KS2 Music: Shakespeare on Trial! - Song 6: 'Supernaturally!'
Notes for ‘Supernaturally’
Another exaggerated song, this time in a ‘Gothic horror’ style which will be familiar to many children from comedy horror TV, Hollywood cartoons, Addams Family style shows and so on. It’s a chance for the children to ‘ham it up’ a bit (but not too much!) in adapting and characterising the sound of the voices used - ‘ghostly’ in Verse 1, ‘witchy’ in Verse 2, ‘monstery / monstrous’ in Verse 3 and fearful in Verse 4.
In performance, you may choose to allocate particular verses to small groups or solo voices. Whether solo or ensemble the words need to be very clear and exaggerated.
Most of the verse melody is based on alternating between two notes a ‘fifth’ apart, leading to an atmospheric minor scale going up (eg ‘Ghosts could haunt and frighten you!’).
The introductions have a slippy-slidy, chromatic scale going down. For spooky effect, someone could add a quiet swanee whistle to highlight this.
Each new verse rises a half-step (semitone) higher than the last. There’s also a gradual ‘accelerando’ through the song, getting faster bit-by-bit.
The song also features a special, spoken ‘Dum-ba dum-ba’ refrain, five times in all. Practise this a few times, so that everyone is speak-ing together. During its final instance as a coda (end-section), be ready to be interrupted by a sudden silence (at bar 80), then a creepy, rising diminished 7th chord, where the magic word ‘ABRACADABRA’ is called out magically.
Your stage-band might choose some creepypercussion to suit the mood of each verse. Melody instruments can join in the spooky diminished 7th chord in bars 81-83 by playing any of C, E-flat, F-sharp or A.
As well as singing and speaking, the ensemble can add actions and vocal sounds to evoke the various ‘supernatural’ beings, in-between the verses and ‘dum-bas’ - ‘ghostly moans’ after Verse 1, ‘witchy cackles and swishes’ after Verse 2, ‘monstrous growls’ after Verse 3 and ‘crouching warily, looking side to side’ after Verse 4. There are lots of make-up / costume possibilities to enhance this aspect!