A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “The Big Rock Candy Island”

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Just as the Baudelaires paralyzed over making a decision whether to let Count Olaf out of his cage or leave him, Kit wakes up wondering where they are. Violet clarifies that they’re on an island coastal shelf. But they don’t want to give her too much like they’ve been abandoned, that the islander’s rejected them, and that the coast is due to flood soon. But Kit seems to have some idea since she’s heard about this place. Apparently, she describes it as nothing like the Baudelaires experienced it since she mentions an enormous library, mechanical wonders, and gourmet meals. She heard one associate say that he ate the best Oyster Rockefellers he had there. So she surmises that the kids must have a wonderful time. Except they’re not. Though Kit does mention a schism on the island and someone named Thursday. The Baudelaires then come clean about the fire but distract her about Count Olaf being with them when Kit asks about Dewey. Because Dewey is dead. However, Kit can’t get down from the book stack due to her injured feet.

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For this part, I went with the Harry McClintock version of “The Big Rock Candy Mountain” which describes a hobo’s paradise in a modern version of a medieval Cockaigne. McClintock claimed to have written the song in 1895 based on his youthful exploits as a hobo in the US. Yet, some believe at least the song’s aspects have been around for far longer. Nonetheless, his 1928 recorded version is cleaned up from the one he sang in the 1890s which includes a stanza in which the protagonist finds the whole big rock candy mountain is a lie and suggests the hobo using such tale to rape him. In this version, I have Kit Snicket describe the island in this book that she knew as a paradise it no longer is.

 

“The Big Rock Candy Island”

Sung by Kit Snicket

One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fire was burning,
Had a cup with a man named Thursday
Said of the Best Oyster Rockerfellers
He returned from a land that’s far away
Beyond the crystal fountains
While adrift at sea, best you go see
The Big Rock Candy Island

In the Big Rock Candy Island
There’s a land that’s fair and bright,
Where the roses grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night
Where the gadgets all are wondrous
And the sun shines every day
On the birds and the bees
And the horseradish trees
The beautiful spring
When the bluebirds sing
In the Big Rock Candy Island
In the Big Rock Candy Island
Your meals are high gourmet
Help yourself to its vast library
Where you kids can read in all day
The central trees are full of fruit
Pick the apples where you may
Oh, I damn well hope
You’re giving a go
To its seafood bar
And dinner show
In the Big Rock Candy Island

In the Big Rock Candy Island
They make so much stuff with junk
From its metal abstract sculptures
To its devices of steampunk
The arboretum’s a stunning sight
You must have a wondrous time
There’s bluefin stew
And some Cape Cod, too
You can paddle all around ’em
In a big canoe
In the big Rock Candy Island

In the Big Rock Candy Island
There’s so much that washes in
You can surely have your pick
As soon as it comes in
There aren’t no unpleasant cordials
No bland meals of raw fish
You must enjoy your stay
Where you read all day
Where they’d hang the Turk
Who’s a complete jerk
In the Big Rock Candy Island

You must be having quite a ball
In the Big Rock Candy Island

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