The Astronomer

from by Ghost Quartet

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  • Ghost Quartet — Full Score
    Sheet Music

    A complete 135-page score of all the text and music in the show. Score is lead sheet style, with full vocal arrangements, and other melodic lines written out and (see attached images!)

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    A numbered edition (of 500) CD of the album, with cover art by Margaret Ashford-Trotter and a hand painted and silk screened card case designed by Brittain Ashford. Made and folded by the four of us in Brittain's apartment over cookies, whiskey and Motown records.

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lyrics

THE ASTRONOMER
__________________

[DAVE]
This is Side 2. Track 1, “The Astronomer.”

[DAVE (Astronomer)]
I AM NOT A PRIEST
AND I AM NOT A MONK
AND I DON’T GO TO CHURCH MUCH
BUT WHEN I DO I STAND AND I SING LOUD

[ALL]
I SING LOUD

[DAVE]
I AM THE ASTRONOMER
AND WHEN I LOOK THROUGH MY TELESCOPE
I AM CERTAIN OF THE UNIVERSE
I AM FILLED WITH WONDER FROM THE STARS
AND I NEVER SAW ANYTHING
I COULDN’T BLAME ON MY MIND
SO I DON’T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS

BUT I LIKE TO SING
BUT I LIKE TO SING
AND WHEN I HEAR THE CALL TO PRAYER
BUZZING THROUGH THE SPEAKERS OF THE MOSQUES
THERE’S A SHOCK, THERE’S A STILLNESS
AS THE MELODIES TWIST AND ZAP
AND THE AIR IS FILLED WITH DIAMONDS
AND I WISH THAT I COULD SING LIKE THAT
BUT I DON’T PRACTICE ENOUGH

[ALL]
PRACTICE
PRACTICE

[DAVE]
NO I DON’T PRACTICE ENOUGH

[ALL]
PRACTICE
PRACTICE

[DAVE]
I’M CONFOUNDED BY MUSIC
AND BABIES AND LAUGHTER
AND STORIES AND GOODNESS
INFINITY AND LUCK
I’M CONFUSED BY THE NOTION
THAT SOMEBODY LOVES ME
AND DRUGS MAKE ME CRAZY
AND A CLAIRVOYANT TOLD ME ONCE I’VE GOT AN OLD SOUL
OH LORD I WISH I COULD SING LIKE THAT
BUT I DON’T PRACTICE ENOUGH

[ALL]
PRACTICE
PRACTICE

[DAVE]
NO I DON’T PRACTICE ENOUGH

[ALL]
PRACTICE
PRACTICE

[DAVE]
THERE’S A MAN IN IRAN
WHO SAYS HE TALKS TO GHOSTS
AND THE WAY THAT HE DOES IT
IS HE HASN’T SPOKE TO ANYONE ALIVE IN 42 YEARS
HE TURNS HIS MIND OFF EVERY DAY
AND STARES AT THE WALL
AND HE IS ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE
AND HE SAYS THAT EVERY SOUL THAT EVER DIED
IS LIVING IN THE SHADOWS OF THE SKY

BUT IF THAT’S THE EXPERIMENT
IF THAT’S WHAT A SCIENTIST WOULD HAVE TO DO
IF THAT’S HOW LONG IT TAKES
I’M AFRAID I JUST HAVEN’T GOT THE TIME

SO I’LL GO HOME
POUR SOME WHISKEY
AND I’LL SIGH
AND WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO TO BED
I’LL KEEP THE NIGHTLIGHT ON

[ALL]
PRACTICE
PRACTICE
____________________________________

FAMILY MEETING
_________________

[BRENT]
Side 2, Track 2.

[DAVE (Edgar)]
Roxie? Roxie honey, can you come in here a minute?

[BRITTAIN (Roxie)]
I don’t wanna.

[DAVE]
Roxie, it’s family meeting.

[BRENT]
“Family Meeting.”

[GELSEY (Lady Usher)]
Family meeting.

[BRITTAIN]
I’m playing.

[BRENT (Fool)]
I was just gonna go see the falconer…

[DAVE]
No, it’s family meeting.

[GELSEY]
We can all play later. Put away your toys…

[BRENT]
But the falconer is only in town til the end of Festival!

[DAVE]
It can wait son, we can take the carriage into town when we’re done!
Roxie honey, we wanted to talk to you a bit.

[BRITTAIN]
'Bout what?

[DAVE]
Well, about Rose.

[BRITTAIN]
Rose?

[BRENT]
If this is just about Rose can I go?

[DAVE]
We could really use you’re support here kiddo.

[BRITTAIN]
What about Rose?

[DAVE]
Roxie honey, how old are you now?

[BRITTAIN]
Seven.

[DAVE]
Seven! Hey, that’s pretty old! You’re getting to be a real big girl.

[BRITTAIN]
Yeah, guess so.

[DAVE]
Remember last spring when we put a bunch of your old toys and books away, in the Northern wing?

[BRITTAIN]
Yeah…

[DAVE]
Well don’t you think that maybe it’s time to kind of, put Rose away too?

[BRITTAIN]
No!

[BRENT]
None of us have ever even seen her, so—

[DAVE]
Look Roxie, it’s fine to have an imagination…I mean I used to play when I was little, and I had friends in my head, sure. This is a big house, I know it gets lonely. But we’re afraid that Rose may be holding you back from playing with the other kids.

[BRITTAIN]
That’s not nice!

[GELSEY]
Roxie, it’s time to grow up.

[BRITTAIN]
Oh, get over yourself Mom!

[BRENT]
Oooooo...

[DAVE]
Roxie!

[BRITTAIN]
Look, I know who she is.
She told me, Rose told me.

[DAVE]
Roxie…

[BRITTAIN]
She’s my sister, she died when I was a baby, blah blah blah. And now she’s lonely and wants me to “cross over.” And maybe that’d be sad for you, but maybe it’d be great for me.

She says all the adults over there wish they had died when they were little too, cuz it’s so much better over there than all this crap, and all this crap with getting old, and disease, and war, and torture, and butchers, and having to be alone with your stupid mind all the time?

She says that over there they don’t have computers or any of that shit and everyone’s mind is just fine. They just hang out in nature all the time, only it’s better cuz it’s perfect nature, with no bugs or humidity or anything. And no, Brent, it’s not so perfect it’s boring, they figured that out too, so there are grey days and rain and stuff, but it’s fine, cuz everyone likes to be a little sad some of the time, and watch the rain on the windowsills... Cuz they're all soul. They are all soul.

Did you know Rose is a Starchild? That's right, she's a freaking Starchild! So I’m sorry if this is like, sad for you, but you're gonna be dead in like, 30 years, and even less if you two keep drinking like—

[GELSEY/DAVE]
Roxie!

[BRITTAIN]
—and when you meet me over there you’ll see, and you’ll think God, that 30 years of being all sad was just stupid, but who cares anymore, because now it's just an eternity of soul! And swimming! And fruit!

So why don't you just shut up! Why don’t you, just have another fucking drink, and shut the fuck up!
____________________________________

credits

from Ghost Quartet, released October 31, 2014

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about

Dave Malloy New York

Theater composer, writer, performer. Shows include Ghost Quartet; Black Wizard / Blue Wizard; Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812; All Hands; Three Pianos; Beardo; Beowulf - A Thousand Years of Baggage; The Sewers; Sandwich; Clown Bible; and (The 99-cent) Miss Saigon. ... more

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