Notes from New Sodom

... rantings, ravings and ramblings of strange fiction writer, THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

A Song for Easter...

... dedicated with all my heart to Cardinal Keith O' Brien, the opening number from the musical I would write were I to write... a sort of sequel, shall we say, to Jesus Christ Superstar. A sequel which would just have to be called, as far as I'm concerned...

CHRIST: THE COMEBACK

SCENE: A mountain in the desert. JOSHUA* sits on a rock, stage-right. Dressed in red, THE ACCUSER stands behind him, hand on his shoulder. As the guitar riff comes in, quiet but driving, THE ACCUSER leans in to say something. JOSHUA turns, clasps his hand warmly, as a close friend saying farewell, and THE ACCUSER exits. JOSHUA stands and comes forward to face the audience. The guitar riff is insistent now, building. Think "Heaven on Their Minds" from Jesus Christ Superstar meets "The Spirit of Man" from War of the Worlds. Maybe throw in a little "Brave New World" and "Thunderchild" for good measure. It's all a bit more Carl Anderson / Phil Lynott than Ted Neeley, put it that way.

UPDATE: And as if by Garageband, here's one I made later (an instrumental version, that is):



JOSHUA:
Forty days in the desert with the devil, and I have not slept.
Twenty centuries watching and oh, how the two of us wept
At this rock, stumbling block, that you've built to be kings of the earth.
Now the hour's arrived to revive -- witness my rebirth!

JOSHUA whirls round and, at the sweep of his hand, the backdrop falls away to reveal:

SCENE: The Plaza of St Pilate's Cathedral. A white marble dome fills the sky, capped by a golden cross. Stage-left, a row of pulpits runs from front of stage to the back. PRIESTS and MINISTERS preach piously to the CROWD of faithful who fill the Plaza. Heads turn as JOSHUA rips loose now.


JOSHUA:
Today I am Christ, you scribes and select,
You hypocrites whipped from what's already wrecked.
Your church it was fallen the day it was built,
Your blockhead betrayed me the day I was killed.
You've denied, and denied, and denied what is true,
And all I can say now...
[beat]
Is woe unto you!

Unrest ripples through the CROWD and it turns to face him, clears a space as he strides forward to accuse the PRIESTS and MINISTERS.

JOSHUA:
You deacons and demagogues, you're the disease.
You've stolen the kingdom, you thieves of the keys.
The gates should be wide, free for all to walk in,
But you've locked out all life with your lies about sin.
Even you're on the outside, if you only knew.
So all I can say now...
[beat]
Is woe unto you!

The PRIESTS and MINISTERS react with outrage, whip up the CROWD to angry protests, but there's dissent. As JOSHUA moves into the throng, arguments erupt at its margins. Some split off from their fellows, move away, stage-right. They listen with interest.

JOSHUA:
Empty words, repetitions, petitions and prayers,
Confessions, processions, and none of you care,
For the dogs and the fuckers, the faggots and whores.
I told you to love, not to judge and play pure.
Your faith is adultery; to my word it's untrue.
Your judgement is judged now...
[beat]
Woe unto you!

The CROWD falls back now, clearing a path between JOSHUA and the PRIESTS and MINISTERS. They continue to vent their outrage, but those stage-right begin to fall in behind JOSHUA, forming a CHORUS that builds through the break.

JOSHUA:
You popes and theologists!

CHORUS:
Woe unto you!

JOSHUA:
You Roman apologists!

CHORUS:
Woe unto you!

JOSHUA:
You clerics and cardinals!

CHORUS:
Woe unto you!

JOSHUA:
You evangelist carnivals!

CHORUS:
Woe unto you!

JOSHUA:
You pastors and priests!

CHORUS:
Woe unto you!

JOSHUA:
You greatest and least!

CHORUS:
Woe unto you!

JOSHUA:
You lawyers and Pharisees!

CHORUS:
Woe unto you!

JOSHUA:
Hear this prophet from Galilee: Woe!
Woe unto you!

The PRIESTS and MINISTERS come down from their pulpits to confront him, the CROWD falling in behind, pressing forward. With a cry of "Blasphemy!"an angry shove sends JOSHUA back and to the ground. He sings on from his knees, the CHORUS moving in to help him to his feet.

JOSHUA:
What do you know of the sacred inspiration?
What kind of soul rots in your revelation?
A cemetery sideshow, your chastity white
Is a crypt for the dead, full of bones and all shite.
It's not how you fuck, it's the filth that you spew.
You think you're so righteous?
[beat]
Woe unto you!

The CHORUS surge forward now, scattering the CROWD. In the confusion, JOSHUA strides through the PRIESTS and MINISTERS, takes one of the pulpits. He holds a Bible up.

JOSHUA:
You swear by your book, but it's truth that you bind.
You circle the world to make converts as blind
As your cruel indifference that blackens my name,
No mercy, no justice, no wisdom, just shame.
Lemme open your eyes, lemme buy you a clue.
Your word is worth nothing.
[beat]
Woe unto you!

He comes back down, moves centre-stage, Bible open in hand now, held up, shoved in faces as damning evidence he's confronting them with.

JOSHUA:
You quote from the scriptures the prophets of old.
You kneel to your statues with haloes of gold.
Your crucifix shone as the wine of your wrath
Was poured in your pogroms, your pious bloodbath.
You've lain all the blame in the hands of the Jews.

He throws the Bible down in fury, rounds on them all.

JOSHUA:
It was you crucified me!

He grabs a sash from one PRIEST, twirls it like a locker-room towel, whirls and whips.

JOSHUA:
Woe unto you!

Front of stage, as he sings, JOSHUA drives the PRIESTS and MINISTERS from the plaza, stage-right. Back of stage, the CHORUS send the CROWD after them, return to the Plaza that they've taken.

JOSHUA:
Woe unto you!
Woe! Woe! Woe!
Woe unto you!
Woe!

He throws the sash down, and at another sweep of his hand, as he turns back to the CHORUS, a banner drops in front of the dome of St Pilate's, a simple two-word message: OCCUPY HEAVEN.

JOSHUA:
Woe unto you!

End scene.

*NB. Jesus, Yeshua, Yehoshua, Joshua. Certain features of this opening number from a non-existent musical may or may not give you a vague notion of the content of the next novel. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to the novel Hal.

11:09 am  

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