from the
Lerner & Loewe
musical
Camelot

This page:

Camelot

Categories:

Musical Plays

modern Arthurian literature

index pages:
authors
titles
categories
topics
translators

Camelot

Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe

Copyright © 1961 by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe
Lyrics copyright © 1960 by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

Based on T. H. White’s The Once and Future King

Act I Scene One

Arthur:
Merlyn, why have you never taught me love and marriage?

Merlyn:
Don’t scramble them together that way. They are two different things.

Topics:

Love

Marriage

Guenevere:
Marriage is rather frightening, isn’t it?

Arthur:
I must confess, Your Ladyship, it did occur to me. But now not marrying seems infinitely more terrifying.

Scene Three

Arthur:
[...] I suddenly realized that when you’re in the sky looking down at the earth, there are no boundaries. No borders. Yet that’s what somebody always attacks about. And you win by pushing them back across something that doesn’t exist.

Topic:

Boundaries

Arthur:
[...] Proposition: Wrong or right, they have the might, so wrong or right, they’re always right—and that’s wrong. Right?

Scene Four

Lancelot:
A picnic, Your Majesty?

Arthur:
Yes. It’s a custom we have here. England, you know. It’s the time for flower gathering.

Lancelot:
Knights gathering flowers, Your Majesty?

Arthur:
Someone has to do it.

Lancelot:
But with so much to be done?

Arthur:
Precisely because there is so much to be done.

Topic:

Custom

Arthur:
[...] And I have stumbled on my future. I have done the right thing.

Lancelot:
Did you ever doubt it, Your Majesty?

Arthur:
Of course. Only fools never doubt.

Scene Nine

Arthur:
[...] You’ve never been in love, have you, Pelly?

Pellinore:
No time, old man. Been too busy chasing the Beast. Now I’m not young enough. Or old enough.

Arthur:
And I’m too young and too old. Too old not to be uncertain of fears that may be phantom, and too young not to be tormented by them.

Topic:

Age

Scene Eleven

Arthur:
[...] This is the time of King Arthur, and violence is not strength and compassion is not weakness.

Act II/td> Scene One

Mordred:
Ah, Camelot. Where the King gives freedom and the Queen takes liberties.

Arthur:
The adage “Blood is thicker than water,” was invented by undeserving relatives.

Scene Two

Arthur:
[...] Before, when disputes were settled by physical combat, I always knew the outcome, because I could tell at a glance which was the better swordsman. But now, with a jury and a judge, you never know till you hear the verdict. It’s positively riveting.

Guenevere:
I know it is. But I do worry about the jury, Arthur. They don’t know the parties involved. They don’t really care who wins. Are you sure it’s wise to trust decisions to people so impartial?

Topic:

Law

Arthur:
[...] But we practice civil law now, and we cannot take the law back into our own hands. Talking is not a crime, nor is walking in the woods. When he violates the law, the law shall deal with him.

Pellinore:
Do you mean to say, Arthur, a chap has to wait till he’s killed before he can attack?

Guenevere:
[...] The one thing I can say for him is that he’s bound to marry well. Everybody is above him.

Topic:

Insults

(both singing)

Guenevere:
What else do the simple folk do
To help them escape when they’re blue?

Arthur:
They sit around and wonder
What royal folk would do.

Scene Eight

Arthur:
[...] Run boy! Through the lines!

Pellinore:
Who is that, Arthur?

Arthur:
One of what we all are, Pelly. Less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea. But it seems some of the drops sparkle, Pelly. Some of them do sparkle! Run, boy!

Topic:

Hope

text checked (see note) Jan 2005

top of page

Background graphic copyright © 2003 by Hal Keen