ONE OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS’
MOST ORIGINAL ORIGINAL MUSICALS
Creative Commons Image:
Walters Art Museum (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
The black & white, fixed-position video this page can take you to may strike some viewers as nearly as ancient and crude as the Ancient Greek shenanigans performed in it. All the action’s completely innocent – and yet, there they are: the satyrs, “standing up” below, if you know what I mean, in all their half-naked glory. The old film of the Barnard Columbia Ancient Greek Drama Group production (from circa 1981) makes the frisky nether-parts hard to make out, but be forewarned.
WHAT’S GOING ON
The 1st Chorus:
The Satyrs address sheep they pasture, complaining about being slaves of the Polyphemus, the Cyclops. Natural party animals that they are, where, these half-goat shepherds ask, is their intoxicating god, Dionysus, or, as also call him, Bromios, the wildly loud?
The 2nd Chorus:
The half-human chorus imagines with delicious horror how inside his cave the Cyclops is violating the laws of hospitality. They’re mighty glad they’re not in there too, because right about now the master will be chowing down on Odysseus (Latin form, Ulysses) and his crew, who, as guests, should to be sacred, not savored.
The 3rd Chorus:
Rollick along to this “Drinking Song” when the “monster” stumbles out of his lair, having been made drunk as per the the scheme of wily Odysseus. Now Polyphemus capers, singing, or belching, about the joys of wine – and of brotherly love.
The 4th chorus:
As Odysseus enters the cave to execute his intention of blinding the blind-drunk Cyclops, the Satyrs vividly wish this violence every success.
The Satyrs celebrate their freedom when the crafty mortal’s plan succeeds. Satyrs, sailors, Odysseus and everyone except the now blind Polyphemus will soon dance away from Etna’s shores….
Original music: tunes by Becca Menon, arranged by Emily Phillips