Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Musicals as life philosophy

I love musicals - especially several of the older ones that I grew up listening to on (here I go really dating myself!) the Hi Fi record Player my dad built that took up one whole wall of the living room (a "folded horn" speaker system that he had big speakers to start with - my brother tells me they ended up being sold to a recording studio!). Dad use to have my brother, sister and me lay on the floor. He would start Ravel's Bolero, at almost normal sound level - not the very quiet beginning that it is suppose to be the beginning and be thrilled at the end, "Can you feel the floor vibrating?" he would ask as the music soared. He was very proud of his system! We also had several records of musicals among the varied musical mix.
From The King and I took "Whistle a Happy Tune" very much to heart. I found it so true and expanded it into any area that I feel unsure and anxious - just move ahead, act confident and before you know it you are fine. Speaking to a group of 60 people for the first time? Try this advice!
Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect
I'm afraid.

Make believe you're brave
And the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are....

Then there is a line in Pippin, from the song War is a Science that I love - "It's smarter to be lucky than it's lucky to be smart". I have always felt like a lucky person and really appreciate all the lucky things that have happened in my life! Although I do usually try hard to do my best, often it is luck that made the difference.

Another song that often plays in my mind is from South Pacific, You have to be Carefully Taught:
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

That one makes me sad. There is still a lot of careful teaching going on. South Pacific started on Broadway about 1949 - hate and fear is continues to be shared around in the world wrecking hancoc in a big way. Let's hope we are all lucky.


  1. Wonderful post, Linda. I so agree with the over reaching idea.

    1. I remember listening to musicals at home when I was little, but we did not have a special sound system. I loved Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and Funny Girl. (Hope that doesn't date me.) We have tickets to see a traveling Broadway performance of South Pacific next month. Reading your post has me really looking forward to it! Thanks!