While tracing one of my ancestral lines, I was astonished to find that it kept going back and back and back some more. (Gotta thank some tenacious genealogists for their great work...) I had always heard that if you were lucky, your ancestry would connect up with a royal line somewhere. If that ever happened, you had the hope of connecting lines back beyond the sixteenth century. Naturally, royals kept better records of their genealogy, and they were likely literate themselves.
My ancestors spent a lot of centuries in England, then suddenly there was a jump over to France. Then these names like Pepin or Pippin started cropping up in every generation. Finally, in about 742 AD, a big name cropped up: Charlemagne, of the Holy Roman Empire.
That was curious. Who knew I would be related to ancient royalty?
This made me think of the Broadway show "Pippin," written by Stephen Schwartz. "Pippin" is a coming of age story about the son of a Medieval King who wanted to seek adventure and hopefully make a difference in the world. Yep, Pippin was the son of Charlemagne. (Just didn't realize that there was a real Pippin, son of Charlemagne and that he was my relative.)
I remembered seeing the first version of "Pippin" starring Ben Vereen on Broadway in about 1973. I remembered how uncomfortable I felt as a 17 year old, watching the very sexually explicit choreography in this Bob Fosse musical. Then, last year I saw a very different version of it done by my granddaughter's High School. Pippin done as a Circus. Interesting. Thankfully, it was cleaned up a bit for the younger cast! Whew!
I wonder what my ancestors would think of their story made into a musical?
I have to admit though, that I would love to have some hit songs like "Magic to Do" and "Corner of the Sky" as part of the soundtrack of my life!