Soliloquy

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Soliloquy

Lyrics By Oscar Hammerstein II  Music By Richard Rodgers

Having just learned that Julie is pregnant, Billy doesn’t know quite how to react. But soon he muses on what it will be like when his son is born – and then suddenly it hits him: his child may be a girl. This brilliant eight-minute solo, in which Billy Bigelow reveals his inner passions and fears, propels the father-to-be to take a drastic action with lasting consequences.

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“Soliloquy” LYRICS

Billy:
I wonder what he’ll think of me!
I guess he’ll call me
“The old man.”
I guess he’ll think I can lick
Ev’ry other feller’s father—
Well, I can!

I bet that he’ll turn out to be
The spit an’ image
Of his dad,
But he’ll have more common sense
Than his puddin’-headed father
Ever had.

I’ll teach him to wrassle,
And dive through a wave,
When we go in the mornin’s for our swim.
His mother can teach him
The way to behave,
But she won’t make a sissy out o’ him—
Not him!
Not my boy!
Not Bill…

[sung]
My boy, Bill! I will see
That he’s named after me,
I will!
My boy, Bill—
He’ll be tall
And as tough as a tree,
Will Bill.

Like a tree he’ll grow,
With his head held high
And his feet planted firm on the ground,
And you won’t see no-
body dare to try
To boss him or toss him around!
No pot-bellied, baggy-eyed bully’ll boss him around!

I don’t give a damn what he does,
As long as he does what he likes.
He can sit on his tail
Or work on a rail
With a hammer, a-hammerin’ spikes.

He can ferry a boat on the river
Or peddle a pack on his back
Or work up and down
The streets of a town
With a whip and a horse and a hack.

He can haul a scow along a canal,
Run a cow around a corral,
Or maybe bark for a carousel
Of course it takes talent to do that well.

He might be a champ of the heavyweights
Or a feller that sells you glue,
Or President of the United States—
That’d be all right too.

[spoken]
His mother’d like that.
But he wouldn’t be President unless he wanted to be!

[sung]
Not Bill!
My boy, Bill—
He’ll be tall
And as tough as a tree,
Will Bill!

Like a tree he’ll grow,
With his head held high,
And his feet planted firm on the ground,
And you won’t see nobody dare to try
To boss him or toss him around!
No fat-bottomed, flabby-face, pot-bellied, baggy-eyed bastard’ll boss him around!

And I’m damned if he’ll marry his boss’s daughter,
A skinny-lipped virgin with blood like water,
Who’ll give him a peck and call it a kiss
And look in his eyes through a lorgnette…

[spoken] Say! Why am I takin’ on like this?
My kid ain’t even been born yet!

[sung] I can see him
When he’s seventeen or so
And startin’ in to go
With a girl.

I can give him
Lots o’ pointers, very sound,
On the way to get round
Any girl.
I can tell him—

[spoken]
Wait a minute!
Could it be?
What the hell!
What if he is a girl?

Bill!
Oh, Bill!
What would
I do with her?
What could I do for her?
A bum—with no money!

[sung]
You can have fun with a son,
But you got to be a father
To a girl!

She mightn’t be so bad at that—
A kid with ribbons
In her hair,
A kind o’ sweet and petite
Little tintype of her mother—
What a pair!

[spoken]
I can just hear myself braggin’ about her!

[sung]
My little girl,
Pink and white
As peaches and cream is she.
My little girl
Is half again as bright
As girls are meant to be!

Dozens of boys pursue her,
Many a likely lad
Does what he can to woo her
From her faithful dad.

She has a few
Pink and white young fellers of two or three—
But my little girl
Gets hungry ev’ry night
And she comes home to me…

[spoken]
My little girl! My little girl!

[sung]
I got to get ready before she comes,
I got to make certain that she
Won’t be dragged up in slums
With a lot o’ bums—
Like me!

She’s got to be sheltered and fed, and dressed
In the best that money can buy!
I never knew how to get money,
But I’ll try—
By God! I’ll try!
I’ll go out and make it
Or steal it or take it
Or die!