A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Keep on the Sunny Side”

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In The Miserable Mill, the Baudelaires a befriended by a Lucky Smells worker named Phil who does what he can to help them adjust to their wretched new lives. However, the children don’t really share the guy’s eternal optimism. And by the way, Lemony Snicket’s definition of an optimist is summed up this way: “For instance, if an optimist had his left arm chews off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, ‘Well, this isn’t too bad. I don’t have my left arm any more, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed,’ but most of us would say something more along the lines of ‘Aaaaah! My arm! My arm!'” Though in the TV show, it’s “half-priced manicures for life.” Anyway, Phil fits this to a T.

MillBeds

When it comes to a good song for Phil, I chose to parody “Keep on the Sunny Side” which was featured on the O, Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack and was most famously performed by the Carter Family in 1928. While most of the song parodies for A Series of Unfortunate Events I selected mainly pertain to musicals or rock, this one is an exception. It’s actually a traditional Christian hymn written by Ada Blenkhorn in 1899, inspired by her wheelchair-bound nephew’s instance to be pushed down the “sunny side” of the street. The Carter Family’s performance made it a staple in bluegrass and country music. In this version, I took the Christian stuff out and replaced it with how ridiculously horrid the lumbermill conditions are.

 

“Keep on the Sunny Side” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Phil

Well there’s a dark and a troubled side of life.
There’s a bright and a sunny side too.
But if you meet with the darkness and strife,
The sunny side we also may view.

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life.
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,
If we keep on the sunny side of life.

Oh, accidents always happen every day,
Crushing legs that we cherish so dear.
But old Sir will in time pass away.
While the injuries will eventually heal.

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life.
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,
If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life.

Let us greet with a song of hope each day.
While we’re paid in coupons as fare.
Let us go and work our 12-hour days
So Sir won’t kick us out of his care.

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life.
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,
If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life.
If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life

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