Words by Adam McNaughton, music by John Wesley Harding (though apparently the tune's a traditional one called "The Mason's Apron"--JWH covers it on one of his albums, I think the MPFree EP, but I could be wrong). Courtesy of Natalie and her music collection and her all-around niceness in burning a CD with this track for me. *smile*
There was this king nodding in his garden all alone,
When his brother in his ear poured a little bit of poison,
Stole his brother's crown and his money and his widow,
But the dead king walked and got his son and said, "Now listen kid,
I've been killed and it's your duty to take revenge on Claudius,
You kill him quick and clean and tell the nation what a fraud he is."
The kid says, "Right I'll do it, but I'll have to play it crafty,
So that nobody suspects me, I'll pretend that I am daft."
So to all except Horatio, he counts him as a friend,
Hamlet, that's the kid, he pretends he's 'round the bend,
Because he's not yet willing for obligatory killing,
He tries to make his uncle think he's tuppence off a shilling.
Takes a rise out of Polonius, treats poor Ophelia vile,
Tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that Denmark's blooded bile,
'Till a troupe of traveling actors local seven eighty four,
Arrive to do a special one-night gig in Elsinore.
Hamlet, Hamlet, very balmy,
Hamlet, Hamlet, loves his mommy,
Hamlet, Hamlet, hesitating,
Wonders if the ghost's a cheat,
And that is why he's waiting.
So Hamlet writes a scene for the players to enact,
So Horatio and him could watch and see if Claudius cracked,
The play is called "The Mousetrap" (not the one that's running now),
And sure enough the king walked out before the final bow.
So Hamlet's got his proof his uncle gave his dad the dose,
The only problem being now that Claudius knows he knows,
So while Hamlet tells his mother her new husband's not a fit man,
Uncle Claude takes out a contract with the English king as hit man.
So when Hamlet killed Polonius, the concealed corpus delecti,
Was the king's excuse to send him for an English hempen necktie,
With Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to make quite sure he got there,
But Hamlet jumped the boat and put the finger right on that pair.
When Laertes heard his dad's killed in the bedroom in the arras,
He came running back to Elsinore tout-suite hot-foot from Paris.
When Ophelia finds her dad's killed by the man she's going to marry,
After saying it with flowers, she committed hari-kari.
Hamlet, Hamlet, no messin'
Hamlet, Hamlet, learned his lesson
Hamlet, Hamlet, Yorick's crust
Convinced him all men good or bad,
At last must turn to dust.
So Laertes lost his head and was demanding retribution,
But the king said, "Keep your cool, and I'll supply you a solution."
So he arranged a swordfight for all interested parties,
With a blunted sword for Hamlet and a sharp one for Laertes.
To make double sure (the old belt-and-braces line),
He fixed up a poisoned sword-tip and a poisoned cup of wine.
The poisoned sword got Hamlet, but Laertes went and fluffed it,
'Cause he god killed himself and he confessed before he snuffed it.
So when Hamlet's mommy drank the wine and as her face turned blue,
Hamlet said, "I think the king's a villain through and through."
"Incestuous, murderous, damned Dane," he said, to be precise,
Made up for hesitating once, by killing Claudius twice.
He stabbed him with the knife and put the wine between his lips
Then he said, "The rest is silence," that was Hamlet had his chips.
Then they fired a volley over him that shook the topmost rafter,
And Fortinbras, knee deep in Danes, lived happily ever after;
Fortinbras, knee deep in Danes, lived happily ever after.
Hamlet, Hamlet, very gory
Hamlet, Hamlet, end of story
Hamlet, Hamlet, I'm on my way
And if you think that was boring,
You should see the fucking play.