“I Won’t Mind” was written for the unfinished musical, The Other Franklin, which had music by Jeff and lyrics by Annie Kessler and Libby Saines. The show, which was abandoned in the early 1990s, dealt with the relationship between William Franklin and his famous father, Benjamin Franklin. “I Won’t Mind” was brought back to life in 2000 with Audra McDonald‘s recording of the song for her CD, How Glory Goes. It also was included in her PBS concert, Audra McDonald: Live at the Donmar.
Here is the context of the song in the musical for which it was written:
Lizzie is wife to William Franklin, who is Benjamin Franklin’s son. After years of desperately wanting a child, becoming pregnant and ultimately miscarrying, she learns that she will never bear a child. She sings the song to her godson (her best friends’ newborn) in the nursery, while everyone else is in the next room celebrating his christening.
For those who have expressed curiosity in hearing the rest of the score, unfortunately it is unavailable.
Thank you for your interest in this song!
Some of you have been asking for more information about the show and the song, as required for academic recitals, projects or competitions. Please understand that most of your questions are simply unanswerable. Some of the questions I’ve been asked are:
Was The Other Franklin originally a play or a biography or a novel? Who was it by?
Our musical was based on a number of biographies and various sources of information. There was no single piece of source material.
Where can I find a synopsis of the show?
This does not exist, and it will never exist.
What is the librettist’s name? How can I contact them?
There is no librettist, as this project was abandoned years ago with no librettist attached. There is no one to contact. There is no answer for the question you would have posed.
I’m assuming that this tells the story of William Franklin, Ben’s son – am I right?
Yes, more specifically it dealt with the relationship between William and Ben around the time of the American Revolution.
Is “Lizzie” the Elizabeth he was originally engaged to or the Elizabeth who he later married and had a son with?
Lizzie/Elizabeth is William’s wife, i.e. the Elizabeth he married. The son you mention, William’s only son, Temple, was not a product of his marriage to Elizabeth. He was an illegitimate son born a few years before William married – his mother was evidently a woman of “ill repute.” Temple was raised mostly by non-family members in England and didn’t even meet his father and his father’s wife until he was fifteen. Lizzie never bore a child of her own.
Was The Other Franklin ever produced?
No, it wasn’t. However it might be useful for you to know, for competition purposes, that it was included in a musical that was produced: Having It Almost, which was presented in the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2006.