A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Standing in an Old Carnival”


When Count Olaf and his troupe reach the Caligari Carnival, the Baudelaires get out his trunk with Violet’s handy lock picking. But since they found themselves at what appears to be an abandoned carnival in the middle of nowhere, they’re not sure what to do next. There are tents and a roller coaster, but nothing seems used much. They know Olaf will be back any minute and will probably be pleased to see them in his trunk. They can’t call the police since everyone thinks they’re killers (though they’re not). Violet tries to call Mr. Poe but the operator hangs up on her after she explains their situation. Eventually they realize they have nowhere to go. So they decide to listen in to Count Olaf and his troupe meet Madame Lulu.


Since their situation seems rather hopeless, I used Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” Recorded just days before his death in a plane crash, Redding wrote the lyrics while sitting in a rented houseboat in Sausalito, California. The original version is a mournful song about a guy sitting on a dock to waste his time since he has nothing better to do. In this version, I have the Baudelaires trying to figure out what to do after finding themselves at the Caligari Carnival.


“Standing in an Old Carnival”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Standing in the evening sun
We’ve found ourselves at an old carnival
Broke out Count Olaf’s trunk
We don’t want him to find us again, yeah

We’re standing in an old carnival
But we’re rather stalled, ooh
We’re just standing in an old carnival
Not sure where to go

We left Heimlich Hospital
Riding in Count Olaf’s trunk
Not sure what we should do here
But now calling 911 and police is bunk
But we can’t keep stand in an old carnival
Remaining rather quite stalled, ooh
We’re standing in an old carnival
Not sure where to go

Looks like nothing’s gonna change
Nobody’s going to come our way
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess that we’ll have to stay, listen

Standing here using the phone
And the operator hung up on me cold, listen
Out on the lam we’ve roamed
So we’ll just make this place our home, now

We’re just going to live in the old carnival
There’s nothing else to do at all, ooh
Standing in an old carnival
Guess we’ll stay

[Ends in harmonic whistling]

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