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Scene 1:

Dances and Marches

The Queen, ensconced at Versailles and aloof from the troubles, is utterly bored. She perks up only at the idea of holding a handsome ball. Her guests, the Ringmaster informs us, are all members of the army regiments still loyal to the King. The ball proceeds. True to its functions of escape and denial, it is a somewhat over-the-top affair. Many of the guests as well as the Queen are obviously drunk. According to the fashion, but no doubt either reluctantly or with heavy irony, she wears a revolutionarys tri-color rosette in her hair. Embolden by drink, and eager to demonstrate her contempt for the revolution and all it stands for, she tears this from her head, throws it to the floor, and grinds it underfoot. Her officer guests, obliged to wear the tri-color themselves, immediately follow suit. The realities of the revolution are about to burst in on them, however. In Paris there is still nothing to eat. The march on Versailles from Paris, which includes amongst its numbers 7000 hungry and bedraggled women, arrives at the palace doors. The marchers are incensed by the Queens feast. The Priest tries to protect Marie Antoinette from the more aggressive elements, some of which are carrying pikes with severed heads still attached. At the same time, and in an effort to help her locate even a hint of her humanity, he attempts to remind her of her childhood meeting in her Viennese garden all those years ago. For a fleeting moment she appears to remember, but almost immediately shakes her head and turns her back on him. Together with the King, who is seized in another part of the palace, and the Dauphin, they are taken to Paris and the Tuileries, goaded en route by the crowd.

RINGMASTER
Versailles the leaves fall
Its that time of year
Her Majesty is bored with all
This endless calling for reform
The sound of young men marching
Is like music to her ear
The sound of young men marching
Is like music to her ear
But she dreams of young men dancing

QUEEN
Dancing, dancing...

RINGMASTER
And the dream of young men dancing
Hangs like birdsong on the air

Now Hear Ye!
Her Majesty invites the regiments
To a Grand Ball

Versailles in October

The Queen is having a fling
She invites all the regiments
Loyal to the King
Wining and dining and making eyes at them all
Smiling in the limelight
The Queen is having a ball

OFFICER
The Queen is smiling
The Queen is laughing
She makes eyes at one and all

CHORUS
Shes having a ball

RINGMASTER
Flushed with wine Marie Antoinette
Casts down her red, white and blue rosette
An impetuous and dangerous vignette

OFFICER
And then with her charming little shoe

She grinds the precious symbol underfoot
What a lark, what a hoot
The regiments all follow suit
The regiments

CHORUS
The regiments

OFFICER
The regiments

CHORUS
The regiments

OFFICER & CHORUS
The regiments all follow suit

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
Red, white and blue and they all follow suit

CHILDRENS CHORUS
Red, white and blue and they all follow suit

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
In Paris there is nothing to eat

CHORUS
Not a crust, not a crumb
Not a grain of wheat

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
They think that starving may weaken the man in the street

CHORUS
Not a chance, theyre used to the heat

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
In Versailles they drink wine and dine on freshly baked bread

CHORUS
The peacock sprawls upon his bed

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
We choke on the bones of swallowed pride instead

CHORUS
Soon theyll see what a feast theyve made

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
A bitter feast

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST & CHORUS

For the Parisians

CHORUS
...in the right flood

RINGMASTER
These hags, these shrews, these courtesans
These animals we call women
Are marching through the pouring rain
To bring the baker home again

CHORUS
Louis protests; he cries

KING
Veto, veto! Ill give you all the bread if youll just let me go

RINGMASTER
These fishwives with their babies, these animals called ladies
Have carried back here to Paris
The King, The Queen and the Dauphin

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
Versailles has bloomed to the regiments final bow

CHORUS
Versailles bloomed

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
All fawning before

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST & CHILDRENS CHORUS
The Austrian cow!

CHORUS
Fawning on bended knee

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
The partys over

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST & CHILDRENS CHORUS
Take down the marquee

CHORUS
Hang up your dancing shoes in the hanging tree

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
Well take the baker back to Paris

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST & CHILDRENS CHORUS
Back to Paris

TROUBLEMAKER & MALE CHORUS
Hell make bread for the price we decree

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST, CHILDRENS CHORUS & FEMALE CHORUS
The shrews, the hags and the courtesans

TROUBLE MAKER & MALE CHORUS
These animals we call women

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST, CHILDRENS CHORUS & FEMALE CHORUS
Will take back the King to Paris

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST & CHILDRENS CHORUS
The crowd now seven thousand strong

TROUBLE MAKER & MALE CHORUS

Bore the royal coach along

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST & CHILDRENS CHORUS
With trophies raised on pikes aloft

TROUBLE MAKER & MALE CHORUS
The guardsmans heads they had cut off

TROUBLEMAKER
Adieu Versailles

MALE CHORUS
It rains, it pours, the crowd roars

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
Hold the severed heads on high

TROUBLE MAKER & MALE CHORUS
It rains, it pours, the crowd roars

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
Bonjour Paris

CHORUS
Adieu Versailles

COMPANY
Bonjour Paris, adieu Versailles

Scene 2:

The Letter

Although he has accepted the Declaration of the Rights of Man, made provision for the free circulation of grain, and outwardly advertises heartfelt support for revolutionary reform by wearing a red revolutionary cap, Louis, along with the Queen, is a virtual prisoner in the Tuileries Palace. He spends his time fiddling at his hobby as a locksmith. He is seen occasionally pausing over his locks to sip coffee from a cup on his desk. Eventually, he breaks off entirely to write a letter. Reciting its contents out loud, he reveals his true feelings and appeals to his cousin, Bourbon of Spain, to help him whip the revolutionary dogs back into their kennels. The concessions he has had to make, the lies he has had to tell, and the red cap he has to wear in order to retain some semblance of power and authority, are repugnant to him. When he finishes the letter, the King seals the envelope then rings for it to be collected. The Ringmaster enters, takes the letter, and the Kings empty coffee cup. He walks away fro the Kings presence, and addresses the audience, commenting almost in wonder at the King
s rapid fall from grace. The pace of change is by no means slowing, however, nor is the stunning sequence of events at an end. Reminded by the empty coffee cup in his hand that trade of all kinds has been stifled under the present conditions, the Ringmaster hints at disturbances overseas.

RINGMASTER
Imprisoned in the Tuileries
The King makes locks
To the sound of the ticking of clocks
And the rain falling on his window pane
Makes him think of this cousin Bourbon
Safe in his castle in Spain

KING
My dear Cousin Bourbon of Spain
This letter I entrust to a courier faithful and sure
Is to calm your fears and tell you cousin dear
My heart is pure
This red cap I wear
These lies theyve made me swear
Are repugnant to my soul
My very bones cry out in pain

Cousin Bourbon of Spain
You know my feelings well
Youve heard what Ive had to say
But now all my beliefs
Have been snatched by these thieves
And cruelly torn away
But none of the scum who run through the streets
Taking law from a bottle of wine
Could presume to assume the fealty due
To me or to you from your subject or mine
My dear Cousin Bourbon of Spain
Lets make a pact, lets campaign
Let us whip back to their kennels again

These dogs who speak of virtue
Help me, cousin
Help me cousin Bourbon of Spain

RINGMASTER
The ship of state is all at sea
The King confused
Tis hard enough to place one foot before the last
To tread a path preordained by a law divine
But to pad all aimless on a shifting sea
Each man an island free to choose his fate
Gods death; what dizzy, giddy, fall from grace
Commerce, that barometer of faith
Tolls warning of the coming storm
No coffee in the marketplace

No peace on earth for rich or poor


Scene 3:

Silver Sugar and Indigo

Mirroring events in France, French colonies in the Caibbean, especially Santo Domingo, erupt. Planters and landowners try to wrest power from the royal governors, and ordinary mulattos rise in revolt. In France members of the National Assembly (Robespierre, Brissot, and Condorcet) call for the emancipation of slaves. This is affirmed by the Ringmaster, the Chorus, a Revolutionary Slave, Marie Marianne, and Condorcet. There is, as always, opposition to this measure. The profit motive oils the wheels of commerce and misdirects mankinds finest and wisest impulses, generating shame and misery in their place. The outrage of slavery, both Marie Marianne and Condorcet agree, must be abandoned for all time.

TROUBLEMAKER
How can you sleep?
How can you think?
How can you live with no coffee to drink?
Youd better pray you dont have a sweet tooth
The price of sugar is through the roof
Robespierre, Brissot and Condorcet all agree
We must set the blackbird free
But sugar and silver and indigo make even the wisest man "idiot!"

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
To the Windward Isles

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
It comes today

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
The wind of change

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Blows this way

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
In Santo Domingo and elsewhere
To slaves of sugar and despair

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Silver, sugar, indigo
Silver, sugar, indigo
Silver, sugar, indigo
Silver, sugar, indigo
Silver, sugar, indigo
Silver, sugar, indigo
Silver, sugar, indigo
Silver, sugar, indigo
Make even the wisest man "idiot!"
Make even the wisest man "idiot!"

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
Bring freedom to the

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS

Colonies

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Act on principal

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
Equality, fraternity and

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Liberty

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
Are

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Not just word after all

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
But

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Sugar is sweet

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
And

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Coffee is strong

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE
And

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Hope goes down with the sun

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
And the sun goes down behind

CONDORCET & MARIE MARIANNE
Mountains of silver
Valleys of sugar
And shiploads of indigo
Make even the wisest man "idiot!"

REVOLUTIONARY SLAVE & CHORUS
Make even the wisest man "idiot!"

MARIE MARIANNE
So come ye ships
Across the sea
Lets cast into the deep
This shame and misery
In Paris they condemn our rage
Condorcet stands his ground and says:

CONDORCET
My friends if we believe in freedom

Then we must unlock this cage

COMPANY
Vive Condorcet, hear him scold them
The frigid reactionary old men
Good God above its over
Enough is enough!
Enough, enough, enough
To the Windward Isles
Revolution has arrived
They will only free us when
They need us to fight for them

CONDORCET & MARIE MARIANNE
Cast into the deep sea
This shame and this misery
Silver, Sugar and Indigo
Makes even the wisest man "idiot!"

CHORUS
Even the wisest man "idiot!"

COMPANY
"Idiot!"


Scene 4:

The Papal Edict

Back in Europe, the Pope condemns the Rights of Man, the Declaration of which was passed by the National Assembly in 1789, and which has subsequently taken on the aspect of a political manifesto, as a sin. News as well as revolutionary ideas now reach the streets almost at once via the printing press and pamphleteering, and no edict of any kind can hold the latter back. The Priest (from a pulpit), the Troublemaker, and various others vent their anger at the Popes attempted intervention, and vow to continue to strive for the universal application of the Rights of Man regardless of this new sanction.

RINGMASTER
Trade winds
Buffeting the sweet molasses smoke of burning cane
Push, swelling East the spreading ripples of unrest
Back to Europe and the rain
The Holy See safe on Tibers shore
Surveys the flotsam on the tide
Ignores the cries of drowning men and
Passes on the other side

TROUBLEMAKER
In Paris theres a rumble under the ground
Its a sound of the printing press
And like a volcano when it blows
It spews out ideas like confetti, like snow

BOY
Read all about it!
Hold the front page!
The streets a theatre
Each cafe...

CHORUS & CHILDREN
...A stage!

RINGMASTER
But under every cafe awning
There appears this papal warning

TROUBLEMAKER
His Holiness the Pope, I fear
Believes the Rights of Man to be a bad idea

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
The Pope does not want the Rights of Man

COMPANY
The Pope does not want the Rights of Man

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
He finds them too profane

COMPANY

He finds them too profane

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
When a man bites the apple

COMPANY
When a man bites the apple

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
He gets a taste for liberty

COMPANY
He gets a taste for liberty

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
He gets...a taste for liberty

MALE CHORUS
He gets...a taste for liberty

ALTAR BOY
The Pope declares that its a sin

MALE CHORUS
The Pope declares that its a sin

TROUBLEMAKER
So let us raid the apple tree
Although the Pope does not agree

He blesses us with sleight of hand
He doesnt want the Rights of Man

ALTAR BOY
The Pope declares that its a sin

MALE CHORUS
The Pope declares that its a sin

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
The Pope declares that its...a sin
People are sharing the apples
The Pope says, "Bless you but its still a sin"

COMPANY
The Pope says, "Bless you but its still a sin"

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
The Pope gives his blessing with sleight of hand

COMPANY
The Pope gives his blessing with sleight of hand

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
He doesnt want the

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST & MALE CHORUS
Rights...of Man

ALTAR BOY
The Pope declares that its a sin

MALE CHORUS
The Pope declares that its a sin

TROUBLEMAKER
But the Pope can change his mind like that
Like trying on a different hat
Turning on the stars above the politics and God and love
Turning like an apple that shrivels on the sand

And when the core is rotten
No one tastes the Rights of Man

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
You never taste the Rights of Man...

CHORUS
He does not want the Rights of Man
The Pope does not want the Rights of Man
Hes made his stand
He washes his hands
The Pope does not want... the Rights of Man

REVOLUTIONARY PRIEST
Nothing but a prayer to hope for
Nothing but a little wine to dream
Nothing for this hunger but a handful of grain
The horizon always the same

REVOLUTIOANRY PRIEST & TROUBLEMAKER
Rooted in this earth
Like our parents dead and gone
Like the trees which are our emblem
The horizon just goes on and on
Well change it with a forest

REVOLUTIOANRY PRIEST, TROUBLEMAKER & CHORUS
The olive and the oak tree
Will be our flags!

Curtain

   
 
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