Judie's Place     |  HOME    |   Musical Theater HOME  
The King and I   |   Kismet   |   Kiss Me Kate   |   Kiss of the Spider Woman   |   La Cage Aux Follies   |   Les Mis   |   Lion King (movie)   |   Lion King (stage)   |   Little Shop of Horrors   |   Mame   |   Mamma Mia   |   Man of LaMancia   |   Martin Guerre   |   Me and My Girl   |   Miss Siagon   |   Moulon Rouge   |   Music Man   |   My Fair Lady   |   Notre Dame De Paris   |   Oklahoma   |   Oliver   |   Once on This Island   |   Once Upon a Mattress   |   Pal Joey   |   Passion   |   Phantom of the Opera   |   Pippin   |   Pirates of Penzance   |   Penzance (if by Seuss)   |   The Producers   |   Ragtime   |   Rent   |   Roar of the Greasepaint   |   Rocky Horror Picture Show   |   Scarlet Pimpernell (orig. production)   |   Scarlett Pimpernell (new production)   |   The Secret Garden (stage)   |   Seussical   |   Seven Brides for Seven Brothers   |   Showboat   |   Side Show   |   Singing in the Rain   |   Smokey Joe's Cafe   |   Song and Dance   |   Sound of Music   |   South Pacific   |   Star Wars, The Musical   |   Starlight Express   |   State Fair (movie)   |   Stop the World, I Want to Get Off   |   Sunset Boulevard   |   Sweet Charity   |   Tale of Two Cities   |   Thoroughly Modern Millie   |   Tick-Tick-Boom   |   Titanic, The Musical   |   West Side Story   |   Whistle Down the Wind   |   The Wiz   |   The Wizard of Oz   |   You're a Good Man Charlie Brown
Music Man

Short Synopsis: (LYRICS FOLLOW)    

 Willson called this show his valentine." Charismatic con man Harold Hill galvanizes a stodgy, entertainment-starved Iowa town at the turn of the century. Intending to fleece the town with a flase scheme to organize a boy's band, Hill's plans go afoul when he falls for Marian, the starchy town librarian. Ultimately she tames his runabout impulses while he teaches her - and the entire town - the joys of emotional risks."     

The Story:     Act One

Scene One: The play begins on the morning of July Four, 1912. A railroad conductor announces the next stop, River City, Iowa, to a coach filled with traveling salesmen. Speaking rhythmically (keeping time with the movement of the train), the salesmen begin a conversation about the merits of cash versus credit and the ways their products and lives have changed as the result of modren" merchandising ("Rock Island"). One of the salesmen, Charlie Cowell, asks if anyone has heard of Professor Harold Hill, a salesman who is ruining the reputation of all traveling salesmen. Cowell explains that Hill moves from town to town selling musical instruments, uniforms and the promise of lessons for a boy's band, and then leaves town with the collected money before anyone has discovered that he is musically illiterate. As the train stops in River City, Cowell, who has been trying to find and expose Hill, mentions Hill wouldn't get far with the stubborn Iowans. Before the train begins to move again, a salesman who has quietly been playing cards grabs his suitcase and announces that the conversation has prompted him to give Iowa a try. When asked his name, the stranger flashes his suitcase, bearing the name "Prof. Harold Hill," and he quickly exits the train as it starts to move. He finds himself facing River City's Main Street decorated with Fourth of July bunting and crowded with townspeople.

Scene Two: As workers move a pool table into the River City Billiard Parlor owned by Mayor Shinn, the townspeople greet the mayor and each other. They sing with pride of their contrariness ("Iowa Stubborn"). As they disperse, Hill enters the scene and tries to rent a horse and buggy at the livery stable. There he meets his old friend and one-time partner-in-crime Marcellus Washburn. Washburn, who knows Harold's real first name is Greg, remembers Hill's last sales gimmick was selling steam-powered automobiles. Hill tells Washburn he'd be selling them still if somebody hadn't ruined his game by actually inventing such a vehicle! Marcellus has given up his old ways and has settled down in River City to work in the livery stable. After Harold explains his plans, Marcellus warns him to watch out for the town's music teacher/town librarian, Marian Paroo - she'd expose Harold's con on the spot. Harold asks him to point her out and then he sets about thinking of a way to convince the parents of River City of the necessity of a boy's band. When Marcellus tells him about the new pool table in town, Harold recognizes his chance. He approaches Ewart Dunlop, the grocery store owner, and begins talking about the trouble that has entered River City in the shape of a pool table. To the fast-growing crowd Harold delivers a rapid-fire sales pitch/sermon about the corrupting influence of a pool table on the boys of the town ("Trouble"); as the townspeople join him, Marcellus signals Marian Paroo is passing by.

Scene Three: Harold follows Marian home; she rejects his attempts to start a conversation with her on the street, finally slamming her front door in his face.

Scene Four: As Marian enters the house, Amaryllis, her young piano student, is playing an exercise while Mrs. Paroo, Marian's mother, continues with her household chores. Marian tells her mother about the strange man (Harold) who has been following her and trying to speak with her. While Amaryllis plays arpeggios, Mrs. Paroo scolds Marian for not speaking to the man, criticizing Marian's high expectations, both for the townspeople and for men ("Piano Lesson/If You Don't Mind My Saying So"). Winthrop, Marian's little brother, enters the house and Amaryllis invites him to a party. Winthrop, who has a lisp and doesn't like to speak, mispronounces Amaryllis's name. When she giggles, he runs from the room. Amaryllis, upset that Winthrop never talks to her, starts crying and tells Marian she is worried she'll never find a sweetheart to wish about on the evening star. Marian tells her to go on wishing, using the word "someone" until the right person comes along. As Amaryllis plays her crossed-hands piece, Marian gazes at the evening star and wishes her unnamed "someone" goodnight ("Goodnight, My Someone").

Scene Five: Inside the high school gymnasium, Mayor Shinn is presiding over the Fourth of July celebrations. His wife, Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn, who is dressed as Columbia, holds a torch and has just finished leading a song. As the mayor begins his stentorian recitation of the Gettysburg Address, he is stopped by the constantly bickering school board, who remind him that the next presentation is an Indian costume spectacle. The spectacle concludes with his wife counting to twenty in the "Indian tongue." Before she can finish counting, young Tommy Djilas lights a firecracker in front of her. The four school board members begin arguing as the mayor again tries his Gettysburg recitation. The mayor is foiled again, this time by Harold, who steals the crowd's attention, continuing his earlier sermon about the pool table. He tells the crowd he has come to River City to organize a boy's band as the solution to the corrupting influence of the pool table. He then entrances them with a story of when six of the greatest marching bands in America came to town on the very same day ("Seventy-Six Trombones"). The townspeople join in, dancing and parading around the gymnasium.

The mayor, alarmed at seeing the Iowans so excited, orders the school board to get Harold's credentials. As Tommy is being led out of the gymnasium by the constable, he is warned by the mayor to stay away from Zaneeta, the Shinn's oldest daughter. Harold realizes if he can make an ally of Tommy he'd have the town's youth on his side, too. He quickly intercedes on Tommy's behalf and agrees to take responsibility for the boy. He asks Tommy to design a music holder for the piccolo. Harold then points out a passing girl and gives Tommy money to take her to the candy shop. After the teenagers leave, the constable tells Harold the girl is Zaneeta Shinn.

The school board approaches Harold and demands his credentials; Harold, stalling because he has no credentials, asks them each to sing the words "ice cream," which they do in perfect barbershop quartet harmony. Finding music more interesting than Harold, the quartet sings "Sincere" as Harold sneaks away to look for Marian.

Scene Six: Harold follows Marian to the library where, before slamming the door in his face, she warns him she will check his credentials in the reference books. Marcellus appears to ask about Harold's progress. Harold explains he'll be in town for four weeks, which is the time required for the delivery of the instruments, uniforms and instruction books. He also mentions to Marcellus that he circumvents his musical ignorance by advocating his "revolutionary Think System." This "System" replaces reading notes, and practicing scales with positive thought. Marcellus tries to convince him to settle down in River City, but Harold tells him he prefers worldly women to the wholesome, innocent women of River City ("The Sadder-But-Wiser Girl").

The ladies of the town surround Harold, buzzing with excitement over the band. Mrs. Shinn, however, is still withholding her judgment until her husband receives Harold's credentials. When she moves her foot to relieve the pain of her bunions, Harold comments on her grace and insists she lead the Ladies Auxiliary for the Classic Dance, with the other ladies as members. Mrs. Shinn immediately falls under Harold's spell. She consents to head the committee and she, too, is now an ally. When Harold asks about Marian, the ladies huddle together like hens and begin to gossip. They accuse her of promoting Balzac, Chaucer and other authors of "dirty books" ("Pickalittle"). They also darkly suggest she had been involved with "Miser" Madison, a late River City resident who donated the gymnasium, picnic park, hospital and library to the town. The school board appears, again demanding Harold's credentials, and again he deftly distracts them by saying goodnight to the ladies, prompting a song from the quartet ("Goodnight Ladies").

Scene Seven: Harold enters the library and begins flirting with Marian, who wants nothing to do with him. He threatens to drop a bag of marbles on the floor if she continues to ignore him, and he sings of his love for her ("Marian The Librarian"). Marian and the other readers join Harold in dancing aflamboyant, yet quiet soft-shoe ballet around the library.

Scenes Eight and Nine: Harold has worked his usual magic on the River City citizens and with Tommy by his side, he's made eleven sales. Harold sends the boy home while he continues his rounds. Harold meets Mayor Shinn as he is about to ring the mayor's doorbell. Harold flatters the mayor about the shape of his hand, remarking that the laws of heredity mean that the mayor's son is destined to be a great flugelhorn player. The mayor is ready to sign an order when he suddenly remembers he doesn't even have a son. He again demands that Harold bring his credentials to City Hall later that day.

Scene Ten: Harold has moved on to the Paroo house. He flatters Mrs. Paroo on her facial muscles, suggesting this means Winthrop will be a great cornet player. After Winthrop asks if the uniform will have a stripe, Harold tries to engage him in a conversation, but the boy runs off. Mrs. Paroo explains that Winthrop hardly speaks at all. Thinking Harold's gift of gab might mean he's Irish, she asks Harold where he is from. As Harold tells her his alma mater is the Gary Conservatory of Gary, Indiana, Marian returns home and tries to dissuade her mother from ordering an instrument. Marian gets angry when Harold asks to speak to Winthrop's father, who is dead. When she enters the house, Mrs. Paroo apologizes for Marian's outburst.

After Harold leaves, Marian sends Winthrop to the library to get the reference book she needs to check on Harold's credentials. Mrs. Paroo, who likes Harold, accuses Marian of not thinking of the future and of foolishly waiting for a white knight to appear. Marian explains she just wants a man who will love her ("My White Knight").

Scene Eleven: Tommy is making a date with Zaneeta to show her his music holder as Mayor Shinn enters, complaining to his wife that the whole town has been mesmerized by Harold. Marian appears with the reference book, but before she can hand it to the mayor, Gracie, his youngest daughter, excitedly announces the arrival of the Wells Fargo Wagon. The townspeople line the street to greet it ("Wells Fargo Wagon"). Winthrop breaks through the crowd to express his hope that the wagon is bringing his band instrument. Harold, who has been riding in the wagon, jumps down and hands Winthrop his cornet. Winthrop, now seemingly unashamed of his speech impediment, turns and excitedly tells Marian how happy he is. Harold hands out the rest of the instruments to the boys. He tells them lessons will follow, but they should first get acquainted with their instruments and think about the Minuet in G. The mayor concedes Harold has won the day - for now - but he threatens Harold with a grand jury appearance if the boys aren't soon playing. The mayor then turns his attentions to Marion and he asks her for the book. Marian, grateful to Harold for Winthrop's new-found joy and confidence, secretly rips out the relevant page of the book before handing it to Mayor Shinn.

Act Two

Scene One: In the gymnasium the Ladies Auxiliary Dance Committee is practicing for the upcoming Ice Cream Sociable; they form a tableau vivant as the school board sings ("It's You"). Marcellus has been keeping the young people out of the gym but he can't hold them out any longer. The young people burst in, forcing the Auxiliary Ladies into hasty retreat. At the young people's insistence, Marcellus winds up the victrola and he leads the crowd in a new dance Harold has shown him ("Shipoopi"); even Harold and Marian join in. The dance ends when Mayor Shinn objects to Tommy dancing with Zaneeta. When Marian rushes to defend Tommy and Zaneeta, Mayor Shinn tells her the reference book didn't contain any useful information. He then turns to Harold and again demands his credentials. Marian, who has now warmed to Harold, thanks him for defending Tommy. She also asks him when Winthrop's lessons will begin. Marian invites Harold to call on her to explain the Think System. The ladies, impressed with Marian after seeing her dance with Harold, ask her to join their committee. They also mention that at Harold's suggestion they've read Chaucer, Rabelais and Balzac and adored them all (reprise: "Pickalittle").

Scene Two: The school board catches up with Harold and demands his credentials. Harold pretends he is about to hand them over when he casually mentions the name Lida Rose, once again prompting the quartet to sing ("Lida Rose"). Marian, sitting on her porch with her mother, sings to herself of her feelings for Harold as the quartet continues to sing ("Will I Ever Tell You").

Scene Three: Mrs. Paroo pushes Marian to tell Harold how she feels about him. Winthrop returns home from fishing and sings for his mother and sister the song Harold has just taught him ("Gary, Indiana"). He happily runs into the house singing the Minuet in G, followed by Mrs. Paroo. Charlie Cowell, the traveling salesman, arrives and asks Marian for directions to the mayor's house. He mentions he has information about Harold Hill's dishonest past, but only has a few minutes in town to deliver that information before his train leaves. To protect Harold, Marian tries to delay Cowell by flirting with him. She kisses him just as the train whistle begins to blow. As he realizes what she's done, he angrily runs off to catch the train, telling her she is but one of a long line of women who have fallen for Harold. After Cowell leaves, Harold arrives; he begins to talk about the Think System, but Marian asks him to explain what Cowell has said. Harold tells her not to believe rumors about traveling salesmen because they are the product of jealousy. Marian agrees, telling him the rumors about her and Mr. Madison are also the product of jealousy. Harold then asks Marian to meet him at the Footbridge, a favorite lover's meeting place. She accepts. After Harold leaves, she tells her mother she has accepted his invitation; Mrs. Paroo remarks that the Think System, which she's been using on Harold and Marian, really works.

Scene Four: Marcellus shows up looking for Harold at the Footbridge. He tells Harold the uniforms have arrived. He also warns Harold the parents will want to hear the band playing when the kids show up in uniform at the Ice Cream Sociable. Marcellus tells Harold all the money has been collected and he suggests Harold catch the last freight train, which leaves town in a little over an hour. Marian meets Harold and when they are alone, she confesses her love for him ("Till There Was You"). She also tells him she has known all about his phony credentials for weeks. And as a final loving gesture, she gives Harold the page she removed from the reference book.

Scene Five: Alone, Harold absentmindedly sings to himself (reprise: "Seventy-Six Trombones") as Marian , offstage, does the same (reprise: "Goodnight, My Someone"). Midway through the song Harold, realizing he has fallen in love with Marian, begins to sing her song. At the same moment she begins to sing his song. Marcellus rushes in holding Harold's suitcase in one hand and holding Charlie Cowell back with his other hand. He tells Harold that Cowell has been trying to expose Harold's past crimes to the mayor. When Cowell makes an insulting remark about Marian, Harold knocks him down. Marcellus pleads with Harold to hurry to the waiting horse and buggy, but Harold doesn't move.

Scene Six: The Ladies Auxiliary Committee is finishing its Grecian Urn tableau as the mayor enters with Charlie Cowell. Cowell tells the townspeople about Harold's plan to leave town with their money without providing lessons for the boy's band. The mayor sends the townspeople off to find Harold. After they all leave, Harold runs into Marian, who is looking for Winthrop. Marcellus distracts the crowd away from Harold as Winthrop runs by. Winthrop has heard Cowell's accusations and angrily asks if Harold can lead a band. Harold truthfully tells him he can't. He explains he wanted Winthrop in the band because it was a way to get Winthrop to stop feeling sorry for himself. Marian tells Winthrop that Harold has offered the town a reason to be happy. She also tells the boy she's glad Harold came to River City. Harold sings of his love to Marian (reprise: "Till There Was You"). As they embrace, the constable and the townspeople arrive and Harold is put in handcuffs.

Scene Seven: The townspeople, gathered in the gymnasium, angrily await news of Harold's capture. The constable enters with Harold; Marian is at his side. The mayor suggests tarring and feathering, but Marian defends Harold, reminding the crowd of the excitement and joy Harold has brought to River City. The mayor then asks if anyone objects to tarring and feathering Harold; the constable, the Ladies Auxiliary Committee (including the mayor's wife), the school board, the mayor's daughter and Mrs. Paroo all stand up. The mayor reminds the crowd of Harold's promise to teach the boys to play and as he demands to know where the band is, the boys all enter in uniform and line up in band formation with their instruments. So there is a band after all: but can they play? Marian breaks a blackboard pointer, giving a piece to Harold to use as a baton. Harold pleads with the boys to think and gives the upbeat. Miraculously, they are able to play a barely recognizable Minuet in G. The townspeople, including the mayor, are all thrilled; all the parents proudly call to their sons. The mayor shakes Harold's hand and the crowd cheers; the play ends as Marian and Harold embrace.
History:     The original production ran for 1,375 performances on Broadway. It was such a sensation even Jack Lemmon's character attended it (or tried to, anyway) in 1960s Best Picture, The Apartment. Before achieving success as a Broadway writer, Meredith Willson was a popular radio personality and bandleader who occasionally worked with Frank Loesser (who wrote Guys and Dolls). Loesser so believed in this show that he backed it for years of development and produced the original production. It made a star of Robert Preston and Marian was played by Barbara Cook, who went on to be one of the most celebrated Broadway singers in history. The Music Man is unquestionably one of the most beloved shows of all time.

The popular film version had Robert Preston, who was repeating his stage triumph, with Shirley Jones as Marian, Hermione Gingold as Eulalie and young Ron Howard as Winthrop.

Featured Songs:     Rock Island"
"Iowa Stubborn"
"Ya Got Trouble"
"Good Night My Someone"
"Seventy-Six Trombones"
"TheSadder-But-Wiser Girl"
"Pickalittle/ Good Night, Ladies"
"Marian The Librarian"
"My White Knight"
"Wells Fargo Wagon"
"It's You"
"Lida Rose"
"Will I Ever Tell You"
"Gary, Indiana"
"Till There Was You""     
Song List:     Rock Island"
"Iowa Stubborn"
"Ya Got Trouble"
"Good Night My Someone"
"Seventy-Six Trombones"
"TheSadder-But-Wiser Girl"
"Pickalittle/ Good Night, Ladies"
"Marian The Librarian"
"My White Knight"
"Wells Fargo Wagon"
"It's You"
"Lida Rose"
"Will I Ever Tell You"
"Gary, Indiana"
"Till There Was You"     


(NOTE - Some of the words are taken from the movie version and
may differ slightly from the original Broadway lyrics.)

(Included here, so far)
Rock Island
Ya Got Trouble
Goodnight, My Someone
Ya Got Trouble (Reprise)
76 Trombones
Sadder But Wiser Girl
Marian Librarian
My White Knight
The Wells Fargo Wagon
It's You
Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You
Gary, Indiana
Till There Was You

Rock Island

Cash for the merchandise
Cash for the buttonhooks
Cash for the cotton goods
Cash for the hard goods
Cash for the fancy goods
Cash for the soft goods
Cash for the noggins
And the pickins
And the frickins
Cash for the hogshead cask
And demijohn
Cash for the crackers
And the pickles
And the flypaper
Look, whaddaya talk
Whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk
Whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk
Where do you get it?
Whaddaya talk?
You can talk, you can talk
You can bicker, you can talk
You can bicker, bicker, bicker
You can talk, you can talk
You can talk, talk, talk, talk,
Bicker, bicker, bicker
You can talk all you want
But it's different then it was
No it ain't, no it ain't
But you gotta know the territory
Shh shh shh shh shh shh shh
Why it's the Model T Ford
Made the trouble
Made the people wanna go
Wanna get, wanna get
Wanna get up and go
Seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve,
Fourteen, twenty-two,
Twenty-three miles
To the county seat
Yes sir, yes sir
Who's gonna patronize
A little bitty two by four
Kinda store anymore?
Whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk,
Where do you get it?
Gone, gone, gone
With the hogshead cask
And demijohn
Gone with the sugar barrel
Pickle barrel, milk pan
Gone with the tub
And the pail and the tears
Ever meet a fellow
By the name of Hill?
Just a minute
Just a minute
Just a minute
Never heard of any salesman Hill
Now he doesn't know the territory
Doesn't know the territory?!?
What's the fellow's line?
Never worries 'bout his line
Never worries 'bout his line?!?
Or a doggone thing
He's just a bang beat, bell ringing,
Big hole, great go, neck-or-nothing
Rip roarin', every time a bull's eye
That's Professor Harold Hill
Harold Hill
What's the fellow's line?
What's his line?
He's a fake
And he doesn't know the territory!
Look, whaddaya talk, whaddaya talk,
Whaddaya talk, Whaddaya talk?
He's a music man
He's a what?
He's a what?
He's a music man
And he sells clarinets
To the kids in the town
With the big trombones
And the rat-a-tat drums
Big brass bass
Big brass bass
And the piccolo, the piccolo
With uniforms, too
With a shiny gold braid
On the coat
And a big red stripe runnin'
Well, I don't know much
About bands
But I do know
You can't make a living
Selling big trombones, no sir.
Mandolin picks, perhaps
And here and there a Jew's harp
No, the fellow sells bands
Boys' bands.
I don't know how he does it
But he lives like a king
And he dallies
And he gathers
And he plucks
And he shines
And when the man dances
Certainly, boys
What else?
The piper pays him!
Yes sir, yes sir
Yes sir, yes sir
When the man dances
Certainly, boys
What else?
The piper pays him!
Yessssir, Yessssir
But he doesn't know the territory!

Ya Got Trouble

Well, ya got trouble, my friend.
Right here, I say trouble right here in River City
Why, sure, I'm a billiard player
Certainly mighty proud to say,
I'm always mighty proud to say it
I consider the hours I spend with a cue in my hand are golden
Help you cultivate horse sense and a cool head and a keen eye
Didja ever take an' try an' give an iron clad leave
to yourself from a three-rail billiard shot?
But just as I say it takes judgement, brains and maturity
to score in a balk-line game
I say that any boob can take and shove a ball in a pocket
And I call that sloth,
the first big step on the road to the depths of degreda-
I say, first- medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
then beer from a bottle
And the next thing you know your son is playin'
for money in a pinchback suit
and listenin' to some big out-o'-town jasper
Hear him tell about horserace gamblin'
Not a wholesome trottin' race, no,
but a race where they set down right on the horse
Like to see some stuck up jockey boy sittin' on Dan Patch?
Make your blood boil, well I should say
Now, folks, let me show you what I mean
You got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table
Pockets that mark the difference between a gentleman and a bum
With a capital 'B' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool'

And all week long, your River City youth'll be fritterin' away
I say, your young men'll be fritterin'
Fritterin' away their noontime, suppertime, choretime, too
Hit the ball in the pocket
Never mind gettin' dandelions pulled or the screen door patched
or the beefsteak pounded
Never mind pumpin' any water 'til your parents are caught
with a cistern empty on a Saturday night and that's trouble
Oh, ya got lots and lots o' trouble
I'm thinkin' of the kids in the knickerbockers shirttails,
young ones peekin' in the pool hall window after school
Ya got trouble, folks, right here in River City
with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool'

Now I know all you folks are the right kind of parents
I'm gonna be perfectly frank
Would you like to know what kind of conversation goes on
while they're loafin' around that hall
They'll be tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out Cubebs,
tryin' out tailor-mades like cigarette fiends
And braggin' all about how they're gonna cover up
a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen
Now one fine night they leave the pool hall
headin' for the dance at the Armory
Libertine men and scarlet women and ragtime
Shameless music that'll grab your son, your daughter
into the arms of a jungle animal instinct- massteria!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground, trouble!

Oh, we got trouble

Right here in River City

Right here in River City

With a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool'

That stands for pool

We surely got trouble

We surely got trouble

Right here in River City

Right here

Gotta figure out a way to keep the young ones
moral after school

(TOWNSPEOPLE chant 'trouble')

(HAROLD talking)
Mothers of River City,
heed this warning before it's too late
Watch for the tell-tale signs of corruption
The minute your son leaves the house
does he rebuckle his knickerbockers below the knee?
Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger?
A dime novel hidden in the corncrib?
Is he starting to memorize jokes
from Cap'n Billy's Whizbang?
Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
Words like... swell?
And... 'so's your old man'?
Well if so, my friends...

Ya got trouble

Oh, we got trouble

Right here in River City

Right here in River City

With a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool'

That stands for pool

We've surely got trouble

We surely got trouble

Right here in River City

Right here

Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule?
Oho, we got trouble
We're in terrible, terrible trouble
That game with the fifteen numbered balls is the devil's tool

Devil's tool

Yes, we've got trouble, trouble, trouble

Oh, yes, we got trouble here, we got big, big trouble

With a 'T'

With a capital 'T'

And that rhymes with 'P'

That rhymes with 'P'

And that stands for pool

That stands for pool

Remember my friends, listen to me,
because I pass this way but once

(TOWNSPEOPLE chant 'trouble', etc.)

Goodnight, My Someone

Good night, my someone.
Good night, my love.
Sleep tight, my someone.
Sleep tight, my love.

Our star is shining its brightest light,
For good night, my love, for good night.

Sweet dreams be yours, dear, if dreams there be --
Sweet dreams to carry you close to me.
I wish they may and I wish they might.
Now good night, my someone, good night.

"True love can be whispered from heart to heart,
When lovers are parted," they say.
But I must depend on a wish and a star
As long as my heart doesn't know who you are.

Sweet dreams be yours, dear, if dreams there be --
Sweet dreams to carry you close to me.

I wish they may and I wish they might.
Now good night, my someone, good night.

Good night! Good night!

Ya Got Trouble (Reprise)

May I have your attention, please?
Attention, please.
I can deal with this trouble, friends,
with the wave of my hand, this very hand
Please observe me, if you will
I'm Professor Harold Hill
and I'm here to organize a River City Boys Band

Oh, think, my friends, how can any pool table
ever hope to compete with a gold trombone
Raaa- raaa- ra-da-da-da-da-raaa-raa
Remember, my friends, what a handful of trumpet players
did to the famous, fabled walls of Jericho
Oh, billiard parlor walls come a-tumblin' down

Oh, a band'll do it, my friends
Oh yes, I said a Boys Band, do you hear me?
I say River City's gotta have a Boys Band
and I mean she needs it today
Well, Professor Harold Hill's on hand
and River City's gonna have her Boys Band
Just as sure as the Lord made little green apples
and that band's gonna be in uniform

Johnny, Willy, Teddy, Fred
And you'll see the glitter of crashing cymbals
and you'll hear the thunder of rolling drums
and the shimmer of trumpets. Ta-ta-ta!
And you'll feel something akin to the electric thrill
I once enjoyed when Gilmore, Pat Conway,
The Great Creatore, W.C. Handy
and John Philip Sousa
all came to town on the very same historic day...

(into '76 Trombones')

76 Trombones

Seventy six trombones led the big parade
With a hundred and ten cornets close at hand.
They were followed by rows and rows of the finest virtuosos,
the cream of ev'ry famous band.

Seventy six trombones caught the morning sun,
With a hundred and ten cornets right behind.
There were more than a thousand reeds springing up like weeds,
there were horns of ev'ry shape and kind.

There were copper bottom tympani in horse platoons,
thundering, thundering, all along the way.
Double bell euphoniums and big bassoons,
each bassoon having his big fat say.
There were fifty mounted cannon in the battery,
Thundering, thundering, louder than before.
Clarinets of eve'ry size and trumpeters who'd improvise
a full octave higher than the score.

Seventy six trombones led the big parade,
when the order to march rang out loud and clear.
Starting off with a big bang bong on a Chinese gong,
by a big bang bonger at the rear.

Seventy six trombones hit the counter point,
while a hundred and ten cornets played the air.
Then I modestly took my place as the one and only bass,
and I oompahed up and down the square.

Sadder But Wiser Girl

No wide-eyed, eager, wholesome, innocent
Sunday-school teacher for me
That kinda girl spins webs no spider ever... listen boy...
A girl who trades on all that purity
Merely wants to trade my independence for her security

The only affirmative she will file
Refers to marching down the aisle
No golden, glorious, gleaming pristine goddess, no sir!
For no Diana do I play faun, I can tell you that right now

I snarl, I hiss, how can ignorance be compared to bliss?
I spark, I fizz, for the lady who knows what time it is
I cheer, I rave, for the virtue I'm too late to save
The sadder but wiser girl for me

No bright-eyed, blushing, breathless baby-doll baby, no sir!
That kinda child ties knots no sailor ever knew
I prefer to take a chance on a more adult romance
No dewy young miss who keeps resisting
All the time she keeps insisting

No wide-eyed, wholesome, innocent female, no sir!
Why, she's the fisherman, I'm the fish, you see? Plop!

I flinch, I shy when the lass with the delicate air goes by
I smile, I grin when the gal with a touch of sin walks in
I hope, I pray for Hester to win just one more 'A'

The sadder but wiser girl's the girl for me
The sadder but wiser girl for me

Marian Librarian

Madam Libraaaaa-rian

What can I do, my dear, to catch your ear?
I love you madly, madly, madam librarian, Marian
Heaven help us, if the library caught on fire
And the volunteer hose brigade men
Had to whisper the news to Maaaaa-rian
Madam Libraaaaaa-rian

What can I do, my dear, to make it clear?
I need you badly, badly, madam librarian, Marian
If I stumbled and I busted my whatchamacallit
I could lie on your floor unnoticed
Till my body had turned to caaaaa-rrion
Madam Libraaaaa-rain

Now in the moonlight a man could sing it
In the moonlight...
And a fella would know that his darlin'
Had heard every word of his song
With the moonlight helping along

But when I try in here to tell you dear
I love you madly, madly, madam librarian, Marian
It's a long lost cause, I can never win
For the civilized world accepts as unforgivable sin
Any talking out loud with any librarian
Such as Maaaaa-rain, Madam libraaaaa-rian

My White Knight

My white knight, not a lancelot,
nor an angel with wings;
just someone to love me,
who is not ashamed of a few nice things.
My white knight who knew what my heart would say
if it only knew how.
Please, dear Venus, show me now.

All I want is a plain man; all i want is a modest man;
a quiet man, a gentle man, a straight forward and honest man
to sit with me in a cottage somewhere in the state of Iowa.
And I would like him to be more interested in me
than he is in himself.
And more interested in us than in me.
And if occasion'ly he'd ponder what make
Shakespeare and Beethoven great,
him I could love 'til I die. Him I could love 'til I die.

My white knight, not a lancelot,
nor an angel with wings.
Just someone to love me,
who is not ashamed of a few nice things.
My white knight, let me walk with him
where others ride by;
walk and love him 'til I die. 'til I die.  

The Wells Fargo Wagon

Oho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street
Oh please let it be for me
Oho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street
I wish, I wish I knew what it could be

I got a box of maple sugar on my birthday

In March I got a gray mackinaw

And once I got some grapefruit from Tampa

Montgomery Ward sent me a bathtub and a crosscut saw

Oho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' now
Is it a prepaid surprise or C.O.D.?

It could be curtains

Or dishes

Or a double boiler

Or it could be

Yes it could be, yes you're right, it surely could be

Somethin' special

Somethin' very, very special now

Just for me

Oho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street
Oh don't let him pass my door
Oho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin'
I wish I knew what he was comin' for

I got some salmon from Seattle last September

And I expect a new rockin' chair

I hope I get my raisins from Fresno

The D.A.R. have sent a cannon for the courthouse square

Oho, the Wellth Fargo Wagon ith a-comin' now
I don't know how I can ever wait to thee
It could be thumthin' for thomone who ith no relathion
But it could be thomthin' thpethial jutht for me

Oho, you Wells Fargo Wagon, keep a comin'
Oho, you Wells Fargo Wagon, keep a comin'
Oho, you Wells Fargo Wagon,
don't you dare to make a stop until you stop for me

It's You

It's you in the sunrise,
It's you in my cup,
It's you all the way into town.
It's your sweet "hello", dear, that sets me up,
And it's your "got to go", dear, that gets me down.

It's you on my pillow,
In all of my dreams,
Till once more the morning breaks through,
What words could be saner, or truer, or plainer,
Than it's you,
It's you,
Yes it's you,
Oh yes, it's you.  

Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You?

Lida Rose, I'm home again, Rose
To get the sun back in the sky
Lida Rose, I'm home again, Rose
About a thousand kisses shy
Ding dong ding
I can hear the chapel bell chime
Ding dong ding
At the least suggestion
I'll pop the question
Lida Rose, I'm home again, Rose
Without a sweetheart to my name
Lida Rose, how everyone knows
That I am hoping you're the same
So here is my love song
Not fancy or fine
Lida Rose, oh won't you be....
Mine, Lida Rose, oh Lida Rose,
Oh Lida Rose...

Dream of now
Dream of then
Dream of a love song
That might have been
Do I love you?
Oh yes, I love you
And I'll bravely tell you
But only when we dream again
Sweet and low
Sweet and low
How sweet that mem'ry
How long ago
Oh yes, forever
Will I ever tell you?
Oh no.

(BARBERSHOP QUARTET and MARIAN overlap and repeat)

Gary, Indiana

Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
Let me say it once again
Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
That's the town that knew me when

If you'd like to have a logical explanation
How I happened on this elegant syncopation
I will say without a moment of hesitation
There is just one place that can light my face

Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
Not Louisiana, Paris, France, New York or Rome,
But Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana,
My home sweet home.

Till There Was You

There were bells on the hill,
But I never heard them ringing.
No, I never heard them at all,
Till there was you.

There were birds in the sky,
But I never saw them winging.
No, I never saw them at all,
Till there was you.

And there was music,
And there were wonderful roses
They tell me
In sweet fragrant meadows of dawn and dew.

There was love all around,
But I never heard it singing.
No, I never heard it at all,
Till there was you.

There was love all around,
But I never heard it singing.
No, I never heard it at all,
Till there was you.