Tuesday, August 10, 2010

For Good


One of the tell-tale signs that I'm a gay man is my appreciation for musicals. Especially well-written ones. I've often thought that songs are but poems set to music. The combination of powerful lyrics and beautiful arrangements can move even the most hardened of hearts.

Music soothes the savage beast. Sometimes it can even make it cry.

Despite treading familiar, universal themes of love and loss, every so often some songs resonate more than others. For me, such is the case with this one, from the musical Wicked.

For anyone who's experienced the agony of parting, the lyrics should be enough. But the performance above made the song especially poignant because it was Kristin Chenoweth's last performance as Glinda, and therefore the song - and its lyrics - took on a very real meaning. Just listen to her voice breaking as she tries to maintain composure and you'll see what I mean.

I've been meaning to write about death and loss but, considering its odd emergence of late in some blogs I follow, I felt this should suffice for the meantime.

For you, Joel.

For you, soltero.

For you, Sonia.

For everyone who's ever had to say goodbye. For good.

(Glinda): 
I've heard it said 
That people come into our lives for a reason 
Bringing something we must learn 
And we are led 
To those who help us most to grow 
If we let them 
And we help them in return 
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true 
But I know I'm who I am today 
Because I knew you... 

Like a comet pulled from orbit 
As it passes a sun 
Like a stream that meets a boulder 
Halfway through the wood 
Who can say if I've been changed for the better? 
But because I knew you 
I have been changed for good 

(Elphaba): 
It well may be 
That we will never meet again 
In this lifetime 
So let me say before we part 
So much of me 
Is made of what I learned from you 
You'll be with me 
Like a handprint on my heart 
And now whatever way our stories end 
I know you have re-written mine 
By being my friend... 

Like a ship blown from its mooring 
By a wind off the sea 
Like a seed dropped by a skybird 
In a distant wood 
Who can say if I've been changed for the better? 
But because I knew you 

(Glinda): 
Because I knew you 

(Both): 
I have been changed for good 

(Elphaba): 
And just to clear the air 
I ask forgiveness 
For the things I've done you blame me for 

(Glinda): 
But then, I guess we know 
There's blame to share 

(Both): 
And none of it seems to matter anymore 

(Glinda): 
Like a comet pulled from orbit 
As it passes a sun 
Like a stream that meets a boulder 
Halfway through the wood 

(Elphaba): 
Like a ship blown from its mooring 
By a wind off the sea 
Like a seed dropped by a bird in the wood 

(Both): 
Who can say if I've been 
Changed for the better? 
I do believe I have been 
Changed for the better 

(Glinda): 
And because I knew you... 

(Elphaba): 
Because I knew you... 

(Both): 
Because I knew you... 
I have been changed for good...


(Oh. And lest my previous post makes you think I'm anti-Lea, here's another rendition of the song featuring Ms. Salonga and Jennifer Paz - another Filipina with a crystalline voice.)


12 comments:

  1. i love the song. just finished reading soltero's post. i want to cry.

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  2. Crying's good for you, engel. It's a safely valve that relieves pent-up emotions. Plus ,it has the added benefit of flushing out harmful toxins, resulting in fresher, fairer skin.

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  3. Death is the last thing that comes to mind whenever I hear this song, until now.
    Re the disclaimer, Defying Gravity is yet another song Lea would often sing in her concerts (not good).She'll do very well as Glinda though but everybody knows that already.And I'm a fan of Lea's.

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  4. @ orally : Agree, it's not necessarily about death. Just parting. And remembrance.

    And yes, Lea does enjoy singing Defying Gravity, but like the Grizabella brouhaha, I agree she won't have the pathos to carry Elphaba convincingly.

    Glinda? Well, THAT I agree with. She can play that till the cows come home :P

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  5. "who can live without it? i ask in all honesty. what would life be? without a song or a dance, what are we?"

    so that's why am no straight..lol. in some moment, tears would visit me, listening to "defying gravity." hayyy..the awesome power of music.

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  6. perhaps i'm not gay? because i don't enjoy musicals that much ehehe..hmmm the only musical i saw was Miss Saigon :P

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  7. I'm not so big on musicals so I've only heard LeAnn Rimes/Delta Goodrem's version of the song. It's mainstream but it is still good. :)

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  8. Thanks Rudeboy. I really needed that. I'm an awful mess this morning, crying again, after hearing that song. thank you, not for making me cry, but just for helping me along. :-)

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  9. I saw Wicked in London. Absolutely loved it. I cried twice, when Elphaba sang "Defying Gravity" and this duet. Yes, I cry openly at theaters. Stopped caring a long time ago.

    I wish I could've watched Kristin Chenowith though.

    ficklecattle.blogspot.com

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  10. @ Fickle Cattle : Oooooh, now that's wicked.

    The last time I remember weeping in a theater was when I watched Rolando Tino's Tagalog translation of La Traviata at the Metropolitan. I wept because La Travestia wouldn't seem to end.

    @ Sonia : I'm sorry if I made you cry :( But I hope that you're better now.

    @ mark : Musicals are an acquired taste, I suppose. I wouldn't listen to the damned things when I was 15, either. They just seemed so...corny.

    How things change.

    @ soltero : Maybe you just haven't come across a musical that "spoke" to you, Tito Pogi :P

    @ Désolé Boy : So I say, thank you for the music/ For giving it to me

    And yes - Defying Gravity is one of those soaring, defiant numbers that just resonate with meaning.

    @ narnian : I fell in love with it the first time I heard it - tears and all.

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