A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “A Whiter Shade of Pale”


When Klaus and Sunny see Violet, she’s lying on a rusty gurney with dirty sheets and hair over her face to conceal her identity. Though she’s still breathing, she seems almost dead. As she’s wheeled off to the operating theater, things don’t look good for her. Since she’s going to be a recipient for the world’s first “cranioectomy” which is decapitation in a medical atmosphere and within a scientific and professional context. While the Hook-Handed Man and the Bald Man with the Long Nose trade joking jibes, the younger Baudelaires are obviously freaked out. And it doesn’t help that the Hook-Handed Man seems creeping on her. For God’s sake, she’s 14. Let’s just say, Klaus and Sunny have every reason to be worried since they’re not sure what to do to prevent their sister from coming to a nasty end in front of a live audience. On the bright side, at least Violet isn’t a contestant for the Hunger Games so her younger siblings have some control on the situation. Not that it helps.


The song I chose here is Procol Harum’s classic “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Though many believe it’s about drugs, it’s actually about a relationship or one night stand gone bad with the guy not being able to get over it. In this version, I have Klaus describing Count Olaf’s henchmen and their conduct as well as his sister lying on the gurney.


“A Whiter Shade of Pale” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Klaus Baudelaire

We got in our masks and lab coats
Ventured to the surgical ward
Not sure how this can work out
We go down the corridors
So we go and follow Esme
With a long and rusty knife
We meet up with his henchmen
Who didn’t recognize

We were standing rather nervous
Looking from the gurney rail
Violet’s face, at first just ghostly
Was a whiter shade of pale

They took us for white ladies
As they discussed their plans
Esme’s gone in the halls to find us
Want to get her out but can’t
Now the Hook-Hand guy is creeping
As black hair conceals her face
They devise a public mishap
With the operating theater as the place

We were standing rather nervous
Looking from the gurney rail
Violet’s face, at first just ghostly
Was a whiter shade of pale

And so we go to surgery

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