"Spondyville - The Musical"

Yes, my friends, the rumors are true. 
I am attempting to write a musical based on Spondyville.

Every so often, I will post first drafts of some of the musical numbers, so you can follow the progress of the show.  Keep checking back.
(The first number I am posting is the Opening number of the show.  It is an introduction to Spondyville, sung by our very own mascot and guide to Spondyville, Stiffy the Snowspondy.  The number is entitled, "When Spondyville Enters You".  Enjoy.)
"When Spondyville Enters You"

(This is the opening number sung by Spondyville's mascot, Stiffy the Snowspondy to a distraught young woman named Diane who has recently been diagnosed with AS. Stiffy has just invited her to come with him to Spondyville. Diane remains a bit skeptical and compares Spondyville to other "fictional" towns ...)

Look, many roads lead to Spondyville and there are many ways to get there. But the truth is, you don't enter Spondyville. Spondyville enters you.

In Brigadoon, there are highland flings staged by Agnes DeMille,
Not in Spondyville, Oh no, not in Spondyville,
When it comes to tripping the light fantastic,
The tripping part, well, we hate to re-live it,
So Spondyvilleans don't dance, we just sort of pivot,
And eventually, you will too,
When Spondyville enters you ...

You'll learn to cope
You'll find there's hope
And marvel at how Life sends,
So many brand new friends,
Who know what you're going through,
When Spondyville enters you.

Down in Dogpatch, Lil Abner swigs moonshine from his Mammy's still,
Not in Spondyville, Oh no, not in Spondyville,
Most townsfolk are taking all sorts of meds,
And wouldn't be caught drinking liquor,
At least that's what they like to tell the doc and his brother Ted, the Vicar.
It's a lie you can see right through,
When Spondyville enters you.

You'll learn to cope
You'll find there's hope
And marvel at how Life sends,
So many brand new friends,
Who know what you're going through,
When Spondyville enters you.

In Hill Valley, Where Marty McFly has traveled,
The past has a way of coming unraveled,
But the future remains what you will,
Not in Spondyville, Oh no, not in Spondyville,
In our little town, the disease is progressive,
Your range of motion, you'll see less and less of,
But your past will remain ever true,
When Spondyville enters you,

You'll learn to cope
You'll find there's hope
And marvel at how Life sends,
So many brand new friends,
Who know what you're going through,
When Spondyville enters you.

Diane: (Spoken:) What about Lake Woebegon?

Stiffy: (Spoken:) Well, it may have been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon,
But in Spondyville, all heck's breaking loose. The women are stiff,
The men are bent over and the children are on anti-inflammatories ...

Diane: How about Port Charles?

Stiffy: (Sings:) At General Hospital, you don't get a real doctor bill
But you do in Spondyville, Oh yes, you do in Spondyville,
Our HMO's are extremely busy even when there are snow days,
With hordes of people waiting on line handing over their co-pays,
But what else can you do?
When Spondyville enters you,

You'll learn to cope
You'll find there's hope
And marvel at how Life sends,
So many brand new friends,
Who know what you're going through,
When Spondyville enters you.

Diane: (Spoken:) What about Urinetown?

Stiffy: Let's not go there.

(Sings:) You'll learn to cope
You'll find there's hope
And marvel at how Life sends,
So many brand new friends,
Who know what you're going through,
When Spondyville enters you.

Diane: (to herself) I wonder how Life will be,
When Spondyville enters me ...

(All original material copyright 2008 by Michael Tracy Smith)

(This is a song to be sung by Spondyville's Grande Dame, Marie Strumpell:)

Like the saplings in the breeze,
Learn to bend,
They won't get to become trees,
Unless they bend,
If they're stubborn and ungiving,
They haven't long for living,
A strong wind will snap them into two,

Learn to bend,
Don't resist Life's changes,
Spondylitis re-arranges,
Learn to bend,

Learn to bend,
If you limber up your thinking,
Life will begin winking, at you,
It's true.

Stretch out your horizons,
and there'll be lots of surprizin'
things in store for you,
To do,

Learn to bend,
Learn to bend,

Don't sit there just kvetching,
When you really should be stretching,
Learn to bend,

So much that you resist
Are opportunities you've missed,
A master class you chose not to attend,
Learn to bend,

Even if, in the end,
You can no longer bend,
It couldn't hurt ... to learn to bend.

So c'mon and stretch your mind,
AND get up off your behind,
Accepting and adapting is the key, my friend,
Just learn to bend.


All original material copyright 2008 by Michael Tracy Smith


Everybody's got their own obstacles,
Nobody gets a clear playing field,
"I had a crazy mother",
"One leg's shorter than the other",
"I am so afraid of heights",
"I swell up from spider bites",
"I've got a cancer diagnosis",
"I've got osteo-porosis",
"I limp 'cause of the gout",
"I got psoriasis through-out, my body",

Obstacles, Shmopstacles ...

Sure, everybody's got their own hurdles,
You can try very hard not to yield,
But there's always something in your way,
to slow you down and make you pay,
on your long, long road to being healed ...
(IF ever!)

So accept the challenge you been dealt,
and know you're not the first who's felt
they got run over by a City bus,
You know in every way
It`s so true 'bout what they say,
Every one of you is one of us!

Dear God, Life can be so fickle,
It's an irony that tickles,
We've all got our own ob-sticles
So get off the shelf
And get over yourself,
And move on with your LIFE!

When you Fuse

Diane: So what’s it like to fuse?

Chris: What’s it like?
What’s it like?
Well … Let’s see …
How can I allay your fears,
Without myself bursting into tears,
Okay, Now I hope you won’t think I’m complaining bitterly,
When I tell you that I’m a solid citizen … literally,

When you fuse,
You can no longer cannonball into a lake,
Or do a comedic double-take,
Or follow the path of a falling snowflake,
Or even pick up a penny, for goodness sake,
Now are you still confused?
Because, that’s what it’s like to be fused.

When you fuse
What you lose
Can depress you
But what you can no longer do
Will never make you any less you,

When first you learn
Your neck can’t turn
To ogle a babe walking by,
Or look up at a bird in the sky,
It’s enough to make you cry,
I hope you’re not feeling amused,
Because that’s what it’s like to be fused,

There’s more discomfort than actual pain,
Your lack of balance may require using a cane,
But what you were and have been  will always remain,

I hope you’re no longer confused,
Cuz that’s what it’s like to be fused.


Slowly it Creeps

Slowly it creeps,
It degenerates,
Slowly it keeps
On progressing,
Slowly it seeps,
Into every cell,
Every pore,
Till you can not ignore,
Its effects any more,

Now, shhhhh,
Don’t let anyone rant or rave,
Cuz Spondylitis will find us, if you don’t behave!

It flows, it weeps,
It insinuates,
Relentlessly moving ahead,
Till you take to your bed,
Or worse case; you're dead,

Slowly it robs you,
It will steal your career,
It takes away jobs you,
Once found easy and did without fear,
Slowly it creeps,
Forward year after year,
It won’t stop, till you drop,
With a sickening flop,
Onto your funeral bier,

So, shhhhhhh,
Listen carefully,
and be very still, like a plant,
Because, oh my dear, if you can't,
You'll end up in your grave,
Cuz Spondylitis will find us if you don't behave!

Could You Love Me Now?

He: I am not the youth I was,
She: I am not the girl you had a crush on ...

Both: I've been clinging to what's left of what I know I used to be,
I still don't want to see,
just how much that isn't me, anymore ...

The past is done and over with,
don't know what the future is about
am I enough right in the present to overcome the doubt, ...
I know how disappointing I must appear comparatively,
but if it once could be,

Could you somehow, ever, really, love me, now?

“The Streets of Spondyville”

Stiffy: As we begin to head towards town, allow me to point out a few nearby landmarks. To your right is the Mount Spondymore memorial with images of Spondyville’s Founding Fathers carved into the mountainside. Just beyond the second hill on your left, are the cascading waters named for one of our early pioneers, Andrew Tripzen.   Andrew was the first resident of town to regularly use a recliner to sleep in.  He was a fishing pal of town founders Uriah Stoop and Elias Fuselot.  After one particularly dismal fishing expedition, the three men came across a swift moving stream flowing over a steep cliff.  Uriah, jokingly suggested that they call the cascading waters, Andy Tripzen Falls.  Needless to say, the name stuck.   Now try to keep up as we quickly move past the old hollowed out tree stump, which is actually quite close to the legendary thorny briar patch of idyllic happiness, which, ironically, is only a few short steps above and beyond the festering quagmire of lost hopes from which rises dramatically, the majestic purple mountain of steely resolve under the bluest of dream-laden skies.   And … not a moment too soon, we arrive at the intersection of  Inflammation Ave. and Autoimmune Blvd.  We make a left and keep going till we get to the beautiful art-deco Spondyville Bijou, and find ourselves right smack dab in the center of town.   Spondyville was founded in 1875 by two cousins, the aforementioned Mssrs. Stoop and Fuselot.  They came here with their families to start a town where similarly arthritic people could come for understanding and support.  Originally the town was called Rheumadelphia, and quickly came to be known as "the village of cousinly rheumatism" In 1892, the name of the town was changed to Spondyville.  No-one seems to know why.  Over there, right in the center to town is Ankylosinger Square, which includes Fuselot Park as well as the area north of the Pharaoh’s Obelisk, which commemorates the Egyptian Pharaoh, (and fellow Spondy), Ramses the Second. 

(Enter a group of street-singers)

Stiffy: These are the Ankylosingers:  a wandering chorus of street-singers. They’re here to give you a musical introduction to the town and some of our residents.

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome … to Spondyville!
We love this town, it’s quite unique,
It may not be Paris, but it’s magnifique!
It ain’t the Big Apple, I suppose it’s no big deal,
It sure isn’t London with its Millennium wheel,
It’s simply Spondyville, and for us, that’s enough, it’s real,

Here on the streets of Spondyville,
It’s certain,
We’re all hurtin',
It's true to form,
That that's the norm,
Until our final curtain,

(Enter: A policeman with a limp.)

Stiffy: Well, wouldn’t you know it, the first person we meet is our fine, upstanding constable.
Top of the morning, Officer Crimp!   How is everything?

Crimp:  Everything is under control.

Ankylosingers:   (singing:)
The corpulent Officer Crimp,
He pounds his beat with a limp,
His feet are flat, and worse than that,
The NSAIDs he takes are making him fat,

Ankylosinger #1: (spoken:) Not to mention the donuts …

Crimp: (Sings:) Everything’s under control,
That’s my mantra; heart and soul,
When a chronic disease gets your life gets out of whack,
You need to get your bearings back, on track,
What can be more reassuring,
Than a little kitten purring?
I’ll tell you what; Knowing everything’s under control,
My focused intention,
Is to pay closer attention,
That’s my perpetual goal,
So I can tell myself, more truthfully, everything’s under control,

(Officer Crimp, twirling his nightstick, exits.)

Stiffy: Every resident has their own ways of coping with this disease.

(Enter: Pops DeMauppasant)

Stiffy: Ahh, here comes another familiar figure:

A little frail and pale, and gaunt,
It’s the town handyman, “Pops” DeMauppassant,

Stiffy: Along with his other duties, twice a year, Pops climbs a rickety ladder to the top of the tower high above the Town Hall and re-sets the clock, thus signaling either the beginning or the end of Daylight Savings time.  Traditionally, a small crowd will gather in Ankylosinger Square to offer Pops support on his climb and to remind him to either “SPRING AHEAD” or "FALL BACK!".  This vocal prompting became necessary a couple years ago, when Pops got a bit confused, and Spondyville mistakenly entered the new Millennium an hour ahead of the rest of the nation.  Hopefully, this year Pops will also remember that the yelling of the crowd refers to his setting the clock and not what he should do while standing on the ladder. )

("Pops" exits, as Emily Winklesnot enters)

Ankylosinger #2:  (Whistles)

Ankylosingers:  There goes Emily Winklesnot,

Ankylosinger # 2:  Of the Spondyville Winklesnots.

Ankylosingers:  (Spoken) Her field, well, it isn’t exactly science, if you know what I mean …

(Sings) She don’t know from any rocket,
She’s not the brightest bulb in the socket,
She’s got no relevance to the plot
But we like her a lot … and we think she looks hot,

Stiffy: Emily, do you have any advice for our newcomers?

Emily: I have a shiny little cure, a cure that helps me to endure,
It's functional, yet has allure, I call it my copper bracelet cure ... 
This amulet is really keen, It kills the pain; I feel serene,
Although it turns my forearm green,
I call it my copper bracelet cure ...
How it works I do not know,
I only know it doesn't glow,
My doc says it's a Placebo,
What’s not to love about my copper bracelet cure!

(She giggles, curtsies, waves seductively to the Ankylosingers and hurries on her way.)

(Spiffy the Snowspondy enters)

Diane: Hey! Is that ANOTHER Snowspondy?

Ankylosingers:  Hurrying through the park in a jiffy,
It’s Stiffy’s long-lost twin brother Spiffy,
Spiffy’s the mascot of those lovable losers,
Our town’s baseball team, the Spondyville Fusers!

Chris: Hey, did you see the Fusers play last night?  They lost 10-0 to the Crohn’s Corners Cronies…

Stiffy: Well, it’s hard to beat Crohn’s Corners when it comes to runs.
Uh-oh, brace yourselves, folks. Here comes “New Age” Phil.

(Enter Phil Maloney)

His name is Philip Maloney
His nickname is Phil O’ Baloney,
Don’t ask him how he’s feeling,

Ankylosinger #2: (Spoken) Cuz he’ll tell you!

Ankylosingers:  (Sings) Phil finds herbs and twigs appealing
Sez they “stimulate” his healing,

Ankylosinger #2: Phil never fails to share with me,
His loony, new age therapy,

Philip: (Sings) I believe that everything I read is true,
What the internet tells me to believe, I do,
I think there are miracle cures galore,
Right on the shelf in the health food store,
And there are age-old secrets found in ancient lore,
Which we modern folks should not ignore,
These secrets heal the sick and reveal once more,
The cosmic truth of our inner core, therefore,
I shout in defiance, "Screw Medical Science!"
Those moron docs of Rheumatology,
All operate under some fallacy,
That the only way to cure all our ills,
Is to shovel us full of little pills,
The only thing worse than a gypsy’s hex,
Is all those medicinal side effects,
And the bodily functions that the side effects wrecks
So, I yell with some wrath, “Where’s a Homeopath?”

Stiffy:  Phil, Phil … You’re scaring the newcomers.

Phil:  All right, all right.   You don’t have to remind me. 
When you’re ready for the truth, you know where to find me.  (Phil exits)

Ankylosinger #3:  Underneath a pyramid hat made out of aluminum foil?

Stiffy: Oh, come on now.  Ease up.  He means well … And if he thinks it works for him…what harm does it do?   Phil’s looking for relief just like the rest of us …

Ankylosingers: (Sigh) On the streets of Spondyville,
On the streets of Spondyville,
If it makes you feel good, you don’t mind it,
Because relief is often where you find it,
Sometimes you’re led,
To where your head,
Can re-set and re-wind it,

(Enter “Bud” )

This is Bud; he no longer medicates,
Instead of that he heavily meditates,
He prays, he chants, he winks, he’ll nod,
He sometimes even screams at God,

Ankylosinger #4: And I know, cuz I’m his neighbor.
Hey Bud. What’s new in outer space?

Bud:  (Spoken) I had a revelation.
(Sings) Yesterday's icecubes are water today,
What once was cool has melted away,
Evaporation must come to us all,
Back up to the clouds so the rain can then fall,
Fall to the stream, flow to the river,
from faucet to freezer we soon start to shiver,
We're back being icecubes, don't know where or when,
we just know the process starts over again,
Our minds try to tell us there is only the Now,
As if Life after Now is a fiction somehow,
But the soul goes on being,
though each time here is fleeting,
To glimpse the eternal, well ... that would be cheating,
For we are just icecubes, at being cool, we're the best,
We can understand melting, but we have to trust all the rest.

Stiffy:  That’s great, Bud.  Keep meditating.

Ankylosingers: On the streets of Spondyville,
On the streets of Spondyville,
You'll often hear strange words,
Like none you've ever heard,
"My Spondylaorapathy is a catahstrophe", (Catahstrophe?)
Such a cacophony may be a catahstrophe, but such words are for the birds,

On the streets of Spondyville,
On the streets of Spondyville,

(Enter Marie Strumpell)

Chris:  (Spoken) Look, there's Marie Strumpell!

Ankylosingers: (Sings:)
The Dowager queen of society,
She’s a model of virtue and piety,
Her Grand-dad helped to found the town,
She’s the richest woman for miles around,
Under pressure even steel may crumple,
But not the Grande Dame of Society,
The well-tempered Marie Strumpell

Marie:  (To Ankylosingers) Hello, Boys.   Morning, Mr. Snowspondy. 
I see we have some new arrivals. 

Stiffy: Yes ma’am.  This is Diane.  Diane, Ms Strumpell.

Diane: How do you do, Ms. Strumpell.

Marie: Call me Marie.

Stiffy:  And I think you’ve met Chris. His father and uncle ran the Spondy Café for awhile.

Marie:  Oh my yes, I remember. You certainly have grown.  You used to terrorize poor Pops with your tricycle.  Is this your first time coming back by yourself?

Chris: Yes, ma’am.  And it’s just as I remember it.

Marie: Well, you and Diane will have to come by some time next week for lunch. 
Oh, Mr. Snowspondy, tell your dear brother that the charity event starts at 7PM sharp this year.

Stiffy: Yes, ma’am.

Diane: What are you raising money for?

Marie: Spondylitis research, of course.   It’s our annual bend-a-thon. 
“Touch your toes for those that can’t.”

Ankylosingers: Charities? Heck, She’ll give more than Donald Trump’ll
That Grande Dame of Society,
The generous Marie Strumpell

Marie:  (To the Ankylosingers) Thank you.  (To Diane and Chris)
Would you two like to attend the event as my guests?

Diane: I’d love to, but I am really exhausted.

Marie:  Oh yes, the fatigue factor.  I understand.
(Sings) Where has it gone, that youthful rambunction,
It seems nowadays you can just barely function,
Your chronic fatigue makes you want to say "screw it",
There's much to be done but you're too tired to do it,
You've tried all the NSAIDS and even some gold salts,
But you keep dancing to that old Lethargy Waltz,
Slogging through mud
Feeling like crud
You're lethargic
Stiffly you move,
As if stuck in a groove,
You're lethargic
You once did it all,
You felt you were Super,
Now you careen around in a stupor,
You can't fall asleep though it's way past eleven,
You doze off at six, but have to get up at seven.
Slogging through mud
Feeling like crud
You're lethargic
Stiffly you move,
As if stuck in a groove,
You're lethargic.

Diane:  That’s how I feel most of the time.

Everyone: Me too.

Marie:  Well, that is a part of the disease. There are a few things you can do to fight back.  But, I’m afraid I have to go now. We’ll talk later.

Ankylosingers: Ms Strumpell, the queen of society,
She’s a model of virtue and piety,
Her Grand-dad helped to found the town,
She’s the richest woman for miles around,
She could even give your old stiltskin a rumple,
That Grande Dame of Society,
The fabled Marie Strumpell.

Marie: You boys are too much.  (She exits)

Ankylosingers:   On the streets of Spondyville,
On the streets of Spondyville,
Though they may be downward sloping,
The people here are coping
And Hope is something they always give,
It’s great to live, and live we will,
In good old Spondyville!!

(Scroll down for more songs)
The next number is meant to be similar in feel to the "Christopher Street" number in "Wonderful Town", introducing characters as we stroll down Spondyville's streets.
Back to the Spondyville Theater District