My collaborator on this was the amazingly talented Ross Patterson. We decided to write a song for a moment where Roy Cohn and Martin Heller are trying to convince the young (closeted) Joe that he should take a job in Washington D.C. Roy had offered to help Joe with the position a while ago, but Joe is reluctant because his wife doesn't want to move.
Below is our first attempt at the scene/song...Enjoy!
Comrades!Music by Ross Patterson, Lyrics by Lee Cavellier
The scene opens on restaurant. Roy and Martin are sitting close to one another, across the table from Joe. Martin has clearly been talking at length.
It’s a revolution in Washington, Joe!
Aw, shut the fuck up, Martin.
You see that?
(Music. VERSE, RECIT:)
NOW WATCH ME AND TRY TO MAKE SENSE, IF YOU CAN
AS THIS JEW SAYS ‘FUCK YOU’ TO THE MAN’S RIGHT HAND MAN.
AM I BALLSY, OR STUPID? OR PART OF SOME CLAN?
OH, NO. THAT AIN’T IT KID…
IT’S JUST THAT THERE’S SOMETHING BETWEEN US, YA SEE?
HE TAKES NO OFFENSE ‘CUZ HE’S LOYAL TO ME.
RUB MY BACK AND AGREE…
(Martin gives Roy a look. Roy speaks cooly.)
No, no really, a sore spot. I get them all the time now, these…Rub it for me, darling. Would you do that?
(Martin rubs Roy’s back. SUNG:)
I AIN’T FULL OF SHIT, KID!
HOW’D ST. PETERSBURG, IN JUST ONE DAY, TURN INTO LENINGRAD?
THOSE ‘BULL-SHIT-VIKS’ WERE MAD,
BUT KNEW JUST WHAT THEY HAD…
THEY HAD COMRADES!
THEY HAD FRIENDS!
AND WHO COULDN’T SEE THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN THESE LITTLE LARKS?
THE AIR WAS FILLED WITH SPARKS,
WHEN ENGELS FIRST MET MARX.
THEY WERE COMRADES!
THEY WERE FRIENDS!
A FRIEND CALLS YOU OUT WHEN YOU’RE CRASS.
AND IN THE DARK IN CENTRAL PARK,
A FRIEND WILL ALWAYS WATCH YOUR ASS
A FRIEND’S BY YOUR SIDE, THIN AND THICK.
A FAITHFUL JACK WILL RUB YOUR BACK
AND THEN MASSAGE YOUR GREAT BIG EGO!
SO, JOE, LET ME DO THIS FAVOR, YOU CAN’T SAY ‘NO WAY’ TO ME,
JUST TELL ME THAT YOU’LL BE
MY ‘ROYBOY’ IN D.C.!
BE MY COMRADE…
BE MY ALLY…
BE MY FRIEND!
(A false finish, as Roy and Martin both stare at Joe, awaiting a response. The music keeps starting and stopping in an anticipatory riff. Joe looks stunned. After a couple of riffs, the normal underscore starts up.)
This man, Joe, is a Saint of the Right.
I know, Mr. Heller, I…
You see what I mean, Martin? He’s special, right?
HE’S GOT GRAVITY, DECENCY, SMARTS.
Don’t embarrass him, Roy!
HE’S A WHOLE LOT GREATER THAN THE SUM OF YOUR PARTS!
WELL, IF WASHINGTON’S SICK, HE’S THE CURE…
THE KID PISSES RAINBOWS, HIS HEART’S SO DAMN PURE!
We’re on the move, Joe. On the move.
Mr. Heller, I…
We can’t wait any longer for an answer.
(Roy and Martin both stare awkwardly at Joe. The music keeps starting and stopping in an anticipatory riff. The riff continues under the following awkward exchange.)
Oh, Um, I…
Joe’s a married man, Martin.
With a wife. She doesn’t care to go to D.C., and so Joe cannot go. And keeps us dangling. We’ve seen that kind of thing before, haven’t we? These men and their wives.
Oh yes. Beware.
I really can’t discuss this under…
Then don’t discuss. Say yes, Joe.
SO YOU’VE GOT A WIFE WHO’S GOT A LIFE SHE DOESN’T WISH TO QUELL?
SIMPLY LOOK HER IN THE EYE AND TELL ‘ER
THAT SHE CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL…ER!
…and I’ll set her straight!
Come on, Joe…
BE MY COMRADE!
It’s just that…
(Backing up Roy, encouragingly.)
SAY YES, SAY YES, SAY YES!
BE MY CONFIDANTE!
(Backing up Roy.)
YES, I WILL! YES, I WILL!
BE MY COMRADE! BE MY CRONY!
BE MY FAN! BE MY STUD!
BE MY BOOSTER! BE MY INTIMATE,
A WINGMAN TO THIS DUD!
BE MY BOOTS WHEN IT’S MUDDY,
BE MY BROTHER, BE MY BUDDY!
Say yes, Joe!
Now. Now. I’ll hold my breath till you do, I’m turning blue waiting…
NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW…!Now, goddammit!
Roy, calm down, it’s not…
(Chord. He takes a letter from his jacket pocket, hands it to Joe.)
Read. Came today.
(END OF SONG.)
And now, some extra fun!!
Since a blog is nothing without it's readers, I am going to invite YOU to be part of the process!
Let's face it, turn of the 20th century Russian revolution references are hilarious...
Leave a comment below, with the clever 'comrade' reference you'd have included in the piece!
Until next time...
...of 'Lee'rical Wordplay...
.....in case there was any question...