GOTR 2: Scenes 21-27

Born on this day: George Foreman - The Ring

Scene 21

Dublin / a TV Studio / enter the presenter, Cathal O’Shannon

Pugilist & poet, King of the Hype
With his rhetoric he makes the ring ring
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Just mentioning his name starts great debates
Is he super boxer or superstar
The most talk’d about human in the world
Where no mortal is more synonymous
With sport than who proclaims he’s the greatest
& maybe he is – certainly I will
Not be arguing with him about that –
Deliver him an All Irish welcome
Ladies… Gentlemen.. Muhammad Ali!

Enter Muhammad Ali

Welcome to Dublin

It’s nice to be here

You look fit, certainly, still training hard?

Well, yeah, since my last bout with Joe Frazier
I’ve fought a lot of fighters, I’ve just box’d
Jerry Quarry, I’m active & ready
A contender should stay in contention
The new tramp, oops, I mean champ, Joe Frazier
Been doin’ diddly squat, seven months rest
Between each fight, battling people even
You could beat, Cathal; no, I gotta keep
The fighting game alive, fibres of fate
Entwine with the spirit of Champions
& haunt them with a braying restlessness.

Your Fight of the Century saw perform
Two champions – I notic’d Joe Frazier’s
Unquantifiable combination
Of youth, desire & ability true,
While for yourself all the public hatred
You had chaperon’d burst furiously,
When even your detractors show’d respect

Begrudgingly, yes

You said you’d retire
If you lost, but of course you’ve kept going
Why so?

I thought about it once or twice
But then, one evening, when watching my wife
Give our baby milk thro’ tears & wailstrife
Whose hollerings could wake the frozen dead
Expecting milk the moment cries lunge forth
Ten years from now my baby’s gonna be
Just ten years old, needing money for school
Sweets, books & busfare; parties, games & clothes
My daughter, too, on her turning twenty
She gonna need a house, I won’t see her
Working in a diner, people will say
Look at Ali’s daughters – born in riches
But given beeswings like the rest of us
I’ve still got an mighty punch left in me
Next time we meet I’ll knock Joe Frazier out
& then I’ll face your Irish champion
& knock him out the same


I got a laugh

You’re in Ireland

So if I can save up
Two million dollars, how much is that

About eight hundred thousand pounds, I think

So, if I can save a million pounds
I can relax, can sleep at ease at night
For now it’s gonna take a lot of work
& one has gotta work hard – nobody
Gives you anything, right

Right, so tell me
Upon your loss to Frazier, what passions
Envelop’d cognitive recollections

Well, you tell me, people who saw the fight
Will say I claim’d the laurels of most rounds
Especially those understanding boxing
& all its clever nuances unseen
By casual spectators of the sport
I know I lost two rounds, I’ll say as much –
In the eleventh he shook me real bad
& then, of course, that knockdown in fifteen,
But all the time, for every once he struck
I’d offer four firm blows of equal mein,
So terrible the whupping what he got
He spent a weary month in hospital
Pain’d by intensive treatment, while myself
I look’d the same but for a swollen jaw
Which faded soon, no features distorted
Unlike Joe – one judge was so outrageous
He cough’d up Frazier’d won eleven rounds
Any boxing fan across the planet
Would deem impossible I’d just won four

So, you’re hoping to fight Frazier again

Of course I am, but first he gotta come
Out of his hidey hole, dya know he bought
Some plantation deep in Alabama,
& started rearing chickens, what a joke

How do you rate his skills as a boxer

He slugs good, yes, but shames the boxer’s art
I’ve even got a better voice than him
He was in Ireland recently, singing
That right?

He came here touring with his band
Joe Frazier & the Knock-outs was the name

I understand he only drew eighty
In twenty-thousand seater arenas

He did a little better over here
& drew about a thousand

If I play’d
That same venue, it would capacitate
Now let us speak of mirth & stint all this
Who told Joe Frazier he could even sing
There is music to boxing, I grant this
But gladiator’s never played the harp

But did you not the chords joytwang yourself
On Broadway

I was in a musical
Titl’d ‘Big Time Buck Wright’ – altho’ the play
Never made it, I was a great success
The New York critics said I was perfect
So yeah, I beat Joe Frazier singing too

Could you prove it to the Irish people

Sure I can – it would be a great honour
This is a land of song, of Galway pipes
& Dublin ditties sang by pretty girls
If it’s alright to enter your circle
I have a poem set in music’s field

What is it all about

A man’s true name
I’ve found mine own? its Muhammad Ali,
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Cocky, loquacious, fit for greatness born,
Fourth generational Kentucky slave
Root to the fruit, along paths of purpose
I trod, & knew I must discard the chains
Of given names ingrain’d with hard labour
As such was Cassius Marcellus Clay’s
Continuation of a day’s routine,
Of degradation, drudgery & death,
My cheeks deep-claw’d, flow’d tears of blood on each,
Whene’er I heard those cursed words, each time
A spike of horror in my mind! no more!
I have set myself free from tvile bondage
Possessing such a slave name doth entail,
Into the hinterlands of history
It has been cast, deep flung, with full disgust,
As from the vaults of heaven came the next
Unshackl’d from all racist crudetie,
Muhammad means ‘worthy of most praises,’
Whilst Ali means most high

Quite beautiful
In sound & meaning, so can you tell us
Of Islamica what attracted first

Many perks, but salient among them
Is pride, some would say love, for given names;
The Chinese have Chang-Chong; & the Russians
Have Kruschev, Karpov, Korchnoi, Kasparov;
You have your Kennedys, Your O’Gradys;
The Jews have their Goldbergs, their Feigenbaums;
Africans Manbongo & Lamubo;
But American Blacks, tho’ thro’ their blood –
Do torrents of the Congo Falls hard flow –
Are nothing now but a whitewash’d negro
With names like Hawkins, Johnson, Smith & Clay…
Muhammad is a beautiful Black name
& I do say it proudly

As you may
& few on Earth dare test your stern resolve
In any sphere, even the Supreme Court
Has bended to thy will, & set aside
The orders that tore you from your title

Let me tell you, Dermot, about my case
At first I was a thankless Antichrist
A draft-dodging antiwhite terrorist,
Helpless as fair won title stripp’d away
But nothing stops the ceaseless wheel of time
What hums with life soon crumples in the dust,
& something chang’d in America’s psyche,
Whose criminals now those who go to war,
Whose conscience is the ones who found my gloves
Classified conscientious objector
& I’ll soon fight again, we boxing sort
Must stay in port to make a patent pay

Well, we cannot wait to hear your new song
Ladies, Gentlemen, Muhammad Ali,
Singing ‘Whats in a name’

Thank you Cathal


I found the freedom to do what I wanna do
The sum of patience & reason to think things thro
No longer under the rainclouds of painful confusion
That our society’s under
& so I start to suggest that you do the same
There’s so much freedom in losing you chosen name
& when you’re choosing your own hang it up in a frame
That the world will look up to & wonder

Listen to me, I’m Muhammad Ali
I’m Beloved of God
You wanna be free from this state fakery
Switch your old life off
I’m Beloved of God

Scene 22

The state legislature in Columbia, South Carolina / the national & the Confederate flag are hanging together

Governor West
Today’s a famous day, here in the south
South Carolina’s State Legislature’s
About to receive an oratory
For the first time from an African
American, since those halcyon days
Of Reconstruction, we all know our past
Of how the chains of bondage parted men,
But these are now the nineteen seventies
& things are very much chang’d & changing
As such, it is my fantastic honour
To invite one of Beaufort’s awesome sons
To the floor, to address our General
Assembly, Representatives, please stand
For Joseph Frazier, lately, deserving
Heavyweight Champion of all the world
Our universal, gallant dowsabel

Enter Joe Frazier wearing a grey suit with a soft blue stripe, a yellow shirt and a red‐tan and‐blue tie,to a 30 second standing ovation

Joe Frazier
Thank you Governor & good afternoon
Thank you for inviting me to address
You all today, my message is simple
Whether white or black, we are all from God
All races should be pulling together
Into a global whole & unity
& in the case of South Carolina
Catch up with the rest of America
In seven or eight years since first I left
Beaufort, a flooding wave of Civil Rights
Has wash’d the taint of slavery away
From many states all over this great land
But never reach’d Lake Keeowee’s beaches
To nourish the sabal palmetto tree
I feel it’s the time to save our people
& when I say such thing I mean both white
& black, to face the white man with his fate
To live in unity with the black man,
As equals too, we need to quit thinking
Who lives next door, who’s my little daughter
Playing with, who she sits next to in school,
& if the legislature will allow
I would like to build a playground back home
In Beaufort, & pay for it all myself
With one adamantine pre-requisite
The gates will be open to black children
& white children the same, & in their midst
One water fountain for them all to share
Already I have spent some of my fees
Gain’d from the fight with Muhammad Ali
On purchasing the Brewton Plantation
Down there in Beaufort, I don’t want to cut
The ties I have with home, I love my state

Audience member
& we love you Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier
Hah, thank-you
But what I’m trying to say is, by buying
A plantation, where generations back
My kinsfolk was enslav’d, & in my youth
I was nothing but a dumb sharecropper
I’d say, ‘Good morning, Boss,’ and he would say,
‘To the mule…’ at noon, I’d say, ‘Lunch time, Boss,’
& he’d say ‘One o’clock…’ in the evening,
I would say, ‘Good night, Boss,’ and he would say,
‘In the mornin,’ but now I’ve bought his home
& blown away all the infested webs
Full of the dead bug hides of former times
& in my handsome purchase want to show
How things have alter’d irrevocably,
& so, I urge the members of this house,
To please pursue the cause of Civil Rights
That burns ten thousand bonfires cross the rest
Of these fields of manifest destiny,
Where in the first birthing declaration
Of independence, it nobly stated
Ev’ry soul born equal, & lives free
So, let’s all pull together, & let’s make
South Carolina a nice place to live
Likewise New York & Philadelphia
& all the other nests of the eagle
Which we call the American, so we all
Can live together & play together
& pray together, change is possible
& I’m living proof of such a process
We can all do anything we want to
If we really put our heart, soul & mind
Into our noble object, look at me
When I first started on the boxing road
I had two jobs, a wife, couple of kids,
& still I had to train & train real hard
There were struggles & barriers of pain
But if you would position your right foot
In front of you, & then the left behind,
& lurch the back forward, you’ll soon find
You’re headin’ for the gardens of thy hopes

There is applause / the Governor steps up & stills the applause

Governor West
Thank you Mister Frazier, all of us here
Are so very proud of what you’ve achiev’d
Would like to show our appreciation
With this small gift, engrav’d in your honour

Governor West gives Joe Frazier a gold-wrapp’d silver and black jewellery box

Joe Frazier
All righty – I appreciate that, thanks

Governor West
Congratulations, South Carolina
Adores you at this moment, aint that right

More applause – Frazier waves then exits

Scene 23

Pleasington, California / George Foreman is stood in the street chatting to two white girls, Sandy & Lucy

This body you possess, Mr Foreman
Flows pectorially perfect, Sandy
Place your hands here with pressure’s lightsome flight
Touching this point, feeling tectonic force
Upheaving from Earth’s core into this heart
Which beats the smelt of blood as if the drums
Of war did thunder oer Montana’s plains

{feeling Foreman’s chest}
Hmm – Hmm – why, that is a wonderful thing

How often do you train, Mr Foreman

George Foreman
George, girls, call me George, why every day

But not all day, tell us about your nights

Do you have time for play before you sleep
For we love playful funtimes after dark

Tonight the both of us have nothing on

Would you like to see us with nothing on

Enter Officer Kendricks

Officer Kendricks
Excuse me ladies, is he troubling you

Not at all officer

George Foreman
They came to me

Its George Foreman, the boxer,

We’re big fans

So what are you gonna do officer,
Arrest him for being to good looking
I’d leave my white husband in an instant
For half an hour of passion with this man

Officer Kendricks
You’d better move along ladies, right now


Officer Kendricks
I said move it

See you later George

Officer Kendricks
Move it, move it, I’m watching you Foreman
My name is Officer Ty Kendricks, boy
& yours aint nothin’ in comparison
Famous boxer or not you’re a nigger
To me

George Foreman
& all the Confederacy
A century has pass’d since Gettysburg
Destroyd satanic tangents down which slaves
Driven by shameful, disgraceful mutants
Sir, this is now nineteen seventy two
& Civil Rights permit my right to claim
Your use of nigger as a deep offence
But.. I’ll forgive you for your ignorance
Education beats humilation

Officer Kendricks
What you call me boy, you want some of this
{Foreman squares off to him / Officer Kendricks spits}
I’m watching you

George Foreman
& I’m watching you leave


From civil rights by candlelight
In guru kinda places
To rubbing wax on cadillacs
To put them thro’ their paces
Gonna drive round town with my hood down
Saying fuck you to the racists

There’s black power running thro’ my beat
Feel the freedom in my feet
See me rising in the street
Black Power

Well here’s my fist & here’s a list
Of all my consternations
It’s been two strides forward one drag back
Since our emancipation
In brotherhood our mothers’ blood
Defines us as one nation

There’s black power running thro’ my beat
Feel the freedom in my feet
See me rising in the street
Black Power

Let it roll thro my soul
We are fast & we are strong
Gonna fight the past, gon right the wrong
Cos there’s black power running thro’ my vein
Lionesses stroke my mane
Watching white men on the wane
Black Power
Back power running thro’ my beat
Feel the freedom in my feet
Gon see us rising in the street

Exit Officer Kendricks, Lucy & Sandy / enter Don King

Don King
Powerful song from a powerful man

George Foreman

Don King
Allow me to introduce myself
My name is King, Don King, a businessman

George Foreman
So, what’s your business

Don King
Boxing promotion
I see an opportunity in thee
Whose supreme being fills me with intent
To send your essence thro’ the wider world
I’ve never seen such miracles of strength
Credibility crowning performance
Your foes disintegrating at your gaze

George Foreman
What are you saying

Don King
Joe Frazier

George Foreman

Don King
He says he’ll fight you if the price is right

George Foreman
I aint ready for Joe

Don King
Sure you are,
Three hundred & seventy five thousand
Fills me with thy possible transcendence

George Foreman
How much?

Don King
Its by Jamaica guaranteed
Shewing a world beyond America
Where black men making money never hear
Their genius defam’d as crooked wiles

George Foreman
I still don’t know, Joe’s scary, that left hook
Which floor’d Ali with pristine precision
Still haunts my soul, I seen it sixty times
When as long as Frazier’s the heavyweight
Champion of the world, I got no chance

Don King
Son, undeliver your defeatism,
It is the boxer’s business to be more,
Not less, than man… with thee I dig deep faith
Joe Frazier boxes like an old blind man
Tapping his stick around for one good punch,
But with that reach of yours he won’t get close
For eagerly astounded I have been
By all your battles’ rich abilities

George Foreman
I guess when I lay my fists on these guys
It feels as if Archdruid I’ve became
Wielding a blade temper’d in dragonsbreath

Don King
Less Druid, more Adonis fully-form’d
Thou art as marvellous a specimen
As might be found in all our Human rolls
To never flinch at challengers the print
Of champions, Frazier picks no-hopers,
Beats with them ease, thus his force is dulling,
Straining the lack sharpness from his mind,
Yet what an abundant promise of wealth
Ticks in your heart, & you’ve got hunger too

George Foreman
Nevertheless his fighting’s infernal,
He’s never lost a bout, & beat Ali,
Whose ‘Greatest’ ego-tag unratified

Don King
That fight with Ali left Joe Frazier spent
As if he’d won the Kentucky Derby
Destin’d to never run so fast again
Sithen he has continued as a barge
Cruises canals of glass tranquillity,
While favourites can fall if they refuse
To scout ahead all fences in a race
Before it run – he’s never seen you fight,
Or if he has, fairly unfancies thee,
But I don’t, George, I think you’re fantastic

George Foreman
You really want me to fight Joe Frazier

Don King
I do, brother, the contract’s ready, form’d
& by the lord in Heaven preordain’d

George Foreman
OK – I’ll read it

Don King
The world is waiting
To crown its next heavyweight champion

George Foreman
I’ll let you know tonight what I’ll decide
Come meet me in that diner over there
At seven o’ clock

Don King
Sure, I will be there

George Foreman
O, & Mr King, thank you very much

Don King
You know it makes sense, lets make some money
& bend this exhibition to the bout

Exit Don King – Foreman starts to analyse the contract

Scene 24

Vernon / the Great Gorge Playboy Club: Joe Frazier is relaxing with a newspaper eating his breakfast / enter Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner
Morning Joe

Joe Frazier
Good morning Mr Heffner

Hugh Hefner
Do call me Hugh, so how is your breakfast

Joe Frazier
This sausages & bacon taste sublime

Hugh Hefner
Only the best at the Playboy Hotel
Twenty million dollar luxury
Salubrious among the Vernon hills,
The Sinatras, Harry Belafonte
Have play’d, Dean Martin, Duke Ellington too
Our entertainment’s Vegas, food gourmet,
Our famous pool’s fit for Olympians,
There’s twenty seven holes of sterling golf,
Jacuzzis & spas &…

Joe Frazier
Its magical, Hugh,
But a strange place to train, all these bunnies
Bouncing about my body & my brain
The very antithesis of Sparta

Hugh Hefner
To see our newly-form’d facilities
Put to the test by a man such as you
Redeems the validation of my dream
You are the world Champion after all
How long, & for free, would you care to stay
At the Great Gorge?

Joe Frazier
Well, I’ve been here a week
I’d like to reside another ten days
It would have been longer but for the snow
I need to run, you see, for stamina
Atlantic City’s where I’ll burn those miles

Hugh Hefner
Seems like you’re training harder for Foreman
Than Roy stander & Terry Daniels

Joe Frazier
Well I would say yeah, not because of Foreman,
But I’ve been out a little longer, dig
George is young & strong, he’s a big fella
Who’ll try out all the tricks in book & box
To take that title

Hugh Hefner
What about that size
He’ll tower over you as did Ali

Joe Frazier
Well, I got all the remedy for that
I’ll get underneath & keep myself low
As much as possible, while otherwise
I’ve got a new thing for him, you’ll see me
Hitting George with a host of jabs this time

Hugh Hefner
His reach is long, you don’t mind getting hit

Joe Frazier
I aint gonna fail like no Bay of Pigs
I do mind getting hit, but it’s a game
Y’know what I mean, if you go out there
You expect to get hit – I don’t worry
About tiring, I know can take it,
But only time does tell what will happen
& I’m getting myself together well,
But fear is absent from my agile thoughts
He swings too wide, I’ll teach him a lesson
Like all those other guys before my fists
He’s never felt the clipfull rough of hurt
& yeah, what he did to George Chuvalo
Ruffl’d a fly surprisement – but I got
Too much command of motion in that ring
To see no other outcome but a win

Hugh Hefner
& then you are ya gonna fight Muhammad
He’s still the first pretender to your crown

Joe Frazier
The Number One Contender, who’s he fought
Some bruis’d up boys I’ve already beaten
Ali was floor’d, while Foreman’s never lost
But when I slay him in a flash of sweat
Another tilt I’ll give to Ali, sure
& next time knock him out

Hugh Hefner
I’m sure you will

Hugh Hefner
Joe Frazier
That nigger makes me mad as murderers
He’s really only in it for the dough
Y’know, sometimes he calls me up at night
Spittin’ ‘we’re big & bad, why don’t we fight
& carping all the while about the purse
While preaching to the world I aint no good

Hugh Hefner
I guess you gotta wait til the four-square
To shut his puss

Joe Frazier
Yeah – I just don’t like him

Enter Kitty, a waitress, carrying a breakfast tray

Here you are, Mr Frazier, your breakfast

Joe Frazier
Can I get another pot of coffee

Of course, Mr Frazier

Hugh Hefner
Thank-you Kitty

Joe Frazier
Wait – & a couple more rounds of toast, please
With skippy peanut butter dollop’d on

Why, anything for you, Mr Frazier
{Exit Kitty}
My girls think you’re cute

Joe Frazier
I’m a married man
Mr Heffner

Hugh Hefner
She’s a lucky woman
Amidst this siren sensuality
You’re still obsessed with boxing

Joe Frazier
That’s my bag
But as for Cassius Clay, give me five
Months off after Foreman, then I’ll fight him

Hugh Hefner
I hope such things transpire as you predict
For now I am a Frazier man, to see
Strength temper’d by tender humility
Cast in a lamp of powerful illume,
I’ll blink in wonder at thy mighty light,
But please excuse my lowly sycophance
There’s business to attend to, & my girls –
Enjoy your day, we can meet this evening
For dinner with my Bunnies, if you’ll wish

Joe Frazier
I’ll be there

Exit Hugh / enter Kitty

Your coffee Mr Frazier

Thanks Kitty

You’re very welcome – enjoy

Exit Kitty / Frazier continues his breakfast

Scene 25

Las Vegas, the International Hotel – Elvis is singing a medley of patriotic songs; The Battle Hymn of the Republic / Dixie / All My Trials Lord

Elvis Presley
Ladies, Gentlemen, thank you very much,
Now tonight, in the audience, I’m told
There’s a very special human being
Who says he’s the greatest ever boxer
& I’ll have to agree – are you out there
Muhammad Ali, stand up, where are you

I’m not the greatest – you are the greatest

Elvis Presley
Either way – welcome to Las Vegas, man

It’s good to be here, but you’re the greatest
You are the King

Elvis Presley
Why don’t you come back stage when I’m finish’d

Sure thing

Elvis Presley
Do you have a favourite song

Yeah, man – I dig Don’t be Cruel

Elvis Presley
Alright boys

Elvis counts down & they play Don’t Be Cruel

Scene 26

Las Vegas, the International Hotel, backstage / Elvis is gather’d with his small, skinny entourage – enter Muhammad Ali with his big, beefy entourage

Hey, that’s Elvis – he looks pretty good!’

Elvis Presley
Muhammad Ali, welcome my brother

MA & Elvis look at each other like good-looking women appraising how they look.

Elvis Presley, aw man, thank-you so much
That was one heck of a foot-stomping show
Boy, you can dance, what an entertainer

Elvis Presley
Every night, man, every night

You work hard

Elvis Presley
Too hard

Same for me in the fighting game
No train, no pain, no gain, gotta be done

Elvis Presley
Hey, you wanna drink

Water, please
You know what they say, water’s for winners

Elvis Presley
Sure thing
& your boys

They’ll have the same

Elvis Presley
Joseph, attend to our guests will you, please
So, Ali, alright if I call you that


Elvis Presley
Well, I like to keep in shape you know
I’m into karate


Elvis Presley

Elvis takes a karate pose / MA squares off to him / suddenly Elvis sweeps MA’s feet & floors him / there is an awkward look between them then MA burst into laughter, as does the room

Hey, man, where dya learn to pull that fast trick

Elvis Presley
There’s a real good dojo, downtown Vegas
I’m into it very deeply, & now
I’m thinkin’ of getting into boxing

No way, you’re too pretty to do boxing
You stay singing & I’ll do the fighting

{passing round cokes}
Here you go boys

Bundini Brown
Thank you very much

Was such a fan of yours when I was young
Was maybe fifteen years old at the time
In ‘56, your epic breakthro’ year
When pelvic vibrations shook the quimmage
Of millions of burgeoning girls
Hanging off each defiant gyration
Phenomenal whirling dervish desires
While all the black boys lov’d to hear you sing
Their gospel music to a bluesman’s beat
Animalistical, miscegenous
Ensorcelling with such brazen voltage
I remember watching you on TV
& wanted to be just like you, other kids
In the neighborhood listen’d to Ray Charles,
James Brown, cats like that, but I was list’ning
To Elvis Aaron Presley, & admir’d
You so much & verily decided
If I was ever going to be famous
I’d do it just like you, & so I have
In my own way, being maharajas
Of vocational principalities,
We entertain our people, earn fealties
& loyalty & love from the masses

Elvis Presley
There are certain similarities, yeah

Where you can so sing good, well I got speed
Where you got soul I got a knock-out punch
& for a white man you’re pretty pretty
& boy, we both can dance, we got the moves

Elvis Presley
Well, you have got your show, & I’ve got mine

& let me tell you something else

Elvis – uou have your show & i have mine

Elvis Presley
Go on

When you made a promise to your mama
That when you’d money made you’d buy a car
& house for her, & so you did

Elvis Presley
That’s right
She brought us up in swampfoot poverty
But all the time with love & song & smiles
Twas the least that I could do

I remember saying with my teenage heart
Flush’d with untramell’d enthusiasm,
‘When I get rich and famous I will but
My mama a nice car & then a house
& after my first pro fight, man, I did
I bought her a shiny pink cadillac
& after my second I bought my folks
A brand new house, just like Elvis Presley
Yeah, you’re the greatest

Elvis Presley
Let’s say we both are
&, well, especially you, thou art an
Art-enchanter, master lov’d by masters,
But listen, man, I knew you were coming
& I got you a gift made up

You did

Elvis Presley
I did, yeah, Joseph

Aw, man, if I’d known
We were doing gifts

Elvis Presley
Man, we’d never met
It’s fine, but I really wanted to show
My appreciation of what you do
& what you mean to all of us who say
Your name with veneration – open it

What’s this

Elvis Presley
It’s a robe for the ring, unique
Hand-crafted to a sim’lar style of mine
Across the back, emblazon’d, can you see
Reads, ‘People’s Choice’ in rhinestones & jewels,

Wow man, this don’t look cheap

Elvis Presley
It cost three grand

Wuu – three thousand dollars for a jacket

Elvis Presley
It’s a robe, man,

I don’t know what to say

Elvis Presley
Just promise me you’ll wear it in the ring
Therein shall be thy thank-you

Of course – eh, can I ask you something

Elvis Presley

Why did you have the People’s Choice inscrib’d

Elvis Presley
That’s your nickname, right,

No, not exactly
They call me the People’s Champion

Elvis Presley

The People’s Champion, not People’s choice

Elvis Presley
Aw man – look I’ll get it redone for you

Naw man, it’s fine, I love it, it’s from you
Elvis Aaron Presley, my fair idol
Taking the time & money for to please
Little Cassius Clay, as I was then
Ah man, this is the sweetest thing ever
I’ll treasure it for always & beyond
The Choice or Champion, it matters not

Elvis Presley
You sure

Of course man

Bell rings

Elvis Presley
Well, that’s me, show time
It was really good to meet you Ali

& you Elvis

Elvis Presley
What you doing later

I’m afraid that I’ve got an early night
I’m up at 4 AM for my training

Elvis Presley
That’s about when I’ll be going to bed
Rock & Roll is not an early riser

I’m sure ! well you take care brother

Elvis Presley
& you

They shake hands

Man you are pretty

Hey, Elvis, let’s go

Elvis Presley
Goodbye man, see you around

& soon
{exit Elvis}
You know I don’t admire nobody, but
He’s the sweetest, humblest and nicest man
You’d ever want to know, & now I do
Come on, let’s go & watch the second half
Bye boys


Elvis associate
Man, when he swept Ali’s legs
I thought we were dead

I know what you mean
That was the most peculiar moment
I’ve ever seen in all my backstage days

Elvis starts singing in the background – they begin twiddling their thumbs with the nonchalance of having heard the concert hundreds of times

Scene 27

Los Angeles / George Foreman is training for the Sunshine Showdown / a musical interlude / Foreman is Shadowboxing (hooks, jabs, uppercuts)/ at the Punch bag with Eddie Futch & Yank Durham / Skipping / Push-ups / Sparring / Enter Bryant Gumble & a cameraman

Bryant Gumble
This is Bryant Gumble, NBC News
George Foreman is here in Los Angeles
Publicizing his January fight
With Joe Frazier next year in Jamaica
He’s looking strong, an athlete in good shape,
So George, can we stop you for a minute
{George stops training}
George, how fares thoughts on your fight upcoming
With Frazier

George Foreman
Mine opportunity knocks
But this is not his opportunity
That’s my big advantage – he’s had his chance
& dines, now, with kings, queens & presidents
But with nineteen seventy three drawn nigh
That year might well be my mine, my time to shine,
That’s the opportunity, intend I
To take advantage of it, I aint had
Much television like this, I want this,
He’s tired of it, makes fame an every day
Occurrence, but not me, this is my time

Bryant Gumble
Does it upset you, does it bother you
When people belittle your skills, & say
You’ve fought with failures, skittl’d nobodies

George Foreman
No, not really, it depends whom utters
Are you saying that

Bryant Gumble

George Foreman
Well, alright then
I like to think that every time i fight
I go out to make all my opponents
Look like nothing, & I hope Joe Frazier
Goes down in likewise manner, like the rest

Bryant Gumble
Thanks George

George Foreman
You’re welcome

Foreman returns to training

Bryant Gumble
Foreman’s fresh & good –
Since Ali, Frazier has only fought twice
& both of those opponents nobodies
Unless he’s ready Joe’ll have quite a fight
Upon his hands in Jamaica, next year;
I’ve been Bryant Gumble, NBC news

Exit Bryant / Foreman stops training

George Foreman
I’m really gonna have to do it now
But how the hell am I gonna beat him

Eddie Futch
Well, he is a very clever boxer
& smart enough to win the world entire
Protecting the button he hides his chin
Behind fantastic defences, if chin
Feels unassailable, ignore it plain,
Use your height & hit him on his headtop

Yank Durham
I don’t think there’s nothing to worry on
He’s far too nonchalant, he’s gone too soft
Fancy clothes, cadillacs & chevrolets

Eddie Futch
One of them’s a thirty-four

George Foreman
I seen it

Yank Durham
A swimming pool shap’d like a boxing glove
By four hundred thousand dollars of home
Such trappings of success an ancient trap
When warriors prefer women & wine
& hearths & rugs instead of open fields,
Then they’ll soon miss the missile in the fray

George Foreman
But everything you’d never want to face
In boxing Frazier’s got

Eddie Futch
I’d do the same
But better – if he tries to move in close
Stop him, block him, get out of the way
Then when he’s open pulverize & pound

Yank Durham

George Foreman
I wish I felt your confidence
A tougher cookie I aint ever seen
With vicious left hooks and rights to the side
He’s buzzsaw, giant killer, a machine,
Aint lost a fight since nineteen sixty four
To Buster Mathis at the Flushing trials
& has since decimated the divison

Eddie Futch
But you succeeded Frazier’s golden torc
& you have never lost a single fight

Yank Durham
Just keep going George, we believe in you

Eddie Futch
Yeah, back to work, pick up that skipping rope

GOTR 2: Scenes 28-33

Down goes Frazier: Foreman recalls stunning victory

Scene 28

New York / Press conference / Enter Don King, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Archie Moore stands by Foreman’s shoulder / Journalists 1,2 & 3 are present

Don King
Well, thank you all for coming here today
The Sunshine Showdown’s glowing in the dawn
O! what a day loaded in store for thee
& what a night of boxing out Kingston,
Jamaica, this January comingm
Whose arena of forty-two thousand
Stack’d rafter-pack’d above two boxers sees
Joe Frazier, the champion, George Foreman,
The Challenger; today they gonna sign
The contracts, but first, boys, lets see those fists…
I’m gonna call on Mister Joe Frazier
To say a few words, Joe

Joe Frazier
Good afternoon,
About George I’m not gonna say too much
For as you know my own lip-rapping skills
Aint so great, you know how it is, no mouth
Run-offer, like some people that we know
Because of one particular reason
I’m stoked to bits this fight is coming off
For me & George are in the fighting game
For fighting aint no politician thing,
When sportsmen go off rapping, that aint right,
The ring no place to showcase opinions
Other than that which settles whose fought best,
& so, I feel this fight should entertain,
While George tries to strip away my title
I’ll do my very best to keep it close

Don King
Thanks Joe, so George, some words you wanna say?

George Foreman
I don’t wanna be as modest as Joe
For he’s already proved himself a king
I gotta get out here to preach & brag
& big me up & let you people think
I’m a monkey or something, so all yous
Can come along & see me do something
I want all the people in this country
Complaisant with all planetary parts
To light their eyes upon this special fight
I know myself it shall be mighty brawl
An evening when George Foreman will declare
Wars on Joe’s bones, & that’s a definite!

Right On

Joe Frazier
Most people suggest a fighter
Loses his legs ascending certain age
But now my legs feel stronger than ever
I don’t know, I must have got one of those
The guy who run so fast

Journalist 1
A second wind

Joe Frazier
No – the Six Million Dollar man, yeah?

Journalist 2

Joe Frazier
When I hit the road in the morning
I’m like the Six Million Dollar Man

George Foreman
You people are certainly gonna see
A mighty fight, in which avow’d am I,
The only way to take leave of that ring
Victoryless before the fifteenth end
Is stretcherborne, unconscious, void of force

Don King
We’ll see you all in Kingston on the night
It will be grand, it will be exotic
A royal, unforgettable battle
As if they were the houses roseate
White York & Red Lancaster, clamp’d by gore
Together on a sodden, windswept moor
But under sultry island sun instead
So a good day to you all
{To Frazier & Foreman}
This way boys

Journalist 3
Mr King, could you answer some questions

Don King
That will be all, thank-you

Journalist 3
But Mr King
Is it true there’s twelve thousand empty seats
On an island where the average wage
Is only twenty-five dollars a month
Was that to be expected… Mr King?

Exit King & the Boxers

Journalist 1
So how you think the fight is gonna go

Journalist 2
I can’t see Foreman lasting seven rounds
He’s barely hit the third before his foes
End the bouts, encrumpl’d upon canvas
But Frazier is a different being
& by the fourth or fifth Foreman will tire

Journalist 3
I don’t think it’ll even last that long
George Foreman’s just an old-fashion’d slugger

Journalist 1
But tough, I wouldn’t be so sure

Journalist 2
Come on
You’re kidding right, Foreman don’t stand a chance

Journalist 3
But Jamaica, hah, better than New York
In winter, don’t forget to pack your shorts

Journalist 2
I’ll be there Jack, & newly single too!

Scene 29

Jamaica / Joe Frazier’s hotel, poolside / The Knock-Outs are playing, Frazier is singing to a crowd of lithe Jamaican ladies & journalists

Knock On Wood
Like a Knock-Out Drop
First Round Knock Out
They Bigger They Come

Enter Eddie Futch & Yank Durham

Eddie Futch
Hey Joe, Joe Frazier, what are you doing?

Joe Frazier
Hey, guys, relax, we’re just having a jam

Eddie Futch
A jam, a jam, your fight is in five days

Yank Durham
This is insane, Joe, why ya not training

George Foreman
I was this morning

Eddie Futch
We heard about that
You were getting bested by Ken Norton
& that aint ever happened before, Joe

Yank Durham
We’ve told him his service no more needed
& have a nice vacation here

Eddie Futch
Like you
It seems, Joe, but this aint no holiday,
It’s hard work, its elite competition
It’s, it’s not this anyway

Joe Frazier
Eddie, Yank
Relax, I got this

Yank Durham
Singing by the pool
In this heat drains your strength – its just stupid

Eddie Futch
It’s time to get outta here, gals & girls
Go take your party to another pool

Jamaican Woman 1
Alright, alright

Jamaican Woman 2
See you later, Joe, thanks

Joe Frazier
Bye ladies, boys, nice music today

Knockout 1

Knockout 2
You’d better hightail back to yer training
Mr Futch & Mr Durham don’t look pleas’d

Eddie Futch
Damn right we aint pleas’d, now get outta here

Joe Frazier
I don’t know why you guys are all upset
I got Foreman, he got nothing on me
All blunderbus & blunders, whats the fuss

Yank Durham
It aint him we’re worried about, its you,
Dwell we do upon your poor well-being,
Away from the grey-iron grasp of the gym
& that wet, wild & windy Philly
You’re losing your intensity & drive

Eddie Futch
And it’s not just this island’s soothing balms
We should have cut your gloves off once Ali
Hit canvas, too much damage that night dealt,
& now you’re just a shadow of the man
Who charg’d upon the title like a train
You’re now proud owner of a new-bought yacht
Loving to dive into the sun and fun

Joe Frazier
What you on about, Eddie, I’ll be fine

Yank Durham
He’s got a point, you’re losing something Joe

Joe Frazier
I gotta hear this bullshit from you too
& on the eve of a title defence

Eddie Futch
Joe, you got enough money, whatever
Happens next week, it’s time to give it up

Joe Frazier
Damn, give it up, what’s to gain, I’m World Champ
You think I’m gonna walk away like
All the work and sweat, Climb this high mountain
Pain all the way, to come down on a plane
No, no chance, not happening, now lets work,
George Foreman’s record is a deception,
I got too much for him, I’ll be too strong
Then maybe, in a year or two, retire
Cos’ I still gotta make sure Clay stays down
You got my back

Yank Durham
We got it Joe

Joe Frazier
Good, Good
Now come on, lets get outta here, you’re right
A poolside aint no place for a fighter
Nor ringside too, but on the canvas he
Belongs – as the Zulu with his Assegai
Dwells natural in his tribal impi –
Knuckledust fists like burnish’d katana
In the hands of a silver samurai
I’ll show George Foreman & the watching world
Joe Frazier is a trueblood champion

Eddie Futch
Yeah-heah – that’s the spirit

Joe Frazier
I got this boys

Exit Frazier, Futch & Durham

Scene 30

The Sunshine Showdown / Don King arrives in a limo with Joe Frazier to the sound of Desmond Dekker & the Aces ‘Israelites’ – the crowd is excited as they enter the stadium – out of the car also steps Marvis & his aunt, Mazie

This is all amazing Auntie Mazie
I’m so excited at this my first fight
Daddy watching, & in Jamaica too!

All this is gonna blow your mind my boy
There is nothing like seeing your daddy
In action, so supremely does he flow

Enter Mavis & Mazie / enter Foreman

Journalist 1
Hey its Foreman

Journalist 2
Good luck George

Journalist 3
You’ll need it

Angelo Dundee
Hey George

George Foreman

Angelo Dundee
I’m Angelo Dundee
Ali’s trainer

George Foreman
O hi, here for the show

Angelo Dundee
We want to talk to you after you win
{Foreman laughs}
There are rumours rumbling of Africa

George Foreman
I heard them, in Zaire or something, right

Angelo Dundee
Right – I’m here to pin it on the rematch
But I’ve seen your jab, Sonny Liston style,
& well, you’d better get a passport boy!

George Foreman laughs & enters the stadium

Journalist 2
Hey Angelo, why ya backing Foreman
He’s a wide-swinging brute with no technique

Angelo Dundee
With his parries, pivots, blocks pivots & step-aways
He’ll act just like an agile matador
To Frazier’s raging bull, a clash of styles,
Foreman’s an old school fighter who prevents
A punch before it has even begun,
Pinning arms, pushing shoulders, pulling gloves,
I don’t think Frazier’s gonna land a blow

Journalist 3
You’re crazy man

Angelo Dundee
We’ll see, let’s watch that fight

The Journalists & Angelo Dundee enter the stadium


Referee: Arthur Mercante

Howard Cosell
Don Dunphy

Here we ringside, Kingston, Jamaica
To see who’ll be the next World Champion
Of the global heavyweight division
Here comes the challenger, big George Foreman
This undefeated warrior was born
In Marshall, Texas, nineteen forty-nine
Which makes him twenty-four, in sixty-eight
He won Olympic gold, turn’d pro, sithen,
Guided by Dick Sandler, canny-handed,
He’s won all of his thirty-seven fights
With thirty-four by knock-out, six feet four
With a range of seventy-eight inches
George Foreman’s the man who floor’d Chavala

We’re now awaiting the arrival of
Joe Frazier, the defending champion
To a twenty foot ring with a canvas
Like a mattress, very soft, the Frazier
Kind of canvas, that man does not bounce
This slugger coming at ya like a tank
Wait a second – in the background cheers I hear
{Joe Frazier arrives with Don King}
Now here comes Frazier, twenty-nine years old
Coming down the aisle, his strong arms hanging
Onto his manger, Yancy Durham
As always has his habit sent him in
This South Carolinan soul, Buford born
In nineteen forty-four, would win his gold
In sixty-four, by Hayes, Carr, Larrabee,
Under Yancy Durham’s style & wisdom
He’s won every professional fight
Twenty-nine victories straight, twenty-five
By technical or natural knock-out

But four men have ever gone the distance
With Joe, there’s Muhammad Ali, of course
In the never-to-be-forgotten bout
Of March eighth, nineteen seventy one
Oscar Bonnavena has done it twice.

Joe is five feet eleven – with a reach
Of seventy-three & a half inches
Who says he’s not too happy with Foreman
Spitting disparages on his focus
& yearns to do away with Foreman swift

& now he’s thro’ the ropes, & in the ring
Powerful, in his colourful attire
Of white gown, trim gold-gleaming & a belt

Joe Frazier came in at a surprising
Two hundred & fourteen pounds, that’s eight pounds
More than on the night he fought Muhammad Ali, who is also here at ringside
Watching on – we’ll survey his opinion
Upon the fight some moment opportune

The referee is Arthuyr Mercente
Who refereed the Ali-Frazier fight
A man who is gen’rally consider’d
The best boxing referee in the States

They are trying to psyche each other out
& look, there is no fear in either man
Especially George Foreman knows no fear
He’s grown enormously in confidence
Of presence & speech, as well as boxing

Arthur Mercante makes his announcement

This Heavyweight Championship contest
To decide the world title is govern’d
By the rules of the Jamaican boxing
Federation scoring rules – a clean fight
With legal punches up above the waste
Conform the ten point must scoring system
There will be a mandatory eight count
Even after three knockdowns in the round
The fight goes on, no saving by the bell,
Go wait for the bell & come out boxing

When phantom fortune proffers tangible
In title fights before a titan crowd
I hope excitement strikes thee as it me
We are all close to the start of round one
Come any second now & we may have
An interesting evening
Here we go

Frazier’s status as the fight favorite
Is understandable, but Foreman flies
Out punching with a right, Frazier responds
With usual style, smoking he puts it
His job’s to get inside, his best weapon
The left hook, to which Foreman’s vuln’rable

Frazier’s in the white trunks, Foreman’s in red
George Foreman looks a little pensive, tense
But lands a left jab, pushes Frazier back

Frazier is not landing any punches
Tho’ he is the aggressor

But Frazier
Rarely wins the first, I would be surpris’d
If he won one now

Foreman has been struck
Struck good by Frazier’s left hook’s beastly best

Yes, Foreman looks a little looser now

Now there’s another heavy left by George
Who’s getting punches into Frazier’s head,

We will find out tonight how much Ali
Extracted from Frazier, if anything

& lets discover just how good is George
In punching & in taking of a punch

Foreman, there, with a good, smart, snappy jab

He hurt Joe Frazier, Joe Frazier is hurt!

Foreman is having a very good round

Angelo Dundee
Frazier’s hurt, Joe Frazier’s hurt, oh my!

Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!

The mandatory eight-count is taken
By the heavyweight champion, while pois’d
As can be, Foreman is pois’d as can be
Upon the neutral corner ropes, relax’d,

Daddy, stop playing daddy, stop playing!
Why’s my daddy playing, get him daddy!

There’s a full minute to go in the round
& already this fight is proving out
What some expected

Tis spectacular
Frazier’s in real trouble here – ooh, that left
Is getting in

Frazier seems to be hurt,
He’s being rock’d

Frazier’s been dull’d & dazed
Getting hit over & over again
Same temple hit so often by Ali

Foreman’s winning the fighting completely

Foreman steadily goes about his job
Determin’d, like a sheepdog on the holme

Tho’ Frazier fights back gamely, trouble’s spear
Seems but a step & a second away

George Foreman is all over Joe Frazier

There’s only twenty seconds in the round

George Foreman fires off right fist at Joe’s jaw

Frazier is down again

Frazier is down
& he… maybe… no, he’s rising, he’s game!
He is dazed, he doesn’t know where he is

The mandatory eight count, Joe looks lost
& wobbling like the scarecrow in a storm

The round’s about to end

Frazier looks beat
He’s never taken punishment like this
Frazier goes down again at sound of bell

But look, he’s up & the bout continues

Three knockdowns in the first round by Foreman
Muhammad Ali, watcha make of that

George punches like a reckless amateur
& telegraphs each thrust as semaphore
With sweeping, sluggish movements of his arms
His left jab’s fine, but fails to follow up
All Frazier needs to do is keep away
But making mistakes is his insistance
Straight from knockdown he’s lunging at his foe
A times for pride, a time for common sense
He’s thinking as he is the champion
He’s gotta get his man, but runs instead
Into George Foreman’s mandament display
If he’d just step away from the slugfest
He could win the fight, George looks very tired
After one round only, his punches wild
But Frazier’s tenaciousness, lack of fear,
Intimates Foreman’s intimidation’
Remember when Joe fought Bonavena
Was two-times knock’d down in the second round,
But got back up, with non-stop punches won –
This fight could be Joe’s yet…


There goes the bell


The Challenger’s scarily dominant
Joe’s hooks that even land have hardly phas’d
This cool marauder Foreman, all’s in awe

Joe’s coming out, wants come back hurrified

You’ll find no man gamer than Joe Frazier

Foreman batters Frazier in his corner

Oh – he is all over Frazier again
Frazier’s knees buckle

Joe goes down again

He is down for the fourth time in the fight

Just forty-five seconds, now four-times down

A quick left, & another, Foreman sent
A short & vicious compact to the chin

Auntie Mazie, my Daddy aint playing

No son, he’s human like the rest of us

But, he’s the champion of all the world!

There goes Joe down again
Fallen for the fifth time in this fist-fight

{to Frazier’s corner}
Yank, stop it or I’m going to kill him

Crowd yelling & shrieking Stop it! Stop it! Stop the fight! / Frazier gets back on his feet / Foreman resumes the attack

It is target practice for George Foreman
But Frazier is ready to go again

Joe’s down again, a jamboree of jolts
Let us see if the referee stops it

Three times down, the fight is stopped, no its not

Angelo Dundee
Stop the fight, stop it, someone stop the fight

Mercante has taken hold of Foreman
Tries to lead him to a neutral corner
While Frazier barely recognizes breath

Angie Dundee is screaming out ‘stop it!’
It is over, it is over, the fight
Is over only in the second round!

George Foreman wins it in the second round

I’m going up into the ring to talk
To Frazier, the loser, & Foreman
The winner because Joe Frazier has been
A great champion, thoroughly deserves Consideration

Nancy Durham is hugging George Foreman
They’re going crazy about him up there

The ring becomes rapidly inundated by a swarm of men – two fist-fights spontaneously erupt / Don Dunphy with Dick Sandler & Don King get in the ring & head for Foreman who is just having a word with JF in his corner

This ring’s a madhouse, a stunning upset
A burst of brawling bedlam gone abroad
We have a new heavyweight champion
I cannot wait to interview this man
& hope to hold on to my microphone
I am trying to get to George Foreman
Out of my way, good fellows, if you please

King & Dunphy come together & get to Foreman – King graps his shoulder, Don his arm

George, George, do you have anything to say

Joe Louis, I have more respect for him
Than all the world’s fellowship, next to him
Mister Archie Moore

My man, I got it

What round is it?

You forgot when you won

I thought it was the fourth

No, the second
D’ya know how many times you knock’d down Joe

I can’t remember

George, I got to know
Your future plans, will you fight Joe again
Or will it now be Muhammad Ali

My plans, right now, were to win the title
I’d like to tell the kids if work thee hard
& pray, then you can do just anything
I would like to spend my whole life preaching
My next fight is to work with juveniles
That’s my ring, the world is my true ring

Don King escorts Foreman out of the ring / Bryant Gumble & a cameraman find Ali

Muhammad Ali, did you expect that

No I did not, Foreman’s upset my plans
I’ll have to beat them both now for to prove
I’m true champ born, the greatest of all time

So what do you think of Foreman right now?

He hit Joe like all of his opponents
I will admit he’s hard, but if a man
Can stay out of his way for just five rounds
In good shape – stick him, move, stay out of range,
He’ll retire George Foreman, this man depends
On getting his man in the first two rounds
If he don’t do that he gets frustrated
If you stick him with left jabs, right crosses,
Tie him up in boxing, he will retire
& I know I’m gonna whup George Foreman
& I’m gonna whup him in Africa
In the Congo, where boys Lumbaba are

Now then, Ali, answer me this question
How could that man go fifteen rounds with you
& only two with Foreman

That’s easy
‘Cause George Foreman’s not as good a fighter
Scientifically as I am, right,
But I admit he’s stronger, hits harder
I’m not a hard puncher, people know that
But boxing ability will give me
Victory, with ease, whupping him on points
Over the distance if necessary

So a fight in your home territory,
You couldn’t now be any happier
With what is coming up this September

Why would you call Africa my hometurf

You have been telling me that for ten years

That’s right & if you lot come over there
Talking all like that we’re gonna cook you

Ali slams down the microphone mike & storms off

Well there you have it folks, it’s all over
The Sunshine Showdown sets into the stars
& leaves a trace of glory in the night
That when pierc’d next by Dawn’s roseate dart
On Stanley’s peak her golden tint shall fall
That’s all from NBC, great fight, good night

Don King enters the ring, goes to George Foreman & acclaims him

Don King
George, I told you so, I told you so, George
{Cossel arrives trying to interview Foreman}
I got him, he’s my man

Can we, can we

Don King
I came with the champion, & I’ll leave
With the champion, all of this adroit
Manoeuvring on my behalf, & now
We’ll all be flying out to Africa

Scene 32

The Foreman dressing room / Just after the Sunshine Showdown, George Foreman, his trainer, Dick Sadler, & Archie Moore

Archie Moore
My God, you are a monster in the ring
Frazier’s invincible aura shatters
Mighty the swings of your cannonball fists
Mixing an assassean attitude
With thunderous powerstrikes zeusean

Dick Sadler
Well, I aint seen its like since Fifty Nine
Johannsson floor’d Floyd Patterson five times

Archie Moore
It was seven

Dick Sadler
Whatever, what a rout
As out of the Eniwetok Atoll
This new age lurched with a TNT snarl
Blast brighter than ten suns, a two mile flame,
So, too, has boxing’s future just been born

George Foreman
Was that a dream? it feels no dream, my skin
Tingles with a sensation symphony
No sleep administers adrenaline
As that which now administers my world
& I, the bonnie champion of it,
From hoodlum youth to gladiator freed
From economic grinditude, applied
The best of prowess – train’d, innate, made good
Among the pantheons of tribe & time,
The undisputed, the undefeated,
Now the youngest ever champion to claim
The title as his own, my life is bless’d

Archie Moore
Not bless’d as such, success from hard work springs
& a real man attends to his own fortune

Arguably a brutal dethroning
Nevertheless, an easy victory
You boss’d the man just as the Hohokam
Master’d desert, or, at the Leyte Gulf
The naval might of Nippon shatter’d bare
Unleashing devastations as brutal
As when Sherman struck Shenandoah’s vale
Ravag’d end to end, or when grasshoppers
Eat everything green between the Rockies
& Missouri

George Foreman
Long in paindays building
I guess that I just wanted it much more
Full forty months of sacrifice & sweat
While he lapp’d up the good life & money
A famous life of music & parties
But lost his appetite for the fighting
& drown’d his hunger in the Roman baths
Sate by fat senators while long I train’d,
Sparring with Carthaginians enslaved
Duelling Numibians for the thumb
Undistracted by liberal excess
& could not lose, only poor man being

Dick Sadler
Each devastating knock-down different
Fetch’d weapons from your ruthless armoury
Pulverizing hooks, uppercut rockets
& that last right half hook-half uppercut
That lifted Frazier clean up off his feet.

George Foreman
But he still got up again, didn’t he
I have never seen anything like it
I’ve seen him fight & as we fought I thought
Boy, you mess’d up now, you’ve knock’d Joe down
He’ll be angry, I’d better be careful
He’s gonna getcha, so I jump’d on him
& knock’d him down again, each time I did
I kept on thinkin’, boy, you’ve made him mad
This fight was all about keeping him down
I was thinking if I don’t hurry up
& end this thing then he’s gonna end me
But come that marvel moment, Mercente
Stopping the fight & all, I felt fulfill’d
Into my soul floated all the others
A gallery of angels inrushing
I saw Joe Louis, John O’Sullivan
& Rocky Marciano smiling on

Archie Moore
They’re not alone, whereby tomorrow morn
The world should ponder who this wonder is
The man who beat the man who beat Ali

George Foreman
That’s Me

{Knock on door}

Dick Sadler
It could be press

George Foreman
Yeah, I’m ready

Enter Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier
George, I just wanna say how fine you fought
Too good for me, I still don’t understand
Just how you did it, brother, but you did

George Foreman
Thanks man, it musta been my lucky day
I’ve more respect for you as a fighter
Than any man I know

Joe Frazier
If that is so
You could have lump’d on me less punishment
A bruising wall & you were cruising too

George Foreman
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that
I fear’d your punches whizzing pass’d my head
Like bullets from an unforgiving gun
If one of them had hit me, well, you know

Joe Frazier
I might be a sniper at a slugfest
But if my gun aint loaded, that’s the shunt
Your Houston Tornado tore my town down
I felt set on some underwater drift
With dull depth charges dropping on my head,
Or with a change of stance & shift of weight
You lifted me straight off the floor, both feet
But by the by, let me leave you to it,
For you’re the champ now, congratulations
I’ve had my victories, & they were sweet
Enjoy yours now, you deserve it brother

George Foreman

Joe Frazier
No problem, see you at the rematch!

Frazier & Foreman share a laugh
Joe Frazier
But right now I got Sinatra’s trombone
In I’ve got you under my skin in my head
I need to be lazy with a hammock
A cool pool, pepsis & buckets of ice

George Foreman
I hear you brother

Joe Frazier
Take it easy, man

Exit Frazier

George Foreman
Angel-hearted, but boxing Samael
Who took a buzzsaw to an era’s swathe
& tore a host of glories

Knock on the door

Archie Moore
I’ll get it

Enter the Spirit of America

Spirit Of America
Impress’d by such pulverizing impact
The press are waiting for Big George Foreman
There’s cameras, reporters, radio
From various places, races, nations
Is he ready?

George Foreman
I’m ready, yes, lets go
But somebody order me fried chicken

Archie Moore
No sweat, brother

George Foreman
& grill’d cheese sandwiches
Such as were disavow’d by my training

Exit all but the Spirit – if possible, during the song, show Foreman leaving with Don King in the same limo that King arrived in with Frazier

Spirit Of America
You gotta love those cool gladiators
Like avatars of Vishnu from the void
This age’s lives rise as fortunate ones
When status inclinations of the day
Are all for voyeurism of elites
A golden era when best fought the best,
Doses of ultraviolence assur’d
With weapons devastating, never seen,
Especially those fists of George Foreman
So perfectly invincible evolv’d,
Frazier had taken him far too lightly
He’d never thought him special – big, strong, young,
Ambitious – yes – but very beatable
Alas, such is the cocky juice of fools
Who feel the flaming pinions of fame
Might only shine for them – no, Joe was wrong
As planets move in orbit round the sun
Our faces move & alter in the light
Like human moods they change, like fickle fate
Like woman’s love, like everything alive,
Our fame is but ephemeral, tho’ some
Might linger in the magic of the skies.

Scene 33

New York / TV studio / The Dick Cavett Show / on the guest couch is Jack Benny / Bill Cosby is playing saxophone along to Slinky Disco

Bill Cosby
…well, the guy starts blowing the saxophone,
Y’know, brr-brr-brr-bah-bah-brr-brr-bah
Then all of a sudden all the people
Sat before me, y’know, so cool, so still
They’re watching this guy clambour onto stage
The next thing you know he’s banging cymbals
Like ding-a-ding-ding, lots of ring-a-dings
& its Max Roache, y’know, hes rescued me
Well, he was just sat there doing his thing
So I made beeline to the wurlitzer
& said, ‘hey guys I want my money back!’

Cosby joins Benny on the couch

Jack Benny
I didn’t understand a word he said
But I still loved it

Bill Cosby
Ask Dick what I said

Dick Cavett
I will tell you right after the show, Jack
Trust me, it was funny

Jack Benny
It felt funny

Dick Cavett
So moving on t’where everybody knows
One of the most profoundly upsetting
Boxing events distinguish’d by giants
Was just play’d out in Kingston Jamaica
When, just one minute & fifty seconds
Inside the second round, the champion
Joe Frazier lost his title, being fell’d
Four or five times by the young contender
George Foreman, well… tonight we’re gonna try
& figure out just how, for Joe Frazier
The bout went south – ladies & gentlemen
Joe Frazier

Enter Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier
First thing first I’d like to say
I wrote down something before I came on
I will not lose another fight this year

Dick Cavett
How ya not gonna lose anymore fights

Joe Frazier
That’s easy, I aint gonna fight again
Not this year, anyway, I still feel blue
About losing my title, but I lost
Fair & square, I got whupp’d, but my momma
Whupp’d me too

Dick Cavett
What do you put it down to
How does a champion lose his title

Joe Frazier
Over & over I’ve studied the fight
To isolate its worst mistakes, y’know,
So, for now, its back to the drawing board
There start from scratch, get myself together
& next time in the ring more careful be

Jack Benny
Can I just say one small thing

Joe Frazier
Sure you can

Jack Benny
You’re among the nicest fellas I’ve met
Your attitude encapsulates honour

Joe Frazier
My terms are fair, I caught some wicked shots,
But vigourwith I should have dodg’d them all,
I been around far longer than young George
I know the fighting game & understand
Such debacle should never have occur’d

Dick Cavett
Tell me, during the fight, was there a time,
Of your locality you’d lost all sense ,
Of where you were, Joe, did you lose your track
Of your locality

Joe Frazier
That first dull blow
From Foreman short-circuited my life-force,
I said, hey, what, but an instant’s flashing
& I took another of those punches
With no time to convince myself I’m fine
& take a breath of peaceful steadying
Instead I stood, hotheaded & angry,
Me, Joe Frazier, champion of the world,
It’s like, I couldn’t believe it happen’d
& so it could never have happen’d, right?

Dick Cavett
Right, but it was happening, how did you feel,
Was your mind alive?

Joe Frazier
Tis not a dream you feel
But a titan shock, some gadfly surprise
Back in sixty-six or sixty-seven
Oscar Bannavenna left me flatten’d
On canvas floor, then nothing until George
Unflatteringly clatter’d me once more
I said to myself, what happen’d here Joe,
Y’know, this can’t be real, so up I got
Instead of using the old pro routine
& take precaution when a danger looms
& move around until my wits flew home
But groov’d on thro’ the fight just as before
So doing thus was lord of my mistakes
Cos the man hadn’t tasted my punches
But I’d just had a taste of his, ya dig,

Jack Benny
Might I ask one question

Joe Frazier

Jack Benny
In a fight
When being hit, do you feel pain at once
Or does it later hurt you

Joe Frazier
Well then Jack,
Tis something unexplainable & queer,
Not the lively pain of bullets & knives
No charge of Apis, when nerves raise legions,
But more a drifting to a higher state
Like taking, Jack, those pills you took backstage

Dick Cavett
There’s no dude in your brain sayong oh-oh

Joe Frazier
If you’re thinking your timings together
Like when you are doing a show, y’know,
Before an ambrosial audience
Even after I was fell’d the fourth time
I was happy in mine elementals
& readied myself for more performance
A little off-key, perhaps, but steady

Dick Cavett
How does your love of fighting fare, still keen?

Joe Frazier
Sure am, & shall be going back to work
To win my title back a wiser man

Dick Cavett
Are you aware, Joe, that the outside world
Is full of peoples’ deep ruminations
Upon your lack of realization
Such was the beating by Ali bestow’d
& came to Foreman fighting in fractions

Joe Frazier
Well, I cannot give any man credit
For anything another man has done
Twas Foreman who defeated me, not Clay
He’s a big, strong fella, I’m not sure yet
How good a fighter he’ll make, but one thing
I do know is… he packs a ten-ton punch

Bill Cosby
I’d rather bomb with a joke any day
Than be hit on the head by George Foreman

Jack Benny
Did you ever hear from Ali, after
Your epic adventure in life & ring

Joe Frazier
I never heard from Clay, no, not at all

Dick Cavett
It would be nice if Ali deliver’d
A small, little note saying I’m sorry
Apologizing for unpleasantness

Joe Frazier
A note could come, but never face-to-face
For we don’t be getting along so well
But as it stands if each of us desires
Once more to don the crown, we’ll have to duel

Dick Cavett
Thanks Joe… & please take up your microphone
& see this super show out in best style
{Joe moves to stage}
Let us say a big thank-you to our guests
Bill Crosby, Jack Benny & Joe Frazier
Great to see you guys… take it way Joe

Frazier sings My Way

THE ROCK & ROLL APOCALYPSE: Prologue – Scene 3



Ian Brown
Shaun Ryder

Archangel Gabriel
The Whore of Babylon


The Soul Stars

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Ghosts of Present, Past & Future

Elvis Presley





Glastonbury, 1990 – Shaun Ryder & Kermit are hanging out taking drugs in the hold of the Happy Mondays tour bus

What time you on?

Shaun Ryder
Dunno mate

You don’t wanna have a look at the festival, then

Shaun Ryder
Fuck that – I aint going out there, Kermit, its mental

It’s nice enough in here I suppose, a bit cramp’d like, but

Shaun Ryder
What’s that yer smoking

Brother, this is the real deal, innit – proper Jamaican black

Shaun Ryder
Gizza draw

Be careful with it, tho, its mixed with some really weird shit, man, its like having a nuclear war go off in yer head

Shaun Ryder
Sounds great
{takes the joint}
Cheers, nice one
{has a toot}
Wooah – what the fuck is that – Jesus Christ

Shaun Ryder passes out & begins to dream


The world has been ripped apart by Nuclear War / Bolivia is the only country still untouched by the conflict / Enter God, flanked by the Archangel Gabriel & the Whore of Babylon / a chorus of angels

So, you wanna be a spaceman?
Blink once for yes, twice for no,
See, I told you so,
Friends feel the freedom, feel the flow
My one almighty funk-ass show
Ye painters, poets, know-it-alls
Club Armageddon Country Calls
From Casablanca to Ceylon
The cities fallen one-by-one
Plenty of worms & pachyderms
Were sinful, cutting short their terms
I’ve slain them by acidic rains
Now but one single place remains
Untouched by battles nuclear
The high lands of Bolivia


Heaven wonders who you are
Are you a bum or a superstar
Man can only go so far
Drop the bomb on Bolivia
Build a cave in a mountainside
Watch the planets slip & slide
Let the heavens be your guide
When they drop the bomb on Bolivia
Woe for Bolivia

All the little people gonna take it away
Have faded away now, hear now, hear now
All the pretty people wanna take it away
Are faded away now, hear now, hear now

Ooomcha, oomcha, oomcha, oomcha
Ooomcha, oomcha, oomcha, oomcha
Jubiltah, Jubilate
Jubiltah, Jubilate

See the sunrise in your mind
Ultraviolet shines behind
Stare too long you might go blind
Drop the bomb on Bolivia
Take a walk thro’ a waterfall
Let the music heal your soul
Raise your glasses for them all
When they drop the bomb on Bolivia
Woeful oblivion

All the little people gonna take it away
Have faded away now, hear now, hear now
All the crazy people wanna take it away
Are faded away now, hear now, hear now

Whore of Babylon
{ Ooomcha, oomcha, oomcha, oomcha…}
There’s a Jester’s Garden somewhere
In the wicked wizard wood
& in my lizard chamber
There’s a charlatan in danger
No-one knows where to run
From the big nuclear sun
Valhalla for vagrants
It’s taken us ages to find
The marvellous mellow one
Lo Dios en el Cielo
Marvellous mellow one

Whore of Babylon
No-one knows where she from

Archangel Gabriel
& the tasars set to stun

Whore of Babylon
They got a lazar

Whore of Babylon
A magic phase

Archangel Gabriel
It will amaze ya, blaze ya

Whore of Babylon & Archangel Gabriel
Fire blue

Archangel Gabriel
There’s a flame that burns for everyone
In the sun that shines so brightly
Lady Moon who I see nightly
Says it’s the Marvellous Mellow One
It’s gonna blow ya to kingdom come

Archangel Gabriel
It’s the Marvellous Mellow

Whore of Babylon
Oo! what a fellow

Lo Dios en el Cielo

Marvellous Mellow One

Whore of Babylon & Archangel Gabriel
The Marvellous Mellow one

Bolivia is destroyed by a nuclear explosion


Ian Brown is wandering through the smoke, flames & wreckage of a post nuclear blast train disaster – the chorus are bodies


Ian Brown
Well, I remember I was riding my train
When we sent flying by this hurricane
All those wicked winds they twisted the tracks
We had a sense of lying flat on our backs, but I say
No tombstones no, I’m alive…

There are so many tombstones, well who were you
Did people tell ya what to do
Were you the captain of your crew
Or just a hermit with a view
Speaking lies or seeking truth
So many people me & you

Chorus comes alive

So many, so many, so many, so many people
So many people

Chorus returns to inanimate corpses

Ian Brown
Well, I was ridin’ on & rootin’ on my country,
They got a good hidin’ off, good shootin’ off the enemy
We must-a used sling shots, man, & they used guns
Cos they slaughter’d all of us, yeah,
But see I’m still around to sing
No tombstones, no, I’m alive…

There were so many people you & I’m
The only one who did not die
All the tears that I must cry
Don’t got time to reason why
These things happen as they do
So many people me & you

Chorus comes alive

So many, so many, so many, so many people
So many people

Life’s so rich, life’s so rare
Then life’s a bitch & she doesn’t care
This life o’ mine,
She keeps on changing from time to time
Now I’m gonna leave all my past behind

Chorus returns to inanimate corpses


Shaun Ryder is wandering the deserts of New Mexico – he is trying to tune his transistor radio in


Shaun Ryder
I’m gonna have a little dabble with Nostradamus special powder
There’s nuthin but cackling battle rattlin’ on my radio
Gonna write a little poetry poppin’ peyote in the morning
Let the Ayahuasca master magic me

Enter the Ghosts of Present, Past & Future

I can see those super-hallucinations
Coming on down the line
I can see they’re the ghosts of many people
Stuck in the stones of time
Time, times’ no friend of mine
It’s about time that we did away with the old songs
Show me the shepherds’ sign

You can take it on your own psychedelia
But you might not make it home…. tonight

I’m gonna have a little dabble with Nostradamus Special Powder
Thro crystals clear the seer clears away the clouds
I’m gonna dabble with a piece just a nibble & release the maze of future
Lets turn this tragic planet upside down

I reveal there’s a pre-fab new religion
Stuck in the standing stones
Stuck in the standing
Stones, stones rattle my bones
It’s about time that we did away with the old gods
Sat on their gun-running thrones

You can take it on your own psychedelia
But you might not make it home…. tonight

I’m gonna free my soul
I’m gonna free my soul
I said I’m gonna sell my soul
& play rock n roll ‘til I die

You can take it on your own psychedelia
But you might not make it home…. tonight

I’m gonna sell my soul
Cos it sure gonna make things better
Gonna play that rock n roll
I’m gonna bring it all together

Shaun Ryder finds a car & drives away

(R&RA): Scenes 4-6


Jesus waits at a crossroads – enter Ian Brown


Ian Brown
I met this man by the side of the road
He said

Ya goin nowhere of no fixed abode no no
Well see me mister, I’m the star of this show
& I know a funky little place where we can go,”

Enter sexy women

Ian Brown
He led me down thro forests of azure
Past crowds of women asking ‘what was my pleasure?’
We walk’d for miles, thro the sunshine & snow
On to that funky little place where we can go
{Exit sexy women}
I follow’d that man to Jesus Country Home…

Son the time for you has grown
See the Devil left his throne,
& I need a saint to sing my song
In the Armageddon dome
Cos, ya one o’ Shivas own
Take a step into the unknown
You’ll never love your life so much
In the Jesus Country Home

They enter the Jesus Country Home / Gabriel is there

Ian Brown
I nearly died when I walk’d thro that door
Moon on the ceiling & a face on the floor
I met an angel, but she didn’t have no wings,
He said

I dont need ’em no more cos I’ve found everything

Ian Brown
She made the room beam thro’ the moon on the ceiling
Sang magic music, O lord what a feeling
He climbed a cross & he spoke from within
& said

Welcome my son you’re forgiven of your sins

Ian Brown
I follow’d that man to Jesus Country Home…

Son the time for you has grown
See the Devil left his throne,
& I need a saint to sing this song
In the Armageddon dome
Cos, ya one o’ Shivas own
Take a step into the unknown
You’ll never love your life so much
In the Jesus Country Home

Jesus & Gabriel
Home is where ya heart is, home is where ya soul lies
Singing with the soul-stars of the rainbow sun-tribe ….

Ian Brown
Hey man ye are no effigy
This is so whack & wild

Please don’t turn your back on me
You are the chosen child
Who must step up now to the race
Seek bandmates of your own
& then I’ll save place for you
In my Jesus Country, Jesus Country Home


Shaun Ryder is driving thro’ the deserts of New Mexico


Im a rogue, Im a rogue, on the road to nowhere,
Cruisin’ along as the wind blew thro’ my hair,
Head down the highway, south of the sunset,
Only got half of a tank left to get me to Mexico
Nuthin’ but crackle rattlin’ on my radio

When on the horizon’s a black silhouette,
Of a super stylish, fifty-five corvette,
As I drew nearer, this woman leapt out,
Wavin’ her arms & hysterically shoutin’, to stop for heaven’s sake,
So, I pressed the peddle to the metal and I slamm’d my foot down on the brake,

I screeeched to a halt & I wound down mi window
She leapt to the car like the star of a freak show
& spoke in a language that I didn’t understand
So, I slipped on my boots I stept out & crushed stones into sand
Just as this wild & psychedelic breeze blew right cross the land
& they blew out of my hands those rollin,’ rumblin’

Tumble weed, no we don`t tumble,
Watch the walls of wonder crumble
Devil chile, she make me humble

Well Im no believer, but it did me no good,
The dashboard was shatter’d & splatter’d with crimson
She made a strange sound like a witch out of bedlam
& dragged me down to a ditch by a dead mans eye
From a gun wound to the stomach it takes a man three days to die

The wide open tracts of the vasty desert seas
& the cacti flew in the pyschedelic breeze
I`m outta my mind on the wildest peyote
The only sound was the cries of coyote a crying
As high up above me, those hungry vultures were flying
They roll’d into my soul those holy, hum-b-lin’

Tumble weed, no we don`t tumble,
Watch the walls of wonder crumble
Devil chile, she make me humble

Enter the Whore of Babylon, holding a pen & paper

Whore of Babylon
Shaun William Ryder is that you

Who the fuck are you

Whore of Babylon
I am the Whore of Babylon
& you are

Shaun Ryder
Shaun Ry-

Whore of Babylon
Dying, you are dying

I know, its fucking painful
If this is about the three grand I owe Fast Eddie

Whore of Babylon
It’s not … I’m here to save your life

Shaun Ryder

Whore of Babylon
Your life, the one I work for bids it so

Go on then, save my life, I’m bleeding out here

Whore of Babylon
It will be saved, but first you will have to sign this contract

Yeah, right, whatever, I’ll sign anything – giz that pen… so what is it anyway

Whore of Babylon
The price


Whore of Babylon
Of saving your life… is your soul

Shaun Ryder
My soul

Whore of Babylon

Yeah, whatever, take it, I’m not ready to die just yet, especially in some fuckin’ ditch in New friggin’ Mexico – gimme that form
{signing his soul away}
It’s just like being on the dole this…
Woah – I feel better already

Whore of Babylon
Good – now if you read the small-print on your contract, you will see there are certain conditions to remaining alive

Like what

Whore of Babylon
You will need to be the singer in a band

Well, that’s easy, that’s what I do – well, what I used to do until all my bandmates died in that recent nuclear fuckin’ holocaust

Whore of Babylon
We are glad you that are happy to join us – so, dust yourself down & come with me, I am going to take you on a journey

Shaun Ryder
Where too

Whore of Babylon
Shaun William Ryder, we are going to the abysmal place, where shrieking sinners wail for second death

Shaun Ryder
What, Stockport

Whore of Babylon
No, Hell !

A gate suddenly appears beside them, over which a sign reads;


Whore of Babylon
Let us descend into the blind world down there

Shaun Ryder & the Whore of Babylon enter Hell


Ian Brown has climb’d to the top of a mountain with Gabriel & Jesus

Ian Brown
What is this place we come to shining

This is the highest point on planet Earth

& so the closest to the stars
Where spools my Father’s workshop,
Where he makes his cool guitars

& look, young Ian, he leaves you yours

Ian Brown picks up guitar

Now hurry to the promised land
& when you form your own love band
Go to the beach & take this pill
Then let your destiny fulfil

Ian Brown
My destiny, are you insane?

Man’s fate is not mine to ordain

Now we must leave this mortal plane

Ian Brown
I deep beseech thee, please don’t go

Your fate not yours or mine to know

God wills it all, on with the show

Ian Brown
A God, can there be such a thing
When I have seen such suffering
& billions have pass’d away
On nucleonic judgement day

Lightning strikes

Silence & hear, my troubadour
Omniscient divinity
Bare witness to this shock & awe
& tell me what thy soul doth see


Ian Brown
I see the lightning in mine eyes, it’s time to shine electric blue,
There is a stormblast in my soul, the thunders roll & as they do
I sit & phantasize, the morning skies are fill’d with wonder
& as the lightning strikes mine eyes they shine like a

Blue Star Fire Thunder
Is gonna make me shine, shine a light on you until tomorrow…

There’s a man on a mission, one in a millon,
He’s gonna sail the seas o’ loneliness,
Gonna follow a vision, make a decision,
gonna flower the frozen wilderness,
Like a prophet o’ David he’ll climb the starry mountain,
His eyes are fill’d with wonder,
& the Pegasi fly high above yer

Blue Star Fire Thunder
Is gonna make me shine, shine a light on you until tomorrow…

Jesus & Gabriel
Now as ya heart skips over a rainbow
& the panorama melts in your eyes
Because the Pegasi that we are riding
They all rise into Xanadu skies

There’s the secret I’m keeping I promise ter tell yer,
I’ll tell yer the secret I’m keeping,

Ian Brown
There’s a secret he’s keepin’ he promised to tell me,
He told me the secret he’s keeping,

Ya’d better believe it we’ll take the mystic waters of this fountain
& when yer believe me we’ll make a pilgrimage
As the

Azure Crystal Mountains
Of Xanadu shine electric blue
star fiya thunder is gonna make me shine shine a light on
Ya azure crystal mountains of Xanadu shine electric blue… all over you
Thro’ the misty morning blue

As you break along thro life

Ian Brown
My life’s prophecy
Is to walk thro the gardens of the promised land
Mother Mary immaculatum guiding me by my hand
Til we reach the beach and the gold & the silver & the stones and the starry shores at the end of tim

As yer break a long thro’ life yer gotta make things go & take it easy…

As ya heart skips over a rainbow
& the panorama melts in your eyes
Because the Pegasi that we are riding
They all rise into Xanadu skies

(R&RA): Scene 7


Shaun Ryder & the Whore of Babylon are travelling tho Hell; there are sounds of clapping hands, screams of anguish, haunted sighs, lamentations, loud wailing, strange tongues, moans of terror, groans of pain


Whore of Babylon
Way down deep in Babylonian way
There’s a man named Alister Crowley
All he was misunderstood
& Hitler was the geezer
A gateway to the underworld
He signed his soul away in Jewish blood

Have you heard the word
Of the madman’s bad intention
Have ya heard the absurd word
Of the men to bad to mention
Did they come in your dimension
Did I mention my dementia

Ghengiz Khan never meant no harm
He was a mongel man directed
By beings form the nether realm
His essence intercepted
& Torquemada was the leader
Of the Spanish inquisition
& in the name of God he burnt them all
Til the witches & the warlocks won his soul

Have you heard the word
Of the madman’s bad intention
Heard the absurd word
Of the men to bad to mention
Did they come in your dimension
Did I mention his pretensions

Enter Satan

Well, I went up to Northern Ireland,
Met the Captain of the IRA,
I said, “Look here son, yer better take this gun, better blow those Brits away.
Well, the Brits dropp’d the bomb on Belgrade,
But Slobodan he would not go,
So, the Yanks sent the tanks & the banks took the flanks,
Now they’re all as dead as a Dando,
When you go to war, you’d better find a cause worth fighting for.

Well, I met old Vercingetorix as he took on
The mighty hordes of Ceaser,
But the battle was fixed ‘cos the Gaul’s rain-sticks
Didn’t work on the field of Alesia
Then, I had me a line o’ Charlie as we flew up to Inverness,
Where the Bonnie Prince & his men got minced
Now the moor is a bloody mess,
When you go to war, you’d better find a cause worth fighting for.
What are we fighting for
Were fighting for our future
The future of our planet
At the Armageddon dome

Shaun Ryder
I met the star of the morning
At his capital in Hades
He said

Look here son
I bet ya glad ya come
Here’s your coke, here’s ya bass here’s ya ladies

When yo go to war
You’d better find a cause
Worth fighting for

What are we fighting for
We’re fighting for our future
The future of the planet
At the Armageddon dome

& the time is now & I’ll tell you somehow
We can make this world a better place
Gui-tars, drumkit, vocals & bass
We’ll make this world a better place
if we try (rpt.)

Enter the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


Four Riders
We’re the advertised, low-down motherfuckin’ band
We heard for the hoedown ya needin a hand
Got mountains of vinyl lyin’ at home
Band full of ravers stoned to the bone
Stoned to the bone

& I say
Hey pretty ladies don’t you look so fine
Gonna make ya mine
Gonna play a little pussy chord
When they say he’s got all the best tunes, it true
I know that ya like, it I’m liking it to
The man & the music coo-coo-cachoo

If ya can use it, just don’t refuse it
This wonderful music

Were gonna have a party & a party
Celebrate the union of woman & man
Gonna do it do it like a minstrel
Doing the best we possibly can
Cos its Babababagorath
{goin’ round in circles}
{king of the serpents}
Do wop & do do ya best to serve us
Fine & regal style & splendour

Well we heard
Someone calling for the mother fuckin calvalry
So the midnight band are gonna play for free
We’ve been hit with the final license to roam
Dangerous daylight starting to dawn
When stoned to the bone

Hey pretty ladies don’t you look so fine
Gonna make ya mine
Gonna play a little pussy chord
When they say he’s got all the best tunes, it true
I know that ya like, it I’m liking it to
The man & the music coo-coo-cachoo

If ya gon choose it, just don’t abuse it
This wonderful music

Were gonna have a party & a party…

Were gonna have a party & a party
Celebrate the union of woman & man
Gonna do it do it like a minstrel
Doing the best we can
Cos its Babababagorath
{goin’ round in circles}
{king of the serpents}
Do wop & do do ya best to serve us
Fine & regal style & splendour

We’re gonna have a party & a party
We’re gonna get it properly started
& we’ll invite the pieces to the party
& then we’ll get the company charterd
& we’ll invite the piss’d & the arty
& then we’ll get the company charterd

Babababa fucking Gorath – what the fucks all that about

Just one of my names, boy – but you can call me… Bez

Bez !

In Kentucky I’m the A-train
In Atlanta call me sugar cane
In Memphis I’m known as Slim
In West Texas I’m a mandhandler
& a cool panhandler
In Detroit they call me hip Kitty from New York city
& out of the States all my jivehoof mates
Call me the Beast
I’m mad & bad & you ought to be glad you aren’t trying to clip me because my thinkpad would tip me to the knockout play which might make me take it in the wrong way – dig

Have you been on the DMT, you’re proper babbling, pal

Enough of the formal warm-ups
Welcome to my home, my pile of stone, bro
I’m mellow as a cello, fine as red wine
I dig your pegs, they make you look
Like Robin Hood in Harlem


I heard yer gumbeat’s on the backbeat
& with my lushpad on a three pointer
I digs the play
So, are you home boy or a perfect square
Well, if you’re mellow, baby, understand
I’m the accelerator
Putting down a righteous shpiel

What the fuck are you on about mate

Pops I’m tops
I’m with it & I won’t quit it
I’m down with action to my own satisfaction
Do you dig

No, I don’t fuckin’ dig

Whore of Babylon
What he’s trying to say is, this is your band

My band ?

Cop a trot to the dommy of that solid little banter
Cos these other cats are swinging the bears, brother

Alright lads, I’m Shaun Ryder, what are your names, &, ehm, whaddaya play

I am War, I am on drums

I am Plague, I play the bass

I am Famine, I play the gee-tah

I am Death, I play… the tuba

The fucking Tuba

I can play the French Horn, too

Shaun Ryder
Yeah, whatever

Solid, ole man, solid
They don’t need no snitchin in the hype
& you’re as groovy as a ten cent movie
You’ll just be in time at a quarter past nine
& if you’re right your bright, so
Let’s flail & wail on Bez’s mighty mez
{getting out a massive reefer}
Let’s snip a paper dolly at the rolltop piano
& ad lib, all thro the crib, ya dig

I dig

Whore of Babylon
Aha – you are beginning to understand the language of the Master

Well, he’s speaking my language now, innee

{Passing the spliff to Shaun}
If I’s a-mugglin’, you’s a-mugglin’

Woah – that’s the best stuff I’ve ever fucking had

Whore of Babylon
Well, this is Hell after all – everyone knows the Devil has the best tune, but that’s mainly down to the fact he’s got the best drugs toos

Hey reefer man
Spread the stick of tea
To the vipers in the toot-suits
Ya hogging the joy brother


Up there, above this house of many slammers
The way your jive was dropping,
Slicing chops, was hopping
That’s why ya gonna tweet my songs little birdie
You’ll be on the scene, wearin’ the green
& knock them out without a doubt
Let’s slay that skull, Jesus, & his Johns
All jacking the gong, lets get out west in our vest
& take them all to a cold meat party, ya dig

I dig, bro

Good, well it’s time to flit from the pit
& spin this shit
Let’s hoochie coochie people

Exit all being led by Satan to some funky grooves

(R&RA): Scenes 8


A few survivors are milling about a deserted village


Soul Stars
Messiah rolled into town, a-rolling & a strolling
He held his head up high He held his head up high
& his eyes were filled with meaning & his eyes were filled with meaning
From the mystic light they shine

Ian Brown
Everybody needs a Moses Mountain High on a mountain side
Everybody needs a Moses Mountain High on a mountainside
There’s a place a happy place where I shall be your guide
Everybody needs a moses mountain High on a mountain side

Soul Stars
Messiah rolled into town, a rolling & a strolling
He says he’s come to lead us (Yes he says he’s come to lead us)
But his eyes are very devious (Yes, his eyes are very devious)
& he aint no light of mine

Ian Brown
Everybody needs ten stone tablets I have brung ‘em down
Everybody needs ten stone tablets I have brung ‘em down
There’s a song on every one See you gather round
Everybody needs ten stone tablets I have brung ‘em down

Soul Stars
Messiah rolled into town, a rolling & a strolling
With a songbook in his hands (There’s a songbook in his hands)
But the words they have no meaning (Yes, the words they have no meaning)
Gather round & stone him blind… So pretentious in the sacred light he shines


Soul Stars
Stone him, stone him, stone him blind

Ian Brown
Every time you throw those stones
God gave me a sign
Got the feelin’ in my bones
Wont ya walk with ya hand in mine

Soul Stars
Stone him, stone him, stone him blind

Ian Brown
In the early morning by the holy well of souls
I look at you & all your friends
& I dug a thousand holes
I’m gonna whizz some wisdom at ya
& I hope ya take due care
Contemplate the future son
I’m gonna help ya to prepare

[Stone Him, Stone Him, Stone Him Blind]
Because every time you throw those stones
God gave me a sign
Got the feelin in my bones
Wont ya walk with ya hand in mine

[Stone him, stone him, stone him blind]
Every time you throw those stones
God gave me a sign
Got the feelin’ in my bones
Wont ya walk with ya hand in mine

Soul Stars
Domino, domino effect, domino effect breaking on my soul
[Domino, domino effect, domino effect breaking on my soul]
Stone him, stone him, stone him blind
No love him, love him, I’ve seen the sign
Stone him, stone him, stone him blind
No love him, love him, the stars aline
Stone him, stone him, stone him blind
No love him, love him, he is divine
Stone him, stone him, stone him blind
No love him, love him, his hands in mine

Ian Brown
I’m on a pilgrimage to the New Jerusalem
My feet are blistered but I’m not broken
I’m on a pilgrimage to the new Jerusalem
Hey brothers & sisters, we’re the chosen children

Soul Stars
We’re on a pilgrimage to the New Jerusalem
His feet are blistered but he’s not broken
We’re’ on a pilgrimage to the new Jerusalem
Hey brothers & sisters, we’re the chosen children

Ian Brown & Soul Stars
IB: Feel me, heal me
SS: Yes, yes, I guess you’re a friend of ours
IB: Feed me, need me
SS: Yes, yes I guess you’re a friend of ours
IB: Believe me, receive me
SS: Yes, yes, I guess you’re a friend of ours

IB: Let’s honky tonk
Let’s set the soul on fire
Let’s do the funk
SS: We are the monkey messiahs
IB: Let’s romper stomp
Feel like Sri Lankan Lion
Pump up the pomp

Soul Stars
We are the monkeys from
Weve come to take you home
We are the monkeys from

We are the monkeys from
Weve come to sing this song
We are the monkeys from

Ian Brown
Vibe, vibe feel the vibe (rpt)
Let the love up fill inside
Shoot the arrows thro your pride
Jesus Christ is by your side
By your side
Come feel him by your side
Yes, yes, he’s by your side

Enter Jesus who receives everyone’s praise & adulation


Let me tell you all the secrets that the prophet told
I’ll sell ’em for forty pieces of silver & a dusky handful of gold
I sat beneath the tree of knowledge all those cosmic days
A guiding light shone down on me & helped me on my ways

So, hear me now
I’m coming home now
To see you shine
I’m coming home now
Now the wisdom’s mine
There’s a girl who’s seen the light
smiling at the sun
tell me when your wisdom has begun

Gather round ye people while I sing about my travels
Take a soft seat on the stony beach whilst the future gets unravelled
Each pebble that we rest upon can teach us of its meaning
Our bodies all warp spasm & our minds are lost in dreaming

Hear me now
I’m coming home now
to see you shine
I’m coming home now
Now the wisdom’s mine
There’s a girl all starry eyed
shining like a sun
tell me when your freedom has begun
Cos I’m talking about your freedom

I’m coming home now
There’s a girl who’s seen the boy
standing like a sun
tell me when your freedom has begun
Cos I’m talking about your freedom
over morning forming o the shores of time
It’s the crowning glory of the wisdom mine

Enter Satan, Shaun Ryder, the Whore of Babylon & the Four Riders


So youre the shiny riders
Aint that a shame
We thought we’d get the guys
To give us a game
You got no lyrics
Ya sure can croon
Let’s call the medics
To funk up your tunes
Bring it on

So you’re the soul stars are ya
Well coo-coo-choo
Aint got no stardust
In your pirate crew
& all ya lyrics
They’re so tweedledum
& where the fuck d’ya get yer singer from
Bring it on

We’re gonna roll all over you
Is that the best that you can do
Whose got the better attitude

Attitude, attitude, cool, cool
[attitude] You dont need attitude
When ya got ya soul in the music
Come on

We’re gonna roll all over you
Is that the best that you can do
Whose got the better attitude

We are the soul stars & we
Feel heavenly
We got the music got the melody
(We’re gonna) Find the vibe & bring it
Rainbow tribe’ll sing it
Soon all the people gonna know our name
so come on

We are the shiny riders
We’re here to win
& the fire inside us
Bright burnin
(We’re gonna) Find a song & sing it
Ride the vibe & wing it
Soon all the people gonna feel our flame
So come on

We’re gonna roll all over you
Is that the best that you can do
Whose got the better attitude

We’ll throw you back from whence you came
Your style’s atrocious, hence you shame
You’ll never match us in the game

Attitude, attitude, cool, cool
[attitude] You dont need attitude
When ya put your pulse to the music
Come on

I’m taking poetry to the places where its never been before
I’m taking liberties like some pissed up conquistador
Lets call it symmetry with you & me banging heads for the war
I’ll take my music to the movies gonna win me the palme d’or
& yeah… Yeah yeah you know the score

The two bands begin hand-to-hand combat / God descends in a spaceship

Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah
Chill it cats… hey boys, yes you, you there, Ian Brown, Shaun Ryder
I’m God, & I’m the ho-chi minh city round here, ya dig
This is not the time nor the place for fighting
Gotta save those vibes for the battle tonight
In my Armageddon Dome, in the centre of the solar eye,
Where you’ll be competing for the soul of the Human Race
Good, or evil, the best band of banjobangers will decide
According to the word from the herd, ya dig
So, gentle cats & acrobats, thy chariot awaits
For you & all your home boys – & girls
So come on, come on, let’s do this thing


Come & take a ride in my funky little spaceship
Move on, groove on, you gotta keep on keeping on
The last man alive slam your foot on the hyperdrive
I’ve set controls for the centre of the sun
Move it on over,
Yeah move it on over,
My groovy supernovas gonna glow

Come on round you weary people
& close your eyes
Going down to the deep subconscious
To see the sunrise
& when we get there only god knows where we’ll be
Tripping home on the light fantastic
Skipping stone the sea

& it aint easy, being Him on High
When you let the new ones
Let the old ones die

Aphrodite, the goddess of love’ll
Use sex against yer nature
& Venus, she’s a no-go queen
Ya gonna have to take her
Thor’ll help us make good war
With the demons of our past
& the new man’ll find new land
To find himself at last

Move it all over
Yeah move it on over,
This groovy supernovas gonna grow

Well come on round you weary people
I prophesize
When we get to where we’re going to
You’ll find a surprise
There’ll be a self you’ll see
Quite deja vu familiar
& when you see its face you place as
Something similar to your own
I’m going home
On a funky little spaceship
To where the new ones left the old ones on their own

& it aint easy, saying I told you so
When you let the new ones
Let the old ones go

Move it all over
Yeah move it on over, this groovy supernovas gonna blow

& it aint easy….
When the wind blows low &
This tripped-out Egg Man falls
& the shell doth break & the love you make
To yourself will damn your spirit after all
& it aint easy being Him on High when you’re all so small

(R&RA): Scene 9- Epilogue


Club Armageddon is being held at the centre of the sun X-Factor style


God, Gabriel, Whore of Babylon
Ladies & gentlemen
have we got a show for you
Down at the Armageddon dome,
& this is what we do

We got the pimp-ass Shiny Riders

Whore of Babylon
& the rinky-dinky Soul Stars

But don’t forget to buy a drink
From one of our slinky bars

From polyphonic prostitutes
To pastors in their plastic suits
Fellow hearts in mellow places
Come on in & celebrate us
To the hotline of our peers
Take a seat & lend your ears
Blow the fever of your fears away

It’s the Battle of the Millennium
The world’s most fearless show
There’s a cloud of lethal radium
& which way will it blow

Whore of Babylon
Will it linger on the planet

& make a demon race

Or will it blow right out o there
& vanish without a trace

Succulent as fresh tomatoes
Young rent boys & old castratos
Devil nuns & Benedictines
Come on in with all the piss’d teens
Take your seat among the crowd
Prepare for deep songs fast & loud
To blow the bullshit from your fears today

God,Gabriel, Whore of Babylon
Ladies & gentlemen
Have we got a show for you
Come down to the Armageddon dome,
& this is what we do

First up is the Shiny Riders

Whore of Babylon
Then the rinky-dinky Soul Stars

& dont forget to buy a drink
From one of our slinky bars

Gabriel, Whore of Babylon
No, dont forget to buy a drink
From one of our slinky bars

Ladies & gentlemen, the Shiny Riders

Enter the Shiny Riders


Every man and woman is a shiny rider
Every man and woman psychejelly spider
Every man and woman is a star says black sun
Every man and woman little particle fractal
Every man and woman grab a piece of the action
Every man and woman is a chain reaction

Shiny Rider x4
Shiny Rider gonna slip inside yer mind
now you know you gotta go
Shine on yer lover x 3

Well blow my soul away
Every time I sit to see you shine

Every man and woman got the invitation
Every man and woman its a celebration
Every man and woman offer peace opinion
Every man and woman is a slinky ninja
Every man and woman got the rider in ya

Shiny Rider x4
Shiny Rider gonna slip inside yer mind
now you know you gotta go
Shine on yer lover x 3

Ya shit hot anyway
Every time I stop to see ya shine

Exit the Shiny Riders

A big round of caterwaulin’ applauding for the pimp-ass Shiny Rider boys, thank you very much, that performance was as pristeen as my mind – now we’ve got a real treat for ya’ll now – ladies & gentlemen – the Soul Stars

Enter the Soul Stars


Now’s the time to make a change, throw your souls into the air,
Way up there they shine like diamonds & they’re made up like the moon
& they sparkle thro’ the gloom with effervescent glory,
I’m gonna find out for myself, you’d better find out for yourself…

See the souls become the stars, Venus Mercury & Mars
Cannot stop this spatial streamin’ with the wizard ship in tow,
Kinda crazy geezer knows that the effervescent glory
Is gonna help me to believe, it better help ya to believe
That the Soul Stars are in season
& oops I beg yer pardon! I thought this was the Garden of Eden…

See the stars fall from the skies, rest so gently in thine eyes,
Hear the sighs of people sailin’ to the sands of Evermore,
They are bliss’d out by the shore with effervescent glory,
I’m gonna dance there on sea-shells, we’re in a trance where we’re ourselves …

Now’s the time to take the change, Soul Stars each & every one,
When the sun is at its summit, when is dancing life itself,
When is music more that health? When effervescent glory
& the rain & the flower & the sun & the love of ev’ryone
Will make the Soul Stars bloom this season,
& oops I beg yer pardon! I thought this was the Garden of Eden
& oops I beg yer pardon! Welcome to the Jester’s Garden…

‘Cos there’s a Soul Star shinin’ at just the right time,
I’m gonna catch me a Soul Star,
There’s a Soul Star fallin’ at just the right time,
I’m gonna catch me a Soul Star…

This is the end, my friends, the one
Reason to watch this show is done
So, press a button, clap your hands
& cheer your hearts out for these bands

Enter Shiny Riders & Soul Stars

If Shiny Riders are thy choice
Come celebrate them with wild voice
But if Soul Stars more your fancy
Come let your wild applause flow free

Be careful to deliberate
For in your vote lies all your fate

Enter Satan with a bazooka / the Shiny Riders all draw weapons & take the Soul Stars hostage

Jeez, jake, what a snake

Shut up Big Man ! You arre such a solid bringer-downer?” – I’ve had enough of your batshit bullshit – now I’ve got me one of those bad-ass nuclear bazookas, & with just an intsy wincy little flick from my trigger-finger, I’ll blow this whole sunshine provider to the backside of the universe, ya dig?

I dig

Daddy o I’m ready to go, all your hypes just a bunch of tripe – I came here looking for a little fun, so why don’t you cats dance to the tune of my gun, & give my boys the hard-earn’d victory – the soul of the Human Race will never be won by honest competition – that’s one nasty, fuck’d up species ya’’ll created,

Enter Jesus

Hey man, relax, chill out, why ya being such a drag

You two can cool it while I rule it – the Human Race is your mistake, you made them bad then tried to make them good – no way, man – they’re just plain bad, & they’re gonna stay bad, ya dig – now, Big Man, before you freeze on the flying trapeze, shout out my sinners as the winners – before I do something we’re all gonna regret

Enter Elvis Presley

All this stud’s laying down is a deuce of demons, because he don’t spread nothing but thins on the line – put that gun down, boy, & listen up good – there ain’t nobody else but the King who’s the king? Hey, Shaun Ryder, you’ve got the right hammer but you use the wrong nail. And you, Ian Brown, you’re picking up nickels and laying down dimes but your bounce is beat and sour as limes. – I’m a hipper cat, understand – these days I’m utilised, digitalised, & immortalised; all the Hindoos thrive to my jive, all the Islams move on my groove, & the Buddhists, well, they just dig my lyrics – the Soul of the Human Race should not be decided by some astro-theological hunkum-punkum hocus pocus – Big Man in the sky ! Bad man in the ground, no way, jose, the Soul of the Human Race is music, & as the King of music, I say why don’t just let everybody dance… hit it

Elvis sings Hound Dog – everyone has a massive rave – after a while Satan stops the music & points the bazooka at Elvis

Well, Elvis Presley, if you’re the King, I’m holding the ace, now

Aw, just fuck off Satan

Jesus punches Satan – everyone cheers & the music continues


In a

chorus –

c / g/ d/ em / c /d e major

I’m Elvis Aaron Presley
I’m better than Bez me
Electrical as Tesla
& who the fucks George Ezra

A ninja kid from Nashville
My destiny was ask’d to
Fill the planet’s magic
Like a NASA sadget

Now it’s all gone tits up at the Centre of the Sun
I am the only one
Who can save the day, uh-huh

I went from fresh apprentice
To the messiah from Memphis
No-one could never not groove
To my funky-punk moves

They thought me quite infernal
Cos Satan was my Colonel
So, beam me to the future
I’m screaming retribution

You should have let me play in Italy & Spain
But you lied & you cheated your way
Thro’ my given days, uh-huh

You got to keep on
Push down the pylons
Set off the fire alarms
Then keep the beat strong
& let your feet stomp
You’ve got to keep on keepin’ on
& when were one in revelry
That’s you & me in harmony
& when we’ve gone & harmoniz’d
We’ll get the feeling feeling really nice
You & me in harmony
mM & you

I’ve hunted like a hound dog
I’m fronting for a new god
You cannot hide, it’s too late
You’re going to the Pit, mate

With all of your freemasons
& idiotic racists
Hear my funky strumming
I’m the Second Coming

Giving all your bad advice is struck off for all time
Cos Satan & hatred rhyme
You must fade away, uh-huh
You must fade away, uh-huh
You must fade away, uh-huh
{Satan fades away until he dissapears}

{To the whore of Babylon}
But you, baby, you can stay – hit it

Elvis & the Whore of Babylon do a dance duet – the rest of the cast form a dance troupe

If you will feel us noise up your dealers
Knock back tequilas
& hit the dance floor
That’s what this songs for
It wont be long before we’re one
Cos when weve gone & harmonized
We’ll get the feeling feeling really nice
You & me that’s harmony

Me & you….

Everybody stand up
Theatres & night clubs
But if you’re stuck in prison
Turn up your television

Rock & Roll Apocalypse
Kickin’ in as it rips
Thro’ all your psyches
Princes, pimps & pikeys

Dancing has releas’d us
Flashy fashionistas
Heroin & High Kings
Valium & Vikings

Ecstasy Egyptian
DMT prescription
LSD Iraqi
Where’s the waccy-baccy

Gabriel’s got cocaine
God has got a crack grain
Jesus got his weed out
Everybody freak out

Yes, I’ve got my skunk out
Everybody funk now

This Rock & Roll Apocalypse is pretty near the end
& its time for Elvis to ascend
To the Heavenly, uh-uh

Finale to church bells


Bez is waking up Shaun

Shaun, wake up, for fuck’s sake, wake up!

Bez – woah !

You’re on stage in half an hour mate, ya need to get up

Fuckin hell, that was one mad trip

What was

That dream I’ve just had, you were Satan, Rowetta was the Whore of Babylon & I was up front for the Four Horsemen of the fuckin’ Apocalypse

What the fuck have you been smoking

It must have been that stuff what Kermit gave me

Kermit – they found him belly dancin’ naked in the hare krishna kitchen – he was off his head, anywhere, come on, get yer shit together, this gig’s gonna be fuckin’ bangin’

I’m gonna need a hit of something first tho’

Ee’ya, bang a couple of these down yer neck & lets go

I fucking love you Bez – you’re always there for me when I need ya

Come on yer dick!

Exit Bez & Shaun

IN A MAN’S GARDEN: Titles-Scene 3

Dramatis Personae

Robert Louis Stevenson – child
Robert Louis Stevenson – man
Tom Stevenson
Margaret Stevenson
Alison ‘Cummy’ Cunningham
Monsieur Bernard
Fanny Stevenson
Samuel Lloyd Osbourne
Reverend Balfour
Anne Balfour
Willie Traquair
Henrietta Traquair
Sarah (play’d by Polly)

Revellers in the pub (played by Francis, Rev. Balfour, Bernard)
Waiter & waitress & in the hotel (played by Sarah, Francis & Bernard)
Revellers at the Carnival (played by everyone)



When I was Young & Drouthy
My Shadow
Le Boudin
Block City
Picture Story Books
Windy Night
The Land of Counterpane
The Good Child
Garden March
The Little Boats
The Charge of the Light Brigade
My Wife
La Carnival
From Her Boy

Scene 1: The Prologue

Enter RLS holding a copy of ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’


As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of my book,

Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call

That child to hear, he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,

{sung from here}
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

So, gather round ye children, here are songs for you;
Some are short and some are long, and all, all are new.
You must learn to sing them very small and clear,
Very true to time and tune and pleasing to the ear.
Mark the note that rises, mark the notes that fall,
Mark the time when broken, and the swing of it all.
So when night is come, and you have gone to bed,
All the songs you love to sing shall echo in your head.

Scene 2: An Edinburgh Pub

A drunken Polly is singing a song to the other drinkers – a baby RLS is wrapped up in a bundle & left in a basket on the bar


When I was young and drouthy
I kent a public hoose
Whaut a’ was cosh an’ couthy,
It’s there that I cut loose
It’s there that me an’ Thamson
In days of drams & ales
Drank wullywuchts like Samson
An’ sang like nightingales

We cracked o’ serious matters
We quarrelt dug & cat,
Like kindly disputators
Our whustles weel we wat.
A farmer frae Langniddry,
Wha drank hissel asnooze,
Was great upoon sculdiddry
And bucketfulls of booze

For some are deid an’ buried
An’ dootless gane to grace;
And ither some are merried,
Or had to leave the place.
And some hae been convertit
An’ weirs the ribbon blue
And few, as it’s assertit,
Are gude for muckle noo!

Enter Margaret Stevenson

{coughing to gain attention}
Polly, what are you doing

Mrs Stevenson!

Where is my son?

I think you’ll find him sleeping on the bar, doll

Drinker 1
Aye, it’s a nice warm basket, there’s plenty of bedding in there

Lewey – oh my darling, are you alright – you should be ashamed of yourselves – this is despicable behaviour – I have never seen or heard of anything quite as dreadful as placing a baby on a bar, while completely inebriating oneself – it is an absolute shambles

Drinker 2
Ah, dinna fash, lass, the bairn’s safe

Drinker 3
Aye, he was enjoying the music, sent him to sleep so it did

Excuse me if I do not take advice from such word-stumbling, tumbler-fuddled specimens of stumbling humanity

Mrs Stevenson, I was only having a wee dram, or two while the wee snabbie had a snooze

In Leith – no, I am sorry Polly, but, this is an absolute disgrace. Do not bother coming back for your things, we will have them sent on to the whatever work-place assents to such episodes of such gross negligence. Goodbye Polly

But what about my wages

They shall be sent along with your things – I’ll pay you until the end of the week
{to RLS}
Come on my darling, let us flee this evil den of iniquity

Exit Margaret & RLS

I didnae want to work for her anyway, right uptight she is. Says she’s too ill for motherhood, needs a nanny to help out, but I think she’s just too damn lazy – give me another gin somebody, I’ve suddenly got a hell of a lot of time on my hands – might as well get drunk

Scene 3: A Room in the Grand Hotel, Nice

RLS is sat in his bed reading Pride & Prejudice – enter a fluster’d Fanny Stevenson

Robert ! Robert ! My love, you’re alive

Of course I’m alive, why wouldn’t I be? Well, I do suppose I am very much clinging on to life at the moment

I take it the Riveria climate has not enabl’d any improvement to your condition

Not as yet, but on seeing my beautiful wife, already I feel my health, spirits & limbs aflush with a new energy

My darling, I have miss’d you so much, I have been out of my mind with worry

Whyever so

Well, it’s a long story, but let us blow some air & light into this place first – there is no point traveling all this way to Nice & not be able to experience any of its sensory effects
{Fanny throws open the shutters & a living flood of sunshine pours in. She looks at the hustle & bustle of Nice for a moment}
It is a pretty city, yes, but it is not Paris

Of course not, nowhere is – you were there

There, & many other places all thro this vast country, I’ve been searching for you for 3 weeks now, I thought you had collaps’d & died on the journey – I have stopp’d everywhere in France on your route talking to the police, visiting hotels, searching for your corpse

This is no corpse, my love, not yet anyway – but did you not get any of my letters

No, not one

Damn French postal service, I must have sent a dozen – & a telegram or two

Well I did not hear a single thing

In the spheres of love, my dear, these little absences are always a good influence, they keep things bright and delicate

Well, this little absence was almost the ruin of my nerves – but enough of that – it is all in the past now, your moustache looks nice

There’s positively nothing else to do when you’re bed-ridden except eat, read & shave

That reminds me, I’ve brought you these

My wood engraving tools – you are simply invaluable to me in every where, & I am sure more beautiful than ever – come here

They embrace

So how are you finding things here, how is Nice

Nice is nice, I find I am slowly recovering my powers of self-possession – this complete change in the background of my life; the scenery, diet, conversation of strangers is helping to bring me somewhat out of myself, somewhat – however it is the season of the invalids here, & there are far too many English here swelling the city streets

& the hotel

It is perfectly adequate, but I would rather not stay any longer than necessary – I’ve had my fill of hotels – I am oping to keep my death away at all costs, but not staring at a ceiling each night worrying about how much it is all costing – this place is a den of extortion – I want to somewhere cheaper, & more at harmony with nature, with a garden – &, this is the best part, I have actually seen such a place for rent

You have

Yes – a house in a small town call’d Hyres, about ten miles east of Toulon & three from the sea – the rooms are small, but the gardens are wonderful – wild & winding paths through old grey olive trees where nightingales rest & sing. And the views! The verandah! We can dine outside in the twin bosom of the sky & sea, my love. You will love it!

Sound wonderful – & what’s the town like

It is everything we will need shop-wise – as for the town itself it is a resort popular with consumptives clustering in spa hotels – I wouldn’t want to join that company of crocks, of course, but by staying in the area we would be experiencing the same atmosphere, the same healing

How large is the house

Well, it is not so big, I’ve heard, but we can squeeze him in somewhere for sure

Is it expensive

A little – but mother is helping, at least for the first couple of months – but I do hate to ask her – every letter home begs for money & smack of defeat, & the prospect of being fit enough to work again in to be able to afford just about anything is rapidly receding to a pipe dream

Money is like oil for the axles darling, without it we will grind to a halt

Such a terrible shame for the artists

But only the artist have the nous to live like this, wintering abroad with pen, papers & paints – how good does it feel to be finally out of Scotland – I mean, look, its only January here, but even the best days of summer in Edinburgh would struggle to match such a sun-fill’d day of heat as this

Tis delightful, to tell you the truth

& a lot less dangerous for your weak chest

Indeed – to none but those who have themselves suffered the thing in their own bodies can the gloomy draggle-tail’d depression of the vile Edinburgh winter be brought home. The bleak ugliness of those grey, sickly skies; the boisterous east wind whistling dirges thro the chimney tops; the harsh aspect of the unrefulgent sun going down among perturbed and pallid mists, completely depresses the spirits, &, I believe, actually contributes to people falling ill

Well, you are not in Edinburgh anymore, my love, you are in the south of France, it’s a purely wonderful slice of heaven – I had been wondering, has the change in scenery help’d with your writing

I am full of all manner of literary schemes, but am quite unaffectedly incapable of carrying out the least of them – with sickness comes a sloth-like lethargy

I was thinking maybe we could invite Cummy to France

Cummy ! Heavens forbid, no – she is 61 now, she deserves a tranquil & restful retirement – God knows she’s earn’d her repose – besides, she thinks I am apostate


My moving on from the dogmatic chains of Pauline Christianity did not settle well with her at all, not one iota – let’s just say my conversations would be more than tense

But, darling, she has always had a magic effect upon you & your health

I do love her dearly, but I’m not a child anymore, I think me & you are perfectly capable of nursing my health back to its full vigour – I simply refuse to become an invalid – indeed, there is actually a doctor of the most significant reputation in Hyres – his name is Vidal, I think – very clever by all accounts, hmm, he does this kind of thermal cautery with red hot needles – its been having some fantastic results apparently among the locals

Of course – we shall get the house, we shall make it very homelike & we shall make you better

& what about our finances – they are in dire straits which thus renders everything else a darker shade of vague

An impoverishment of life’s more material things, & even their diet, did not do the Spartans any harm whatsoever – we shall survive & we shall be happy

I am happy – your loving me the greatest feeling I have ever known – you complete me

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life
{they kiss}
I love you

I love you too

I love you three

{Scene ends with a hug}

IAMG: Scenes 4-7

Scene 4: Edinburgh, Heriot Row

RLS is playing with his shadow


I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow–
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to mummy as that shadow sticks to me!

{from upstairs}
She’s coming – Tom she’s here
{Margaret comes downstairs}
Lewey, what are you doing here, quickly, go to your playroom, I will call you to meet her if she seems suitable

But mummy

No – go, we shouldn’t be long

Exit RLS, enter Tom

It is exactly one minute to two – she is punctual, I’ll give her that

I do hope this one works out, I am close to despair with the whole saga

For heaven’s sake, Margaret, this is no time for melodrama, let’s just see, shall we

But decent nannies are just so hard to find these days

You cannot quantify the quirks of fate. Let’s consider our search to have been like a bad run at cards. Our luck will turn for sure.

There is a knock on the door

She’s here

Tom opens the door

Hello – are you Alison Cunningham?

I am she sir

Do come in


I am Thomas, Thomas Stevenson, & this is my wife Margaret

Pleas’d to make your acquaintances… sir, ma’am

Please take a seat… would you like some tea

O no, not for me sir, I don’t do tea, I’m just here about the position

Good, well, we are looking for a full-time nanny, live in of course, for our son, Robert

Who is our only child, by the way – so, have you any experience in such employment

Seven years ma’am, & I have plenty of excellent references

How old are you now


&, where are you from, if you don’t mind us asking

Just across the water in Fife, a wee place call’d Torryborn

Been in Edinburgh long

About three years now

So, you mention’d references, do you have any from your employments in Edinburgh

I do ma’am, one moment
{passing an envelope to Margaret}
Here you are
This is a fine house, may I say, & Heriot Row such an upstanding street

We do like the neighbourhood, yes… hmm… glowing reports, Alison

Please, if it is not too impertinent, call me Cummy

Of course, so, Cummy, my lovely wife Margaret needs help raising our son, alas, she has certain persistent consumptive symptoms, & is prone to bouts of invalidity, rendering her incapable of rearing our boy

Well, that is what you will hire me to do, sir

Unfortunately, Robert seems to have inherited from his mother a disposition to affections of the lungs

He is quite a sickly child

Well, this city is not the sweetest nursemaid to a weak chest – those cold & penetrating east winds burn me to my bones


May I ask a question myself

Of course

Is this a religious household

I do hope so – my father is the minister at Colinton

Colinton? Reverend Lewis Balfour is your father

He is, yes

Ahh – he is such a good preacher – well, for the Scottish kirk

You are Church of Scotland

No, I am Calvinist, a member of the Free Church actually, but we are all God’s children Mrs Stevenson, except, perhaps, for the Catholics

Quite !

Well, Cummy, would you like to meet the boy

I would very much, yes

Lewey, Lewey, come & join us

I thought you said his name was Robert

It is… Robert Louis Stevenson is his name,

Aahh, that has a fine ring to it

We call him Lewey for short

Enter RLS

Lewey come here… this is Miss Cunninghame, but you can call her Cummy

Hello young man

Cummy ! My Cummy Mummy!

Then I shall call you little Lewey… why don’t you tell me something about yourself, little Lewey, like, what are you good at

I am the best player of hide-and-seek among all my cousins; & I can crawl thro leaves without making any noise at all

Well, that is quite a feat, no noise whatsoever, very impressive

Do you want to see my toys

I would love to, but its up to your mother & father of course

Mummy, Mummy, can I show Cummy my toys

Would you like to see the nursery

Of course

It’s where you will be sleeping actually

I will

Well, if you obtain the position, that is

RLS takes hold of Cummy’s hand

This way Cummy

I’m thinking maybe Lewey has decided for us, darling… well, lead the way boy, let us show our guest where the playroom is

Do you like to play with building blocks, I’ve got so many, I have enough to make three castles

Three whole castles – why, you really are a remarkable young man

Exit Tom, Cummy & RLS – Margaret looks happy & reliev’d

Scene 5: La Solitude, the edge of Hyeres

The house & its triangular grounds & gardens sit under a hill whose summit is crowned with the ruins of a Saracen castle. A carriage pulls up at the gate – RLS & Fanny exit the carriage – RLS pays the driver & is helped up the path by Fanny


C’est magnifique

O, Lewey, its perfect

The owner – Monsieur Bernard – appears from the garden – he has been gardening.

Bienvenue, bienvenue au Chalet de Solitude.

Merci Monsieur Bernard. Permettez-moi de vous présenter mon mari, Robert Stevenson – Il est un auteur écossais

Ah l’Ecosse, et vous êtes Américain, oui


Monsieur Stevenson, ce sera un bel endroit pour vous de penser et d’écrire, je suis sûr que vous serez tous les deux heureux ici

What did he say

He said this is the perfect place in which you might write

It certainly feels that way, yes… eh, c’est une maison inhabituelle

Oui, oui, c’est – c’est un chalet suisse miniature qui avait été logé dans l’exposition parisienne de dix-huit soixante-dix-huit – le bâtiment avait remporté le premier prix de sa catégorie, et chaque planche et brique ont été soigneusement démontées et remontées ici

He says the house was originally in the Paris Expo, & he reconstructed it here

That explains the slightly ludicrous effect, but the situation is wonderful – those views of the sea, & the hills beyond Toulon – quite magnificent – & this garden, with its steep winding paths & trees of some maturity – we would make a fine home here, Fanny

Voulez-vous voir la maison

Nous serions ravis

Eh bien, c’est le jardin – il est beau et frais en été – j’ai mis de nombreuses heures de travail dans sa création et son entretien – je suis sûr que vous continuerez mon bon travail si vous louez la maison

Bien sûr que nous le ferons, Monsieur Bernard, nous aimons jardiner

Vous pouvez aller à l’intérieur et explorer le chalet vous-mêmes

Merci… he says we can go inside & have a look

Excellent… merci monsieur

RLS & Fanny set of for the house

Quel est le problème

Je suis un peu malade, monsieur

Il espère récupérer dans votre maison

Bernard acknowledges the situation / RLS & FAanny enter the house / Bernard resumes his gardening & begins to sing a song


Tiens, voilà du boudin, voilà du boudin, voilà du boudin
Pour les Alsaciens, les Suisses et les Lorrains,
Pour les Belges, y en a plus, Pour les Belges, y en a plus,
Ce sont des tireurs au cul,
Pour les Belges, y en a plus, Pour les Belges, y en a plus,
Ce sont des tireurs au cul.

Nous sommes des dégourdis,
Nous sommes des lascars
Des types pas ordinaires.
Nous avons souvent notre cafard,
Nous sommes des légionnaires.

Au Tonkin, la Légion immortelle
À Tuyen-Quang illustra notre drapeau,
Héros de Camerone et frères modèles
Dormez en paix dans vos tombeaux.

Nos anciens ont su mourir.
Pour la gloire de la Légion.
Nous saurons bien tous périr
Suivant la tradition.

Au cours de nos campagnes lointaines,
Affrontant la fièvre et le feu,
Oublions avec nos peines,
La mort qui nous oublie si peu.
Nous la Légion.

Exit Bernard – RLS & Fanny return from the house

What do you think.

It is the smallest doll’s house that ever was seen, the rooms are tiny & too few

Ah – but I like everything about the place – the house is suitable enough & the garden is lovely & will be cool in summer & feels superbly healthy – it is just so amenable to what we really need – the improvement of our health

I suppose it does possess its little perfections – how much does he want, again?

200 francs a month or 2000 for the whole year

{sharp intake of breath}
That is very dear. I will have to write to mother again…

Then you will make your own money darling – this is a perfect place to write

Well, I am making some progress on that front – I’ve heard Treasure Island might be publish’d as a book soon, & I have also penn’d this story call’d the Black Arrow – I could send that to the Young Folks magazine

Excellent prospects darling, & you don’t know what marvellous magma will erupt from your pen in such a conducive environment – so, shall we confirm with Mister Bernard

Yes, yes, of course, let’s go for it

Where is he

I don’t know… elsewhere in the garden perhaps

Wait he’s coming

Enter Bernard

Monseiur Bernard, nous serions heureux de prendre la maison à titre d’essai pendant deux mois. 400 francs couvriraient le loyer?

Oui bien sûr. Pouvez-vous payer maintenant.

Pas tout à fait maintenant, mais bientôt. Je devrai effectuer une ou deux transactions à Nice

Bernard looks at RLS suspiciously.

Très bien, mais s’il vous plaît, donnez-moi l’argent dès que possible, je déteste avoir à courir après l’argent – en particulier les invalides britanniques et tous leurs médicaments coûteux.

Monseiur Bernard – nous payons toujours notre chemin, nous sommes incroyablement honnêtes. Mais merci beaucoup – c’était agréable de vous rencontrer et nous pouvons emménager demain

Pourquoi pas

Excellent – merci encore pour tout, et au revoir

Au revoir

Au revoir monsieur Bernard

et au revoir à vous aussi, madame Stevenson

Exit Fanny & RLS – Bernard continues gardening

Scene 6: Heriot Row

RLS is playing with his blocks / Margaret is reading by the fire


What are you able to build with your blocks?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
But I can be happy and building at home.

Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
There I’ll establish a city for me:
A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,
And a harbour as well where my vessels may ride.

Great is the palace with pillar and wall,
A sort of a tower on the top of it all,
And steps coming down in an orderly way
To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.

This one is sailing and that one is moored:
Hark to the song of the sailors aboard!
And see, on the steps of my palace, the kings
Coming and going with presents and things!

Now I have done with it, down let it go!
All in a moment the town is laid low.
Block upon block lying scattered and free,
What is there left of my town by the sea?

Yet as I saw it, I see it again,
The kirk and the palace, the ships and the men,
And as long as I live and where’er I may be,
I’ll always remember my town by the sea.

He begins to rebuild something / enter Tom


Ah, my little Smout, what are you building with your blocks

It’s the Tabernacle father

The what?

The Tabernacle – which the Jews built to house the Ark of Covenant in which Moses placed the ten commandments which had been written on stone of on the top of mount sinuses

Mount Sinai Lewey

Sorry father
{points to a block}… look this is the Holy of Holies

Ah, very good young man – I tell you this, I might have a sugary treat for you, but to win it from me your father would prefer it if you left the Old Testament for a while & came to the fireside with your parents & read a little with us – I have my evening paper, & you have your story books, yes

I have many father

Well then, let us read


At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home & nobody
Will never, ever play with me

But all the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

So, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

Where I can see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture story-books.

Hidden from sight, where none can spy,
All in my hunter’s camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

So when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
& leave this land of nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?

Farewell, O mother, father, fire!
O pleasant party I admire
The songs you sing, the tales you tell,
Until to-morrow, fare you well!

But must we go to bed? Indeed!
Well, let us rise and go speed,
On up the stairs with backward looks
At all my picture Story-books.

Good night mother, goodnight father

Good night darling, see you in the morning

Sleep well son

Will you tell me a story Cummy

I certainly shall, my laddie

Can you tell me another good one about the Covenantors

Of course I can… goodnight Mrs Stevenson, Mr Stevenson


Exit Cummy & RLS

Are you alright darling

Hmm I’m not sure I am – a constant diet of such religious utterances as those Cummy bombards our boy with are truly poisonous to a child – bedtime stories about religious martyrs, making the tabernacle in your play time – I am beginning to fear for our boy – some of the nightmares he has been having recently – he’s frighten’d half the night – thinks he’s going to hell – it is all Cummy’s doing

But he loves her, perhaps more than myself, I sense sometimes, & her work is excellent, faultless even – I trust her implicitly with our child, & the house

Well, she is a kindly soul, but her piety is so obsessive, is this really the right influence we want on our only child – her convictions and consequent teachings, believing as she does in a literal hell along with the other tenets of her church, are rather strong meat for the mental digestion of an already imaginative & nervous child

I don’t want to lose her Tom

Ach – then let us at least ask her to tone things down on the religious indoctrination of our child – if he is to be a Calvinist in the end, let him not be one by the age of seven, I’d rather such a heavy social burden be applied after a happy childhood

I shall darling

They return to their reading

Scene 7: La Solitude

Fanny is in the kitchen with Valentina / she is surrounded by boxes / enter RLS

Aha ! the boxes from Davos, they have come

They certainly have – we really are becoming civilized – we even have a maid these days – Valentina

Monsieur Stevenson

Nice to meet you, Valentina, what are your qualifications

Well, first things first, her English is impeccable, after which she is charming girl, aren’t you Valentina – she possesses a sparkling sense of humour, who reviews the whole neighbourhood & nightly brings its annals up to date

I am also a very good cook & a maid of all work

Well, welcome to the household young lady

How on earth did we manage to acquire so many things

But everything in them is absolutely essential, & this is only a small portion. There are trunk boxes & cases bestrewn across Europe & a considerable portion of the United States… & somewhere within them is the leathery remnants of my soul,

It rather feels like Christmas morning, all this – shall we open our parcels & see what Santa has brought us this year

Splendid idea

Is there any money in any of them?

If I recall only a few coins here & there

I do wish your mother would write to us soon

I haven’t heard a single scratch of a pen. I do so wish I did not have to pester her for money. I am in my thirties now, for goodness sake. It is all my damn publisher’s fault – curse their greed – call them philistines who leave a man of genius to starve

& his wife

& his step-son I’m afraid – we’ll have to withdraw Sam from Mr Storrs – it’ll far be cheaper to bring him to France & feed him here. We need that forty pounds a year, Fanny – here, with us, not lining the pockets of some academic dinosaur

I agree – I would love to have him here with us

Even so – it is still going to be tight. Are you sure we can afford Valentina right now – mother still hasnt forwarded me any money, I have hardly paid a debt either here or in Nice, & there are people springing fresh bills on me at all times of the day – its infernal – the chemist, the baker, the doctor, the gardener – everything has gone extremely vague

She’s staying darling, I’m here to focus on my painting & the recuperation of my health – you could do the cleaning if you wanted, instead of Valentina

Very well, she stays – I have done the maths – for just I alone to live, to dress, to buy paper, pens & inks it comes to £51 per annum. But for a married man, who is sick, with a step-son…

Well, if paper is so expensive, you could write in a smaller font – aha my Parisian beachwear…

I had never thought of that – I could easily turn my five hundred words a page to seven hundred and fifty – talking of paper, what – are – these? Oh…


It’s the Braemar box. Look, there is the Hokusai.

{taking the painting}
Ah excellent, I shall hang that over here – Valentina, this is a gift my husband gave me on our wedding day – l’aimez vous

C’est tres joli, madame

Superb – a decent bottle of Scotch for once – unopen’d too – a most magnificent sight
{sharp intake of breath}

What is it

Among these papers are something I’d quite forgotten about


They contain those trifling poems about my childhood I had scribbled down in Braemar

Oh my word, they were the most delightful creations, please, please read me one.

{skimming through papers}
If you insist – this one…. no, this one…. ah yes, perfect….

Young Night-Thought
All night long and every night,
When my dear nurse puts out the light,
I see the people marching by,
As plain as day before my eye.
Armies and emperor and kings,
All carrying different kinds of things,
And marching in so grand a way,
You never saw the like by day.
So fine a show was never seen
At the great circus on the green;
For every kind of beast and man
Is marching in that caravan.
As first they move a little slow,
But still the faster on they go,
And still beside me close I keep
Until we reach the town of Sleep.

That was so charming, so evocative of childhood at its most adorable

I don’t think I have ever actually properly grown up you know – writing these poems, they just gushed out of some timeless sunny spot of my soul’s eternity, & you know, by Jove, I believe I could make a little book out of those things if I was to write a few more

The china – excellent – take this box to the kitchen, Valentina, be a saint for me & wipe them all down, will you, please

Yes Mrs Stevenson

There’s a good deal been broken in the passage, but there is enough left for an afternoon tea – Valentina, dear, make us some tea while you’re in the kitchen please, & use whatever you can find in here

Exit Marie with box

Wonderful – my portable library –
My books, my reading, & my company
Absorbingly voluptuous they are
& if the books are eloquent, the words
Are in our ears like the noise of breakers
Rapt clean out of the fabric of myself
Mind rising from perusals fairly fill’d
Kaleidoscopic dance of images
Sleep incapable, thought continuous
A thousand colour’d pictures in my eye
& all of these carpacious treasures
Liken to literary intimates
& each of them to me are little homes
A place to dwell within however rare
My visits are these days, but when I do
They sing & charm with perfect brilliance,
Rediscover’d, momentary delights
Then fade after a magic hour or two
Like Virgil, Wordsworth, Herrick, Horace, Burns
A couple of Scott’s novels – studied, thumb’d –
The Pilgrim’s Progress & the Stratford bard
Of whom I’ve read all but Richard the Third
& Titus Andronicus & All’s Well
& might not ever read them now, the rest
With faithfulness, I shall read ‘till I die
& here he is, beloved Moliere
The next greatest playwright in Christendom
& here’s Montaigne’s superb ‘the Egoist’
I have read that four or five times, you know,
& here is the Vicomte de Bragelonne,
I’ve read that five or six, this edition
Was pirated in Paris, I love it
From the execution of d’Eymeric
To rough & tumble in the Place de Greve
It think it is the best one by Dumas
So many silent, solitary nights
Spent under lamplight in my youth did spend
With D’Artagnan & the Three Musketeers
But silent, no, not really, for I heard,
Thro’ a mind enliven’d, shattering sounds
Of clattering horses & musketry,
Then when I went to bed all thro my head
Swarm’d memorable faces of new friends
Who threaded thro my slumbers until dawn
When I leapt out of bed to eager plunge
At breakfast, back into this sacred book
Since then I’ve not discover’d any part
Of this wide world that has seem’d as charming
As these sweet pages, not even my friends
Have ever been as dear as D’Artagnan
& to this day I know that he delights
To have me read him, & tho Aramis
Knows I do not love him, still he plays
To me with his best graces

RLS passes out

Oh my lord
Robert, what is wrong, Robert, speak to me

I feel queer

I’ll get the doctor, Valentina !
Valentina, come here quickly… what’s the matter

I’m not quite sure, but my vision is blurring

Oh my god!

Yes, Mrs Stevenson

Go, fetch the doctor at once

The doctor

Yes, the doctor, tell him my husband is sick
& needs immediate attention

Exit Valentina

Let me get you to your bed darling

Fanny helps a groaning staggering RLS to his bed

This way you can do it

I’m sorry

It’s perfectly fine – you should really be resting, not moving house – luckily I’ve already made up the bed – you’ll be quite comfortable

IAMG: Scenes 8-11

Scene 8: The bedroom of RLS, Heriot Row

RLS is in bed, Cummy is ending her bedtime story with a flourish

Then, after forty days of constant deluge the rain had finally stopped & the world was completely cover’d in water. The Ark & Noah, his family & all the animals then floated for six long months’ here, there & everywhere, but never siting land. Then, one day, God sent a mighty wind very much like the one blowing tonight, to dry up all the waters suck them all up like this
{she slurps, RLS laughs}
Then slowly & slowly but surely & surely the waters grew less & less & less & the very tippy-tops of the tallest mountains began to be seen. Next came the mountains & the hills & eventually the Ark settl’d upon the slopes of Mount Ararat

Where’s that, Cummy

It is somewhere in the Ottoman Empire, but in those days there were no Ottomans or anybody, because all of the humans, except for Noah & his family of course, had been drown’d in the water for being naughty

I won’t be naughty I promise

I know you won’t my laddie… anyway, we shall finish off this story tomorrow, & as for today, the last thing a good boy must do his say his prayers

I will – I want to live in Heaven when I’m all grown up

No, you don’t live in heaven you go there after you… oh, never mind, as you say your prayers every night & always remember to be good, heaven will welcome you with open arms

& I will never go to Hell

Not if you are good, no

Cummy Mummy

Yes, dear

Why does God make Hell?

It is to seperate the good hearts from the bad

So, what kind of hearts we got – mummy & daddy & me

Well, what do you think

I think they are good

& what kind of hearts have I

I think you have a nice one

Well, laddie, if you are right, then there is a very good chance we will meet again in Heaven

I shall make a prayer now… dear God in Heaven & the baby Jesus I promise to be a good boy for my mummy & my daddy & I promise to love Cummy for ever & ever & I promise to all the angels that I will do all my schooling & never be naughty so me, mummy, daddy & cummy can all meet in Heaven, amen

Amen – that was a most beautiful prayer, my boy – but, why you are crying

It is for what those beastly Sannhedrim & the naughty Romans did to Jesus – but, if he died to save us all then why do I still have to say my prayers

Jesus showed us the way & we must follow

I will follow, I promise, I love you

I love you too – now good night my darling boy

Goodnight my gentlest of mothers – if I’m spared I shall see you in the morning

Exit Cummy – RLS becomes frighten’d by the wind – he goes to the bedroom window


Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, he screams in terror & and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

RLS screams in terror & runs back to his covers & looks around in terror, jumping from time to time at sounds & shadows before covering his head with the covers

Scene 9: La Solitude

RLS in bed – his right hand is strapp’d tightly to his side – he is playing the melody to Windy Nights on his flagolet / enter Fanny

Good you are awake

I am that

How are you feeling today

A wee pinch better – I feel I can pretty much fight off any ailment these days

Well, you’ve had a lot of practice

Indeed, by the age of nine I had recover’d from, wait a second… scarlatina, bronchitis, gastric fever, whooping cough, chicken pox, scarlet fever, croup & even the Bluidy Jack – I dare say this pincer attack of sciatica & opthalmia will be dispens’d of in the same way – but please don’t open the curtains – it hurts my eyes

Ah well, you will need at least a little light to read & write by


Here they are – the things you ask’d for

Ah! a writing board, where did you get it

There is a stationers in town, it was a little expensive, but worth every franc if it helps you compose your poetry – if you rest it against your knees

What about chalk

Yes, I got you some here

So, the plan is I will fill this board with stanzas & when it is fill’d you could transcribe them for me in fair copy, then wipe the slate clean & return the board to me

Of course, a fine plan darling

I do hope you will be able to read my words – writing with my left hand will lead to a certain illegibility

I will figure it out – I know my husband more than he knows himself sometimes

Well, I really wanted to be a soldier – but my health is too sketchy – thus writing it will have to be – I can do it all from my bed, however, but, how much longer must I be this, this amputee

The doctor said you should bind your arm for a full week – it was a particularly chaotic haemorrhage

It certainly was – did he say he what he thought was wrong with me

O god, he suspects it was your nerves

My nerves! but do nerves produce expectoration & blood in large quantities

No, darling, they don’t – & how is the sciatica

A little better – but still flaring up like a damned demon – still, I will now be able to take my mind off the pain by composing many more songs of my childhood

Most men would have succumbed to the force of circumstances, but undismayed, my love, you are as ever determined to circumvent the fate you refused to accept

However incapacitated – my work always comes first, the consuming, joyful passage of my life which animates all thoughts

Enter Valentina with a tray of coffee, croissants & flowers

Your breakfast monsieur Stevenson

What is it today

Coffee & croissants – I have also picked some flowers from the garden for you – something to amuse & distract the mind while you are doing your writing

Thank you – they are lovely

I have also buttered the croissants for you


&, this letter came for you this morning

Give it to here, Valentina, I will open it
{Valentina gives Fanny the letter & exits}
ah, it is from London

Cassel, perhaps

Yes, it says Cassel & Company

What are they saying

{sharp intake of breath}

What is it

Treasure Island… Treasure Island! They have agreed to publish it as a book

For the hundred pounds

The whole lot

Oh my – that is the best news – if my buccaneering jaunt does not fetch the kids, they have grown rotten since my day !

I’m sure they will love it, its got so much depth, its going to be amazing, I felt it, I knew this was going to happen

Let me read it please – hah! my map, my treasure, my mutiny, my derelict ship, and my fine old Squire Trelawney with a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum – god bless you all – one hundred pounds – & they agreed to let me keep the copyright as well, !

Well, now you are in fine spirits, enjoy your breakfast & I’m off into town, I’ll see you for lunch
{she gives him a kiss & begins to leave}


Yes dear

I love you

Ahh… I love you too, darling – now get to work – that hundred pounds will not last forever

RLS laughs / exit Fanny / he begins to eat his breakfast whistling a tune then begins to compose a poem to the same tune


When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

SCENE 10: Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, Edinburgh

Cummy & RLS approach the Covenantors monument


A child should always say what’s true
And speak when he is spoken to,
And behave mannerly at table;

At least as far as he is able.
When I am grown to man’s estate
I shall be very proud and great,
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.
Every night my prayers I say,
And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I’ve been good,

You’ll get an orange after food
The child that is not clean and neat,
With lots of toys and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I’m sure

Or else his dear papa is poor… Cummy

Yes my boy

What is the use of a butterfly when they don’t even make butter

It is just a name, it doent mean anything

Well, it is a very silly name, I think, & names should mean something… but Cummy Mummy

Yes, my boy

Why are we in a graveyard

Well, before we went to hear your grandfather preach at Colinton, as were passing thro town I thought we could visit the Covenantor’s monument… & here it is

Who were the cov, conk, conkernonkers, Cummy

The Covenantors dear, they were good honest proud Presbyterians who suffer’d for their faith during many years of persecution – let me read you some of the inscription – ah yes, this…

Though here their dust
Lies mixt with murderers, and other crew
Whom justice justly did to death pursue.
But as for them, no cause was to be found
Worthy of death, but only they were found.
Constant and stedfast zealous as
For the Prerogative of CHRIST their KING

Were they kill’d by Catholics, Cummy

No, by a treacherous & perfidious king who turn’d his back on a most solemn oath, young man, removing the livelihoods of thousands of Presbyterians – toss’d out of churches & manses – ripping the heart out of proud congregations – they had no choice but to fight for their cause – 18,000 glorious soldiers of Jesus Christ went on to lose their lives in the struggles, & this monument is a memorial to their sacrifice – the Reverend Richard Cameron, Mr James Renwick & the Marquis of Argyle – let their names sing as powerful to you, child, as those of Moses, Daniel & St Paul

Was the bad king Cummy

King Charles the Second

Was he a Catholic king

No, but his brother James was, & I do have my suspicions – I do really think that every king & queen is a secret Jesuit papist

The Catholics are not very nice people are they

No, not for a long, long time – so let us say a prayer, before we go to your grandfather’s

Will Aunt Jane be there

She will, yes

& my cousins – Willie & Henrietta

Yes, & a few more of your tribe I expect – but come back to the moment, young man, let us prayer

Our father in Heaven
Please give us the strength of the Covenantors – who, covering themselves with the blood of Jesus, vow’d, by the power of God, to never serve our enemies; like our proud honest Christian brothers & sisters of those former times, let us pull down all the strongholds erected against our spiritual progress, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen


Let us go & see your grandfather now

Exit Cummy & RLS

Scene 11: La Solitude

RLS is working at the Roses in the garden – enter Fanny

What a positively delicious day

It is, yes, but no more than any other recently – I take it the treatment went well

Doctor Vidal is an absolute sorcerer – a curious navy man, very clever indeed

What is so marvellous about him

Well, he kind of experiments with these red hot needles- its call’d thermal cautery, he heats a sort of little hammer red hot & burns spots on me with it – the effects are sublime, I feel positively brand new

As do I my love, tho flower-frail I’m iron born, & yes, I’m back on my feet now with an absolute flourish – these roses are inspiring, & all of this glorious nature surrounding – as Bunyan says, ‘I dwell already the next door to heaven.’

This view is certainly celestial

Those mountains are as graceful as ever serv’d Zeus – & underneath them all this tiny spot of heaven – such a fragrant garden, & so lovely to look at it

It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.

There is one flaw, however

What is it

At a word my dear, snails! Those pesky parasites are everywhere

Yes, but, I haven’t the heart to kill them

Mother, father!


Well hello

You made it

What the devil is that contraption

This new-fangled instrument, Luly, made from 100 percent steel might I add, is call’d a velocipede

Ah the boneshaker – they are all the rage in America right now

Well, whatever its call’d, it looks ridiculous – & dangerous

I quite agree, it appears some kind of infernal death contraption – you don’t sit on that thing do you Sam

Yes – there’s the seat there, like a saddle on a horse

Well, you are completely forbidden from mounting the thing while you are staying with us

Its fine mother, it is all about finding your balance, like walking a wall, its easy – anyway enough of that – is this where we’re living

It certainly is

Aren’t you going to give me the tour

Of course, you must be starving too – Valentina, Valentina !


Enter Valentina

My word

Sam, this is the maid, Valentina


Oh – hi – I’m Sam

I know

Could you fix my son some food – as many delicacies you can find in the kitchen

Yes, madame

Exit Valentina

She is absolutely exquisite

& she is out of bounds – no fraternizing with the staff – so come indoors, tell me all about your trip – down – you’re looking really well

& you mother… Robert

I will join you inside in a wee while, I’ll just finish off this bush here


Well, I think wine now, to celebrate the return of the prodigal


Yes… a vin pays would be perfect

How is your writing coming on

I have many irons in the fire & some are coming out

Well, you’ll have to read me some this evening after dinner

Of course

Come on, let’s go in

RLS continues gardening – we are able to hear him thinking

A man is a twofold being – for in his physical form there dwell other powers tributary, but independent. If I now behold one walking in a garden, curiously colour’d & illuminated by the sun, digesting his breakfast with elaborate chemistry, breathing, circulating blood, directing himself by the sight of his eyes, accommodating his body by a thousand delicate balancings to the wind & the uneven surface of the path, & all the time, perhaps, with his mind engag’d about France, or the Dog Star, or the attributes of God – what am I to say, or how am I to describe the thing I see? Is that truly a man, in the rigorous meaning of the world? or is it not a man & something else? It is a question to be much debated. He is he just a mass of nerves & blood & skin & organs, or is he an exiled piece of heaven blown upon & determin’d by the breath of God; & both schools of theorists will scream like scalded children at a word of doubt. Yet either of these views, however plausible, is beside the question; either may be right; & I care not; I ask a more particular answer, & to a more immediate point? What is a man?

What a monstrous spectre he is, irremediably condemn’d with the disease of the agglutinated dust, lifting alternate feet or lying drugged with slumber; killing, feeding, growing, bringing forth small copies of himself; grown upon with hair like grass, fitted with eyes that glitter on his face – poor soul, here for so little, disturb’d by so many hardships, fill’d with desires so incommensurate & so inconsistent, savagely surrounded, savagely descended – stalking the universe on our planet’s rotary island loaded with predatory life, & more drenched with blood, both animal & vegetable,m than ever mutinied ship, soaring through space with unimaginable speed, while turning its alternate cheeks to the reverberation of a blazing world, ninety million miles away