My Cause Is Just

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Jenn took me to go see “Wicked.” I loved it, but I thought that the second act was a little short and a little weak. I don’t know if you’ve seen it or read the book. But one of the most interesting aspects of both is the creeping fascism in Oz and the increasing restrictions and marginalization of the talking animals. There is a song about it. But nothing about Elphaba’s (the Wicked Witch) role opposing the Wizard and specifically her involvement with the Animal rebellion or underground or whatever it is. So I wrote a song about it.

I don’t know how to write songs, much less write for theater, so came up with my own system for discussing lighting, stage direction, arm movements and my own symbols for pitch, emphasis and phrasing. I think the symbols are pretty intuitive, underline = emphasis, the higher or lower word is on line = pitch, up arrow at end of word (or syllable) = uptick, right arrow… = word stretched out, bold, capitol V = downtick. I was only able to figure out how to show 1 degree of pitch change up or down, so at a couple points in the song it says [UP] before a word, that word is sung at an even higher pitch than the word before it. I tried to keep the stage direction to a minimum, same with pitch and inflection and stuff like that. What else? The song is sung by Elphaba and a 5 member chorus of talking animals (Animals) #1-5.  If I was to seriously try to make this into a song I would have to have someone help me write the music. Anyway, be kind, it’s my first attempt. I had a lot of fun.


[Starts directly at end of “Everywhere The Wicked” (no curtain break) Elphaba runs on stage with broom, to center stage, spotlight follows. While Elphaba speaks & sings, human chorus leaves, talking animal chorus arrives]

Elphaba: [SPOKEN]   Wait!

Elphaba: [SPOKEN]   You…you’ve got me all wrong

Elphaba: [SPOKEN]     I’m not wick ­ ­ed

Elphaba: [SPOKEN]     maybe a little headstrong.

Elphaba: [SPOKEN]     Although my skin may be green                        [R ARM OUT FINGER UP]

Elphaba: [SPOKEN]     there’s not a bone in my body that’s…unkind.                 [ARM DOWN]

[Music starts]

Elphaba:                        There’s a burning in my chest.

Elphaba:                        There’s a fire in my mind.

Elphaba:                        In this I trust                                               [R ARM OUTSTRETCHED]

Elphaba:                        my cause is just

[Lights go on chorus, stage right]

All (chorus & Elph.):  the future’s where you’ll find us>           [R ARMS OUTSTRETCHED]

All:                                 standing free>

All:                                 we shall be>

All: [QUICKLY]            victorious!                                             [R ARMS PULL DOWN & IN]


(Lights on chorus only)

Chorus:                         We should have heard  it  soon^erV

Chorus:                         the susurrus  of  ru^morV

Chorus:                         cold stares getting  cool^erV

Chorus:                         skewed barbs getting  cruel^erV


#1:                                  And when they came at first we hardly noticed

#2-5:       [QUICKLY] if we tried!

#1:                                  The banns felt like mere bother

#2-5:       [QUICKLY] This too shall pass!

#1:                                  But it got hard  to  swall^owV

#1:                                  as more restrictions  foll^owedV

#2-5:       [QUICKLY] And so we organized!

#1:                                  Political persuasion  was a phase we engaged  in.

#2:                                                                     See we tried it their way    [ARM OUTSTRTCHD FINGER POINTD]

#2:                                    but their way got us nowhere

#2                                    nowhere  but here                                          [POINTING TO GROUND]

Chorus:                          Shipped back to the farm in a cattle^  carV                  [R ARMS OUT]

Chorus:                         Stripped down to our pelts in their abat^-toireV


(Lights on chorus and Elphaba)

All:                                And now the times^ de^[UP]mand^

All:                                we execute batétle^  [UP]plans^

All:                                to get them to un^der^[UP]stand^

All:                                that we should walk hoof^  in^  [UP]hand^

All:                                together>^  forever>^


Elphaba:                      There’s a burning in my chest.

Elphaba:                      There’s a fire in my mind.

Elphaba:                      In this I trust                                                                                                        [R ARM OUTSTRETCHED]

Elphaba:                      my cause is just

All:                                the future’s where you’ll find us>                   [R ARMS OUTSTRETCHED]

All:                                standing free>

All:                                we shall be>

All:          [QUICKLY] victorious!                                                                                                          [R ARMS PULL DOWN & IN]

(Elphaba rises through air with broom, slowly increase green hue on light)


#1:                                 There she is! (light #1 & 2)

#2:                                Where?

#1:                                 Over there

#1:                                 That black silhouette

#1,3,4&5:                     Reeking havoc on the enemies>^  ofè>^[UP]Animals>^ [R ARM OUTSTRETCHED]

#1,3,4&5:                      The forces of the “great”>^  and “wonderful”>^  [UP]wizard>^


#2:            [SPOKEN] Oh, her


#3:                                 It’s a mitzvah!

#4:                                 She’s our savior!

#5:                                 She’s a gift from the sky!

Chorus:                          Flying>^  by>^

Elphaba:                        Maybe it’s fate>

Elphaba:                        Maybe it’s meant to be

Elphaba:                        Everywhere  I  can  see  The  difference>

Elphaba:                       Animals break^ing^  [UP]out^

Elphaba:                        Not  afraid^  to^  [UP]speak^

Elphaba                        Not  afraid^  to^  [UP]shout^

Chrorus:                      Resistance>^

Elphaba:                      My   furry

#1:                                  feathery

#2:                                 scaly

#3:                                hairy

#4:    [LOW PITCH]  smooth skinned

#5:   [HIGH PITCH]  leathery

Elphaba:                      brothers>  and sisters>

All:                                together>  forever>


Elphaba:                      There’s a  burning  in my  chest.

Elphaba:                      There’s a  fire  in my  mind.

Elphaba:                      In  this  I  trust                                                                                                          [R ARM OUTSTRETCHED]

Elphaba:                      my  cause  is  just

All:                                the  future’s  where  you’ll  find  us>                   [R ARMS OUTSTRETCHED]

All:                                standing  free>

All:                                we shall  be>

All:          [QUICKLY]  victorious!                                                                                                          [R ARMS PULL DOWN & IN]

(Chorus freezes with right arms up — power fist, with Elphaba above like Mao picture.)

(Last musical phrase = 1st musical phrase of “The Internationale”)

Mao pic:


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