So the snow’s finally cleared enough for me to leave the house so… now I’ll be on a more or less normal schedule again. So, here we are. Yesterday it kind of just sunk in that there are a lot of great songs sung by parents in musicals. And you know, maybe I should be saving this post for Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day but… we’re going to do it today! The rules are that the songs must be sung by a character who is a parent and it has to have something to do with them being a parent. Achtung, fertig… los!
· CRIMSON KISS from LESTAT – “Crimson Kiss” is actually not the most endearing song in the world but it is very beautiful. This is actually a funny sort of situation because we’re dealing with not only Gabrielle who is Lestat’s mother but also with Lestat who is Gabrielle’s sire (they’re vampires). So… it’s interesting. Also, even though it does deal with Gabrielle being Lestat’s mother, it’s not a caring song. In fact, it’s talking about how she’s going to leave him so that she can live her own life.
· I DREAMED A DREAM from LES MISÉRABLES – Fantine is probably one of the first parents from a musical that comes to mind. And this song is wonderful. While “I Dreamed a Dream” is mostly about all of the things that have gone wrong in Fantine’s life but throughout it, you can really feel that her wish is to help Cosette. In the German version of the song, “Ich Hab’ Geträumt Vor Langer Zeit” (I Dreamt a Long Time Ago), there is direct reference made to Cosette and I actually really like that addition.
· FANTINE’S DEATH / COME TO ME from LES MISÉRABLES – So, here, we really get to see how much Cosette means to Fantine and how much Fantine is willing to do for Cosette. Another song that I thought about adding into this list was “Fantine’s Arrest” but I thought that I’d just make quick reference to it here because I think that the two scenes really go hand-in-hand. All in all, I must say that, combined, they really show how much Fantine is willing to suffer for Cosette’s sake.
· TOTENKLAGE / RUDOLF, WO BIST DU (Death Sentence / Rudolf, Where are You?) from ELISABETH – So, here, the mother that we’re talking about is Sisi. In this scene, Sisi is attending Rudolf’s funeral (Rudolf is her son who commits suicide). And really, it’s so sad to see how Sisi blames herself for what happened to her son. Which, granted, she played a part in, but I don’t think that it’s all her fault. So that’s a lot of what is so sad here. Also, it’s sad because this song is a reprise of a song that Rudolf sings as a young child (“Mama, Wo Bist Du” [Mama, Where are You]).
· EINE KAISERIN MUSS GLÄNZEN (An Empress Must Shine) from ELISABETH – Now, same musical, but let’s jump to another mother, shall we? That’s Sophie, the Dowager Empress of Austria, Franz Joseph’s mother. And Sophie is the exact opposite of a loving, warm mother. In fact, in this song, she’s talking to Sisi (who, at this point, is her new daughter in-law) and telling her that she’s not fit to be empress because, apparently, her teeth are too yellow and like a horses’ teeth. Yep… not exactly heartwarming. But it’s a good song and it really shows what sort of mother Sophie is.
· JEDEM GIBT ER DAS SEINE (To Each He Gives His Own) from ELISABETH – Again, we’re dealing with Sophie here. And again, she’s not the nicest mother out there. This time, she’s talking with her son, Emperor Franz Joseph von Österreich (of Austria) and, in her defense, she thinks that she’s doing her job as a mother. But really, she’s just turning him into a robotic, cold, unfeeling automaton, telling him “Sein kalt” (“Be cruel”). But still, it’s a great song.
· WIE DU (Like You) from ELISABETH – And here we get a sweet song from a father to his daughter. That’d be Sisi and her father (I think that his name is Max but I’m pulling a blank right now). And seriously, it’s one of the cutest moments of the show (this musical is no cutefest). Sisi really just wants to join the circus and travel the world like her dad but instead, she gets stuck being the empress of Austria, something that she never even wanted to have anything to do with.
· LOOK WITH YOUR HEART from LOVE NEVER DIES – It’s no secret that I am a huge critic of LOVE NEVER DIES mostly because of its horrible plot and character “development” but I will say that the songs are pretty drop-dead wonderful. And this song, “Look With Your Heart” is one of the best songs from the musical (in my opinion). It’s really great to see the interactions between Christine and Gustave and it’s one of the only aspects of the show that I see as redeemable.
· FALLING IN LOVE WITH LOVE from ROGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA – So, again, we’re not getting the most heartwarming song but Cinderella’s stepmother is too great to pass up when it comes to this song. Especially with Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother. She completely owns that role. Seriously. And this song is a song that perfectly portrays the Stepmother’s stance on how her children should live their lives and why her children (and she) are the way that they are.
· NO MATTER WHAT from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – I remember when I was a little kid—probably no older than five or six—that I was so disappointed with the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST movie after seeing the stage musical. I mean, I still loved and do love the movie (it’s my favorite Disney movie) but I remember being so disappointed because this song and so many other great songs that appear in the stage production just don’t in the movie. And this song sung by Maurice and Belle is one of the sweetest songs that I’ve ever heard. Ever.
So, that’s it for me! I’m going to (finally) go back to school today because I can actually get out of the house. Anyways, what are your favorite songs dealing with parents? Tschüss!