boojum!

Nonsense, Truth & Lewis Carroll

act two libretto

libretto by Peter Wesley-Smith

music by Martin Wesley-Smith


note: words in italics are spoken; words in plain type are sung


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society (Not a Social Butterfly)

Caterpillar:
I'm a (Cheshire) Cat -
Er ... pillar of Society
Not a social butterfly
I can run, jump, fight, wheel a barrow, ride a bike
Let me explain the reason why
I have a very healthy appetite
And I eat up all my greens
Such as cabbage, lettuce, peas and celery
Cucumbers and beans

Here I go:
Ah, delicious!
And so nutritious!

Here's a bean about to be a has-been
In you go ...
Ah, magnifico!

I'm red, black and yellow
A fine-looking fellow
All because I eat my greens

I'm a Caterpillar of Variety
I can juggle and sing and joke
As well as run, jump, fight, wheel a barrow, ride a bike
I am a clever kind of bloke
As a dancer I am dynamite
When I don my dancing shoes
I can disco, tango, jive and rock'n'roll
Just read my reviews

Here I go:
On tippy-toe!
What a show!

I can tap, I'm a clever kind of chap!

I'm red, black and yellow
A fine-looking fellow
All because I eat my greens

I'm a Caterpillar of Virility
I'm as strong as any lion
I can run, and fight, and ride a bike
'Cos I'm always pumping iron
Thirty press-ups? Easy! Thirty-five!
Thirty-seven!
That's no sweat!
Why not buy my Illustrated
Caterpillar Work-Out Cassette!
Aerobicise!

Try this for thighs!
It's great exercise!

See me flex all my splendid pecs!
What condition!
What definition!

I'm red, black and yellow
A fine-looking fellow
All because I eat my

All:
Oh how much he loves his

Cat:
All because I eat my greens

All:
His greens: his caulies and beans
Banish the blues with a bowl of greens!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

2 Beep! Beep! (Crew's News #2)

All:
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

Wal:
Snark-Hunters to Mission Control: are we through?

Lewis Carroll:
Receiving you loud and clear
Mister Bellman, old chum. Do you have any clue?
Have you sighted a Snark? Are you near?

Wal:
No sign of our quarry just yet - but don't worry
We'll never give in till we've won
The Snark will be sorry - we'll soon start to hurry
But meanwhile we're sure having fun

Here where we're at we've just met a cat-
Erpillar, who hails from Cheshire
He turned out, by Jove, to be a talented cove
We saw him dance, in the flesh, here!

And I'm amusing the crew with a song or two
(All fit for the ears of a cleric)
Here's one they've heard - about a desperate bird
Called the Jubjub. Music please, Eric!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

3 Jubjubby

Wal:
'Twas after brillig, and the toves
Were gimble slithing in the bath
The borogoves were home in droves
Where the raths had bagsed the hearth

"The Jabberwock is dead, my son
We lie upon its downy fleece
Now that the dregious deed is done
The tulgey world's at peace"

Then down the road the Jubjub strode
A whoofling, squuntish, desp'rate bird
Chicken-livered, pigeon-toed
Eagle-eyed and furred

And as it spread its groagley toes
The forest shuddered with its squeak
Its fiery breath, its smoking nose
And ears, its flamin' beak

The vorpal sword was everywhere
Attack! The Jubjub's doom was met
Forlorn, it flew into the air
A tantrum, and a net

"And hast thou caught the Jubjub bird?
Come to my arms! Callay! Callooh!"
The Jubjub, meanwhile, stretched and purred
Inside the tulgey zoo

'Twas after brillig, and the toves
Were gimble slithing in the bath
The borogoves were home in droves
Where the raths had bagsed the hearth


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow

Lewis Carroll:
Excellent, Wally! That's a fine voice, by golly
It would enrapture a Snark without doubt
But let's capture our foe without more to and fro
Tally-ho! Good hunting! Over and out!

All:
This curious, spurious fellow
In whose honour we perform
He hasn't stepped in to say hello
We hope we're at last getting warm

We think we're persuaded, we're certain
Is that one of the virtues of his?
We've searched since the opening curtain
Will we ever find out what he is?

The Hunting of the Snark, oh-ho
The Hunting of the Snark
Our greatest ambition
Our marvellous mission
This grand expedition
The Hunting of

Alice:
The Snark, Uncle Dodgson. What is it, and why are you hunting it?

Dodgson:
There are sceptical thoughts; there are blasphemous thoughts; there are unholy thoughts which torture, with their hateful presence, the fancy that would fain be pure ...

Mrs Hargreaves:
Uncle Dodgson invented lots of puzzles, problems, and mathematical curiosities designed to occupy minds that otherwise might stray beneath bed-clothes ...


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

5 The Crew Pops In

All:
Forgive us our late night intrusion
We're weary but all in all
We're nearing a concrete conclusion
The Snark's got his back to the wall

But the Baker's got the fee fie foe fumbles
He's slowing, he's showing his age
He stumbles and grumbles and mumbles, Tweedledumbles,
And crumbles all over the stage

We are Hunting for the Snark
We're Hunting for the Snark

Wal:
'T'is the season for Snarks! If I say it twice more
It is true! - But I fear it's all guff
We've hunted him high, low, far, near, aft and fore
But perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff!

All:
Perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff!
Perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff!
Perhaps it's all nonsense
Perhaps it's all nonsense
It's prob'ly all nonsense and stuff!

Wal:
With lateral logic and ratiocination
Sweet reason that's good for the brain
Dialectical inf'rence and daft calculation
Perhaps we're completely insane!

Except Cora! Once lowly, submissive and spiteful
She's grown as she's hunted the Snark
Now eager, courageous, and positively frightful
A regular Joan of Arc

Cora:
Soon we'll get down to deal with absolutes
And thrash the trash who's the lowest of the low
It's the Snark ev'rybody persecutes
Ho ho!

All:
The Baker's depressed, we all need a rest
And ev'ryone's sure acting strange
While Beaver's as green as a bathing machine
And Wal's coming down with the mange

Young Errol believes in the force of the law
In elegant legal discourse
But if that doesn't work it's a sock to the jaw!
He believes in the law

Wal:
He believes in the law

Errol:
I believe in the law

Wal:
Of force

All:
How coarse!

Errol:
When we've found the Snark the first thing is domesticate him
Then we'll send him off to school to rehabilitate him
If our efforts are in vain, if his teachers all complain
Then we'll rather inhumanely just exterminate him

Carl:
In the USSR

Al:
In the US of A

Al'n'Carl:
In the country where I come from
We seek to right the wrong
A clique controls the throng
But the weak are truly strong
That's why we have the bomb!

All:
This Russky and Yankee, they make us so cranky
With each other they lunge and they parry

Wal:
I fear they'll never be friends, and we'll all meet our ends
We might have to rely on our Clarrie

Clarrie:
Orstrylier - Jeez I miss it! It's sinful
That I'm over here when all I want's a skinful
Of that old amber fluid, the best anywhere!
I just wanna go back home

All:
But we won't let him Snark us
Clarrie will butcher his carcass
And take him home back to Wagga bloody Wagga !

Mrs Hargreaves:
My knight, our Baker, is lowly
He needs a good tonic, his depression to beat
Pref'rably with gin, and something to eat
A cucumber sandwich would go down a treat
And a cup of tea
From a working Beaver

Wal:
In the shape of the Beaver we've a charming achiever
We've a diva with a cleaver through the smooth and the rough
The Bellman (that's me) has been a valiant believer
In the truth - but perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff

All:
Perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff!
Perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff!
Perhaps it's all nonsense
Perhaps it's all nonsense
It's prob'ly all nonsense and stuff!

Wal:
You might think we were lost - I'll be perfectly frank
No worries! We're here on the map
You can see for yourselves ...

The Bellman unfolds his map

Crew:
It's perfectly blank!

Wal:
Ah well, just a minor mishap ...

Lewis Carroll:
So the map, somewhat blank, is a trifle jejune
There's a sense of dismay and distress
Is the Bellman a blundering, bungling buffoon?
Perhaps

Wal:
No of course not

Crew:
Yes yes!

Cora:
Where are we?

Al:
Yes where?

Wal:
Near that tree over there

Carl:
And where did we come from?

Wal:
The start

Ms H:
And where do we go?

Wal:
To and fro, anywhere
Right now, for it's time to depart

Errol:
But Bellmen are s'posed to be clear and precise
To lead us wherever we be

Clar:
And yet we are lost! We need someone's advice

Wal:
Just do as I say: follow me!

No-one moves

LC:
Well well, Mister Bellman, you've called your own bluff
You're continuing on with your quest?

Wal:
Mister Carroll, it may be all nonsense and stuff
But we'll certainly give it our best!

All:
Perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff!
Perhaps it's all nonsense and stuff!
Perhaps it's all nonsense
Perhaps it's all nonsense
It's prob'ly all nonsense and stuff!

Wal:
He's a foe you can walk to and fro on
Or ascend and then get vertigo on

LC:
He has all the aplomb of a nuclear bomb!

D:
In the end is it nonsense and so on?

All:
We'll go hunting again quite dementedly
In our madness a scheme
Till at last we arrive self-contentedly
At the end of our dream

Though we jest as the tempo gets faster
We're distressed at the fear of disaster
Yet we'll stand on our own
All together, alone
For the question is: Which will be master?

Yes the question is: Which will be master?
As Dodgson was heard to remark
This is a mark
of the stringent and blunt
quite long-winded, full-front-
al, continuing hunt
For the Snark!

D:
Ask not for whom the Bellman tolls
In ecstacy, in agony
He tolls for Snark where 'ere he strolls
Or does he toll for ... me?

Wal:
The tintinnabulation rings
It holds the tulgey world in thrall
The sense of destiny it brings
It rings for one and all!

There is a deep shivering inward breath of foreboding

All:
So the thread of our story unravels
We're nearing the Snark's demise
We're off once again on our travels
Then home very soon with our prize

We're ready and eager for glory
For success we are willing to die
Our adventure is thus hunky-dory
So Snark kiss your backside goodbye!

The Hunting of the Snark, oh-ho
The Hunting of the Snark
Our greatest ambition
Our marvellous mission
This grand expedition
The Hunting of the Snark!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

6 The Meaning of the Snark?

Dodgson:
As to the meaning of the Snark? I'm afraid I didn't mean anything but nonsense! Still, if words mean more than we mean to express when we use them, and if there are some good meanings in the book, I'm very glad to accept them. The best thing I've seen is that the whole book is an allegory on the search for happiness - but it's nonsense. I'm sure it's just nonsense ...

All:
Beep beep! Beep beep!

Wal:
Snark-Hunters to Mission Control! Can you hear us?

Lewis Carroll:
Come in, Mister Bellman. What's up?

Wal:
SUCCESS! Well almost - the Snark's very near us
We're sneaking around to abrup-
Tly surround him, astound him, confound him, impound him

LC:
Take care with your nets in the fray!
Beware, entre nous, fumbled ropes and the Boojum
Lest all of you vanish away!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems

Wal (over choral backing):
We're terrified now, for the future is stark
Just what will we find at the end?
The Snark or the Boojum? The Boojum or Snark?
Implacable foe - or a friend?

Is he Love, is he Hate? Is he Free Will or Fate?
Is he likely to please or appal?
Is he Nonsense or Sense? Is he Truth or Pretence?
Or is he just Nothing At All?

All (sing twice under Wal's previous speech):
Raiding, crusading
Evading the darkness
So far we're Snarkless
Mustn't despair

Raging, rampaging
Courageously hunting
Boldly upfronting
Snark must be where? / beware!

Lewis Carroll:
Here's what I've heard
Life is absurd
Nonsense is more than its match

Al:
Need not despair
Only beware
Frumious bandersnatch

All:
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems

Carl:
Here's what I've seen
Life is obscene
Ev'ryone trying to please

Cora:
Is it all bluff?

Clarrie:
Is it enough?

Errol:
Is life a terminal disease?

All:
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems

LC:
Here's what I claim
Life is a game
Find all the rules as you go

LC'n'Dodgson:
If you sit on the fence
Nothing makes sense
Those through the looking-glass know

All:
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems

All:
Here's what we think
We're on the brink
High on yon neighbouring crag

Nonsense knows why
Laugh till you cry
Life is a desperate wag

LC:
Nothing is quite what it seems

D:
Nothing is quite what it seems

All:
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems
Nothing is quite what it seems

And so says our bold gallant Snark-Hunting crew
You'd better believe it no doubt
What they tell you three times is quite certainly true
Over!

LC:
Over!

All:
Over and out!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

8 The Question Is:

Alice:
Uncle Carroll, what is the Boojum? What does it mean?

Lewis Carroll:
I have told you, my dear: it means nothing, and nothing is quite what it seems

Alice:
Well if they find it how will they know? How will they see it? - you have to have very good eyes to be able to see nothing

Dodgson:
I know what it means: it means Nothing. Godlessness. Infinite darkness, infinite Snarklessness. It's the black (k)night of eternal extinction. It means ...

LC:
Nothing - they're just words. They don't mean anything. It's just stuff and nonsense.

D:
When I use a word it means just what I choose
It to mean - neither more nor less (no less)
Some words amuse, some confuse; more
Seem to mean more than mean less

Alice:
That's a nice tune!

LC:
Lovely, isn't it? It's Humpty Dumpty backwards.

Alice:
Charming!
Some words have far too many syllables
Some words are too obscure to understand
Some are as common as mud
Some are absolutely mad and

LC:
Very sweet, my dear

D:
Some words have meaning you can only guess
Verbs in particular I must confess
The question is: Which is to be master? That's all
When I say "When I use a word it means
Just what I choose" these words cause much distress
They work so hard I pay them
More each Saturday night unless

LC:
Words are sometimes honest, then they win a prize
And sometimes liars: they conceal the truth
They can be noble, perhaps wise
Or cads and bounders, and uncouth
Their meaning often changes with the wind
They may be waffly and undisciplined
The question is:

Alice:
Which is to be master?

D:
I know what it means: Nothing. The void. Complete extinction. A giant rabbit hole in space devouring everything that falls into it, even Time itself. It means ... The End.

All:
That's all


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

9 My Knight in Shining Armour

Alice:
My knight in shining a(r)mour
How pleasant to enter his world of pretend
To wake in his dreamtime, his fancies attend
To make his acquaintance, to be his good friend
I honour him

My knight, my gallant dreamer
He's tilting at windmills, a smile on his face
Pursuing his dreams and enjoying the chase
His soft mellow voice like a warming embrace
How good to know him
I want to show him

He's my knight

Alice'n'Mrs Hargreaves:
My kindly-hearted hero
Bewitching, enriching our ev'ry day lives
So clever whatever his dreaming contrives
Entrancing, enhancing the dreariest part
Demanding, commanding the weariest heart

Ms H:
With tender love

Alice:
A gentle man

Ms H:
I cherish you

Alice:
My knight of the kindly countenance
Upright, very proper and shy
Eccentric and a treat, always a real pleasure to meet
Through thick and thin there is a twinkle in his eye

Ms H:
My knight of the kindly countenance
A knight with a ricketty knee
And long silvery hair, often a pun, often a prayer
Often a song, always so strong
And loving to me

Alice now sings lovingly to Carroll:

Alice:
My knight, my noble charmer
Your whimsical magic, your wonderland schemes
The genial nonsense pervading your dreams
The fantasy world which is more than it seems
The logic you take to extremes
The humour, the wisdom, the truth of your dreams
I honour you
I cherish you
I love you

Dodgson:
Alice, wait! Don't go! Alice ... Alice!

Dodgson imagines that Alice loves just Carroll the story-teller - not the flesh-and-blood Dodgson underneath

My darling Alice! A happy little pawn who had to leap that final brook and become a queen. Mrs Hargreaves! Mrs Reginald Hargreaves!

Ms H:
For twenty years I did not see him again - when we met once at his old rooms for tea we were ... strangers. It seems that this was a pattern to be repeated a thousand times over: with the coming of pubescence his child-friends became a threat to his precious purity - so he discarded them. There were many new, beautiful, innocent girl-children, with whom there was no risk at all of sexual pleasure, to replace the ones who had insisted on growing up ...


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

10 Ding Dong

Lewis Carroll:
Time waits for no-one, he presses right on
Each magic moment is suddenly gone
The face in the fire reduces to ash
The wonder of childhood is gone in a flash!
She softly and suddenly vanished away
Time makes us pay!

White Rabbit:
Hickory dock, I go tock tick tock
Dockory hick, I go tick tock tick

Wal:
Ding dong ding
It's three o'clock!

Mrs Hargreaves:
Uncle Dodgson, try to remember long ago

LC:
Once upon a time Rev'rend Dodgson came to know

Ms H:
Alice was growing up, as Time did decree

LC:
That he could only become immortal through me, immortal through me

WR:
I'm Time, I'm Time

LC:
I'm time-less!

Dodgson:
About nine out of ten of my child friend-ships were shipwrecked at that critical point where "stream and river meet"

Wal:
The hithering, thithering River of Time

WR:
Thithering, hithering, Liffeying, win - ding

Wal:
- dong ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong ding

Ms H:
It was on just such a river, many years ago now, that Time seemed suspended in the summer haze of that golden afternoon

Wal:
It's eleven o'clock!

LC:
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake Baker-man
Bake us some bridecake as fast as you can
Pat it and prick it and mark it with "B"
And put it in the oven for the Beaver and me
We'll cut it and butter it and eat it for tea
Alice and me!

The depressed Dodgson, seeing Alice and Carroll clasping hands, looks away in despair ...


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

11 Time After Time

Dodgson is photographing one of his child models. She is in his favourite costume - of nothing.

Mrs Hargreaves:
I don't think there was ever such a fairy-land for children! He owned a great old camera, with which he used to take portraits of his child-friends, sometimes undraped (the "nudities", he called them). On the 18th of July, 1879, he wrote in his diary:

"Mrs Henderson brought Annie and Frances. I was agreeably surprised to find they were ready for any amount of undress, and seemed delighted at being allowed to run about naked. It was a great privilege to have such a model as Annie to take: a very pretty face, and a good figure."

Carroll and Dodgson sing the following two verses simultaneously:

Time waits for no-one, he presses right on
Just like a river, a Rubicon
Golden occasions in life never last
Time goes forever but always too fast
Remember the future, imagine the past
Time after time

Lead me not into temptation
And deliver me from evil
Forever, for Time everlasting
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory
For ever and ever
Amen

Ms H:
May 31, 1880

Dear Mrs Henderson,

(Annie's and Frances's) innocent uncon-sciousness is very beautiful, and gives one a feeling of reverence, as at the presence of something sacred ... I should see no ob-jection (in spite of "Mrs Grundy") in their repeating the performance ...

There are very few amateur photographers so privileged as I am in the way of subjects for nude studies, which I think far prettier than dressed ...

I am thinking of getting Miss Bond (of Southsea) to colour two or three of the nudities ...

Carroll and Dodgson sing the following two verses simultaneously:

Time flows, love goes
Time flies, love dies
For more than sixty years
So many fancies have turned into tears
Time after time

Tortured my heart and tormented my soul
By un-holy thoughts beyond my control
So many fancies I'd gladly rescind
Sceptical notions that bend with the wind
Father forgive me, in thought I have sinned
Time after time


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

12 Faces in the Fire

a poem written by the real Dodgson:

Dodgson:
The night creeps onward, sad and slow
In these red embers' dying glow
The forms of fancy come and go

The picture fadeth in its place
Amid the glow I seem to trace
The shifting semblance of a face

Oh, Time was young, and Life was warm
When first he saw the fairy-form
Her dark hair tossing in the storm

And fast and free these pulses played
When last I met that gentle maid
When last her hand in mine was laid

Those locks of jet are turned to gray
And she is strange and far away
That might have been his own today

That might have been mine own, my dear
Through many and many a happy year
That might have sat beside me here

Ay, changeless through the changing scene
The ghostly whisper rings between
The dark refrain of "might have been"

Sunk is the last faint flickering blaze
The vision of departed days
Is vanished even as I gaze

The pictures with their ruddy light
Are changed to dust and ashes white
And I am left alone with night


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

13 I'm Old, Like Father William

Dodgson:
I'm old, like Father William
Long ago I awoke in the midst of a dream
In love with a princess, or so it did seem
But the wonderland went when she leapt that last stream
My eyes have seen
What "might have been"

Lewis Carroll:
He's old, like Father William
His hair has become quite excessively white
Like the Barrister's waistcoat it uffled in fright
When the Jabberwock came for the rusty old knight
This weary sage
Was ill with stage - fright

D:
I'm old, like Father William
And old Mrs Grundy, whose frumious glare
Snicker-snacked and whoofled, I hadn't a prayer
Dear Alice - her innocence too lovely to bear
I miss her so
The dream is o - ver

The following is sung simultaneously with the lines that follow:

I'm left alone with night
Bereft, a DEAF OLD
CABBAGE with more than
Sixty pieces of
Baggage, a poor old
Baker, with nothing to bake
To take to my
Maker, the Master that's All
I'm out of Time
Switch out the lime - light the fuse ...

Alice:
My Knight, my Lewis Carroll
How pleasant your nonsense, your logic at play

Mrs Hargreaves:
How painful to see Uncle Dodgson's dismay
When softly the wonderland vanished away

Alice:
I honour you
I cherish you

Wal:
It's nearly midnight!
Heard a funny ding dong bell
Various snippets are heard, including:
Pat-a-pan, pat-a-pan, pat-a-Pat-a-Cake Man
Her vorpal sword is ev'rywhere
Attack the black night of the Black King!
There are sceptical thoughts
Blasphemous thoughts
Unholy thoughts ...
Tick tock!
Nothing is quite what it seems
Fell asleep, had a funny ...

Dodgson's dream erupts into a nightmare of unfulfilled hopes and desires. He awakes to the stark reality that he must discover his Snark and that it might, indeed, be a Boojum!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

14 Where is the Snark?

All:
Where is the Snark?
And where is the Boojum!
Why are you hunting?
What will you learn?

Is there a secret?
Why do you yearn?
Hope, fear and anguish
Will you return?


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

15 Who is to be Master?

Carroll attempts, unsuccessfully, to persuade the depressed Dodgson to sing The Knight's Gambit:

Lewis Carroll:
Pawn to King Four ...
Pawn to King Four - Reply
Pawn to King Four ...
Pawn to King's Bishop...

LC:
I will attack the blackness that's within me

Dodgson:
Thrust at and cut at and hack at the twin me

Both:
It ain't no fun to be a twin

D:
Who can understand the quand'ries I've been in?

LC:
The question is: Who is to be master?
That's all

Ms H:
My knight My dear Rev'rend Dodgson
A friend to integrity, foe to pretence
You are loyal to logic yet wary of sense
The question enthralls you, the answer torments
I honour you
I cherish you

Alice:
My knight, my dear Uncle Dodgson
How pleasant to enter your world of pretend
To wake in your dreamtime, your fancies attend
To make your acquaintance, to be your good friend
I honour you
I cherish you

Alice'n'Ms H:
I love you

The purple cloud of Dodgson's depression slowly starts to lift as he realises that Alice did indeed love him, his persona, his flesh-and-blood self - not just Carroll the celebrated nonsense author.


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

16 Having Lived I Shrink Not Now From Death

All:
Snark-Hunters know it could be a Boojum
They who go hunting, hearing the call
Searching for answers, risking their all
Suddenly ... softly ... could come the fall

The following verse (by Margaret Fuller Ossoli) was copied out by Dodgson, in the last year of his life, for Hettie Rowell, one of his last child-friends:

Dodgson:
Let me but gather from the earth one full-grown fragrant flower:
Within my bosom let it bloom through its one blooming hour:
Within my bosom let it die, and to its latest breath
My own shall answer "Having lived I shrink not now from death"

Dodgson has turned the corner, and is now ready to take again his place on the Chess Board of Life. Carroll's next attempt to encourage him to sing The Knight's Gambit is successful!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life

Lewis Carroll:
Pawn to King Four

Dodgson:
Reply: Pawn to King Four ...

LC:
Pawn to King's Bishop Four

D:
Reply: Pawn takes pawn ...

LC:
Knight to King's Bishop Three; Yippee:
The Knight's Gambit!

Dodgson girds his loins!

D:
Reply: Pawn to King's Knight Four

LC:
Bishop to Bishop Four

D:
Reply: Pawn to Knight Five

LC:
Castles!

All:
Exclamation!

LC:
Attack, defend, retreat and Harry
Lunge and cut and thrust and parry
Clear the board, swap off, and clari-
Fy ...

All:
The Knight's Gambit!

D:
Stand and fight, engage with passion
Watch the back rank, spring the Dragon
Aim to seize the long diagon-
Al ...

All:
The Knight's Gambit!

D'n'LC:
We've tussled to the death
With a wily Ruy Lopez
We've been cornered and confined
By a mean Maroczy Bind

We've been ambushed, we've been charged and stalked
And we've been skewered, we've been pinned and forked

We've wagered half a million
On a Nimzovitch Sicilian
Sometimes, in pensive manner
We've played the Giucco Pianner

We've not left it up to fate
We've gone looking for a mate
We've battled pain and misery and strife
When all about King's Indians were rife
We've struggled in the great chess game of life

All:
The Knight's Gambit!


contents: 1 I'm a Caterpillar of Society | 2 Beep! Beep! | 3 Jubjubby | 4 This Curious, Spurious Fellow | 5 The Crew Pops In | 6 The Meaning of the Snark? | 7 Nothing Is Quite What It Seems | 8 The Question Is: | 9 My Knight in Shining Armour | 10 Ding Dong | 11 Time After Time | 12 Faces in the Fire | 13 I'm Old, Like Father William | 14 Where is the Snark? | 15 Who is to be Master? | 16 I Shrink Not Now from Death | 17 The Glorious Chess Game of Life | 18 End Game

18 End Game

The Snark-Hunters manoeuvre against their mysterious Black opponents. "Tally-ho!", cries the White Knight, and with reckless abandon lands on a square next to the Black King. "It's a Snark!", he cries. But suddenly the Black King stands revealed as the White Rabbit of Time, and Dodgson's cry, cut short, becomes his last:

"It's a Boo - "

He softly and suddenly vanishes away
For the Snark is a Boojum, you see


go to act one

Boojum! home page
order the CD (e-mail the Australian Music Centre)


boojum!

1979-1992
Martin Wesley-Smith (e-mail)
Peter Wesley-Smith
(e-mail)


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