Barnaby, a Fantasy Musical

Remember when Lisa Simpson played the protest song?

It was the 17th episode of the 4th season and called something like Last Exit to Springfield.

So, then, this guy, Julian W. made an original song based on the protest song.

Hear it here

For some reason, the embed link is disabled, but you can just click the link to hear it.

What does any of this have to do with my latest work, Barnaby, a fantasy musical tragedy?

Well, I had that song, or the music, stuck in my head, and wrote a fantasy musical tragedy. The italicized portion of the following text are to be sung to the protest song, like a chorus or whatever….

Barnaby, a fantasy musical tragedy by Aaron Dennis

Music…by…. The Simpsons, I guess.

Written February 11th of 2017

Since it’s cool to make your own song based on the protest song, I hope someone makes an actual musical out of my story. Go for it. I don’t care, just credit me, Aaron Dennis, and

Barnaby, a fantasy musical tragedy


Let me tell you a story, a story of friends. They were both warriors. They were both men.

Brave men can fight. Brave men can love. Some’ll remember. Some have regret.

Twenty years they were brothers. Twenty more they did fret. What caused dissention? What made them hate?

Jore has a wife. Barnus did have one, too. Jore’s son is Jorey, but he don’t have a clue.


The farming town of Hemm was an old community. Everyone knew everyone, and everyone knew Jore and Barnus. They had grown up together and even joined the guard in their youth, but around their twentieth year, after Barnus wedded the beautiful Leyla, the friends had a falling out.


Time and again, when they met in town, away from the vast fields of wheat, from the sheep farms, they crossed words. Sometimes, they crossed fists, but of late it was young Barnaby, Barnus’s son, who cast wicked glares at Jore.


Barnus praised his son’s courage and loyalty and taught him the sword. Still, word in Hemm was that Jore had always been the better fighter, and that was the reason for the friends’ falling out, yet others suspected something far more sinister. Finally, when insults and fisticuffs proved nothing, the two men agreed to duel in the town square at sunset.


When winds blew too sweetly, emotions raged on. Two friends had shouted, but none had drawn blood.

Glare of sunlight did bring all men from afar. The time for just words had gone and had come.

With teeth bared and howling, Jore pulled free his blade. Singing and laughing, Barnus stood firm.


All had gathered in a sweaty circle under a hot wind to watch the men fight in Hemm’s square. Jore was the first to lunge and strike with rapier, but Barnus easily parried. Back and forth, they went, time and again. One swung. The other dodged or parried. Then, came first blood.


Barnus grunted; the pain in his shoulder searing hot. Blood soaked into his tunic, and before long, as Jore pressed the attack, and men cheered and women cried, Barnus was sent to the ground.


Young Barnaby—a man as old as his father was when he and Jore had had their split—grew wide-eyed. He and his father met eyes for only a second; Barnus scurried away, got to his feet, parried a blow from behind, spun, and slashed at Jore, who easily disarmed him.


When Jore lunged for the death blow, Barnaby ran into the fray and knocked his father to the ground, free from the deadly strike. Quickly, he kicked his father’s sword into his grip and challenged Jore.


“Leave it alone, boy,” Jore admonished.


“Why? Are you frightened of me?” young Barnaby grinned and slashed.


Jore easily parried and stepped back, but Barnaby came again and again.


“That’s right, son. Barnaby, show Jore who the best swordsman is!” Barnus praised.


Some of those in the crowd cheered for Barnaby. Others scorned Barnus for letting his son fight in his stead. Figuring there was no honor in such a display, Jore demanded Barnus return to the fight, but before anything was settled, Barnaby drew blood.


“Let the boy have his fun,” Barnus shouted.


“Stop it,” Jore begged. “I don’t want to hurt you. It’s your father whose head I want. Look at him! You call him a man? He cannot fight even his own battle!”


Townsfolk did laugh, and townsfolk did jeer. When Jore called for peace, they only did sneer.

Barnaby was as great as his old man was feared. Now, it seemed only Barnus was scorned.

He looked at his son, a man of resolve. Shaking his head, he called it all off.


“Alright, Son, you’ve had your fun. Bring back my blade, and I will end it,” Barnus demanded.


“No, it is also my honor at stake,” the boy replied through clenched teeth.


A smile crept across Jore’s face. Horror washed over Barnus’s. As young Barnaby lunged, Jore dropped his sword, and steel went through his heart.


A young man was a killer. An old man was wronged. All those who knew; they said it was love.

Jore had then looked up, he saw Barnaby. The young man, he smiled and reveled in blood.

Barnus knelt down by his old wounded friend, and he asked him oh why? Because I have sinned.

Their life was a lie. They both knew it true. Friendship still mattered. Life was yet cruel.


Barnus drew his sword from his friend’s chest. Immediately, he begged the townsfolk to help him carry Jore to the doctor’s home. Barnaby remained confused and pressed his father for an explanation.


“I have done that which you could not,” the young man claimed.


“Foolish boy, this was my fight, not yours. You’ve no idea what you’ve done.”


The young man tried to argue, but his father remained silent on the matter. Once everyone was gathered around the dying Jore, who lied motionless in bed and barely breathing, a woman stumbled in with her young son. The boy was small and frail, but he walked over to Jore and held his hand. The woman gripped her son’s shoulders and cried.


“It wasn’t meant to be like this,” Barnus told her.


He was shedding tears as well.


“Father, you cry for this man, and you scorn me, yet I have upheld our honor,” Barnaby shouted.


Years had prevailed, years of deceit. Leyla had two loves, but bore child from one.

One wept regret, and one then swore blood. Leyla professed her child know not Jore.

Yet a man holds his love, his love in his heart. Shame is kept hidden deep down and dark.

A man and his son should parted be not. Jore preached his love. Leyla declined.

‘Twas Barnus who raised another man’s son. Anger and lies. Love, scorn, and hate.


During the commotion, as haggard faces revealed disparagement for Barnus, he pulled his son aside. Barnaby was so angry and disillusioned with the entire ordeal, and Barnus so morose, that he felt the imperative need to explain that twenty years prior, his mother had lain with another man. It had been kept a secret from most, but there were some who knew; Jore was Barnaby’s father, and he, himself, had never been able to sire a child.


Tears streamed from the young man’s eyes. Everything became so clear. He never truly understood the animosity between Jore and his father; he knew only of their hostility, and since day in and day out Barnus had upheld those feelings, Barnaby thought fighting Jore, the man who turned out to be his real father, a matter of course. Anger, sorrow, hate, love, regret, all the emotions a man harbors washed over his soul.


“You knew,” Barnaby suddenly said. “You knew, and you let me fight him? You taught me to hate him, and you have made me a fool, father.”


“I have, and I, too, am a fool, but when your mother did pass, I had to keep you blind, for my love of you is pure,” Barnus admitted.


Heartbroken, Barnaby turned to back to the room filled with grieving people. The young boy who had held Jore’s hand was staring; his younger brother, a boy who knew nothing of deceit.


“You kilt’ my paw’. When I’m big an’ grown, I’m gone kill you, Barnaby.”


“Hush up, Jorey,” his mother cried. “You don’t know what you’re sayin’.”


Betrayal and heartbreak, secrets and lies; fleeing his home, Barnaby did not cry.

Brave Jore had passed on, yet his spirit remained. Brave Jorey, he searched for a virtuous campaign.

Hemm was plagued by fear, sorrow, lies. Twenty years passed. No truth had prevailed.

People are frightened of veracity. It’s easy to scorn, weep, and deceive.

No one told Jorey: relinquish your hate. The feelings he harbored were an escape.

One day in a field in a town with no name. An old man was killed by love and by hate.

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