Absolute Knowledge Have I None: The Musical
(An interpretive experience taken from a hypothetical journal entry of Alvin Soderborg)
In the following scenes, only the flavor of the content is presented; please feel free to adlib a little.
The “absolute knowledge have I none” phrase can be changed to an equivalent phrase such as “I don’t know this for sure” or whatever you feel comfortable with.
The songs will be sung by a heavenly choir made up of “the aunts” and whoever else wants in on it.
The songs are not set in stone, adlib if you like, come up with additional or different songs.
The participants in each scene could look up/look around/or comment on where the music is coming from.
Scene 1: Alvin Soderborg attends a Sunday school class on genealogy and family history, and their differences. He decides that he needs to start doing his genealogy AND family history and he will begin 5 years before the end of the world, and needs to know when that will happen.
%% Genealogy, now we’re doing it, our genealogy … oh wait! Family History, now we’re doing it, our Family History…%%
He is told to ask them in High Priest meeting, since they can answer questions that not even the General Authorities will broach, like: Do the pearly gates swing? Or do they roll? And if they swing, do they swing? Or do they swing out?
Scene 2: Alvin attends the High Priests group, who are having a lesson on the Second Coming of Christ. They are discussing the different theories about the end of the world. Such as: (Nostradamus, Dec 2012) (moon turns to blood) (April 6th on a Sunday => 2014/ 2025/ 2031/ 2036/ 2042/ 2053) (April 6th on Easter Sunday => 2042/ 2053/ 2064) Then one guy says he knows when the world will end.
% I wonder when He comes again…%
Scene 3: Alvin interviews that high priest and asks where in the scriptures it says when the world will end. The high priest says “absolute knowledge, have I none, but I heard it from my aunt.”
High priest and aunt are having a casual discussion about the news and state of the economy and of the world and the coming of World War Three. (Leviticus 26: 2-7 paraphrased) and it brings up the controversy about the end of the world, and the aunt claims to know.
Scene 4: Alvin tracks down the aunt and she says “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my washer woman.”
Washer woman throws up hands in frustration and tells aunt “I don’t know why I do laundry, when the world ends it won’t matter if anyone has clean clothes.”
%%When we’re helping, we’re happy, and we’ll sing as…%%
Scene 5: Track down the washer woman and she says “Absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my son.”
Son came home complaining, “I don’t know why I bother doing homework. The world’s going to end any day now, and no one’s going to care if I know the square root of pi”
%% I won’t grow up, I don’t wanna go to school, just to learn to be a parrot/parent, and recite the golden rule, ‘cuz…%%
Scene 6: Track down the son who says “absolute knowledge have I none, but I overheard a policeman talking about it to a laborer on the street.”
Boy is skateboarding on the street and overhears a policeman talking, so he stops what he’s doing because he doesn’t want to get caught and listens quietly, waiting for the policeman to finish his conversation and leave. At the end of the conversation, the boy looks around the corner to catch a glimpse of the laborer getting back to work.
%% Hi Ho, hi ho, it’s back to work I go…%% %% I’m working on the chaain gaang…%%
Scene 7: Track down the laborer who says “absolute knowledge have I none, but I talked to a policeman on the street who said he knew.”
Laborer is working on the never-ending construction in Salt Lake. Policeman who is bored asks if the construction will be finished before the world ends.
%%I fought the law, and the law won…%% %%Gee Officer Krupke…%%
Scene 8: Track down the policeman who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I got a letter just last week, handwritten in the finest Greek from a Chinese friend of mine in Timbuktu.”
Policeman is reading a very fancy, cryptic letter with a dictionary on hand to help him with the Greek.
Scene 9: Track down the Chinese Cooley in Timbuktu who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I got the information from my son who lives in Cuba.”
Phone conversation where the son in Cuba tells of how beautiful the beaches are there and tells his father that he needs to come and visit before the world ends.
%% Pearly shells, from the ocean…%%
Scene 10: Track down the son in Cuba who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from a colored gent in a Texas town.”
Son has a cowboy hat on and is chatting with a colored gent who also has a cowboy hat on. The colored gent (we could go multicolored here!) (Or blue man group.) tells him that the heat is horrible, but we might as well enjoy it, because it’s only going to get worse when the world ends.
%%I’m an old cowhand, from beyond the Rio Grande…%%
Scene 11: Track down the colored gent who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it straight from a circus clown”
Circus clown is tying balloons and doing magic tricks when the colored gent walks by. The colored gent tells the clown that he has “no time for silly things.” The circus clown says “live while you can, before the world ends.”
%%Bring in the clowns, where are the clowns…%%
Scene 12: Track down the circus clown who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from a man in Klondike.” (According to Wikipedia: The Klondike is a region of Yukon in northwest Canada, east of the Alaska border. It lies around the Klondike River, a small river that enters Yukon from the east at Dawson. The Klondike is famed because of the Klondike Gold Rush, which started in 1897 and lasted until 1899. Gold has been mined continuously in that area except for a hiatus in the late 1960s and early 1970s.”)
The circus clown in traveling through Canada on a circus tour and meets a man in a great hurry. It turns out the man wasn’t from Canada, but was seeking his fortune in gold in Klondike, because he wanted to get rich before the world ended. Gold fingers, the man with the golden touch…
%%If I were a rich man…%%
Scene 13: Track down the man in Klondike who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from a band of smooth American Jews.”
The Klondike man is traveling through and stops at a restaurant. He overhears the Jews talking about how they may never have peace with the Palestinians here on earth, but traditionally they are the rightful owners of Jerusalem and Israel. This will be happen when the world ends and The Messiah comes to liberate them from captivity.
%%Traditions, tradition! …%% Because of our traditions we know who we are, and what God expects of us…
(Or it could be a musical band of Jews, singing the Blues about their lot in life.) (Think Adventures in Babysitting) Or to the tune of I stubbed my toe, whaddya go and do that for. / I fell in love, whaddya go and do that for?
Scene 14: Track down the band of smooth American Jews who say, “absolute knowledge have we none, but we heard it from a man in Borneo.” (According to Wikipedia: “Borneo is the third largest island in the world and the largest island of Asia.”) (Think Philippines/Vietnam area)
Jews are on a political campaign, (or musical tour) in Borneo preaching about the Old Testament, and a man comes up to them and says, “Why don’t you just let Jesus decide who gets Jerusalem when he comes down here and the world ends?”
Scene 15: Track down the man in Borneo who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I know of a man who says he knows when the world will end.”
%%It’s the end of the world…or life as we know it…%%
Scene 16: Track down ‘the man’ who says, “absolute knowledge have I none but I heard it from a very religious man who spent all his time in his house studying the bible. Some people called him a hermit, but I think of him as more of a monk.”
‘The Man’ goes to visit his hermit friend living beside a lake to seek wisdom about his path in life. The hermit tells him, when the Son rises, He will bring with Him the end of the world, and that he should do as much good as possible before the world ends so he will be taken up with those that Jesus chooses.
%%I am a rock, I am an Island, ‘cuz a rock feels no pain, and an Island stands alone…%%
Scene 17: Track down the hermit who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my mother-in-law.”
Mother-in-law is trying to convince hermit that she knows. “I can prove to you that I know when the world will end. It was written in a very finely written piece that explained all of the details very carefully. I don’t have the piece in my own possession, but it was a scientific study… etc.”
%%No man is an island…%%
Scene 18: Track down the mother-in-law who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, though I am quite sure that my knowledge is accurate, because I heard it from my cousin, who has a PHD in End of the World Studies”
PHD says to his/her cousin: “I heard about an interesting article you should look up someday. It is about the end of the world. The author seemed to have some valid facts on her side.”
Scene 19: Track down the cousin with a PHD who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard about the article from my sister.
Sister to PHD: “You wouldn’t believe what my niece told me about the other day! The world is going to end, and all the details of it are written out in a very finely written piece that my niece authored. I am so proud of her for her extensive knowledge about the end of the world.”
%%I wrote a piece, whaddya go and do that for? …%%
Scene 20: Track down the niece who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but the facts I have are from my son.”
Son: “Mom, I know something you can write about in that research journal of yours – write about the end of the world. More people should know it is coming.”
Mom: “Now I bet that would sell…”
Scene 21: Track down the son who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my friend.”
The son and his friend are playing a game and the friend says, “If you win, I’ll tell you the day the world will end. If I win, I will only give you a hint.”
Scene 22: Track down the friend who says, “absolute knowledge have I none. I just told my friend that I did, as a joke. I wanted to freak him out that the end of the world is coming. And anyway, he lost the game, so I just gave him a random clue about when the world will end, and he turned it into this big thing with his mom writing a research paper and all.
Back to the scene of the friends playing a game and the son loses. He begs for knowledge about when the world will end, but his friend only says, “The world will end 5 years after I start doing my genealogy.”
%% Family History, now we’re doing it…%%