But, as I was pondering, it occurred to me that the show for the older kids needed to be expanded to showcase some of the excellent singers coming to the Camp. So yet again, here I am writing new songs for the show. The first song I felt needed to be written, was a song uniting the two shows under the same umbrella. An idea quickly came to mind -- the ants, the grasshopper and the mice are all very small creatures and yet Aesop used them to teach valuable lessons. So, in pretty short order, the Opening Number for the entire cast "You Can Learn a Lot" was born. It talks about how Aesop used the animals and things from nature to scold and criticize his listeners in a way that entertained but did not offend. The line that ties both shows together is:
You can learn a lot from the smallest of the small,
From the mice and ants and other things that crawl.
You can learn a lot from the creatures you've forgot...
You can learn a lot!
Next, I needed a song to explore the Country Mouse's curiosity about the City and to explain her determination to go there. This song also needed to explore her sibling's utter amazement that she would ever have those types of thoughts and show how incredulous they thought her plans were. So in the ballad "What Is It Like?" sung by the Country Mouse, she wonders:
What is it like---to see tall buildings sweep the sky?
What is it like---to hear new sounds come whizzing by?
I’m sure you think I’m crazy for believing---
That this Country life I might consider leaving!
But wouldn’t you agree
There’s so much more to see
Than just what’s here beneath this old oak tree? (spoken) Well?
I want to go and do and taste and see and be------ In the Big City!
And then, I thought that I needed a production number while the Mice were in the big City. In my version of the story, the City Mouse already has a French maid....So why not let that character the impetus for a song about the French saying "La joie de vivre!" or the art of living joyously? And then in my research, I discovered that the French have other sayings that explain what living well really means. They say that it's not just how you live, but how you eat! They say "Bien mangez" or "Good Eating" as an admonition to "Have a good time out on the town!" So in the song, "As the French Say," the City Mouse and her French Maid sing about living joyously and eating well:
La joie de vivre! You’ll never ever want to leave.
You’ll find your city fling to be a holiday most tres jolie!
La joie de vivre! Your friends at home will not believe
The stories you will tell them of how joyously you learned to live!
You’ll toss away the old cliché in your new savoire faire!
And heads will turn as you display your city flare so debonaire.
Pour moi, pour vous, Pour en-tres nous,
Then you’ll say what the French say, too!
Should be a fun adventure!