Monday, October 5, 2009

"Inspirational Music"

This one’s a little embarrassing. But if you’ve walked through hospital corridors wearing a gown that doesn’t close in the back, and had strangers shave you in unusual places, “embarrassing” loses a lot of its meaning.

I was reminded of this when I was writing about watching the opening of a touring company’s production of Carnival when I was a teenager, and going all “aglow.” My mother originally turned me on to musicals. And I was grateful. The good ones seemed to have magic in them.

I was in need of magical assistance at that time. You may have noticed my posts are conspicuously light on The Teenage Years. I think I missed them. It’s like I fell asleep when I was twelve and woke up when I graduated from college.

My pre-teen buddies, bopping hormonally through their maturity agenda, had casually left me behind. I felt abandoned, confused and painfully unclear about my future. I was pretty much in a fog. That’s why I don’t write about those times. No standout memories. Except that the Leafs won the Stanley Cup four times. (And not once since.)

I was aware of my aptitude for comedy. (I said things and people laughed.) So I knew I had something. But from a career standpoint, I had no idea how to get from “here” to “there”, “there” being somewhere where “funny” was viewed as a well-paying medium for personal advancement.

I had no connections. I had no “game plan.” My gifts for self-promotion were (and remain today) woefully inadequate. I saw myself wanting to be something my talents clearly suited me for, but for the lack of other attributes, settling for something else. Something considerably less satisfying.

No confidence. No clarity of purpose. No – in the sense of Someone lovingly guiding me towards my destiny – faith.

What did I have?

I had songs.

I called them my “Brave Songs.” Energizing anthems, gathered from musicals, which, when I played them on records, or sang them at the top of my lungs, filled my limping spirits with much-needed infusions of hope. It’s all corny goo. I know it. If you hate corny goo – like on Space Mountain – there’s the “Escape Door.” You can cut out now, and not get any of it on you.

All I can say is these songs got to me when nothing else could. And for that, I’m eternally grateful. The following is a representative sampling. Some lyrics elude my memory. I haven’t thought of these songs in quite some time.

Okay.

Inspiring songs from musicals. They may be corny. But they got me to my twenties.


FROM HALLELUJAH, BABY!

WA-ATCH OUT!

I’M BUSTIN’ OUT!

I GOTTA SHOUT

I JUST FOUND OUT

WHAT LIFE’S A-BOU-OU-OU-OU-OU-OUT…

(SINGING, SINGING, SINGING. THEN)

TO REACH THE GOAL I’VE GOT MY EYE ON

NEED NOBODY TO RELY ON

I BELIEVE

I BELIEVE IN ME-EE!!!…



FROM THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT – THE SMELL OF THE CROWD

STAND WELL BACK I’M COMIN' THROUGH

NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW…

WATCH OUT WORLD I’M WARNIN' YOU

NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW…


FROM FUNNY GIRL

I’M THE GREATEST STAR

I AM BY FAR

BUT NO ONE KNOWS IT

THAT’S WHY I WAS BORN

I’LL BLOW MY HORN

TILL SOMEONE BLOWS IT…


FROM WEST SIDE STORY

SOME-THIN’S CO-MIN’

I DON’T KNOW

WHAT IT IS

BUT IT IS

GONNA BE GREAT…



FROM CARNIVAL

I’VE GOT TO FIND A REASON

FOR LIVING ON THIS EARTH

SOMETHING TO WANT

SOMETHING TO BE

SO I CAN SAY

I AM ME.



FROM MAN OF LA MANCHA

AND THE WORLD WILL BE BETTER FOR THIS

THAT ONE MAN, SCORNED AND COVERED WITH SCARS,

STILL STROVE, WITH HIS LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE,

TO REACH

THE UN-REACH-A-BLE STAR.


FROM CAROUSEL

WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH A STORM

HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH

AND DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK

AT THE END OF THE STORM IS A GOLDEN SKY

AND THE SWEET SILVER SONG OF THE LARK

WALK ON THROUGH THE WIND

WALK ON THROUGH THE RAIN

THOUGH YOUR DREAMS BE TOSSED AND BLOWN

WALK ON, WALK ON, WITH HOPE IN YOUR HEART

AND YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE.


Thank you “Brave Songs.” You were always there when I needed you.

And I may just need you again.

3 comments:

BarbaraCA said...

I hope you sing as loudly as you need to. I am sending you best wishes.

Paloma said...

Thats not embarresing at all, i have my own "brave songs" too. They help, a lot.

Earl Pomerantz said...

Except for "BECKER", I was never asked to come in and write an episode for another series. Wait, that's not entirely correct. Garry Shandling once asked me to write for "THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW", but I turned him down because I can't write dirty. I can think dirty, but I can't write it.

What I was asked to do was consult on series. And whenever I did, I took it as my job not to change the sensibility of the show, but to find ways to best tell the story that series wanted to tell in the way they were accustomed to telling it. It was not up to me to change the rules of their game. I just wanted to help them play their game to the fullest.

"Friends" made a mistake with the "money" episode. The subject matter was beyond their sensibility mandate.

That's what made it a mistake.