A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Rusty Knife”


Inside the operating theater, the audience is in eager anticipation for the main attraction that they applaud on Violet’s arrival. The Hook-Handed Man is set to host the event while the Bald Man with the Long Nose is set to cut her head off. They proclaim that this cranioectomy performed is history being made and that there’s a good chance the patient might die which they’re willing to take. But then at the last minute, both these men announce that Klaus and Sunny will be performing the surgery instead. Is it possible that they can see through their disguises? Or that they’re too chicken to go through with the thing? Or do they not want to get arrested for murder and would rather pass the responsibility to someone else? Now with the long, jagged, rusty knife in his hands, all eyes are on Klaus. On Sunny’s advice to stall, Klaus gives a long description about the history of the knife and the composition of rust to buy time for Violet to wear off the anesthesia. Though Sunny helps by biting her sister’s neck. At first this stalling works, Klaus starts losing the crowd while Olaf’s guys start getting suspicious. Then Klaus tells the audience that he can’t do the operation yet without filing the proper paperwork. So someone fetches Hal.


The song I went with here is “Mack the Knife” most famously sung by Bobby Darin in the late 1950s. But the song is older than that since it’s originally a German song written by Bertolt Brecht for the Threepenny Opera in the late 1920s as a last-minute addition. The original version, is about a character from John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, named Macheath (based on a real life English Thief named Jack Sheppard). As the song heavily describes, this dashing highwayman is basically a serial killer akin to Count Olaf. In fact, I was going to make this a song for Count Olaf to sing but later decided against it. Though the original Brecht-Kurt Weill version was far more cruel and sinister than the modern anti-hero he’s transformed into an anti-hero. After its translation into English, various artists like Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin turned this murder ballad into a classic pop standard it’s seen as in the United States. In this version, Klaus tries to stall and distract the crowd so he doesn’t have to cut his sister’s head off.


“Rusty Knife”

Sung by Klaus Baudelaire

Oh, this sharp knife, has such teeth, dear
The oldest surgical tool in sight
Early knives been found in tombs and temples
Made of stone and used for rites
You got knives of bronze, iron, and teeth, dear
And they come in different types
But the one needed for a cranioectomy, dear
It’s the large Texan, James Bowie knife

No before I conduct, huh, hun, whoo first incision, uh huh
On her body to ooze her life, eek
There’s just one thing I’d like to discuss here
About this old long, jagged, rusty knife

See this rust here, huh, huh, it’s reddish brown coating don’tcha know
Forming on metals’ when the oxidize on down
Oh, it’s a reaction when metals meet with moisture
Oxidation is integral for this kind of round
For the oxidative processes meet with flesh, dear
Due to mitochondria and cosmetic demystifies
Now we must’ve missed something crucial
Oh, right, we must have papers promptly filed

I’m Dr. Tocuna, ho, ho, yeah, she’s our Nurse Flo
Ooh, Dr. Flacutono, and Dr. O. Lucafont
Oh, this always comes with a risk, dear
When you work with a rusty knife

Evidently, it’s okay, whoa, to decapitate
Long as the procedure sounds professional
Or scientific since it’s decapitation
When you work with a rusty knife
Check out this rusty knife


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