A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Child Intellectual Song”

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Before we get back to the story, perhaps we can take a look at Klaus Baudelaire. As the middle child and only boy, he’s very intelligent and loves reading books more than anything. Though he resembles Harry Potter in the illustrations and TV show, he serves as the siblings’ resident Hermione Granger. In fact, despite being 12 at the series’ start, he’s read more books than most people do in a lifetime. He read a pretty great deal of the Baudelaire private library before a fire destroyed it. And he’ll read whatever he could get his hands on. Klaus’s idea of a good time is nothing more than a good book, a comfy chair, and the warm glow of a reading lamp. Thanks to his photographic memory, he’s always there to help his sisters with whatever they don’t understand, which has aided them immensely. Doesn’t hurt that he thinks if you read enough books, you can solve any problem. Too bad all the knowledge in the world won’t keep them away from Count Olaf going after them or being failed by most adults in their lives. Nevertheless, while Klaus is often polite, he has a tendency to correct people when they’re wrong which can come across as rude.

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A perfect song characterizing Klaus would be the “Major General’s Song” from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance, which is their biggest hit to date. The original version is sung by the long-winded Major General Stanley listing all the stuff he knows, eventually summing up with a long verse about his complete and utter lack of military knowledge. I mean the guy can’t tell the difference between a rifle and a javelin. Though he’s an expert in “all fights historical” with Waterloo being the most recent he knows, which took place 60 years before the play premiered. Yet, what’s interesting about Major General Stanley, is that he’s based on real life General (later Field Marshal) Sir Garnet Wolseley. But unlike his fictional counterpart, Wolsely was an excellent administrator, a good field commander, something of a Renaissance man, wrote several books on military history, and was a main driving force behind a set of reforms that abolished flogging in the British Army. Fortunately for Gilbert and Sullivan, he found the whole song very funny and would sing this song to amuse friends at parties. With this song, I leave out the whole, “I don’t know much about military tactics” stuff. Because I think Klaus would know way more about military stuff than Major General Stanley.

 

“Child Intellectual Song”

Sung by Klaus Baudelaire

Klaus:
I am the very model of a modern child intellectual
I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical
I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse

Violet:
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypoten-potenuse

Klaus:
I’m very good at integral and differential calculus
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
I am the very model of a modern child intellectual

Violet:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
He is the very model of a modern child intellectual

Klaus:
I know our mythic history, King Arthur’s and Sir Caradoc’s
I answer hard acrostics, I’ve a pretty taste for paradox
I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus
In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous
I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies
I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes
Then I can hum a fugue of which I’ve heard the music’s din afore
And quote all the verse from the infernal nonsense Edgar Guest

Violet:
And quote all the verse from the infernal nonsense Edgar Guest
And quote all the verse from the infernal nonsense Edgar Guest
And quote all the verse from the infernal nonsense Edgar Guest

Klaus:
Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform
And tell you every detail of Caractacus’s uniform
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
I am the very model of a modern child intellectual

Violet:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
He is the very model of a modern child intellectual

Klaus:
In fact, I would’ve surely read all the books in my parents’ library
If the Baudelaire mansion’s end was less than fiery
My memory is about as detailed and precise as a photograph
My vast array of knowledge is extensively encyclopediac
I’ll gladly do exhaustive research on South America and herpetology
As well as how to avoid Peruvian drug lords just if there’s a need
And perhaps on tropical diseases and medicinal remedies
You’ll say there’s no better child intellectual than me

Violet:
You’ll say there’s no better child intellectual than he
You’ll say there’s no better child intellectual than he
You’ll say there’s no better child intellectual than he, than he

Klaus:
For my engineering knowledge, though I’m plucky and adventury
Is sufficient, but actual tinkering is basically my sister’s specialty
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
I am the very model of a modern child intellectual

Violet:
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
He is the very model of a modern child intellectual

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