SONGS OF THE PIONEERS

 

A musical using traditional songs

(a work in progress)

 

by D. M. Larson

 

Copyright © 2005

All Rights Reserved*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast of Characters

 

FATHER (EMMAís father)

EMMA (young girl who is daughter of FATHER and MOTHER)

JOHN (young boy who is EMMAís brother)

MOTHER (EMMAís mother)

AUNT SUSANNA (EMMAís aunt)

UNCLE JOE (EMMAís uncle)

GRAMS (EMMAís grandmother with an English accent)

GRAMPS (EMMAís grandfather)

 

DOG

TURKEY (and other farm animals for dance)

CAT (and other CAT extras for dance)

 

SONGS fromÖ

http://library.thinkquest.org/6400/songs.htm

http://www.contemplator.com/america/turkeyis.html

http://kididdles.com/mouseum/e015.html

 





Scene 1

 

SONG: ďHome on the RangeĒ (CAST sings)

 

(Lights come up on a cabin. It is a small cabin on the

in the late 1800ís. There are beds and stove. Everyone is

sleeping. The chickens start clucking wildly and DOG jumps

up and starts barking wildly. He wakes everyone up)

 

FATHER: Whatís you barking at, boy?

 

EMMA: Whatís wrong with the chickens?

 

FATHER: (Goes to door) A fox!

 

JOHN: A fox? What do we do?

 

FATHER: Weíve got to chase him off.

 

MOTHER: Or no Christmas chicken.

 

EMMA: Iíll get him.

 

FATHER: Emma, no.

 

EMMA: (Runs out door) Go away! Leave our chickens alone. (Screams)

 

MOTHER: Stop her, Henry. (FATHER is trying to get on his boots)

 

EMMA: (Runs back in) ItÖ itÖ itís cold.

 

JOHN: It snowed.

 

EMMA: I froze my toes.

 

MOTHER: Silly girl.

 

FATHER: But she chased off the fox.

 

JOHN: Her screaming did it.

 

EMMA: I screamed when I stepped in the snow.

 

MOTHER: Come over here by the fire.

 

JOHN: Sing us a song, Father.

(They all beg him)

 

FATHER: Okay. I think I even know one about a fox.

 

SONG: "The Fox (Went Out on a Chilly Night)"

 

[other actors dressed as animals can act out and sing the song]

 

The fox went out on a chilly night

He prayed for the moon to give him light,

For he'd many a mile to go that night

Before he reached the town-o!

    Town-o! town-o!

For he had many a mile to go that night

Before he reached the town-o.

 

Well, he ran til he came to a great big pen,

Where the ducks and the geese were kept therein

"A couple of you will grease my chin

Before I leave this town-o!

     Town-o! town-o!

A couple of you will grease my chin

Before I leave this town-o."

 

He grabbed the gray goose by his neck,

And flung a duck across his back;

He did not mind the "Quack, quack, quack!"

And their legs all dangling down-o!

    Down-o! down-o!

He did not mind the "Quack, quack, quack!"

And their legs all dangling down-o.

 

 

FATHER: Now back to bed.

 

EMMA: Good-night, Father.

 

FATHER: Good-night, Emma. Night, Johnny.

 

JOHN: See you in the morning. (JOHN and EMMA exit)

 

FATHER: I guess I better start my chores.

 

MOTHER: Itís not even light out.

 

FATHER: We live in the country now, dear. Thereís more chores than sunlight now.

 

MOTHER: Be careful.

 

(FATHER exits and MOTHER watches him go worried. Lights go out)

 


Scene 2

 

(Lights come up. It is morning. JOHN and EMMA wait

for FATHER)

 

JOHN: Father has been gone forever.

 

EMMA: Where did he go?

 

MOTHER: Father is doing his chores. Winter is here so itís getting much harder.

 

[Actors dressed as animals can act out the following as the children watch]

 

JOHN: Looks like Father is having some trouble.

 

EMMA: Heís chasing something.

 

MOTHER: Henry. What are you doing?

 

FATHER: Itís that darn turkey. I canít get him back in his pen.

 

EMMA: Maybe if we sing him a song.

 

(FATHER chases turkey around and family ends up helping)

 

SONG: "Turkey in the Straw"

http://www.contemplator.com/america/turkeyis.html

 

(FAMILY ends up in a heap laughing at the turkey who got the best of them)

 

EMMA: Oh, father. Why do we need to catch the turkey anyway?

 

FATHER: We need something for dinner. The whole family is coming to visit.

 

EMMA: Dinner? You meanÖ

 

JOHN: Weíre going to eat it. MmmmÖ turkey.

 

MOTHER: Donít tease your sister, Johnny.

 

EMMA: But weíve had the Mr. Gobbles foreverÖ how can weÖ

 

JOHN: Eat him?

 

MOTHER: Johnny.

 

FATHER: Mr. Gobbles. Emma, what did I tell you about naming the animals?

 

EMMA: But I love Mr. Gobbles. Heís my friend.

 

FATHER: Jane. Why donít you take Emma insideÖ while IÖ finish up getting things for dinner.

 

EMMA: Mother, couldnít we have potato stew insteadÖ with potato pancakesÖ the family loves your potato pancakes.

 

MOTHER: Come along inside, Emma.

 

FATHER: Letís go get the axe, Johnny. (JOHN and FATHER exit)

 

EMMA: Iíll be there in a minute, Mother. I dropped something out here I think.

 

MOTHER: Donít be long. We need to let Father do his chores. (MOTHER exits)

 

EMMA: Here you go, Mr. Gobbles. (Pulls some food out of her pocket and holds it out for TURKEY. TURKEY runs up to EMMA and she leads it off). Good boy, Mr. Gobbles.

 

FATHER: (Enters with JOHN. Both are holding ropes) Now where did that turkey.

 

JOHN: (Starts swinging lasso) Iím ready. (Ends up hitting himself with rope)

 

FATHER: You okay, son?

 

JOHN: I think so.

 

FATHER: Jane? Have you seen the turkey?

 

MOTHER: (Comes outside. While MOTHER is outside, EMMA sneaks TURKEY into her room and hides it under a blanket) I havenít seen it. And where is Emma?

 

FATHER: Oh, no.

 

MOTHER: What is it?

 

FATHER: I think I know where they both are.

 

MOTHER: You think?

 

FATHER: (Goes in house) EmmaÖ come out here, dear.

 

EMMA: (Comes out. TURKEY follows with blanket over it) Yes, father?

 

FATHER: Do you know where the turkey is?

 

EMMA: The turkey? Which turkey?

 

TURKEY: Gobble, gobble, gobble.

 

FATHER: That turkey.

 

EMMA: (Throws her arms around her FATHER and gets overdramatic) Please, father. Please donít cook Mr. Gobbles. If you doÖ Iíll never be able to eat again.

 

JOHN: (Gets rope around TURKEY) Got him!

 

EMMA: Stop that! (Bursts into tears. MOTHER hugs her. JOHN drags TURKEY off)

 

FATHER: Poor Emma.

 

MOTHER: Iíll talk to her. You go do your chores.

 

FATHER: Okay, Jane. Thanks. (Exits)

 

MOTHER: Oh, Emma. You love animals donít you?

 

EMMA: More than anything.

 

MOTHER: Whatís your favorite animal?

 

EMMA: I donít know. Maybe cats?

 

MOTHER: And we have all kinds of cats donít we? (CAT enters)

 

EMMA: Uh-huh. (EMMA goes and hugs the CAT)

 

MOTHER: It seems like every time we go to town you find a stray and bring it home.

 

EMMA: But we have a big farmÖ thereís lots of room for them. And they take care of all those mice you hate.

 

MOTHER: True. Have I ever taught you that song about the cat?

 

EMMA: No, teach me. Please.

 

SONG: "The cat came back" [MOTHER starts. EMMA and CATS join in signing. Dancing by extras dressed up as cats]

(Lights go black)

 

Scene 3

(It is later. There is more snow. FATHER is gone. JOHN is playing with wooden horse

and EMMA are playing with dolls)

 

MOTHER: Itís about to clean up your toys. Father will be home soon.

 

EMMA: How should I dress you for bed, Dolly?

 

JOHN: Make her a cowgirl. Iíll make her a little hat.

 

FATHER: (enters) Hey, little ones. I have a surprise for you.

 

EMMA: What is it? What is it?

 

FATHER: I brought home the bacon.

 

MOTHER: Bacon! How wonderful.

 

EMMA: I love bacon.

 

JOHN: But baconís from a pig and you didnít want to eat Mr. Oinkers.

 

EMMA: Baconís different. Itís yummy. Besides, Mr. Oinkers is out back eating my spinach.

 

MOTHER: Your spinach? Emma.

 

EMMA: He likes it better than I do.

 

FATHER: No, this bacon is from Uncle Joe and Aunt Susanna.

 

JOHN: Uncle Joe?

 

EMMA: Aunt Susie?

 

MOTHER: Are they here?

 

FATHER: Oh, yes. I nearly forgot about them. I was so excited about the bacon.

 

EMMA: Letís go out and see. (Family rushes out and UNCLE JOE and AUNT JUNE enter with a trunk)

 

MOTHER: Itís wonderful to see you.

 

JOE: I wouldnít have come if Iíd known how heavy this trunk was.

 

JOHN: (Tries to lift it) Whatís in here?

 

SUSIE: Just a few things.

 

JOE: I think she brought the whole house.

 

EMMA: Iíll help you Johnny. (JOHN and EMMA struggle with trunk and drag it into the house)

 

FATHER: This calls for a song.

 

JOE: Letís sing our favorite, Susanna.

 

SUSIE: Letís! (Everyone sings)

 

SONG: Oh Susanna

 

EMMA: Look! Someone else is coming!

 

JOHN: Grandpa! Grandma!

 

GRAMPS: (Enters with GRAMS) Howdy everyone.

 

GRAMS: (British accent) ĎEllo.

 

EMMA: (Hugs them) Iíve missed you so much.

 

GRAM: Is this my little Emma? All grown up now!

 

FATHER: Youíre late. We expected you days ago.

 

GRAM: We had quite an adventure.

 

MOTHER: What happened?

 

GRAM: We passed through a little town near the state line and they thought the old man here was an outlaw.

 

JOHN: An outlaw! Cool! Whoíd you shoot, Gramps.

 

GRAMPS: I didnít shoot nobody. I didnít do do it. Honest.

 

GRAM: So he says.

 

GRAMPS: You donít believe me either?

 

GRAM: Iím just teasing you, dear.

 

FATHER: So tell us what happened.

 

GRAMPS: The town had just been robbed by some old cootÖ

 

GRAM: The old goat man is what they called him. Cause he always had his goat with him.

 

GRAMPS: The goat man pretended to be a helpless old man and when somebody took him in, he robbed them blind.

 

GRAM: And his goat ate their gardens and wrecked their homes.

 

GRAMPS: After a good week passed, the goat man had raided half the town.

 

GRAM: It was a small town.

 

GRAMPS: He skedaddled before they could catch them. Then we came into town only a few days later.

 

GRAM: He has the same gray hair, the same glasses and the same billy goat beard.

 

GRAMPS: And they arrested me!

 

MOTHER: They didnít?!

 

GRAMPS: I was thrown behind bars.

 

JOHN: And Grams busted you out!

 

GRAM: No, no, no. We did everything legal. I didnít need to be an outlaw too.

 

GRAMPS: Grams here showed up as my lawyer before the judge. She talked him out of a hanging.

 

MOTHER: A hanging?!

 

GRAMPS: Itís that English accent of hers. Makes her sound so smart.

 

GRAM: Very funny.

 

JOE: Hey, I know a song kind of like that.

 

FATHER: Is there any story that doesnít remind you of a song?

 

JOE: Not that I know of.

 

GRAMPS: Let me guess. Old Dan Tucker.

 

JOE: Right on.

 

GRAMPS: That song was running through my head the whole time I was in the hoosegow.

 

EMMA: Howís it go?

 

SUSANNA: Something like thisÖ

 

(Family sings)

 

Old Dan Tucker

(Version 1)

 

Written By: Daniel Emmett

Copyright Unknown

 

Come to town the other night

Heard the noise and saw the fight

Watchman was a-runnin' 'round

Said "Old Dan Tucker's come to town."

 

So, git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

You're too late to come to supper.

 

Old Dan Tucker come to town

Ridin' a billygoat, leadin' a hound

Hound, he barked and the billygoat jumped

Throwed old Dan, he straddled a stump.

 

So, git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

You're too late to come to supper.

 

Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man

Washed his face in a frying pan

Combed his hair with a wagon wheel

And died with a toothache in his heel.

 

So, git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

Git out the way, Old Dan Tucker

You're too late to come to supper.

 

 

MOTHER: Speaking of supperÖ anyone hungry?

 

FATHER: Joe and Susanna brought some bacon.

 

EMMA: And Iíve made potato soup.

 

GRAMS: My favorite.

 

JOHN: Letís eat!

 

End of Scene

 

SCENE 4

 

(Family is inside and the cabin has some festive decorations. Everyone is talking loudly. Someone is playing an instrument in the background)

 

JOE: (Blows horn and everyone stops to listen) Time for some dancing!

 

SONG: ďBuffalo GalsĒ

 

(Lots of dancing during song featuring GRAMS and SUSANNA. There is a dance challenge of GRAMS from SUSANNA)

 

SUSANNA: I wish to challenge you to a dancing dual!

 

GRAMS: I have to watch dinner.

 

ALL: (Ad lib) Come on, Grams. You can do it. Etc.

 

SUSANNA: Are you afraid I'll beat you?

 

GRAMS: Not likely.

 

SUSANNA: Let dance.

 

(Music. They dance (clogging or some other type of active dancing). SUSANNA starts to get tired)

 

ALL: (Ad lib) You can beat her, Susanna! Etc.

 

MOTHER: Grams will never lose.

 

SUSANNA: (finally) I'm beat!

(Everyone cheers)

 

MOTHER: Let's eat!

(More cheers)

 

EMMA: (Sits by GRAMPS) Wow, Grams is such a great dancer.

 

GRAMPS: Sheís the second best dancer Iíve ever met.

 

EMMA: Whoís the first?

 

GRAMPS: I once knew this gal named Clementine. But she is lost and gone forever.

 

EMMA: (Laughs) Oh, Gramps. Thatís not a person. Itís a song.

 

GRAMPS: Guess we better sing it then.

 

EMMA: Letís!

 

(EMMA and GRAMPS start and others join in)

SONG:

Oh My Darling Clementine

 

GRAMS: Get in here before dinner gets cold.

 

 

Scene 5

(Lights come up. It is very snowy. JOHN and EMMA sit sadly)

 

EMMA: I wish everyone didnít have to go.

 

JOHN: Itís been so fun. All the dancing and singing. MmmmÖ all the food.

 

JOE: You better watch all the food. I think Emma grew an inch taller while we were here.

 

JOHN: What about me!

 

JOE: I think you grew an inch wider.

 

JOHN: Hey!

 

EMMA: Heís just teasing you, Johnny.

 

JOHN: How come you donít tease, Emma?

 

JOE: I donít want to make her cry.

 

EMMA: I wouldnít cry.

 

JOE: You sure. Thatís what your mother always did when I teased her.

 

MOTHER: I did not.

 

SUSANNA: Itís been wonderful seeing all of you.

 

FATHER: We need to do this more often.

 

EMMA: How about next week?

 

JOE: But it takes us a week to get home.

 

EMMA: Then youíll just have to stay.

 

SUSANNA: I wish we could. But somebody has to feed my new race horse.

 

EMMA: Race horse!

 

SUSANNA: Maybe when you come this summer to see us, Iíll teach you to race.

 

JOHN: And me too!

 

SUSANNA: And you too.

 

GRAMPS: See you again soon I hope.

 

GRAM: If they donít throw you in jail again.

 

GRAMPS: Weíre taking a different way home.

 

EMMA: Please everyone. One more song before you go.

 

JOE: Another song. But Iím fresh out.

 

FATHER: I never thought that would happen.

 

GRAM: Maybe I got one for you. Itís one I learned as a little girl in England.

 

Goodbye song (Grandma from England Ė sings an old family song)

SONG: Early One Morning

Anonymous

Traditional English Folksong

 

Early one morning,

Before the sun had risen,

I heard a bluebird

In the fields gayly sing,

"South winds are blowing,

Green grass is growing,

We come to herald the merry Spring."

 

One Autumn afternoon,

Just as the sun was setting,

I heard a bluebird

On a tree pipe a song,

"Farewell! we're going;

Cold winds are blowing;

But we'll be back when the days grow long."

http://kididdles.com/mouseum/e015.html

 

(Whole cast comes in and sings it a second time)

 

END OF PLAY



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