Y'KNOW...THAT SONG YOU CAN'T GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD? By Thomas Putnam
Does everyone have times when they find themselves humming a tune, but not quite sure what it is or where they heard it or if it is even a song. It happens to me all the time; there is always a tune running through my mind. (I often wished I had a sound track for my life; it would make some things so much more bearable.)
Whenever we produce a musical the tunes from it are running through my mind from the moment we begin rehearsals. The last big musical I directed was Mamma Mia, and though I hadn't been a regular listener of ABBA songs, some of those were floating through my consious- and unconsiousness for months. I heard a street musician this summer playing a tune and it was haunting. I sat there and listening and knew that I knew the tune, but for the life of me could not figure out how. I asked the sole violinist what it was and there it was, plaintive and wistful and lovely...”The Winner Takes It All.” You can be sure it was in my brain for a few weeks after that.
Now, frankly, I have not been an ardent listener of Sinatra music in the past. I knew that MY WAY would be popular and I certainly didn't have anything against Ol' Blue Eyes, but I wasn't intimately acquainted with some of the 1300 songs he recorded. Sure, the biggies: “New York, New York”; “My Way”; “The Lady Is a Tramp” and a dozen or so more I could probably actually sing the words. Some were completely unknown to me.
The current mind- and soul-filler is in the SUMMER medley. All the songs are grouped in medleys for this show, and all three in this one take turns in my brain. Right now it's “Indian Summer.” All three have this dreamy, relaxed feel to them, and then comes the last one. Derek begins an easy two measure intro and Lilace just melts into that first low A: “Summer...you old Indian summer...You're the tear that comes after...June time's...laughter...” And on it goes...simple, no rush, mellow. I find myself breathing...a sort of sad sigh...but not sad: the music won't allow us to be sad. The music makes it possible to live through a missed opportunity or a broken romance or dreams that don't come true. It's the soundtrack we need for some rough moments in our journey.