Musicals have always baffled me. I enjoy them, but remain baffled.
Do the characters all agree ahead of time that singing is acceptable? Do they make a pact to keep a poker face when someone breaks into song? Where are the musicians? In musical world, do they do their own choreography? Who decides who gets to sing lead?
Nothing brought these questions more to mind than “Glee“. I watched the first season, most of the second and loved their versions of popular hits. But despite my enjoyment (and watching with a like-minded friend helped) it took a lot to suspend my disbelief. I mean, I do sing in real life – I come by that honestly (thanks, Dad) but it’s mostly a bar or two of song with altered lyrics (“Someone’s pretty whiny in the kitchen, someone’s pretty whiny I knooooooow” that kind of thing).
Recently I had a life-changing moment and musicals suddenly became completely plausible.
We were in the van and #2 son asked, “Why did God even MAKE spiders? They are the worst.” And without missing a beat I turned around and sang the entire first verse to a song from my childhood (teachers, take note, singing sticks with you, I learned this song more than thirty years ago).
Tiny little spider swinging from a vine
Looking for a place to tie your line
Making frilly webs wherever you may go
Oh, my busy friend, who made you so?
God the Father don’t you see?
Put together all of me
He made fox and fish and fowl
Frogs that jump and snakes that crawl
He made all.
The boys looked back at me with mouths slightly slack, shrugged, and went on to the next topic. JUST LIKE IN MUSICALS.
Haven’t made my case yet? Another example.
The boys were playing with a neighbour friend for a large portion of the day. Things were going really well – everyone was getting along, lots of giggles, a very fun afternoon. #2 Son asked if they could play inside for a while. The toddler was napping and it was so nice outside it seemed a shame to go indoors, so I replied, “no, we’re going to stay outside.” He asked me why not and again I burst into song:
It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood
A beautiful day in the neighbourhood
We’re staying outside
We’re playing outside
We’re going to say outsiiiiiide
(tune: Mr. Rogers theme song)
They shrugged and went off to ride bikes. A few minutes later he asked again (that kid is persistent) and I began my song. I had just finished the first bar and his friend said, “oh, there she goes again.”
Ok, so not exactly like a real musical, but it could happen, it COULD.
16 thoughts on “Musicals – Really?”
So what you’re saying is that J is the only reason you burst into song. Iiiiiinteresting.
He’s special that way.
I made up lyrics all the time. The kids don’t know the original songs, so they think I’m a musical genius.
Our house really is like a musical most of the time. Sometimes, we even add dance numbers. So watch out, Jan, someday you could not only burst into studying but dance as well. This is dangerous territory.
I’ve been known to do some interpretive dancing during lunchtime (at home).
It took me years to realize that my dad was piggybacking “Must be Santa” when he sang his own version. YEARS (I think I was 25).
“The boys looked back at me with mouths slightly slack, shrugged, and went on to the next topic.” Ha! I love how they weren’t like, “Why are you singing?” They just went along with it. JUST LIKE GLEE.
Or sometimes strangers call and serenade you on the phone.
My life really IS a musical.
Don’t let the boys watch Glee. They may throw a slushed in your face the next time you break into song. Ah, Glee watching-good times, good times.
They definitely don’t need any ideas.
I’m not a musical fanatic, but I do have some favorites. Still, I think those same questions – it don’t make no sense, I tell ya! But you make a good point with your examples, so I think maybe I will incorporate some songs into my day too.
Sometimes I make them ask me for stuff by singing it opera style: “May I have sooooome Goooooldfishhhhhhhh?”
I have the song “Tiny Little Spider” embedded in my head from grade school too. Those songbooks you posted a photo of are precious – and exactly as I remember them! Thanks for this story – I know you shared it years ago but the internet never forgets!
I’m glad you stumbled upon it!