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No. 1 - Opening Ensemble - Chorus, Recitative and Scene


Chorus: The Fourth of July has its meed of joy,
And Washington's birthday our thoughts employ;
But naught, not even a circus clown,
Can waken the folks of this old town
Like auction sales, for in that case
The sober-minded populace,
Without regard to rank or race,
Finds pleasure without alloy.
Men: Bargains! Bargains!
Girls: Cloisonné and rarest crockery,
Men: Bargains! Bargains!
Girls: Roguish imps that laugh in mockery,
All: Silken goods and jewels antique,
With statuettes that seemingly speak;
Old guns and pistols, very unique,
Will all be sold off today,
We never bid high on the goods for sale,
Connecticut thriftiness must prevail;
But when a bargain comes our way,
Our "grab-it-quick" instincts we obey.
We know a gold brick in the dark,
Likewise a buzzard from a lark;
Therefore we're not an easy mark
For sharpers, they always fail.
Auctioneer: We'll proceed, without delay
To dispose of this rare collection;
All antiquarians say
It will bear the closest inspection.
Purchasers spot cash must pay
Before the goods are moved away.
The first lot embraces Roman scarfs and laces,
Curios from Hindustan,
Golden idols from Japan,
Chinese swords from Singapore,
Silver pitcher from Lahore,
The catalogue names many more,
How much for this lot am I bid?
Miss Prisms: Three.
Pettingill: Three-ten.
Miss Prisms: Three-fifty.
Pettingill: Don't be rash.
Miss Prisms: Three, fifty.
Auctioneer: I hear no other bid.
(spoken) Going! Going! Gone!
Hand over your cash.
(spoken) And now this sealed casket,
no one knows its contents;
visions of diamonds, rubies,
sapphires, et cetera, float before me,
How much am I bid?
Lovemoney: Says I to myself, says I,
"Those jimcracks don't you buy,
But the casket get,"
On that I'm set,
Tho' it comes darnation high.
Miss Prisms: Old Sypher used to say,
In a confidential way,
"For the casket's worth,
No son of earth
Is rich enough to pay!"
Chorus: Therefore we all opine
That it must hold something fine;
A diadem or priceless gem,
We wish we could divine.
Auctioneer: Now gentlemen,
How much for the casket?
Lovemoney: Three hundred dollars?
Auctioneer: 'Tis shame to ask it!
Pettingill: Four hundred and fifty.
Lovemoney: And fifty more.
Chorus: And fifty more. He said fifty more.
Auctioneer: Come, bid more quickly, I implore!
Pettingill: I'll make it six.
Lovemoney: I'll raise you ten.
Auctioneer: Do I hear ten more? Good gentlemen,
Pettingill: I'll bid ten more, and eighty on that
which makes just seven, and I'll stand pat.
Lovemoney: I'll add an even hundred more.
Pettingill: I stand just where I stood before,
Auctioneer: Come, urge them on! One final chance!
Going... going... gone!
Lovemoney: (holding lamp) I've been robbed!
Chorus: Old Sypher was fond of a joke,
And this is a post-mortem stroke,
This lamp, worthless and battered,
Will only derision provoke.
It's ever been thus since the world began,
No doubt it's encompassed in Nature's plan.
'Tis foolish to buy a pig in a poke,
To crawl in a cannon to have a smoke,
To try to fight a young buzz-saw
Or plead your case in court of law.
Things may be fair in love or war,
But not at an auction sale, at a sale,
Not at a sale,
not at an auction sale,
Things are fair in love and war,
But not, but not at an auction sale.

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American Musical Theatre | Chris and the Wonderful Lamp

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