I Rise Again

Song Title : I Rise Again

Show Name : On the Twentieth Century

Character Name : Oscar

Gender : Male

Age : Adult

Vocal Part : Baritone-Bass

Range : B3-E5

Style : Uptempo

Mood : Confident, Defiant

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Context & Lyrics

Oscar, a selfish impresario, tries to convince his colleagues that he will regain success even after four flops.

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OSCAR (spoken)
Traitors! Look at the two of you: Judas Iscariot and his sister Sue.
You think I’m finished? They all think I’m finished. Just because I’ve had a failure…
All right, four failures. But what glorious ones!
Let them kick me when I’m down… but every time they think I’m through…

I rise again
Full size again,
And give those doubting Thomases a walloping surprise again!
I sneer at them,
I jeer at them,
I thumb my nose and bite my thumb and bare my royal rear at them!

With my back up against the wall,
With the wolves yapping at my heels,
With the noose tightening ‘round my neck,
That’s the time I know how really living feels.

With the wall up against my back,
With the water rising to my chin,
Chained and bound tight inside a sack,
That’s the plight that I’m delighted in!

For I have powers like Aladdin’s Genie did.
I do escape tricks better than Houdini did.
From the black of my cul-de-sac,
Do I crack and fall? No – I attack!
With my back up against the wall…

Listen boss, you’ve got to use your brain.
Everyone you owe will meet the train

I Shine again,
All is mine again,
A fighter rising from the canvas at the count of nine – –

Nine? The count is ten!
You’re out! The drums of doom are knocking.
Your theatre and your offices
The bankers will be locking.

I spit at them,
Spray flit at them.
I’ll face those grim Goliaths with my sling shot
And I’ll hit at them.

With my back up against the wall,
Angry birds pecking with their beaks
Or submerged, sealed inside a tomb –
That challenge brings the roses to my cheeks.

So rally ’round me now, my musketeering men.
We’ll turn that raging lynch mob into cheering men!
From the false reports of my demise,
Like the phoenix right before their eyes
With my back up against the wall…

With his back up against the wall…

I rise again!


I (He’ll) rise again!

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Written by Trevor Forry

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