“Mrs. Taylor’s Lullaby” from Bat Boy: the Musical, by Laurence O’Keefe, is a comic relief piece amidst the growing drama of the stage action. Bat Boy is a fairly new musical about the Weekly World News tabloid character and his relationship to a veterinarian and his family. The musical discusses Bat Boy’s attempt at assimilation into society, his romance with the vet’s daughter, and his eventual downfall.
“Mrs. Taylor’s Lullaby” occurs after the title character’s daughter, Ruthie, has been bitten by the Bat Boy. Mrs. Taylor comforts Ruthie at the hospital with this song:
“Sleep little Ruthie baby don’t you fear no Bat Boy. Dream about the angels floating ‘round your head. Sleep on a pillow made of fluffy clouds and rainbows, While Mama can’t believe that little freak ain’t dead.
“Sleep little Ruthie baby no one’s gonna hurt you. Sheriff’s gonna have that little freak destroyed. Or if he’s a coward and he won’t protect my children, Mama’s gonna get the Sheriff unemployed.
“Sleep little Ruthie baby don’t you fear no Bat Boy. Mama’s gonna hunt him down and bring him here. Then you can skin him and wear him as a jacket. And we’ll string a necklace with a dried bat ear.”
The song is strophic, containing three verses. Each verse is a contrasting, symmetric period with two phrases, A and B. For example, in the first verse: The antecedent phrase consists of four measures and ends on a half cadence – “Sleep little Ruthie baby don’t you fear no Bat Boy. Dream about the angels floating ‘round your head.” The consequent phrase takes the melodic motive up a half step and changes the rhythm significantly, ending on a PAC. - “Sleep on a pillow made of fluffy clouds and rainbows, While Mama can’t believe that little freak ain’t dead.” Each consequent verse modulates up a half step.
The orchestrations are very simple. The first verse uses only a celeste, the perfect instrument to accompany a lullaby. The other two verses add a piano and a vocal ensemble singing on the vowel, “Oooo.”
“Mrs. Taylor’s Lullaby” is one of the most humorous pieces in Bat Boy. The melody is basic, the lyrics incredibly malicious, and the accompaniment suitable to a lullaby setting. In addition, Mrs. Taylor is usually played by a cross-dresser. All of these components create a cheesy, over-the-top rendition of what would be a pleasing lullaby.