Adding to the list of songs I love, I would be remiss without including songs from musicals.
Quick background: I’ve been performing in musical since the age of 4. Growing up in a musical household (Dad was a music director, Mom a choreographer) it was hard to NOT be a part of musicals, but I loved it from the get-go.
I remember when RENT hit broadway. My voice teacher at the time had come back from New York and had told me about this new “rock musical” that was sweeping Broadway. A modern day version of La Boheme, it had its own tragic story. The composer tragically died of a brain aneurysm the night of the final dress rehearsal. The musical then went on to be an international success, really embodying the message sung throughout the musical, “No day but today”.
Most people know or know of RENT, but it had been a while since I’d heard it. I put it on last night in the car and even after almost 10 years, the words still speak to me, the story still moves me to want to live my life to the fullest while recognizing the frailness of humanity and the joys of being yourself.
Your Eyes is a song sung by Roger toward the end of the musical. A song that “took all year” to write for Mimi.
And the iconic Seasons Of Love. This is the anthem of RENT.
It seems that lately the only thing I’ve felt like sharing and writing about is music. And why not? It is a driving force in my life and has been since I was a child (my grandmother used to tell me that she knew I’d be a singer based on how I wailed as a baby 😉 ). Surprisingly it is a force that I don’t publicly speak about a great deal (I was recently surprised to read my Twitter profile where I mention things I love and music is not listed).
The point is I love music, perhaps more than anything else in life. It is the universal language that can transcend cultures, conflict, pain, happiness, sorrow, joy. I’ve had the unique experience of speaking music with people of many different cultures and backgrounds and am consistently amazed at how common ground is found with something so simply complex. If I had one true love in life, it would be music.
So perhaps this will be my forum for sharing the music I love; the music that moves and touches my life. I’ve written about so many different things here, it seems music is something that never fades, my passion for it remaining resolute.
The Indigo Girls are a band that have been around for about 30 years, most of my life. I didn’t really become of fan of them until I went off to college, but as soon as I heard them, I was in love. Their ability to write lyrics that touch the soul may perhaps be unmatched (in my humble opinion). They also have two voices made for each other, their harmonies perfection. They move as one and are unified in their vision to speak the truth through song.
This is perhaps one of my favorite songs about how Emily upon reading Virginia Woolf’s diary, was changed by what Ms. Woolf had to say.
Subsequently, the title of this post is from another Indigo Girls song called Strange Fire, in case you care to look it up.
Some will strut and some will fret
see this an hour on the stage
others will not but they’ll sweat
in their hopelessness in the rage
we’re all the same the men of anger and the women of the page
they published your diary
and that’s how i got to know you
the key to the room of your own
and a mind without end
and here’s a young girl
on a kind of a telephone line through time
and the voice at the other end
comes like a long-lost friend
so i know i’m alright
life will come my life will go
still i feel it’s alright
’cause I just got a letter to my soul
when my whole life is on the tip of my tongue
empty pages for the no longer young
the apathy of time laughs in my face
you say, ‘each life has its place’
the hatches were battened
the thunderclouds rolled
and the critics stormed
the battles surrounded the white flag of your youth
but if you need to know that you weathered the storm
of cruel mortality
a hundred years later i’m sitting here living proof
so you know you’re alright
your life will come your life will go
still you’ll feel it’s alright
someone will get a letter to your soul
when your whole life was on the tip of your tongue
empty pages for the no longer young
the apathy of time laughed in your face
did you hear me say ‘each life has its place’
the place where you hold me
is dark in a pocket of truth
the moon had swallowed the sun and the light of the earth
and so it was for you
when the river eclipsed your life
but sent your soul like a message in a bottle to me
Today was Scott Johnson’s funeral in Doncaster, England. My memories of Scott are those of a man who truly loved his work, a quick wit and always a kind word for everyone he came across. My friend Martin was able to attend the service and mentioned this song was played. So fitting…RIP Scott.