As the ship went down, they kept spirits up. Kind of.
By Patrick Cassels
EXT. LUXURY LINER (DECK) -- 1912 -- NIGHT
We're sinking. A moderate crowd of high society PASSENGERS
shuffle concerned around deck. Most have life vests strapped
over their tux's and gowns.
The CAPTAIN approaches the ship's 3-piece band: a VIOLIN, a
CELLO, and on accordion, the LEADER (Yankovic).
Men, we have not more than an hour
above water! I suggest you find
yourselves seats on a lifeboat.
Your concern is appreciated,
Captain. But we have decided to
play on until... the end. Perhaps
our music will provide some peace
in these passengers' final hours.
Remarkable. Play on, then.
The Captain closes his eyes to take the music in. The band
launches into a cruelly uptempo polka-ish tune:
No hope is left of being saved/The
icy sea will be your grave/Pain and
death await us all./Hey, I wonder
what it's like to drown?
The passengers, already nervous, freak the f**k out at this
song. They shove each other over, dart left and right, etc.
(frozen, appalled smile)
Okay. Hey, perhaps you men should
find a lifeboat after all.
No, we've accepted our fate.
Perhaps our music will provide...
(scraping up enthusiasm)
--some peace, yeah. I got it. Could
you provide some peace with
something a little less, dark?
Ah! A happy tune! Like that new
jazzamatazz that's been sweeping
the American South.
Yes, exactly. Jazzama-? Is that a
thing? Whatever, that'd be fine.
The band launches into a happy melody. They sing:
How many lifeboats are left now?
Said how many lifeboats are left
None at all!
Well maybe there's one left, maybe
one more/And if you strangle
through the others, this lifeboat
could be yours!
The passengers go feral, screaming and punching each other,
losing all humanity as they desperately look for the
lifeboat. A COWARDLY GENTLEMAN throws a KID overboard.
The band finishes. Leader nods to the Captain.
Stop nodding! Why are you nodding?
What is with those lyrics, man?
Hey, "No More Lifeboats!" is one of
our biggest hits.
You had these already written?!
Of course. We wrote it around the
same time we wrote, let's see,
"Survival is a Statistical
Oh and "Deep Sea Crabs Will Eat
(loud; in Capt's face)
I WILL NOT HESITATE TO SHOOT YOU
FOR THAT LIFE JACKET!
The Captain jumps, defensive.
(suddenly calm again)
...is another favorite.
The passengers are terrified!
As they should be, after all...
Their lungs will soon be
filled/With briny water and, like,
probably some fecal matter from
Another stab of chaos among the passengers. The Cowardly
Passenger grabs ANOTHER KID (not even in his way, really)
and throws her overboard.
Let me guess, that's one of your
biggest hits, too.
No, we were just sort of riffing
(beat; to band)
Let's try it again louder.
Gentlemen!! This ship is going
down. The passengers need a song
that fills them with courage, not
morbid tunes about lobsters eating
It was crabs, actually. And they
were just eating the face area:
ears, nose, eyeballs...
The Captain's right. Let's play a
tune that will fill this entire
deck with the same strength and
resolve he has shown...
The band strikes up a confident, marching tune.
(beat; then, singing)
Fear not the sea, but think
instead/Of our brave Captain, who
welcomes death/When that iceberg
first appeared/He did not turn, he
did not steer...
(almost talking now)
A lot of people warned him about
taking a ship out without enough
lifeboats but he would not be
scared away. So brave!
As the band continues, the passengers frown at a mortified