A few years ago my sons and I had the idea to write a musical about the world’s greatest frauds and hoaxes. Both boys were (and are) performers and actors, and, as a family, we were every much into musical theatre. So it seemed logical to put our “talents” towards creating a theatre piece. I wrote a bunch of skeptical-themed songs, my son Ryan started writing a script and my son James started writing a rock opus about little green men.
Inevitably, as time went on, the boys graduated from high school and moved on to other pursuits (Ryan’s a magician in San Francisco now, and James is finishing his second year of studying molecular biology at UC/Santa Cruz), and the project languished.
But I still have all these songs. So I figured I might as well record and post them. This song is called “Song of the Huckster (People Are Sheep),” and it was written to be sung by a character based on PT Barnum. The idea was that this character, who makes a fabulous living by capitalizing on the gullibility of the masses, would sing this song about his philosophy – summed up in the phrase “People are sheep.”