Pensive on Pence

So, Donald Trump has picked Mike Pence for Veep — frankly I think it a poor choice. Trump had the opportunity to find a woman, a black guy or a Latino — and there’s plenty of conservative ones … to really blow the lid off the establishment, and fend off the charges made by the left and Democrats.. Maybe that’s why he picked Pence — to quell the Republican establishment and the “never Trump” wing of the Republicans. Still, he has to win an election — not just make the party happy.

Of course, the media — beholden to Clinton as they seem to be — will bring up “the gay thing” — they will pepper him with questions on his views of us few men … his answers are bound to create controversy and outrage even. And the man  is not gay friendly in the least — he thinks we’re some dire threat to society somehow — he can’t explain it — it’s a vague feeling he has, I’m sure.

However, there are probably more children in troubled homes and child protective services, orphanages and foster care than there are gay folks — tend your kind, Mr. Pence  – and stop obsessing over us – -egad.

Well, so that’s the choice – -I think it no good. Enjoy the ride sir, though it will  be bumpy.

Is Our Gene Pool Violent?

I often wonder if the violence of America is because of our gene pool. That is, the immigrants who came to these shores were quite a bunch. European nations for centuries emptied out their prisons, insane asylums, troublemakers, dissidents, anyone who didn’t fit in over there — were rounded up and sent here. Cuba did it in the 1980s with the Mariel boat lift. And their legacy in genes is what makes so many Americans crazy. It is said that those who left anywhere else to come to America had gumption, and that that is where the entrepreneurial spirit comes from. So why can’t it be that the bad gene pool came too?

Well, it’s a theory I think about — where I really don’t have a shred of proof.



The myth of the homophobe as gay

They myth has been circulating now for 100 years — it really picked up steam 60 years ago – -and now is just part of the vernacular. It surfaced immediately after a clear and obvious example of a jihadi Muslim on the warpath. No, it couldn’t be the simple reason. It has to be the contorted complex reason that no one has ever explained adequately. Not in a hundred articles in the scientific literature is it really proven, so much as stated. Occam is rolling over in his grave.

People who study this aren’t really sure what a “homophobe” is – -the word is actually very new compared to the alleged studies done. What were all those 95% of the straight population called 50 years ago when still more studies purported to show that only secret gay men attack other gay men?

But the theory is clear — only secretly closeted self-loathing gay men attack, beat up, and kill gay men. Not a hetero would ever do such a thing! — Why they love us to smooches.

But look at the long list of what could be called homophobic people — preachers, pastors, imams, politicians, pundits. Surely this endless discussion over marriage and cake presented person after person who exhibited “homophobia” — there were a 100 briefs filled with the Supreme Court by organizations and individuals all expressing clearly some sort of homophobia. They weren’t gay friendly! …and we’re to believe by this study …

That all these people are really super secreted closeted gay men.

Kim Davis of Kentucky — vehemently opposed to happiness for gay folks — clear in a her Biblical denouncing of gayness — surely she’s really just a secret lesbian, yes? That’s the logic.

The various preachers extolling the slaughter and calling for more of it? That’s Homophobic writ big — ergo – but this study, by this logic – they are really secret self-loathing gay men. What else could they be? Only we hate us – yah, sure.

More bizarre to the theory is the corollary that no straight person would ever harm a gay man. Since only secret gay men do – heterosexuals are off the hook. Lifetime inculcation that gay men are abominations who are worthy of death mean nothing to them. It’s a big hahahaah — why, only secretly gay men are anti-gay.

Which leads to still another startling conclusion — since there’s far more “homophobes” and anti-gay people than there are open gay men — then there’s really far more secret gays than open gays. Well, golly be, all these people should come out and we’d make up 40% of the population at this point.

Though 50 years ago — when nearly everyone was homophobic — everyone was secretly gay. I guess it wore off, eh?

What are we to say about people around the world attacking, killing, stomping on gay men? Are they all secretly gay? Every single last one of them? That’s what the “study”  purports by logic if not by words. They can’t even follow their logic to the end of the trail. The police in Istanbul just attacked and beat a gay pride even, they did it in Belgrade last year. Are the cops and authorities all super secreted gay — that’s why they attack open gay folks? yeesh. — but that’s the logic if “homophobes are secretly gay.”

In every single attack on gay men in the past 60 years the secret self-loathing gay man has been blamed. Well, what are the men attacking lesbians? Secret self loathing lesbians?

More astonishing is that when a heterosexual shoots up a venue — no one says “Well, he’s really a secret self-loathing heterosexual out to kill open heterosexuals. The idea is preposterous.

But for gay folks  it must be true. That millions of gay men have come out the closet after years of some sort of secret, self-loathing, hiding, repression, what have you — and never shot or killed anyone seems not to mater. How is that all gay men come out in peace – but only secretly self-loathing gay men come out in violence — and only against open gay men.

No one ever laid the killing of straight people at the feet of the secret self-loathing gay man, that’s for sure.

And so just this once — deviating from the standard pattern of a crazed jihadi Muslim screaming for ISIS, Allah, and other Arabic/Muslim causes shooting up just anywhere — none of that matters — it’s really he’s just a secret self-loathing gay man. Well, isn’t that convenient —  a simple way to brush so much under the rug, eh?


Why Gary Johnson is best choice

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian party candidate, is the best choice for president because he might actually look at the morass and try to sort it out — rather than just leave it the way it is. He won’t add more to it, like Hilary and Donald want to do. He’ll start to eliminate some things. He’s a detail man, apparently, coming from running his own big business and being governor of New Mexico. Sure, it’s a small state, but mostly Hispanic Democrats — and he won twice by good margins.

He’s likely to cut a few pointless programs. Perhaps combine  a few others and lessen the numbers of bureaucrats required to run it. Perhaps he’ll cut some of the paperwork. He’s into downsizing the size of government — not the so called “essential services” – but the bloated fluff which permeates the system. Do we really need so many administrators in the Department of Education to monitor compliance with endless confounded rules that add not one thing to education? I can see Johnson sitting down with the organization chart and a red pencil to strike out the ones that might not be necessary.

He’ll work to end the pointless “War on Drugs”  — it wastes billions of dollars, erodes civil rights, incarcerates harmless people, and eschews billions in potential tax revenues.

He’ll work to simplify the tax code — perhaps even to a “fair tax” or “flat tax” — ideas broached by many. But at least certainly simplify the IRS code if nothing else. That thing is absurd. Hilary and Donald don’t say a word about it, Johnson does.

Surely he’ll work to end the subsidies to all sorts of companies that really don’t need a dime – let them earn it the good old fashioned entrepreneurial way, or fall by the wayside. Who knows what billions could be saved from ending countless subsidy programs? It’ll be difficult for sure – entrenched piggies are at the trough, they are not easily shooed away.

I’m not sure he knows what to do about foreign policy as anyone else does. He’d be for free trade with the peaceful countries, for sure. He’s not looking to start a trade war with anyone. Nor is he looking to start any hot war with anyone either. He’s not full of bombast about bombing our enemies — which we really can’t even identify. Surely in the Middle East, the most contentious war-ridden place on earth — we can’t tell who is our friend and who is our enemy. Perhaps Johnson will end some of the pointless war – like Afghanistan — we’re not going to fix it — we’re not going to make it a democracy. Give it up. Johnson is a realist on this — even if perhaps he’s not sure how to go about it. But I trust his judgement on figuring it out. Hilary and Donald seem to just want to become more embroiled in reshaping these Muslim countries that want to be left alone to their devices. Leave them be.
Perhaps there is some money to be saved at the Pentagon — perhaps we are spending too much  on new weapons and upgrading — how much more do we need? Who is going to invade us?

Johnson will I think work towards stopping the militarizing of the police. He’s for civil liberties, not the police state.

On the so called “social issues” — there’s really just two of them – abortion and homosexuality — forever linked somehow — and he’s sort of a hands off let people live as they wish.

Johnson isn’t going to be out wholesale bothering Mexicans or Muslim or Refugees or Immigrants … or will he be simply opening the gates to anyone. Hilary is really for open borders in a way that Johnson is not. There is an ‘open the border with Mexico’ movement among Libertarians, true. And Johnson has flirted with that. But who can say that the current system is working? We have this porous border. But with open borders comes reciprocity = Americans should be allowed to go live in Mexico, own land, businesses, even vote. Though the whole thing is so complex that even if Johnson seems for open borders it’s not going to happen anytime soon. it’s sort of sop to the strongly opinionated on it.

The international community is not panic-stricken of a Johnson presidency, mostly because they don’t know about him. But they sure seem to be worried about a Clinton or Trump presidency. Who knows what those two mavericks looking for stardom will do?

I can’t vouch for every position Johnson might hold. Truth be told, I haven’t even read much about them in detail. But I know he won’t act in a vacuum to just decree stuff, he’ll work with congress and the governors — he does not have the authoritarian streaks that are thick down the backs of Clinton and Trump.

And isn’t that the choice now? Either an authoritarian (albeit with different styles) or a guy for liberty. Two who would use government diktat to reshape America more to their liking – -and a guy who would get the government out of the way so Americans can shape America as they wish. Well, that’s why I’m for Johnson.





Clinton or Trump – sheesh

So two ever shifting, conniving blowhards with no real plans other than to focus on the real issues with soaring platitudes are running for president. That’s charming. It’s dangerous, actually. Neither one knows what to do about a single problem. At most they’ll create more problems. They’re not going to lower the national debt. They won’t curtail the deficits. They won’t go through the thousands of laws and rules and regulations that currently bedevil the land and rid us of them. But they shall propose bold new initiatives, to leave their mark.

They shall both seek to be meddling busybodies in people’s lives. They both have plenty of ideas about how every group of identify politics shall interact with each other. They shall set up hoops and barriers to make sure all the people cooperate as they wish. It’s rather kingly if you ask me.

On foreign policy they aren’t that much different. The bombing starts in 5 minutes. Bombing what where almost seems beside the point. No one is really attacking us — but we need a robust defense. Both seek to meddle in the age old ways of places faraway that we’re not going to change. We’re not going to make Iraq or Pakistan function any different than what they’ve been doing. The influence of America is far slighter than people imagine. Don’t let the bombs fool you — the minds won’t be changed.

Of course, there has to be endless discussion of their positions on “LGBT” people — why we need all this special consideration is besides me — but they’ve both flipped flopped all over it like your average hetero. They’re no different than most — they are gay perplexed.

I suppose there’s some differences — but are they worth noting? Hilary supposedly is “stronger on woman’s issues” because she is one – though what those issues are is quite nebulously described.

Supposed their immigration ideas differ — and that’s perhaps the biggest difference. And the nation is in an anti-immigrant flavor right now — as they go through about every 40 years — so this is a strong issue for Trump.

Meanwhile, between Bernie and the conservative fundamentalists — both parties are faced with sizable insurgencies that seek to disrupt the conventions and get a candidate more to their choosing, rather than was picked in the apparent charade of the primaries and caucuses have shown the system to be.

Well, it certainly is interesting times — but nothing much will change except to get worse by increments hopefully, and nothing too dramatic.

Or all the people not happy with Hilary or Donald can vote for Gary Johnson and get some rational governance.


All Gay Guys have dads in Orlando

I talked to my father today — he and I see eye to eye on many subjects. I guess I’m still the apple at the base of the tree. We talked of many things in our hour long conversation on Father’s Day … and Orlando came up — for how could it not? And he blamed it fair and square on a crazed Muslim Jihadi. He didn’t try to jump through hoops about the man’s secret repressed homosexuality that caused him to lash out at open gay men – -because just this once the super secreted closeted self-loathing homo — was also a crazed jihadi Muslim — my dad and I agree on this simple point. It was just another off the shelf normal run of the mill everyday crazed Muslim Jihadi out to kill infidels. It was most decidedly NOT a secret self-loathing gay man. Not a gay man in history ever shot his family, church, club, bar, shopping mall – you cannot find a report ever that any gay man randomly killed people. Oh, we have passions, a few of us perhaps have killed a lover — eh, happens with heteros far more frequently.

And he shot 45 sons — and so 45 dads are greatly grieved … and still there are religious figures and politicians and public figures who fail to see this — this reality — gay men are someone’s sons. Every one of us. But this is never mentioned as they bewail “homosexuality” — they’re bewailing some concept they’ve conjured up in their minds — and ignore the reality of the men they castigate and loathe – we’re sons. All gay men have dads.

And I’m sure every gay man called his dad today and had their father-son talk. Well, some gay men perhaps couldn’t — not because of anything more than the father for some reason couldn’t handle the fact that they had a gay son. Oh, decades ago it was far more troublesome — but well, that’s all gotten better.

But me and my dad? We have a great relationship – not without its rocky points — though never once did I have to say to him “Dad, I’m gay” -and have this big discussion. Because you know why? He knew from the get go. He knew when I was 12 or 14 even — when I was 15 he said to me “I don’t even know what to tell you about the birds and bees” – I told him, “Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.”

Throughout my life, when I introduced male friends to my father — he simply said, “Ah, so you’re my son’s friend, glad to meet you.” — and I never have introduced my father to a woman I knew — surely he knows — it’s  obvious – -it doesn’t need to be stated. That’s a great day to have – -I have a great dad.

Not all gay sons have such great dads. But when these politicians, religious figures, culture commentators, pontificators of all kinds – when they talk of gay men as some terror to society  — and “homosexuals” as they love to call us — they ignore with a passion the reality that all gay men are sons – -and any dad — randomly by nature for some reason not yet known – can have a gay son — or two. No one knows why — there’s 101 theories. And every dad with a gay son has to deal with that.

And at least 45 American Dads are having to deal with the fact of a dead gay son this week — and I doubt I’ll see many people point this out.

Perhaps a return to blogging

It’s been many months since I posted any comments here — I got sick and tired of the nonsense I saw every day. What was I going to say to influence anything anyhow? Probably nothing. And yet that doesn’t seem a really good reason to not post my thoughts on the conundrum of our times — which is the bizarre presidential race. I moved over to facebook for a while — what a zoo that is. I never saw such lack of logic, thought, real ideas, anything — there’s nothing but emotions — and strong ones at that. Then there’s this bizarre belief that only the government can solve problems. So strong is it that cities have actually outlawed individuals and small groups trying to feed the homeless – only government run programs are allowed to do that now.

I have a facebook friend who was a big Berniac — he’s sure Bernie is the savior of our times. And then in a mix of posts — on the one hand he decried police power, and government rules and the corruption and chicanery — and then he argued for more government — I kept telling him — what you complain about you want more of. He didn’t get it. He thought perhaps that this time, for the first time in 5,000 years the right people would be found to run this joy of altruism he thinks is out there somewhere. He was anti-religion and loved the pope. A gay man, he hated the Jews but loved the Arabs. Eh, he had to go.

Indeed, I went through so many facebook friends it was hard to keep track of them. There were the memers — apparently without an independent thought in their minds — and memes so convoluted, often misspelled and grammatically incorrect — so one night I cleaned out some 30 memers from my “friends” list.

And isn’t there a word way too misused on Facebook? — I wasn’t “Friends” with these people — and some of them struck me more as enemies than friends.

For a while I had a habit of accepting a “friends” request from anyone who asked — eh, why not? Find out what’s on people’s minds. Now I know — mostly crap. I got rid of dozens of them — what was the point of these aggravating people in my life?

Though some people were true friends — especially after the Orlando shootings. Many called me even after I told them I was having severe mental strain dealing with. While other people after Orlando showed such a sadistic glee it amazed me.

Anyway — I think I’ll return to blogging more regularly now — it’s a “safe place” as they’re known in modern terms — a place I can say what I want without anyone contesting me or arguing with me.


I am compelled about Orlando

It is amazing what has transpired since 45 gay men and a few valiant women were killed at a gay men’s dance hall — dozens more injured. Oh sure, the usual gun debate — that’s predictable. Of course the police reaction must be measured and determined to see if all was done right, or could be done better. ISIS seems to involved — where they were – until the meme surfaced that this wasn’t an Islamic attack on the US — no sirree bob – this was a self-loathing gay man acting out – problem solved. Why, I was even called “faggot” on a poetry page at Facebook, because well, you know – it was just faggots who died, so who cared?

That not once in 100 years was a gay bar ever shot up — eh, piffle – self-loathing gay men kill open gay men all the time — that’s what said – that’s what the “scientific” literature says — only self-loathing gay men attack other gay men.. It’s been a standard in psychiatric and psychological texts and journals for 60 years. There’s been recent “studies” that purport to show every last homophobe in the nation is really secretly gay.

When 32 gay men were burned to death in 1974 it was summarily announced by the police “eh, angry gay man” and not even an investigation was done – Upstairs Lounge fire — look it up … families didn’t even claim their “loved” ones – they didn’t give a shit what happened to the bodies of their gay sons — I suppose by the theory then all the families were secretly gay, yes?

Anyway — it’s been saddening amusing  to watch so many people squirm. I mean, honoring dead gay men is just not something that is done. Surely it can be brushed  aside and ignored …and thus the convenient self-loathing gay man was resurrected  — because just this once a Muslim screaming Jihad was faking it.

David & Jonathan — an opera in three acts

And here’s another opera I am contemplating — eh, why not, dream big. Worse comes to worse I have some music for something … but I got to try, that’s it.

David & Jonathan

an opera in three acts

for male and mixed choruses, two baritones, Goliath and Saul, two tenors, David and Jonathan and two sextets, one male, one female.

The story comes from the Bible, I Samuel

Act I

the Philistines chorus

Male chorus

We’ve come to win the war. We’re going to defeat Israel. We shall be victorious

We shall send out out strongest man, and that will win it all



I am the strongest man around. Send me someone to fight. I shall take them all on. I shall defeat them all. I will be victorious, and we shall prevail.

the Jewish chorus

mixed chorus

We call on our god, for we are at the door of doom. We must pray harder for deliverance from this threat. Who is this mighty man who they send against us? Who is this Goliath? And how can we win against him? We have no one.

the call for David …

dozens of voices, separately one after the other, finishing with Saul

Go get David, David will win the day. Go get David, David will win the battle

David Kills Goliath

Tenor, baritone – aria – the fight

Goliath: so you think you are a tough man? Look at you, a mere boy.

David: so you think you are a tough man? Look at you, overgrown.

Goliath: I do not want to kill you, go away. Shoo.

David: I do not want to kill you, surrender, and let my people go

Saul worries


What can this boy do? Why have I put my fate in his hands? Oh, why have I listened to people who had more emotional than brains?
Saul’s wives – a female sextet

Don’t worry Saul, it will be alright, the Lord has given his promise. He will send one of the sons of Jesse to defeat out enemies. We are in good hands. Come let, us go make love.

David triumphant


With my slingshot I have slain you, Goliath. Now you lie dead. I told you to surrender and live, but you ignored me. Now you reaped what you sowed.
Jewish Chorus


We have won! The battle is ours. We shall be left in peace. Hail David, David our king to be. The man who will lead us to great glory.

Act II

Saul and Jonathan

Saul: You will be king one day.

Jonathan: No father, David will be king, and I shall serve him.

Saul: you are my son, you will be king.

Jonathan: the Lord has spoken, David will be king, he is the anointed one.

Saul: Why do you vex me so?

Jonathan: honesty and facts are often painful

Saul, the trials of David

baritone and tenor, and chorus

Saul: David, go out and kill for me. Get me the foreskins of hundreds. Bring me the heads of mine enemies.

David: I will do as you say. I will serve you till the end of my days.

Chorus: what a titanic fight between the two strong men. Saul the king and David savior of the kingdom. Such is the jealousy of life. And Jonathan loves David, which angers Saul all the more.

Saul and Bathsheba

baritone and soprano

Saul: Bathsheba, come and marry David, make a man out of him.

Bathsheba: I will do as you say, but I know he doesn’t love me.

Saul: What is love when there are important matters?
Bathsheba: it is my curse to marry a man who will not have me

Saul: Your beauty will win him over

Bathsheba: He is Jonathan’s

Saul, Jonathan & David

trio … baritone, tenor, tenor

Saul: young men, this is what will be. Jonathan will be king and David will serve him

Jonathan: no father, David will be king, and I will be his servant.

David: I have no say in the matter, but will do as the Lord commands

Saul: the lord has not told me you shall be king

Jonathan: father, the lord spoke when David slew Goliath

David and Bathsheba

tenor and soprano

David: Dear wife, I’m sorry you had to marry me

Bathsheba: it is alright David, I have done my duty

David: Saul should not have commanded you

Bathsheba: he does what he thinks best

the banquet chorus

mixed chorus

Our king and sons and people are happy

we have been victorious

the king is worthy

his son does well for us

David will lead us into the future

Saul condemns David

baritone and tenor

Saul: David is trying to steal my kingdom. He must be killed. I will send some guards to carry out the sentence. He is stealing my legacy. He is corrupting my son. He is not doing what his king has commanded, but runs his own way. It is time for him to die.

Saul: David you are

Jonathan Warns David

tenor duo

Jonathan: you must go, David, my father is out to kill you

David: I am doing nothing but what the lord commands me

Jonathan: go out into the desert – I will follow after you. We shall know safety out there beyond the city walls. Go wait for me.

the guards sent to arrest David

male sextet

Where is David? Where is David? We have come to arrest him

David flees The Court


I am going to the desert, as Jonathan commands me. He loves me, and is saving me. He wishes me to be king, and knows what is best for Israel

David alone in the desert


I await my love, my Jonathan. Here alone, under the stars, I wonder of my fate, and what has befell me.

the young boy to the tent.


David, Jonathan is coming. Wait another day, he will be here. Here have some food you must maintain your strength

David & Jonathan together

tenor duo

Oh my love – we are together – we shall be here for each other – our lives are bound together – our love enduring – we shall do our duty but be lovers – oh how I want you so

Saul Dies


I have done my best. I lived as a good man. I have protected my kingdom. I leave it in good hands, but not the ones I wanted. My son doesn’t want my kingdom, what a fate to befall a king. His lover will be the new king and who knows what will come of that, but it’s what god intended.

Bathsheba’s lament


I am alone, a married widow. My husband doesn’t know me. I rarely see him, and then for a greeting and a kiss on the cheek. He spends his time with Jonathan and I am alone.

David anointed King

chorus with tenor

All hail the new king. He will guide us to peace and prosperity. All hail David, king of the Israelites. He who slew Goliath, who defeated our many enemies. All hail the king

Jonathan’s happiness


I am so happy that David is king. He will rule so much better than I could have done. I will be by his side, and tend his needs and be there for him. He is my savior, my king, my one true love.

The Israelites

mixed chorus

All the people hail king David, and Jonathan his soul mate. The people will go on to victory and peace and the joy of the land will overcome us

Richard & Philip … a tragic opera in the making

I’m somehow confident that I can write an opera, and this here is the basic outline of it — with the first rough draft of the libretto and the order of the work – and well, it’s a big project, but something II think I can do — even if it takes me several years. Anyway, successful or not, I’m going to try. I already have a lot of music for it, but well, it’s all very early in the developmental states. It is the story of Richard the Lionhearted, King of England, and King Philip of France – boy, what a tangled web these two families wove. Anyway, here’s where I’m at so far.

Richard and Philip

a Tragic Opera

in 3 Acts

by Jim Hlavac

Cast of characters:

Henry II – Baritone

Eleanor – contralto

Richard the Lionhearted – Tenor

Philip of France – Tenor

Prince John – Bass

Alys, Philip’s sister – soprano

The Pope – Baritone

Berengaria, Richard’s wife – mezzo-soprano

Saladin – Baritone

The young man of the moment – alto

French Chorus – all male

Bride’s Chorus – all female

Crusader’s Chorus – mixed

Knights Chorus – all male

Muslim Chorus – all male

Richard’s Death – mixed

the English chorus – mixed

ACT 1 –

Prelude …

Henry & Eleanor – a love duet

Eleanor: Oh Henry, what a joy you are to my life. What sweetness you bring to me. What a kingdom you have brought me to. I shall be your queen, and love you all your days. I hope to bring you many children, and grow old with you. Your my king, I shall follow you. My lands and yours combined, the greatest nation in Europe. Oh, Henry, be true to me, and let us go forth in life together. I love you my lord, the man of my dreams.

Henry: Oh Eleanor, sweet blossom of love, queen of my heart, it is good to have you near to me. My kingdom is yours. We shall journey together into history. We shall rule our people with kindness and joy, and they shall revere you as their queen. I love you sweet thing, woman of my desires.

scene 1 Takes Place in a French Castle

Henry, Eleanor, Richard & John – a discussion of the family, which boy is favored by whom

Henry: Eleanor, why do you favor one son over the other? And why the third of so many?

Eleanor: Henry, I might ask you the same thing, and why the youngest, and a mean runt at that.
Richard: Oh mother, I did my father no wrong. Oh father, look upon me kindly.

John: Oh Father, I will follow in your footsteps. Mother, I shall be a great king.

Philip & Alys – a discussion duet

French Chorus, joined by John

Chorus: Our king is the finest in Europe. He will revenge our people. He will lead us to greatness.

John: I will work with the French, to overcome my father’s wars against you. I will be king of England one day, and I will work with France for peace.

a young man’s aria

Richard is such a man, I am in love.

scene II takes place in a castle in England

Eleanor’s lament

Oh, how sad my life has become, I am locked in a castle by my husband. Who has mistresses aplenty. I cannot see my children. I am alone and shut off. This is not the love I had dreamed of. This is pain and hurt and loneliness.

Henry & Richard duet

Richard: Father, respect me, I am your son.
Henry: Richard, I don’t like you. I think you are a weakling.
Richard: I am the greatest knight in the land. I lead my armies to victory. I wade into the fray. I am not a coward.
Henry: But you will not do your duty and marry a woman, and bear sons, to be kings of England.

Richard: It is not my way.
Henry: It must be your way, it’s your duty.

The English Chorus

Hail Henry, Hail Richard, our king and prince, leading us to victory and glory. We are the most powerful country in history. All look to us for courage. They envy our success. They pick their sides, but we are all for England and Aquitaine. We shall exercise our power.

Alys’s lament

Nobody really wants me. My father uses me as a pawn for power. I love a married man, Henry, King of England, who has compromised me, and now has cast me aside. My brother views me as a thing to use to make his name grand. They are trying to marry me to a man who will not marry. The very son of the king I love. Perhaps Richard will be king, and I queen, but he will not have me. He throws off every attempt. Perhaps he knows I was with his father. I am no longer pure, and my life is in the hands of others. I await my fate.

Henry’s aria about his end

I am dying. I can only hope my son can keep the peace, and wage just war to preserve my empire. The empire I built up, through war, and marriage and peace agreements. By being a good king. My reign was long. My people are content. I was a good king. But mortal end comes to us all. And now it is my time. I commend myself to God in His Glory and hope to ride next to Him in heaven.


Scene I castle in Paris

Richard & Philip in Paris love duet

Richard: Philip, you are my man. You thrill me to no end. You are the light of my eye. Let us dine and sleep together. Let us be as one.

Philip: Richard, you are my love. How I enjoy you. We are together and it is good. Come, let us dine and sleep together. Let us be as one.

Richard & Philip discussion of reality

Alys joins in as a trio, slightly off to the side

Philip leaves – a duet between Richard & Alys

Richard: Alas, Philip, we are kings, we have our duty. Our fates are entwined but cannot go on together. We have opposing interests, you are France, I am England – perhaps war will come between us.

Philip: Alas, Richard, we are kings, we have our duty. I must make an heir for my kingdom. We are entwined, for good and bad, but we cannot go on together. Fate conspires against us.

Richard/Philip: oh if only we were simple men, in a village, we could go on our own together, traveling, minstrels, playthings for our lives, but we are kings, and we have our duty.

Alys – oh brothers, oh men, what shall I do? You will use me as you wish, but I love and respect you both. I will do as you command.

Richard: I cannot marry you, you have been with my father.

Philip: Alys, you will go marry some duke I shall choose for you, and there be a good woman, and obey your new lord.
Farewell, Richard and Alys, enjoy your time together.

Richard: I’m sorry Alys, but you cannot be my wife.

Alys: more because of who you are, and not because I was with your father, as you think, but maybe I was not.
Richard; you will go to a husband and be a dutiful wife, and that is your fate.

Alys: I was not born to this, but politics and war have made me a pawn for you men.

The Bride’s Chorus

Oh such an eligible duo, Richard and Philip – all the young woman of Europe pine to be chosen to be their queens. With them they shall live in splendor – and hope their husbands do not war too much against each other. There are so many of us potential brides, we are ready to be examined. Two of us will be the lucky girls to become queens of great kingdoms. We await the decision of our lords and masters.

Richard & Philip off to Sicily – entwined arias and bass baritone chorus, and the boy

Richard and Philip: We are off to Jerusalem, to take back the city. We shall lead a glorious march for God, who is on our side in our great plan. We are off to the Levant, to conquer and return the Holy Land to our bosom.

Richard: I shall lead the way, and return with glory to my name. None are more courageous than me.

Philip: I shall lead the way and capture the city, and glory will come to my name.
Chorus: We are off to Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of our kings. We are gone to take the city back from its defilers. We shall conquer it all.

Boy: what an adventure, and I with my love, my king, the man who loves me and tends me and will protect me against all evils.

John in England’s aria

I am finally alone in my domain, prince of the land, but awaiting to be king. Soon word shall come that Richard is dead, and I shall be king. I shall be the greatest king of all England. It is I who was destined for this time. After years of being the lowly youngest son, all my brothers died before me. All were rebellious against my father, and I stayed loyal. My mother doesn’t think much of me, but I shall show her, and she too will die soon. For the years will take their toll.
scene II Italy

The pope & a young man’s duet

Pope: young man, give us this quest for Richard. He is a king, he has his duty. He cannot be yours as with a woman. It is against the way of God.

Young man: Oh holiness, I shall love who I wish, with god on my side. The law of man will not stop my love, and he is the king and may do as he wishes. God will guide us both. Bless us both and do not chastise us.

Eleanor & Berengaria – introduction aria

Eleanor: Ah, a young lady, perfect for my son. Come, let me see you closer, you are a fair maiden to behold.

Berengaria: Oh, what shall I call you if I am to take your son?

Eleanor: Call me mother.
Berengaria: Oh mother, your son is my destiny. I shall serve him and bear him his heirs to rule over this great kingdom of yours.

Eleanor: to the glory of god you shall be a great wife and mother – and the people shall revere you as a great queen.

Eleanor & the Pope duet

Eleanor: oh your holiness – -what do I do about my son?

Pope: It is in the hands of God. He will go to Jerusalem, and be victorious

Eleanor: but what of his refusal to marry

Pope; you have brought him a wife to be, he will do his duty.

Richard & Philip in Sicily duet

Philip: who is this boy you have with you, when I was your chosen one?

Richard: we can no longer be for each other, we are kings, we cannot go on.

Philip: what have I done to you, for you to push me aside? It is for the glory of the battle, that you are now my rival?

Richard: my mother brings a wife for me, I must do my duty. Now I can only have playthings, but not true love.

Philip: yes, we did love one another
Richard: that time has past.

Joined by the Pope – trio

Pope: my dear kings, you are off on a great quest, the lord be with you.

Richard: yes, dear pope, bless us and our men, and fair weather and good winds. We are off for glory

Philip: yes dear pope, you will pray for us and we shall go with strength and valor

Joined by Eleanor & Berengaria – quintet

Eleanor: Richard, I am here, put aside your childishness, and here is your wife.

Berengaria: oh Richard, I aim to do you well.
Richard; Oh mother, I am not ready to marry, not now, I am busy.
Eleanor: you are always busy, but a wife you must have. The pope is here to marry you, what a blessing.
Richard, we cannot get married here in an army camp, it is not right. We need a grand church, we shall find one on the journey.

Eleanor – why are you always stalling?

Richard & Eleanor argument duet

Eleanor: you have get married. You must have heirs.
Richard: it is not my nature.
Eleanor: it must be so. You must do your duty.

Richard: god did not intend it.

Eleanor: you do not know the will of god.
Richard: oh mother, leave me be, stop nagging.
Eleanor: it is my duty
Richard: do as you must, and come along with me, and along the way I will think about it, and then we shall see.
Eleanor: you will marry fair Berengaria, daughter of Navarre, an alliance we need against the Spanish, and Toulouse, and you shall see, she will bear you many sons, to be knights for your glory.

Richard: oh mother, what dreams you have.

the Crusader’s Chorus

We’re off to Jerusalem, fair winds blow our sails. We load our troops and horses, our weapons and our gear. We are ready to do battle. It shall be a fair crossing to the Holy Land. We are blessed by the pople, we have strong leaders, the mother of the king is with us. We shall tarry no further in Italy. Off to Jerusalem, for the glory of god.


scene I Jerusalem

Saladin & Richard – sparing duet

Richard: give up the city Saladin, or we shall take it

Saladin: we shall not go without a fight, and you are not strong enough

Richard: we do not want war

Saladin: we want peace
Richard and Saladin: Let us work together. Let us avoid bloodshed. Let us figure out a way so both sides can live in peace.
Our people might not be pleased, those who thirst for blood, but we both know what is good for our people.

the Knights Chorus

We await the orders to fight. The weather is perfect for the battle. We are come to take the city, the city of our Lord, from the infidels. While we wait we ready ourselves. We practice fighting, and gleam our weapons, we are ready. We await the word.

Richard & Philip fighting duet

Richard: Listen to me and do as I say.
Philip: I did not come all this way to surrender

Richard: it is not surrender, it is peace, we cannot take the city.

Philip: we can try.

Richard: and all of us should die for nothing.

Philip: why do you always go against me.

Richard: we have different ways, and I am the greater warrior, I see this is impossible
Philip: I will try anyway, even without your help.

Richard: I made a peace with Saladin, we might all go into the city.
Philip: I did not make a peace with anyone.
Richard: No, not even with me.

Eleanor & Richard & Berengaria trio

Eleanor: Richard, take your wife, do your duty, your union blessed here in the Holy Land
Richard: Mother, I am not ready.
Eleanor: you are never ready, but there is no time like now
Berengaria: Oh, Richard, I am yours, your wife, ready to bear you heirs, come to me, let us spend the night together.
Richard: dear wife, I have an army to tend.
Eleanor: the army will wait, love will not.

Richard: it is not love mother, but duty, and I am King, and I shall take my time.

Eleanor: a good king goes to his wife, not his men.

(short) Berengaria & Richard love duet

Richard: dear wife, let us know each other, and treat each other with kindness

Berengaria: dear husband, we are for each other, and I will obey

Richard: we will have time yet for children

Berengaria: if only we would hurry, for time waits for no one, not even kings and queens.

the Muslim Chorus

We have won, they did not take Jerusalem. But we shall be gracious in victory and let them worship here if they must.

scene II a castle room

Richard’s aria of captivity

Oh what doom has befallen me. I am captive of a German prince, who demands a great ransom. He saw his chance and he seized me as I tried to walk across his lands in peace. But no, he wants money, his greed overpowers him. He sees me not as a great king, but as a pawn in his power games. Now I sit in this tower room, rarely leaving, awaiting my fate, wondering if my mother can raise the money to parole me.

(off stage) Eleanor: my son is held captive, I must raise money to free him, oh what troubles have befallen me and him.
Berengaria: oh my husband, he is held captive, and I have not known him yet, and who knows if I shall ever know him.
John: oh my brother, he is held captive, what a great thing, for he might well die there and I shall be king.

Richard: One day I shall return to England and take my place and rule in peace.

scene III England

Eleanor & John ransom duet

Eleanor: John, this money is to ransom Richard, not for you to play with. You are preventing his release

John: mother, why should I want him released?

Eleanor: this is why I never liked you, you are mean and aim to take advantage of the misfortune of others.

John: I will be king, and that is my destiny
Eleanor: we shall ransom Richard, who will return to rule.
John: he will not have heirs, he is not that way.

Eleanor: you cannot foretell the future.

John: perhaps I can, but I will not hinder you now. Pay his ransom, and I await another day.

Eleanor: you are my worst son.

Richard & Eleanor reunited duet

Richard: mother, I am home, I am here, oh dear lady, I have been set free by your work.

Eleanor: nothing is too good for you, nothing shall step in my way of helping you be the greatest king of England.

Richard: I have done my job
Eleanor: all except have some children

Richard: that is not my way.

Eleanor: so you have been telling.

Richard: for years now.

Eleanor: Richard, you are my son, and my love, but you are too headstrong. Go to your wife now, and bring me children.

Richard: I must go to France, there is war with Philip

scene IV France

The young man who shoots Richard’s aria

young man: what a lucky shot. I struck the king of England. He lays dying I hear. I did not mean to kill him. I just shot over the walls, for he came for my city. But I struck him. It is fatal, I have heard. Now who knows what is in store for me. They will come at the city harder if he dies. The king’s brother John is far worse a dog, more tenacious in revenge, not as forgiving as King Richard is. What a fate I met, to kill the king of England.

Richard dies chorus

the king is dead, oh lament, the great king is dead. Our lord who ruled us, who nourished us, who led us to great victory. Dead at the hands of a youth. What irony, he loved young men, and was killed by one. Some would say it’s the work of the lord for such things. Perhaps it is just the nature of war. But the king is dead, and now we shall have John, much to our misfortune.

Berengaria’s lament

Oh Richard, you are dead, my sweet husband, 10 years of marriage and we rarely saw each other. Month after month you were away. I was alone. And I am still pure. You never did your duty. You stayed away. Other than three months in the Holy Land we were never together, but I am still the queen, whether consecrated or not. But now that you are gone, I shall go lead a lonely life. I shall enter a convent as a virgin, and live out my days, wondering what could have been.

The end.


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