The Music Man

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The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, a traveling salesman who poses as a "Boys' Band Organizer and Leader" which allows him to sell band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with the cash.

Harold Hill[edit]

  • You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you're left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering.
  • A man can't turn tail and run just because a little personal risk is involved. What did Shakespeare say? 'Cowards die a thousand deaths, the brave man... only 500'?
  • It means, that America has finally produced a genius who can play the minute waltz in 50 seconds!
  • Never allow the demands of tomorrow to interfere with the pleasure and excitement of today.


  • Zaneeta Shinn: 'It's Capulets like you that make blood in the market place!' Ye Gawds!
  • Mayor Shinn: You watch your phraseology!
  • Mayor Shinn: I can't believe I almost missed this opportunity!" [Short Pause] Wait a minute... I haven't got any son!


Harold: Gentlemen you intrigue me. I think I'll have to give Iowa a try.
Charlie: Don't believe I caught your name.
Harold: (Holds up suitcase with "Prof H. Hill" printed on it) I don't believe I dropped it.

Harold: Fine looking animal.
Townsman 1: For a horse, yeah.
Harold: [Walks off to try again] Good morning neighbor. Could you kindly direct me which way is the center of town?
Townsman 2: [Looks at him] Runs right down the middle of the street, away from town.
Harold: [Tips hat towards Townsman 2 and turns around] Excuse me friend. Where would I find a good hotel?
Townsman 3: Try the Palmer house in Chicago.
Harold: [Walks away again] Good morning neighbor. I'm a stranger in your town, what do you folks do around here for excitement?
Undertaker: Mind our business.

Marsellus: The billiard parlor's just put in a new pool table.
Harold: They never had a pool table before?
Marsellus: No, only Billiards.

Marian: No, please, not tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
Harold: Oh, my dear little librarian. You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering.
Marian: Oh, so would I.


Rock Island[edit]

Charlie Sings: "Ever meet a fella by the name of Hill?"
[In Rhythm, Each a different person]: "Hill?" "Hill?" "Hill?" "Hill? "Hill?" "Hill?" "Hill?" "Hill?"
(All but Charlie, Shouted): "NO!"

Iowa Stubborn[edit]

"But what the heck? You're welcome! Join us at the picnic, you can have your fill of all the food you bring yourself. You really ought to give Iowa a try"
Bass Solo: "Provided you are contrary."

My White Knight[edit]

(Staring out window): "All I want is a plain man
All I want is a modest man
A quiet man, a gentle man
A straightforward 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."

Ya got Trouble[edit]

(Spoken): "Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here,"
(Begins to sing): "I say, trouble, right here in River City
Why sure, I'm a billiard player, certainly,
I'm mighty proud to say it, always mighty proud to say it!
I consider the hours that I spend with a cue in my hand are golden!
It helps you cultivate a horse sense; A cool head, and a keen eye.
Now folks, let me tell you what I mean; You got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 pockets on a table!
Pockets that mark the difference between a gentleman and a bum!
That's a capital B That rhymes with P that stands for pool!"

Seventy-Six Trombones[edit]

"Seventy-six trombones led the big parade.
With a hundred and ten cornets close at had.
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."

External links[edit]

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