A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”

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The Baudelaires spend their first morning and afternoon at V.F.D. doing all the villagers’ chores. Most of these are insanely difficult, boring, or pointless like making hot fudge sundaes for the Council of Elders. While the chores are hard work, the villagers are often rude and unpleasant. Nor do they appear to make the children feel welcome in their new home. Hell, their lunch mostly consists of cabbage sandwiches from a local restaurant. Additionally, at dawn the children receive another couplet from Isadora reading: “Until dawn comes we cannot speak,/No words can come from this sad beak.” And the Baudelaires still have no idea what the Quagmires are trying to tell them. The final task that day is cleaning the massive Fowl Fountain statue which was recently built. While it’s all covered in bird shit, the children wouldn’t complain much. Since they’ve already worked at Lucky Smells and ran laps at Prufrock Prep.

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The song I selected for this sequence is “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” by The Band. The original version is about a poverty-stricken farmer, who with increasing desperation, details the misfortune befallen him during the Great Depression. Over the song’s course, the farmer has his crops die due to no rain, his barn burns down, his horse goes mad, and he ends up on skid row. A union organizer appears, promising to improve things, with the narrator telling his associates “I’m a union man now, all the way but begs them to “just don’t judge me by my shoes.” Yeah, it’s kind of a downer song. In this version, the Baudelaires sing about doing their chores and the couplets they’ve received.

 

“King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”

Hector:
Corn in the fields.
Listen to the crows when the wind blows ‘cross the fountain,
King Harvest has surely come

Violet:
We work for the village ‘cause they’re our guardians;
And we have to do all their chores,
Since they say it’s a town tradition
We will do everything these folks will say,
Even if it means making the Elders fudge sundaes
Looks like this time I’m gonna get to stay,
I’m a V.F.D. girl, now, all the way

Hector:
The smell of the leaves,
From the Nevermore Tree on the outskirts,
King Harvest has surely come

Klaus:
V.F.D. folk are awfully rude,
When we do what they refuse
Hey, Isadora, can’t you hear my plea?
Tell me what your couplets mean!
Two dawns we get these poem notes
And it’s plain to see, I’ve nothin’ to show
I’m glad Count Olaf is not around
But won’t be long till he’s in town

Hector:
A scarecrow in a yellow moon,
Pretty soon, the carnival on the edge of town,
King Harvest has surely come

Violet:
Our final task, we have to clean,
The Fowl Fountain till it sheens
Lots of bird shit, well, that ain’t bad
Let’s hope the Council of Elders don’t get that mad
Now here they come with their ugly crow hats
Tellin’ us how their sundaes aren’t up to scratch
And then, if we don’t give them what they like
I hope they don’t keep us up all through the night

Hector:
Corn in the fields.
Listen to the crows when the wind blows ‘cross the fountain,
King Harvest has surely come

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