197 FRIDAY 9 JANUARY 2015
The Glory Of Love – Bette Midler
This is the second time The Glory Of Love appears on the list. The first time was during week two, on that occasion, it was Jimmy Durante’s version that made it to the list. (See Week 2, Number 11)
Durante’s version came in as a sort of sound and reliable advice from a wise man, telling novice lovers what to expect from love. However, Bette Middler’s The Glory Of Love presents consolation, its words offer solace after love has done a number on you. There’s sadness, melancholy, and regret, but there’s also acceptance of your fate.
This cut comes from the movie “Beaches”, the movie every young gay man should watch with his hag. Bette Midler’s character, CC, sings it for her best friend, Hillary, whom she’s known since childhood. I won’t tell you the exact circumstances of how the song is used, in case you haven’t seen the film.
Song Title: The Glory Of Love – 1936 Genre: Pop Artist: Bette Midler Composer: Billy Hill Lyricist: Billy Hill Album: Beaches
Favourite Lyrics: You’ve got to win a little, lose a little / And always have the blues a little / That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love
198 SATURDAY 10 JANUARY 2015
Tea For Two – Roger Raithburn, Susan Watson – Top 10 Favourite
Picturing a perfect future with someone never sounds as promising as when I listen to Tea For Two. It is not the fact that the couple singing is able to see themselves having a beautiful life together in the future. It is the fact that I believe that they’ve just met, and they’re building that future based on first impressions.
Do you know that moment when you meet someone new, and you click right away? That moment towards the end of the first date when your heartbeat runs a bit faster in anticipation of the first kiss? Or the moment a coffee date becomes a long walk through the city, followed by dinner and then the first sleepover? Or perhaps, the moment when you lie in each other’s arms before making love? It is in those moments that you start imagining a future together, but since you’ve just met, and don’t have enough to build from, you just start small. Softly, you intertwine the best moments of those first dates and repeat them in your head over and over until you realise that for that future to happen, something must be done. This is what I call the Tea For Two moment of every relationship.
You start a delicate, soft-shoe dance around each other, carefully exploring and discovering each other step by step. Everything is pure, primary and unique. It is the moment of the new bond when it’s just the two of you; perchance the most intimate moment you’ll ever have in your relationship. Little by little, your steps become more steady and definite, and then in a moment, that usually slips in, you both realise you’re now part of each other’s lives. This is such a special and distinctive state that regardless of where your liaison will head to, it will always be cherished by the both of you.
Ultimately, what I love about this song is that it still touches me whenever I hear it. It is nice to know that I can still be sentimental.
Song Title: Tea for Two – 1925 Genre: Musical Artist: Roger Raithburn, Susan Watson Composer: Vincent Youmans Lyricist: Irving Caesar, Otto Harbach Album: Broadway: The American Musical
Favourite Lyrics: Day will break and I’ll wake / And start to bake a sugar cake / For you to take for all the boys to see
199 SUNDAY 11 JANUARY 2015
Fruit Shop Dance – Orchestra
From my Cha Cha collection, I give you the Fruit Shop Dance. A few songs back, I talked about ‘Cha Cha’ songs, a term coined by a co-worker to describe the kind of music I like to hear while on the job. I’m not sure what ‘Cha Cha’ means, all I know is that every time I like a song, but I’m not sure why I say I like it because it’s very ‘Cha Cha’.
Song Title: Fruit Shop Dance – 1966 Genre: Musical Artist: Orchestra Composer: John Kander Album: Cabaret
200 MONDAY 12 JANUARY 2015
Got To Be Real – Cheryl Lynn
I’m sure fans of “Sex And The City” will remember the episode where Carrie, full of confidence and delusion, comes out on the runway of a fashion show for charity and falls flat on her face. I’m sure you’ll recognise this as the song that played in the background. The whole episode was about getting real and accepting who they really were. I think it is my favourite episode of the entire series.
I’ve known and loved Got To Be Real for years. I first heard it in 1979, while on vacation in Brazil. TV Station Rede Globo used the iconic song’s intro for its promos. A few months later, my brother bought the “Night At Studio 54” album where this song appeared. It was only then that we found out it was a real song, and not Rede Globo’s ID’s theme.
It is a great song, a favourite of mine for years, and without a doubt one of the most defining songs of the disco era.
Song Title: Got to Be Real – 1978 Genre: Disco Artist: Cheryl Lynn Composer: Cheryl Lynn, David Paich, David Foster Lyricist: Cheryl Lynn, David Paich, David Foster Album: Cheryl Lynn
Favourite Lyrics: What you find, ah / (I think I love you, baby) / What you feel now (I feel I need you, baby) / What you know-a / To be real
201 TUESDAY 13 JANUARY 2015
Tales From The Vienna Woods – Orchestra
I remember this composition from when I was a kid. I was in the third grade when my school organised a big recital. The nuns used to hold ‘Cultural Acts’, as they were known then, usually during Christmas, Mother’s day, end of school year and often in Mardi Gras. For the 1973 Mardi Gras or ‘Carnaval’ they decided to stage an international pageant, each grade had to present a dance from a particular country. The third grade was to represent Austria and its waltzes. All the kids had to take part in it. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. That’s right, we waltzed to Tales From The Vienna Woods.
I don’t remember much about it; only that we rehearsed every afternoon for weeks, that I wore top and tails, and that my dancing partner, Leticia, didn’t like me. I guess she wanted to do the waltz with one of the better-looking boys in the class. I just kind of realised that, though. Actually, it pisses me off a bit that she didn’t like me, particularly because I don’t remember her being pretty. So “Dear Leti, I was as good as it was gonna get for you, girlfriend. You should have shown more gratitude and less contempt.”
Song Title: Tales from the Vienna Woods – 1868 Genre: Classical Artist: Orchestra Composer: Johann Strauss Album: Classical For The New Age
202 WEDNESDAY 14 JANUARY 2015
Show People – David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk
Here’s an amusing love letter to theatre people.
It comes from one of the last shows Kander and Ebb conceived together, “Curtains”. A detective comes to a theatre to investigate the murder of the star of a new musical, still in previews. The detective, a musical theatre enthusiast himself, can’t believe all the bickering among the thespians, so he lectures them about how Show People must behave.
I bought this album a few months after my own acting debut on the Wellington stage, so the song took an extra meaning since I could relate to a few of its inside jokes. My life on the stage was short lived, just one play, but it was enough to savour a small sample of life in the theatre.
Based on the brutal murder of a 14-year-old boy in 1999, “Corner of 4am & Cuba” was a play, which tried to make some sense of such heinous act, and its aftermath in the Wellington community. Although clearly a hate crime (the young victim was thought to be gay) the city was divided. While a few thought that the kid shouldn’t have been out that late at night, and should have looked more normal, e.g. Who dies his hair purple and wears fluorescent green nail polish? Others raised the need to call attention to the hate crimes committed against gays, lesbians and transgenders just for being who they are.
The show opened at Bats Theatre in April 2007 and it was a smash-hit. Word of mouth spread quickly and the show was sold-out for most of its run.
One day when I came to the theatre for an evening performance, there was a note waiting for me at the box-office. A TV casting agent had been in the audience the night before and he wanted me to audition for a small guest role in a TV show.
There I was on my acting debut, surrounded by real beautiful and talented actors, people who had studied and honed the craft, and I was the one being singled out by a casting agent. It was a rare feeling.
I went to the audition a few days later but didn’t get the gig. I was happy, nonetheless. I wasn’t an actor, never intended to be one, and yet in a matter of weeks, I had learned basic acting techniques to get me through my lines. I had done my stage debut in a smash-hit, had gotten good reviews, and had been discovered by a casting agent. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Most actors wait for years to have an experience like that. I just felt very fortunate.
I felt even more privileged when later that year, I was cast as a Bio-Lab Scientist in James Cameron’s “Avatar” and a Migrant Worker in Sir Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones”. Although I had no lines, and my scenes in “The Lovely Bones” were deleted, I thought it was kind of an accomplishment for a non-actor. I had worked on a small set under the direction of two of the greatest directors of their generation. It didn’t matter what else I would do acting-wise, nothing was ever going to top that.
Song Title: Show People – 2006 Genre: Musical Artist: David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk Composer: John Kander Lyricist: Fred Ebb Album: Curtains (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Favourite Lyrics: We’re a special kind of people known as show people / We live in a world of our own / Our days are tied to curtains / They rise and they fall / We’re born every night / At Half-hour call
203 THURSDAY 15 JANUARY 2015
Whatever Lola Wants – Gwen Verdon
The great Gwen Verdon in one of her most iconic roles.
She created Lola on the Broadway stage in 1955’s “Damn Yankees”, and then reprised it in the 1958 film. Choreographed by her husband, Bob Fosse, this is one of the most sensual stripteases ever done in movies. Considering that it had to be tamed for mainstream audiences, I’ve always wondered how the original stage production must have looked.
When I was writing my first novel, I used this song as background to introduced how flamboyant one of the characters had been since he was a kid.
You can check out an excerpt here: The Return Of The Army Of Light – Excerpt – Inspired by Whatever Lola Wants
Song Title: Whatever Lola Wants – 1955 Genre: Musical Artist: Gwen Verdon Composer: Richard Adler Lyricist: Jerry Ross Album: Damn Yankees
Favourite Lyrics: I always get what I aim for / And your heart and soul is what I came for