Don Donaldo's on the edge

Dan Rodricks

March 27, 1991|By Dan Rodricks

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we present the second act of "Don Donaldo, On The Edge," being the fifth and newest opera in the fabled Don Donaldo Ring Cycle.


The embattled Lord High Governor of Maryland appeared in Act One to complain of his mistreatment. Members of Parliament, led by the villainous Senate President Millerino, criticize his legislation. The press hammers him. His once-loyal subjects send Don Donaldo nasty letters, leave dead fish on the palace steps and pour Lux liquid into the Palace Fountain. Even the Lieutenant Lord Governor, the wise Padre Michino, has started to grumble.

To get away from the maelstrom, Don Donaldo took a much-needed vacation in the burning oil fields of Arabia, followed by a weekend retreat at the burning stump fire in Baltimore County.

Now Don Donaldo has returned to the seat of government in Annapolis. But he finds the Governor's Place filled with odors of intrigue and dead fish.

As the curtain rises on Act II, the scene shifts to the grand chamber of the Maryland Parliament. A raucous joint session is under way. The music and song is boisterous and macho, reminiscent of a beer hall.

Millerino (to Koko's "Little List" song from The Mikado):

As someday it should happen

That a victim must be found,

I got a little list, I got a little list . . .

Of Parliament offenders who might well be underground,

And who never would be missed, who never would be missed.

There's that gubernatorial goober

Who runs this charmin' state.

Our Governor's a charming guy,

If always so irate.

He broods and fumes and carries on

Just like a prima Don.

He even called the Eastern Shore,

A great big country john.

But it really doesn't matter

What the Don Donaldo wills.

N For we always kill his bills, yes, we always kill his bills.


The Don Donaldo wills, the Don Donaldo wills,

But we always kill his bills, yes, always kill his bills.


He tried to raise some taxes

He tried to save the bay.

He put up quite a fuss, a big ole bad-boy fuss . . .

He even rustled up a bill he thought would make his day,

To ban the blunderbuss, to ban the blunderbuss.

But the Don Donaldo's daffy,

If he thinks he'll have his way.

The Parliament is adamant

To one day pave the bay.

The thought of raising taxes --

To us it's just the deuce.

The blunderbuss is needed

To blow away the goose.

So, it really doesn't matter

What the Don Donaldo wills.

For we always kill his bills, we always kill his bills.


The Don Donaldo wills, the Don Donaldo wills.

But we always kill his bills, yes, always kills his bills.

Laughter abounds. There is much back-slapping. Once again, the Parliament has foiled the ambitious governor. Suddenly, an anguished Padre Michino races into the chamber.

Millerino: It's Michino!

Michino: Si, Millerino. Itza me, Michino! It says inna da script Michino gets ta sing an aria.

Chorus: No! Not another aria!

Michino: (to Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours," better known as The Camp Grenada song by Allen Sherman):

Hello, fellas.

Glad you're happy.

At the palace,

Things ain't nappy.

Don is gloomy,


E7 All his bills were dead before the session started. *

Please don't taunt him,

1/2 Don't be foolish.

Don is mad now,

Somewhat blueish.

From this muck-yuck

He'll get unstuck,

Nothin's meaner than an unstuck muck-yuck lame duck.

And with that warning to the Parliament, Padre Michino bows, and the curtain falls.

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