alone.

CHARLES
You know who I am, Father?

PIPPIN
Of course, my son.

CHARLES
You want something from me perhaps. A favor. Advancement?

No.

CHARLES
Then what, Father?

PIPPIN
I’ve come to be with you for one moment… to touch you… to look in in your eyes.

CHARLES
And what do you see?

PIPPIN
Two eyes… a little cloudy with age… a sunset.

CHARLES
What else?

PIPPIN
The death of thousands. The slavery of more. Terror and bloodshed.

CHARLES
You see all that in my eyes?

PIPPIN
Do you deny it?

CHARLES
Deny it? I’m proud of it. I brought order out of chaos. If slavery, blood, and death are part of that order, so be it.

PIPPIN
But those are words from the past. Time has passed you by, my son.

CHARLES
And your time has come, my son.

PIPPIN
Yes, father.

CHARLES
It’s easy from where you stand to judge the things that I have done. But when I marched the dust of the road was in my nose and when I fought the the blood of the enemy was in my eyes. I sank in the mud on the shores of the Volga. I drowned two legions in the Vistula. Why eagles, ospreys, even vultures had a better view. From the heights all things are very clear. Birds float on the wind. But, by God, I blew my breath across a continent and shaped an empire with it. Now if you have no further business with me, go and leave me to my prayers.

PIPPIN
What do you pray for father?

CHARLES
Strength and may God give you the same.
(PIPPIN stabs him.)
PIPPIN
Why won’t my hands stop shaking
When all the earth is still
When ancient ghosts are waking
So many steps need taking
So many plans need making
I think I will
I think I will

PLAYERS
Your majesty. King Pippin. Your majesty. Your Highness. King Pippin.

PIPPIN
King Pippin?

Morning glow, morning glow
Starts to glimmer when you know
Winds of change are set to blow
And sweep this whole land through
Morning glow is long past due

Morning glow fill the earth
Come and shine for all your worth
We’ll be present at the birth
Of old faith looking new
Morning Glow is long past due

ALL
Oh, morning glow, I’d like to help you grow

PIPPIN
We should have started long ago

ALL
So, morning glow all day long
While we sing tomorrow’s song
Never knew we could be so strong
But now it’s very clear

PIPPIN
Morning glow is almost here
Morning glow by your light
We can make the new day bright
And the phantoms of the night
Will fade into the past
Morning glow is here

ALL
At last!

LEADING PLAYER
Long live the King.

PLAYERS
Long live the King.

PIPPIN
I think it’s a little big.

LEADING PLAYER
Well, a little tissue paper ought to fix that right up. King Pippin, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, is prepared to hear petitions.
PIPPIN
Come ahead. You will all be dealt with fairly. My invitation extends to high and low alike.

BEGGAR
Sire, I am a poor man.

PIPPIN
You may stand. You may all stand…

BEGGAR
Thank you, sire. I am a very poor man. I can’t find work. You have much and I have nothing. Is that fair?

PIPPIN
No. That’s completely unfair. Treasurer? I order you to distribute money to the poor.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, the Charitable.

PEASANT
Sire, I’m a peasant. A simple working man. I own not one millimeter of land on which I’ve worked so hard all my life. Is that fair?

PIPPIN
No. That’s terrible. But I will do something about it. I hereby decree that from now on all peasants will own the land that they cultivate.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, the Just.

PEASANT
Sire, now that you’ve given the land to the peasants, we loyal nobles have no source of income. Therefore, we can no longer pay taxes.

PIPPIN
Well then I hereby abolish taxes.

SOLDIER
You realize sire without taxes you’ll have no money to support an army.

PIPPIN
That’s all right. I don’t need an army. That’s it. No more taxes, no more army.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin the Peaceful.

FIELD MARSHALL
Sire, it is my duty to inform you that the Infidel hun has attacked in the east.

PLAYERS
Oh!

FIELD MARSHALL
He has destroyed three villages.

PLAYERS
Oh!

FIELD MARSHALL
Raped hundreds of women.

PLAYERS
Oh!

FIELD MARSHALL
Tortured and murders thousands of your royal subjects.

PLAYERS
Oh!

PIPPIN
Can he do that?

FIELD MARSHALL
He has. But he will withdraw on one condition.

PIPPIN
Well, that’s very reasonable. I’m certainly willing to make any small concession. What’s the condition?

FIELD MARSHALL
He demands your head on a pike staff.

PIPPIN
Oh. Well, in that case. I guess you’ll just have to go out there and destroy the Infidel.

FIELD MARSHALL
But sire, I have no more men to wage a campaign. I have no money to buy supplies. I have no army.

PIPPIN
Excuse me a moment. Noble? You remember that decree I made a little while ago about land and taxes?

NOBLE
Yes, sire.

PIPPIN
That’s off.

NOBLE
You mean you want me to pay taxes again and raise an army?

PIPPIN
Yeah, that’s right.

NOBLE
But sire, without land, I haven’t the money nor power over the peasants.

PIPPIN
Oh, yes. That’s a very good point. I hereby suspect land reform.

PEASANTS
Suspend land reform? Why the hell should I work when the poor get handouts from the royal treasury?

PIPPIN
You’re absolutely right. I hereby revoke charity to the poor.

PEASANT
Up thine, sire.

PIPPIN
Take that man away and hang him. No. Stop wait! Could you please just let me think a minute?

FASTRADA
Darling, you’re a born ruler. You’re doing a wonderful job. Nothing has changed since your father died. Now about my royal allowance…

PIPPIN
Denied, denied, denied, denied!

FASTRADA
King Pippin The Unpopular.

PIPPIN
Get out of my chapel. I want to pray.

LEADING PLAYER
Pray? You’re the king. What in the world would you pray for?

PIPPIN
Strength.

HEADLESS MAN
Hello.

PIPPIN
Hello.

HEADLESS MAN
I hear you’ve become king.

PIPPIN
That’s right.

HEADLESS MAN
I was wondering… since you’re the king now… Could you put this back on my shoulders?

PIPPIN
I’m sorry. I don’t think I can.

HEADLESS MAN
Some king.

PIPPIN
There are certain things I just can’t do.

HEADLESS MAN
Never mind. I knew you’d be just like the others.

PIPPIN
You don’t understand. It’s not that easy…

HEADLESS MAN
They all say that.

PIPPIN
Excuse me. Could I have my knife back?

CHARLES
Help yourself.

PIPPIN
I’m sorry, Father.

CHARLES
Oh that’s alright son. Only don’t let it happen again.

PIPPIN
Well dammit! Nothing ever turns out the way that I thought it would. I’m getting old. Very old. And I still haven’t done anything with my life.

LEADING PLAYER
But you will. You will.

FASTRADA
Terrible. A son speaking against his very own father that way. Why I’d rather be drawn and quartered than think that I was in anyway responsible for what happened next.PLAYERS
Revolution. Revolution. Revolution. Revolution. Revolution. Follow Pippin forever. Pippin our leader!

LEADING PLAYER (as a black panther)
Power!

PLAYERS
We pledge to stand by Pippin forever.

PIPPIN
Now gentleman, first let me say that I admire the dedication and the courage which has brought you all here this evening.

PLAYERS
Forever.

PIPPIN
Thank you. Second, let me be perfectly honest about some of the dangers which may lie ahead.

PLAYERS
Yes. Yes. Yes.

PIPPIN
During this insurrection if any one of us is caught, the king’s vengeance will be swift and terrible. You will undoubtedly be tortured, cruelly maimed, broken on the well, even dismembered.

LEADING PLAYER
Forget that.

PIPPIN
But I am sure that the prospect of these terrible agonies will not deter you in joining my-
(Realizing they all left.)
Uh, they may appear frightened now, but once the deed is done, once action against the king is taken, they will flock to my side, maybe.

LEWIS
Mama if Pippin kills father…

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
But, if father discovered Pippin’s plot and executes him?

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
Oh, mama, no matter what happens, I’ll move up?

FASTRADA
Yes, darling. In fear of my beloved husband’s life, I brought Pippin’s activities to his attention. Pippin is disloyal to you, my lord.

CHARLES
Every son is disloyal to his father at one time or another, my lady.

FASTRADA
But Lewis loves you, my lord.

CHARLES
Lewis is an asshole, my lady.

LEWIS
Mama!

FASTRADA
Despite this rejection, I took upon my tiny shoulders the task of effecting a rapprochement between two men whom I felt… deeply.

Lord knows we’ve seen enough
Troubles already we’ve
Had our fill of grey skies
So put down the vinegar
Take up the honey jar
You’ll catch many more flies

And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could think before we strike
We all would be a little closer to the world we’d like

My lord?

CHARLES
Yes, my lady?

FASTRADA
Will you be praying at Arles next month?

CHARLES
No, I don’t think so.

FASTRADA
Oh, but my lord, you always feel so much better after your yearly prayer on the 15th.

CHARLES
Yes I do, don’t I?

FASTRADA
I sought out Pippin… Your father loves you, Pippin.

PIPPIN
Freedom and dignity for all men is more important than the love between one father and one son.

FASTRADA
Still, your name will be on his lips when he prays… at Arles… next month.

PIPPIN
He prays at Arles next month?

FASTRADA
Alone and unguarded.

PIPPIN
Alone and unguarded. What date?

FASTRADA
On the 15th.

PIPPIN
What time?

FASTRADA
When the cock crows. Oh, Pippin, I beg you to bring this estrangement to an end.

PIPPIN
I intend to.

FASTRADA
May I tell your father of this resolve?

PIPPIN
No. Let it be a surprise.

FASTRADA
A surprise. How sweet. Your intentions make me very happy, Pippin.

PIPPIN
You’ve been a great help to me, Fastrada.

FASTRADA
What sweeter words could a mother hear?

I know the parables told in the holy book
I keep close on my shelf
God’s wisdom teaches me when I help others, I’m
Really helping myself
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land.

It suddenly occurred to me that Pippin might be planning to harm my Charles. I therefore decided to warn him…

CHARLES
Well, I’m off to Arles to pray.

FASTRADA
Goodbye, my lord… Oh, in the hustle and bustle of my lord’s departure I completely forgot to warn him. Oh my, what a busy day. Events move so swiftly it’s hard for a simple woman like me to keep up. But something tells me that one day… soon…. I will be able to say what every mother wants to say… “My son, the King.”

All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

After all, I’m just an ordinary housewife and mother, just like all you ordinary housewives and mothers out there.
(Scene change.)

LEADING PLAYER
Intrigue. Plots to bring disaster.

The chapel at Arles.

CHARLES
It’s alright father, you may come in.

PIPPIN
I’m sorry to disturb you, my son. I know you like to pray alone.

CHARLES
You know who I am, Father?

PIPPIN
Of course, my son.

CHARLES
You want something from me perhaps. A favor. Advancement?

No.

CHARLES
Then what, Father?

PIPPIN
I’ve come to be with you for one moment… to touch you… to look in in your eyes.

CHARLES
And what do you see?

PIPPIN
I see the death of thousands. The slavery of millions. I see terror and bloodshed.

CHARLES
You see all that in my eyes?

PIPPIN
Do you deny it?

CHARLES
Deny it? Why I’m proud of it. I brought order out of chaos. If slavery, blood, and death are part of that order, so be it.

PIPPIN
But those are words from the past. Time has passed you by, my son.

CHARLES
And your time has come, my son.

PIPPIN
Yes, father.

CHARLES
It’s very easy from where you stand to judge the things that I have done. But when I fought the blood of the enemy was in my eyes. I sank in the mud on the shores of the Volga. I drowned two legions in the Vistula. Wild eagles, ospreys, even vultures had a better view. From the heights all things are very clear. Birds float on the wind. But, by God, I blew my breath across a continent and shaped an empire with it.

LEADING PLAYER
That was beautiful, Charles!

CHARLES
Did you like it?

LEADING PLAYER
I loved it.

CHARLES
So you think you could do better than I?

PIPPIN
Yes, I do.

CHARLES
Well, if you really believe that, there’s only one thing you can do.

PIPPIN
Thank you, I brought my own.

CHARLES
Then why don’t you use it?

PIPPIN
Father, there must be another way that we could-

CHARLES
None! So if you have no further business with me, go and leave me to my prayers.

PIPPIN
What do you pray for father?

CHARLES
Strength and may God give you the same.
(PIPPIN stabs him.)
Oh, my God.
(He dies.)
PIPPIN
Why won’t my hands stop shaking
When all the earth is still
When ancient ghosts are waking
So many steps need taking
So many plans need making
I think I will
I think I will

PLAYERS
Your majesty. King Pippin. Your majesty. Your Highness. King Pippin.

PIPPIN
King Pippin?

Morning glow, morning glow
Starts to glimmer when you know
Winds of change are set to blow
And sweep this whole land through
Morning glow is long past due

I’m sorry father. I hope I can make a better world.

ALL
Oh, morning glow, I’d like to help you grow

PIPPIN
We should have started long ago

ALL
So, morning glow all day long
While we sing tomorrow’s song
Never knew we could be so strong
But now it’s very clear

PIPPIN
Morning glow is almost here

ALL
Morning glow by your light
We can make the new day bright
And the phantoms of the night
Will fade into the past

PIPPIN
Morning glow is here

ALL
At last!

LEADING PLAYER
Long live the King.

PLAYERS
Long live the King.

PIPPIN
Uh, it’s a little big.

LEADING PLAYER
A little tissue paper ought to fix that right up. King Pippin, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, is prepared to hear petitions.

PEASANT
Sire, it is my duty to inform you that the infidel Hun has attacked in the east. He has destroyed three villages, raped hundreds of women, tortured and murdered thousands of your royal subjects. I await your orders.

PIPPIN
I hereby order you to seek out the enemy and negotiate a settlement.

PEASANT
Very well, sire.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin the Peaceful.

FASTRADA
Oh lord, lord. Oh, lord. Sire, the treasury refuses me my royal allowance.

LEWIS
Mine too.

PIPPIN
Oh, come on you two. From now on all royalty, including myself, must forego luxury and extravagance.

FASTRADA
Oh isn’t that a crock.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin the Humble.

PEASANT
Sire, I have met with the Hun. He will withdraw. Under one condition.

PIPPIN
There you see! I told you. There isn’t one problem that can’t be solved by just sitting down and talking it over. Now, what’s the one condition?

PEASANT
He demands your reproductive organs separated from the rest of your anatomy.

PIPPIN
What?
(LEADING PLAYER explains.)
Oh, well in that case, I declare- a limited police actions.

PEASANTS
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

LEADING PLAYER
Oh, what the hell. You can’t please everybody.

PEASANT
But sire, I have no more men to wage a campaign. I have no money to buy supplies. I have no army!

PIPPIN
Excuse me a minute. Nobles! You remember that decree I made a little while ago about land and taxes?

NOBLE
Yes, sire. What about it?

PIPPIN
Well, it’s off.

NOBLE
Off? You mean you want me to pay taxes again and raise an army?

PIPPIN
Yeah, that’s right.

NOBLE
But sire, without land, I haven’t the money nor power over the peasants.

PIPPIN
Oh, yes. That’s a very good point.

PEASANTS
That’s a very good point.

PIPPIN
Then I hereby suspend land reform.

PEASANT
Suspend land reform? Why the hell should I work when the poor get handouts from the royal treasury?

PEASANT
I’ll be he says, “You’re absolutely right.”

PIPPIN
You’re absolutely right. I hereby revoke charity to the poor.

PEASANT
Up thine, sire.

PIPPIN
Take that man away and hang him. No, wait. Stop wait! Could you please just let me think a minute?

PEASANTS
Oh, the king is thinking. Please let the king think. The king is thinking.

FASTRADA
Darling, you’re doing a wonderful job.

PIPPIN
But I haven’t been able to change one single thing.

FASTRADA
That’s exactly what I mean. Your father would have been so proud of you. Now, about my royal allowance.
(Mass begging.)

PIPPIN
Denied, denied, denied!

FASTRADA
King Pippin The Unpopular.

LEADING PLAYER
What are you praying for?

PIPPIN
I’m praying for strength.

LEADING PLAYER
Is there anything else you’d like?

PIPPIN
I’d like to give my father back his job.

LEADING PLAYER
Is that what you want baby?

PIPPIN
Yes.

LEADING PLAYER
You want it? You got it.
(CHARLES comes back to life.)

PIPPIN
I’m sorry father.

CHARLES
Oh that’s alright son. Just don’t let it happen again.

PIPPIN
Damnit! Nothing ever turns out the way that I thought it would. Alright, I know this is a musical comedy, but I want my life to mean something.

LEADING PLAYER
And it will. It will. It will. It will. It will. It will.

FASTRADA
Terrible. A son speaking against his very own father that way. I’d rather be drawn and quartered than think I was responsible for what happened next! Would had come to me that Pippin was holding secret meetings… of a treasonous nature. In fear for my husband’s life, I brought Pippin’s activities to his attention. Pippin is disloyal to you, my lord.

CHARLES
Every son is disloyal to his father at one time or another, my lady.

FASTRADA
But Lewis loves you, my lord.

CHARLES
Lewis is an asshole, my lady.

FASTRADA
Despite this rejection, I took upon my tiny shoulders the task of effecting a rapprochement between two men whom I felt… deeply.
Back in my younger days, if things were going wrong
I Might Sulk, I might pout
Now I’ve learned if I just pitch in and do what’s right
Things will always work out
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could think before we strike
We all would be a little closer to our heart’s desire

LEWIS
Mama if Pippin kills father…

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
But, if father discovered Pippin’s plot and executes him?

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
Mama, no matter what happens, I’ll move up!

FASTRADA
Yes, darling.
Lord knows we’ve seen enough
Troubles already we’ve
Had our fill of grey skies
So put down the vinegar
Take up the honey jar
You’ll catch many more flies

And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could think before we strike
We all would be a little closer to the world we’d like
My lord?

CHARLES
Yes, my lady?

FASTRADA
Will you be praying at Arles next month?

CHARLES
No, I don’t think so, my lady.

FASTRADA
Oh, but my lord, you always feel so much better after your yearly prayer.

CHARLES
Yes I do, don’t I?

FASTRADA
I sought out Pippin… Your father loves you, Pippin.

PIPPIN
Freedom and dignity for all men is more important than the love between one father and one son.

FASTRADA
Still, your name will be on his lips when he prays… at Arles… next month… alone.

PIPPIN
He prays at Arles next month? Alone?

FASTRADA
Alone and unguarded.

PIPPIN
Alone and unguarded. What date?

FASTRADA
The 15th.

PIPPIN
What time?

FASTRADA
When the cock crows. Pippin, I beg you to bring this estrangement to an end.

PIPPIN
I intend to.

FASTRADA
May I tell your father of this resolve?

PIPPIN
No, no, no, no. Let it be a surprise.

FASTRADA
A surprise. I love surprises! Your intentions make me very happy, Pippin.

PIPPIN
You’ve been a great help to me, Fastrada.

FASTRADA
What sweeter words could a mother hear?
I know the parables told in the holy book
I keep close on my shelf
God’s wisdom teaches me when I help others, I’m
Really helping myself
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.
It later occurred to me that Pippin might be planning to harm my Charles. I therefore decided to warm him.
CHARLES
Well, I’m off to Arles to pray.
FASTRADA
Goodbye, my lord… Oh dear. In the hustle and bustle of my lord’s departure I completely forgot to warn him. Oh my, what a busy day…soon… I will be able to say what every mother wants to say… “My son, the King.”
and if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

After all, I’m just an ordinary housewife and mother, just like all you ordinary housewives and mothers out there.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.
Closer, closer, closer
to the promised land
LEADING PLAYER
Intrigue. Plots to bring disaster.
The chapel at Arles.

CHARLES
It’s alright father, you may come in.

PIPPIN
I’m sorry to disturb you, my son. I know you like to pray alone.

CHARLES
You know who I am, Father?

PIPPIN
Of course, my son.

CHARLES
You want something from me. Perhaps a favor…Advancement?

PIPPIN
No.

CHARLES
Then what, Father?

PIPPIN
I’m here to be with you for one moment… to touch you… to look in your eyes.

CHARLES
And what do you see?

PIPPIN
Two eyes… a little cloudy with age… a sunset.

CHARLES
What else?

PIPPIN
The death of thousands. Terror and bloodshed.

CHARLES
You see all that in my eyes?

PIPPIN
Do you deny it?

CHARLES
Deny it? I’m proud of it. I brought order out of chaos. If slavery, bloodshed, and terror are part of that order, so be it.

PIPPIN
But those are words from the past. Time has passed you by, my son.

CHARLES
And your time has come, my son.

PIPPIN
Yes, father.

CHARLES
It’s easy from where you stand to judge the things that I have done. But when I marched the dust of the road was in my nose and when I fought the blood of the enemy was in my eyes. I sank in the mud on the shores of the Volga. I drowned two legions in the Vistula. Eagles, ospreys, even vultures had a better view. From the heights all things are very clear. Birds float on the wind. But, by God, I blew my breath across a continent and shaped an empire with it.

LEADING PLAYER
Bravo! That was beautiful, Charles.

CHARLES
Oh, did you like it?

LEADING PLAYER
I loved it. They all did.

CHARLES
Thank you so much. So you think you could do better than I.

LEADING PLAYER
Yes, I do. I have to.

CHARLES
Well, if you really believe that, there’s only one thing you can do.

LEADING PLAYER
Thank you, I brought my own.

CHARLES
Then use it, or go and leave me to my prayers.

PIPPIN
What do you pray for father?

CHARLES
Strength and may God give you the same.
(PIPPIN stabs him.)
PIPPIN
Why won’t my hands stop shaking
When all the earth is still
When ancient ghosts are waking
So many steps need taking
So many plans need making
I think I will
I think I will

PLAYERS
Your majesty. King Pippin. Your majesty. Your Highness. King Pippin.

PIPPIN
Morning glow, morning glow
Starts to glimmer when you know
Winds of change are set to blow
And sweep this whole land through
Morning glow is long past due

Morning glow fill the earth
Come and shine for all your worth
We’ll be present at the birth
Of old faith looking new
Morning Glow is long past due

ALL
Oh, morning glow, I’d like to help you grow

PIPPIN
We should have started long ago

ALL
So, morning glow all day long
While we sing tomorrow’s song
Never knew we could be so strong
But now it’s very clear

PIPPIN
Morning glow is almost here
Morning glow by your light
We can make the new day bright
And the phantoms of the night
Will fade into the past
Morning glow is here

ALL
At last!

LEADING PLAYER
Long live the King!

PLAYERS
Long live the King.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, is prepared to hear petitions.

PIPPIN
Come ahead. You will all be dealt with fairly. My invitation extends to high and low alike.

PEASANT
Sire, I am a poor man.

PIPPIN
You may stand. You may all stand…

PLAYER
Oh, thank God. My knees were killing me.

PEASANT
Thank you, sire. I am a very poor man, a peasant. I own not one millimeter of land on which I have worked so hard all my life. Is that fair?

PIPPIN
No. That’s completely unfair. But I shall do something about it. I hereby decree that, from now on, all peasants shall own the land that they cultivate.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, the Just.

NOBLE
Sire, now that you’ve given all of our land to the peasants, we loyal nobles have no source of income. Therefore, we can no longer pay taxes.

PIPPIN
Well then I abolish taxes.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, the Generous.

SOLDIER
Sire, it is my duty to inform you that the infidel Hun has attacked in the East.

PLAYERS
Oh!

LEWIS
He has destroyed three villages.

PLAYERS
Oh!

LEWIS
Raped hundreds of women.

PLAYERS
Oh!

LEWIS
Tortured and murders thousands of your royal subjects.

PLAYERS
Oh!

PIPPIN
Can he do that?

LEWIS
He has. But he will withdraw on one condition.

PIPPIN
Well, that’s very reasonable. I’m certainly willing to make some small concession. What’s the condition?

LEWIS
He demands your reproductive organs on a pike staff.

PIPPIN
Oh. Well. In that case, I guess you’ll have to go out and destroy the Infidel.

LEWIS
But sire, I have no more men to wage a campaign. I have no money for supplies. I have no army.

PIPPIN
Good point. Excuse me a moment. Nobles? You remember that decree I made a little while ago about land and taxes?

NOBLE
Yes, sire.

PIPPIN
That’s off.

NOBLE
You mean you want me to pay taxes again and raise an army?

PIPPIN
Yeah, that’s right.

NOBLE
But sire, without land, I haven’t the money nor power over the peasants.

PIPPIN
Oh, yes. Peasants?

PEASANTS
Yes, sire.

PIPPIN
I hereby suspect land reform.

PEASANTS
Suspend land reform? You mean give it back?

PIPPIN
That’s right. Give it back.

PEASANT
Up thine, sire.

PIPPIN
Take that man away and hang him.

PEASANT
Oh, not again!

PIPPIN
No. Stop wait! Could you just let me think a minute… please?

FASTRADA
Darling, you’re a born ruler. You’re doing a wonderful job. Nothing has changed since your father died. Now about my royal allowance…

PIPPIN
Denied, denied, denied, denied!

FASTRADA
King Pippin The Unpopular.

PIPPIN
Get out of my chapel. I want to pray.

LEADING PLAYER
Pray? You’re the king. What in the world would you pray for?

PIPPIN
Strength.

LEADING PLAYER
Is there anything else you’d like?

PIPPIN
Yes, I’d like… I’d like to give my father his job back.

LEADING PLAYER
You want it? You got it?

PIPPIN
I’m sorry, Father.

CHARLES
That’s alright son. Only don’t let it happen again.

PIPPIN
Well dammit! Nothing ever turns out the way that I thought it would. I’m getting old. Very old. And I still haven’t done anything with my life.

LEADING PLAYER
Well then, maybe it’s time.

PIPPIN
Time?

LEADING PLAYER
For the Finale.

FASTRADA
Terrible. A son speaking against his very own father that way. In fear for my husband’s life, I brought Pippin’s activities to his attention. Pippin is disloyal to you, my lord.

CHARLES
Every son is disloyal to his father at one time or another, my lady.

FASTRADA
But Lewis loves you, my lord.

CHARLES
Lewis is an asshole, my lady.

FASTRADA
Despite this rejection, I took upon my tiny shoulders the task of effecting a rapprochement between two men whom I felt… deeply.
Back in my younger days, if things were going wrong
I Might Sulk, I might pout
Now I’ve learned if I just pitch in and do what’s right
Things will always work out
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could think before we strike
We all would be a little closer to our heart’s desire
My lord?

CHARLES
Yes, my lady?

FASTRADA
Will you be praying at Arles next month?

CHARLES
No, I don’t think so, my lady.

FASTRADA
Oh, but my lord, you always feel so much better after your yearly prayer.

CHARLES
I do!

FASTRADA
Yes, you do!

CHARLES
Oh well, good-bye!

FASTRADA
I sought out Pippin… Your father loves you, Pippin.

PIPPIN
Freedom and dignity for all men is more important than the love between one father and one son.

FASTRADA
Still, your name will be on his lips when he prays… at Arles… next month… alone.

PIPPIN
Alone?

FASTRADA
And unguarded.

PIPPIN
What date?

FASTRADA
The 15th. Pippin, I beg you to bring this estrangement to an end.

PIPPIN
I intend to.

FASTRADA
May I tell your father of this resolve?

PIPPIN
No, no, no, no. Let it be a surprise.

FASTRADA
A surprise. I love surprises!

LEWIS
Mama if Pippin kills father…

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
But, if father discovered Pippin’s plot and executes him?

FASTRADA
You’ll be next in line for the throne darling.

LEWIS
Mama, no matter what happens, I’ll move up!

FASTRADA
Yes, darling.
I know the parables told in the holy book
I keep close on my shelf
God’s wisdom teaches me when I help others, I’m
Really helping myself
And if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.
Closer, closer, closer, closer.
CHARLES
Well, I’m off to Arles to pray.

LEWIS
Safe travels, father.

CHARLES
Goodbye!
FASTRADA
Goodbye, my lord… Oh dear. Oh my, events move so swiftly it’s hard for a simple woman like me to keep up. But something tells me that one day… soon… I will be able to say what every mother wants to say… “My son, the King.”
and if we all could spread a little sunshine
All could lend a helping hand
We all would be a little closer
To the promised land
doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

After all, I’m just an ordinary housewife and mother, just like all you ordinary housewives and mothers out there.
(Scene change.)

LEADING PLAYER
Intrigue. Plots to bring disaster.
The chapel at Arles.

CHARLES
It’s alright father, you may come in.

PIPPIN
I’m sorry to disturb you, my son. I know you like to pray alone.

CHARLES
You know who I am, Father?

PIPPIN
Yes. Yes, of course, my son.

CHARLES
You want something from me. Perhaps a favor or an Advancement?

PIPPIN
No. I’m here just to be with you for one moment. Yes, to look into your eyes.

CHARLES
Oh, well. And what do you see?

PIPPIN
Two eyes… a little cloudy with age… a sunset.

CHARLES
Anything else?

PIPPIN
I see the death of thousands. The slavery of more. Terror and bloodshed.

CHARLES
You see all that in my eyes?

PIPPIN
Do you deny it?

CHARLES
Deny it? I’m proud of it. I brought order out of chaos. If slavery, bloodshed, and terror are part of that order, so be it.

PIPPIN
But those are words from the past. Time has passed you by, my son.

CHARLES
And your time has come, my son.

PIPPIN
Yes, father.

CHARLES
It’s easy from where you stand to judge the things that I have done. Eagles, ospreys, even vultures had a better view. From the heights all things are very clear. But when I marched the dust of the road was in my nose and when I fought the blood of the enemy was in my eyes. But, by God, I blew my breath across a continent and shaped an empire with it.

PIPPIN
Father, maybe you did the best you could, but things have to change!

CHARLES
Oh, and you’re the one to change them?

PIPPIN
Yes. I am.

CHARLES
Well, if you truly believe that, there is only one thing you can do.

PIPPIN
Thank you, I brought my own.

CHARLES
Use it, or go and leave me to my prayers.

PIPPIN
What do you pray for father?

CHARLES
Strength and may God give you the same.
(PIPPIN stabs him.)
PIPPIN
Why won’t my hands stop shaking
When all the earth is still
When ancient ghosts are waking
So many steps need taking
So many plans need making
I think I will
I think I will

PLAYERS
Your majesty. King Pippin. Your majesty. Your Highness. King Pippin.

PIPPIN
Morning glow, morning glow
Starts to glimmer when you know
Winds of change are set to blow
And sweep this whole land through
Morning glow is long past due

Morning glow fill the earth
Come and shine for all your worth
We’ll be present at the birth
Of old faith looking new
Morning Glow is long past due

ALL
Oh, morning glow, I’d like to help you grow

PIPPIN
We should have started long ago

ALL
So, morning glow all day long
While we sing tomorrow’s song
Never knew we could be so strong
But now it’s very clear

PIPPIN
Morning glow is almost here
Morning glow by your light
We can make the new day bright
And the phantoms of the night
Will fade into the past
Morning glow is here

ALL
At last!

PLAYER
Now?

LEADING PLAYER
No! Not now!

PLAYER
But it seems like the end of the show!

LEADING PLAYER
I told you, Act Two! We’re gonna take a short break here. After all, attention spans are shorter than they used to be. But don’t you worry, we’ll be back. And we’ll bring you the finale we promised. A climax you will remember for the rest of your lives!

ALL
Morning glow by your light
We can make the new day bright
And the phantoms of the night
Will fade into the past

PIPPIN
Morning glow is here

ALL
At least

LEADING PLAYER
We’ve got magic to do. Just for… you!

ALL
At least

END OF ACT 1

LEADING PLAYER
Ladies and gentlemen welcome back to the show! Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the most difficult and intricate balancing act. Only they can perform such feats as this.

ALL
The gates, The gates
The gates of heaven
The gates of heaven await
The gates, The gates
The gates of heaven
The gates of heaven await
The gates of heaven await
Thrown wide by Pippin the Great
We follow him through by sercing his State
Doo doo doo doo, Doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo doo, Doo doo doo doo

The gates, The gates
The gates of heaven
The gates of heaven await
The gates, The gates
The gates of heaven
The gates of heaven await
The gates of heaven await
Thrown wide by Pippin the Great

LEADING PLAYER
Long live the King!

PLAYERS
Long live the King.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, is prepared to hear petitions.
PIPPIN
Come ahead. You will all be dealt with fairly. My invitation extends to high and low alike.

PEASANT
Sire, I am a poor man.

PIPPIN
You may stand. You may all stand…

PEASANT
Thank you, sire. I am a very poor man, a peasant, and I own not one millimeter of land on which I have worked so hard all my life. Is that fair?

PIPPIN
No. That’s completely unfair. And I shall do something about it. I hereby decree that, from now on, peasants will come to own the land that they cultivate.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, the Just.

NOBLE
Sire, now that you’ve given all of our land to the peasants, we loyal nobles have no source of income. Therefore, we can no longer pay taxes.

PIPPIN
Well then I hereby abolish taxes.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin, the Generous.

SOLDIER
You realize sire without taxes you’ll have no money to support an army.

PIPPIN
That’s all right. I don’t need an army. That’s it. No more taxes, no more army.

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin the Peaceful.

LEWIS
Hey, Pippin! Pip-er-sire, it is my duty to inform you that the Infidel Hun has attacked in the east. He has destroyed three villages and murders thousands of your royal subjects.

PLAYERS
No!

PIPPIN
Can he do that?

LEWIS
But he will withdraw on one condition.

PIPPIN
Well, that’s very reasonable. I’m certainly willing to make any small concession. What’s the condition?

LEWIS
He demands your reproductive organs on a pike staff.

PIPPIN
Oh. Well. Then you should go and destroy the Infidel.

SOLDIER
But sire, we have no army.

PIPPIN
Oh right, uh… Excuse me a moment. Noble? You remember that decree I made a little while ago about land and taxes?

NOBLE
Yes, sire.

PIPPIN
That’s off.

NOBLE
But sire, without land, I haven’t the money nor power over the peasants.

PIPPIN
Oh! Uh, peasants!

PEASANTS
Yes, sire?

PIPPIN
I hereby suspect land reform.

PEASANTS
Suspend land reform? You mean give it back?

PIPPIN
Yeah, give it back.

PEASANT
Up thine, sire.

PIPPIN
Take that man away and hang him.

PEASNANT
Oh, not gain!

PIPPIN
No. Stop wait! Could you just give me a moment to think, please?

FASTRADA
Darling, you’re a born ruler. You’re doing a wonderful job. Nothing has changed since your father died. Now about my royal allowance…

PIPPIN
Denied!

LEADING PLAYER
King Pippin The Unpopular.

PIPPIN
I want to pray.

LEADING PLAYER
Pray? You’re the king. What in the world would you pray for?

PIPPIN
Strength?

LEADING PLAYER
Is there anything else you’d like?

PIPPIN
Yeah… I’d like my knife back.

LEADING PLAYER
You want it? You got it.
Illusion, fantasy to study.
(Charles returns to life.)

PIPPIN
Sorry, Father.

CHARLES
That’s alright son. Only don’t let it happen again.
Denied! Denied! Take that man there and hang him again!

PIPPIN
Nothing ever turns out the way that I thought it would. And I still haven’t done anything with my life.

LEADING PLAYER
But you will, Pippin. Hey! You will.


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