A musical…in history?

AP European History. Mr. Schwarz. Assignment: make a creative presentation about your assigned person/people from the Industrial Revolution.

Lia, Anne, Lily, and Jenny’s assigned people: Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo.

Now, these guys are probably not the most exciting people in the world. They’re economists. Therefore, for our presentation, we decided to spice it up a little. We wrote a musical based on their theories. We called it “Malthusical…THE MUSICAL!”

As a brief background, their theories basically said that population will grow exponentially and food supply will grow arithmetically, and thus we will eventually run out of food to sustain the population. We used Sam (a worker) and Sue (his wife) to demonstrate this concept.

And now, the musical.

And now, we present to you, live from mods 11-13…
Malthusical…THE MUSICAL!

(To the tune of “Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat and Tears)
Sam: Got a hole in my shirt
Need another one, get to work!

Sue: Making all this fabric’s got me blistered skin
I wish I could sit and watch the spinning wheel spin

James Hargreaves: You got no money, you’re stuck at home
Spinning wool all alone
hearing bout your troubles has allowed me to learn
Kick back and relax and let the spinning jenny turn

The spinning jenny soon got too big for James Hargreaves’s house, so he built a shed to put it in. This became the first factory. As the industrial revolution progressed, factories lined England’s riverfronts to take advantage of waterpower.

All: All the work we don’t have to do
Spinning wheel, spinning true
Drop all your troubles by the river-side
Fact’ries are the place to let the spinning wheel fly

Factories greatly increased the availability of manufactured products throughout the population, which led more people to lead more comfortable lives. As a result, many decided to raise families, and more kids survived infancy than ever before. Thomas Malthus, born in 1766, saw all of this as he was growing up. At the age of thirty-two, he speculated on the effects of the increasing population…

(To the tune of “Kids” from Bye Bye Birdie)
Why are there so many kids today?
Can’t the boys and girls just stay away, from each other?
All that they accomplish is population growth
Overcrowding people shouting stop it!
And while we’re on the subject:
what good does godwin think growth will do?
Overcrowding leads to a lack of food

Interruption: Um, Malthus, don’t you have five kids?…

Malthus: …Diseases, starvation, hunger, children just cause dismay
What’s the deal with kids today?

Malthus saw that the growing population resulted in a large pool of workers all competing for the same jobs. Consequently, wages fell while the high demand for goods caused prices to rise.

(To the tune of “Imagine” by John Lennon)
Imagine fewer children
It’s easy if you try
More food for people
No population rise
Imagine all the workers getting better pay….

This is probably getting confusing for all of you. To elucidate, let me tell you the story of Sam. He had a comfortable life.

(To the tune of “Proud Mary” by…Tina Turner?)
Sam: I have a good job in the city
Working at the mill every night and day
Plenty of cash for one person
Never worrying about a wife or kids

All: Timeclock keep on turning
Coal fires keep on burning
And we’re working, working
Working on the river

Then, he fell prey to the nefarious “passion between the sexes…”
All: Tempted by the fruit of another…

The first time he laid eyes on Sue, he just knew he had to have her.

(To the tune of “Can’t Buy Me Love” by the Beatles)
Can’t buy me love, love
Can’t buy me love

I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright
I’ll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright
‘Cause I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love

I’ll give you all I got to give if you say you love me too
I may not have a lot to give but what I got I’ll give to you
I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love, everybody tells me so
Can’t buy me love, no no no, no

Say you don’t need no diamond ring and I’ll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can’t buy
I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love

With happy hearts and now only adequate wage, Sam and Sue started their life together. And, as always happens when male and female are left in close proximity for an extended period of time, they succumbed to the “passion between the sexes”…
All: Tempted by the fruit of another

(To the tune of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles)
Here comes our son, little darlin’
Here comes our son, well I say, it’s alright
Little darlin, we’ll stretch our wages for one more person
Little darlin, he’s worth all that money can buy…

Here comes our girl, little darlin’
Here comes our girl, well I guess it’s alright
Little darlin’ our wages are getting much thinner
Little darlin’ they’re shrinking exponentially….

Three times…..
Here comes one more, little darlin’
Here comes one more, well I say, we’re hungry
Little darlin, how will we feed you, we are poor now
Little darlin it seems like years since we’ve had dough…

Now it’s not alright anymore. If they had used birth control or abortion, they wouldn’t be starving now…

(To the tune of “At the End of the Day” from Les Miserables)
Sam and Sue:
At the end of the day there’s no food in our stomachs
And the children are weaker, they’re getting too thin
And Ricardo hurries past, doesn’t care ‘bout the little ones crying
And the winter is coming on fast, ready to kill
They’re one day nearer to dying

As expected, Sam and Sue’s kids all died a slow, painful, death of starvation and disease, caused by their parents’ poor planning. However, this is not an intrinsically bad result, since now Sam and Sue are again living comfortable on Sam’s original wage.

(“Proud Mary” reprise)
Sam: I have a good job in the city
All: Workin’ at the mill every night and day
Sam: Plenty of cash for me and Sue
Sam/Sue: And maybe just enough for a son or two.

The “passion by the sexes” (Tempted by the fruit of another…) will never diminish. Sam and Sue will probably make the same mistake again. The only real solution is not marrying so young—that way, they wouldn’t have as many years to help increase the population. The cycle of temptation and repentance will continue, with the accompanying vice and misery, until the end of time.

Timeclock keep on turning
Coal fires keep on burning
And we’re working, working
Working on the river


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