Grass (2017)

Grass, music by John Paul Sharp (2017)

Grass is a mini-musical written by Jim Fox.  I wrote the music! The piece was originally produced by Writers and Actors Reading and Performing (WARP) Theatre in April of 2017, starring Elizabeth Hagert as Lisa, Michael Lacker as Wilbur, Molly Blades as Lady G, and G. Mike West as Mr. B. Directed by Allison Lloyd.  Listen to the learning tracks on Bandcamp and download the Grass Score on Scribd.

Grass, Scene I
Words by Jim Fox
Music by John Paul Sharp

Like a tin o’ sardines that bus was packed
head to tail; tail to head;
gill to gill is how we stacked

but it got me here. so enough about that
codin’ up widgets is where I’m at.
They don’t get coded; they don’t get made
widget buildin’ is why I’m paid.

Mr B:
you want stacked; I got stacked.
out on the way them cars were backed
my pool’s drippin’ crumbs and spittin’ out the door
my ride’s got to looking like a bird cage floor.
but the beemer got me here so nuff ’bout that
watchin’ out for Lil Will is where I’m at.

Lady G:
It’s the sales game that’s where I’m at
It’s the sellers and buyers make engineers fat.
But enough ’bout that. Got a new girl today.
old one, she’s gone, gone the romance way
won’t happen again, ’cause I ain’t no fool.
lookin’ out for Lisa’s how I stay cool.

The sun is shining; the grass is greening.
the birds are flying; the bees are stirring
on my walk here, down in the valley
I saw some rabbits munching on clover
along the sidewalk, above the levee,
a row of daffodils with honeybee lovers.

Mr. B? Who’s that shinin’ up Dorthea’s old space?
That’s some credit, I’d say, to the whole human race.

Mr B:
That lady G, she got a new girl.
Open the door, Lil Will, give her a whirl.

My new desk here, so sad and lonely
Perchance some candy in a crystal bowl
or photos maybe, or flowers only
it needs some love to make it whole.

Lady G:
Don’t be goin’ lovey, Lisa girl.
What you got is fine enuf,
That’s your desk, unpack your stuff.
The widgets we make don’t sell themselves
Get on the phone and empty some shelves.

Hello, hello, my neighbors near.
It says here you are engineering.
My father once an engineer,
went from there to architecting.

Mr B:
Li’l Will, what’s holdin’ you up?
Time seems ripe to make some talk.
In fashion school we had this rule:
It’s bold that talk, timid walks.

Bold on the key, that’s nothin’ to me.
but eye to eye you’re not gonna’ see
from over here I play the rake
but face to face my heart can’t take
the mind is strong, the outlook bleak
when it comes to meet the knees go weak

Mr B:
How many lives you think you got?
Gotta do it now, or do it not.

Look who’s talkin’ Mr who is you
walk your walk? that what you do?

Mr B:
It’s your sad eyes lookin’ cross the way
let’s worry about me some other day.

Lil Will, Lil Will, whatcha waitin’ for?
opportunity’s knockin’ – gotta’ open the door.
Pleased to meet you, new neighbor near.
We do have architects, somewhere yonder
here you’ve got just a widget coder.
who might be still when he gets older

Lady G:
Li’l Lisa, aintcha’ got work to do?
And I don’t mean chattin’ up no tech fool.
You’ll not be going ole Dorthea’s way.
at your desk is where you gotta stay.

if by chance you brought a lunch today
or might like to share a ham and cheese
I know a place to eat not so far away
across the street by the Maple trees

I brought a sandwich and a salad
And I’d love to eat not so far away

Lady G:
enough of this bull! I got an office to run
got a lot going on and it ain’t all fun
ain’t losin’ my girl to no tech stud
Lady G’s gonna’ nip this weed in its bud

Lisa & Wilbur:
one door opens; another closes.
one step taken; the path grows longer.
ignore the thorns and smell the roses
that’s the way we all grow stronger.

Scene II
Words by Jim Fox
Music by John Paul Sharp

you make the web go? how do you do it?
are there squirrels there? like a the power plant?
or is it energy? like when the sun shines,
and the grapes fill, dreaming of fine wine?

no cute rodents, but lots of kittens
keep the sun behind you to see the rainbow
of the internet and all that follows
it’s all just ones or else it’s zeros

so philosophical! and from a coder
i’ll stick with practical until I’m older

you call up strangers and sell our widgets
how do you do it? i’d get all flustered!

like when you spoke to me and didn’t know my name
first you listened, then you were friendly
it’s helps to take yourself a bit less seriously

so philosophical! yet so practical.
a taste of reefer has helped me see it
now about Mr. B who watches out for me,
a bit less seriously just might set him free

How about my Lady G all up in pin-stripes
as if that’s all you wear! when climbing ladders
anyone can see, if they looked carefully
she’d climb more easily if she wore leather!

Hey, my man, in that cabover Pete,
yer rig’s makin’ smake that ain’ so sweet
the grate on your right, it needs some care
my homies inside get the air from there

my brave new Wilbur! might be a coder
but when he needs to, he’s something bolder
and when that Pete moves, and our grate is free
i see opportunity for Misses G and B

So quick is Lisa, she could be a coder.
still I’m thinking and have to wonder
the vent is so tall, the vent is so wide
our little stash here would get lost inside

This is Washington, there’s a store next door.

Lisa & Wilbur:
There’s something in the air that wasn’t there before.
Soon our garden, now so full of gloom
will soon be verdant and everywhere in bloom

Scene III
Words by Jim Fox
Music by John Paul Sharp

Lady G:
Got shit on by a bird; got stung by a bee.
But I got Lennon’ in my buds, Que sera, that’s me.
ain’t right ya say, ya say it ain’t fair
maybe it’s Lisa, maybe something in the air
the new me now is what yer gonna’ see
whatever’s goin’ down, I say let it be.

Mr B:
bought me a bird; joined a sewing bee.
the real me now is who you gonna see
don’t shade me wrong, ain’t like I don’t care
maybe it’s Will, maybe somethin’ in the air
the lil widget king’s done made my day
Talkin’ up Lisa, showin’ me the way

on my way here, down in the valley
I saw some rabbits munching on clover

along the sidewalk, above the levee
a row of daffodils with honeybee lovers

Lisa & Wilbur:
now our garden, once so full of gloom
now grows verdant and soon will be in bloom
the door is locked still, like it was before
where’s that something that wasn’t there before

Mr B:
Li’l Will, Lil Lisa, that door don’t move?
Lemme give you a hand. I’m in the groove.
pay no mind what I’m wearin’
this girl’s come prep’d for tearin’
like the old mad said ‘for the big R did fall,
Lady G, Lady G, tear down this wall!

Lady G:
That door got itself stuck again tight?
I got the key, gonna’ make it right
the spell’s been broken, the spirit freed
Lady G’s got all the power you need

our job is done here, our task completed
I feel like Tonto with my Lone Ranger
now we’ll ride off into the sunset
or maybe to our desks, if they’re much closer.

there’s no more work for me, not ’till tomorrow
some hours from then, I’ll have to borrow
for our elixir, so well the office blessed
as a coder, as made me useless

my earnest coder might well remember
that even Jesus sometimes went fishing
It’s we who right wrongs, who make such sacrifice,
I’ll be at my desk, sitting and pretending

Mr B:
’cause of you all the wall did fall
but ’round here widgets still make the call
Lil Will, you gotta’ tap them keys
if you gonna’ code ’em up and earn your fees.

he’s right, you know, i gotta’ say
’round here, it’s widgets rule the day
I gotta’ tap these keys
if i’m gonna’ earn my fees.

Lady G:
Lil Lisa’, ain’t you got somethin’ to do?
starin’ into space’ll be the end of you
like Mr. B said, talkin’ to all you all
girl, when it rings, ya’ gotta’ take the call

Lil Lady Lisa, you got a job to do
starin’ into space’ll be the end of you
like the man just said, across the way
girl, when it rings, pick it up and say ‘hey’.

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