Monday, May 17, 2010

Music Monday and Winners of the Bloggiversary Quiz

I like the way Ms. Musings has been doing Music Mondays, with a little help from YouTube, so I decided to steal her way of doing it (since she was just visiting) and resuscitate my own Music Mondays (which I recently told her I've been letting lie sprawled on the floor, gasping for air, while I callously tell them "Oh, quit being so overdramatic"). I love to make connections in my life, so today was a perfect day to connect this fantastic video of one of my favorite Bernstein songs from one of my all-time favorite musicals (West Side Story).

A while ago, I began to make a list of songs I ought to post for Music Monday and started making categories like "childhood pop songs," "great folk songs", "favorites from musicals," etc. This was at the top of that last category. Then, last week, I began to think, "Maybe Music Monday isn't just being a drama queen. Maybe I do need to provide a little help to bring it back to life. I'll post something on Monday."

Well, wouldn't you know it? Yesterday, one of Bob's professors from seminary came to town as a guest of our Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness board and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Bob was asked to introduce his former professor Gary Dorrien before his first talk yesterday afternoon. (BTW, I am very proud of Bob. His introduction was fantastic and got Gary a little choked up, so that he had to pause before he could begin. Then, Gary said, "I have to add something. In the time that I have been at Union, I can assure you that we have had no student who was more brilliant than Bob, and I've been wanting him to come back ever since he left, and I plan to work on that this afternoon. Of course, one of the congregants from our church, at the end of the talk, came up to be introduced to Gary by Bob and immediately said, "Please don't take him away from us." It's nice to have a husband who is so wanted). Gary told Bob that his fiancee would be coming with him. It turns out his fiancee's ex-husband was Leonard Bernstein's producer. How appropriate that I should post this today, then.

I've loved this song ever since I first heard it. Of course, as a teenager who thinks she and her friends will never fit in anywhere, it's so appropriate, isn't it? How could any teenager not love it? But, all my life, I've kind of felt that I don't really fit in anywhere and have always thought there must be a place for me somewhere. I haven't found it yet, but I will let you know when/if I do.

And the winners of Emily's Bloggiversary Quiz? Dorr and Stef. Thank you to everyone who played, and I'm very sorry the rest of you didn't win, but this will probably become an annual event, so maybe, if you are able to stick with me that long, you'll luck out in the futre. Meanwhile, Dorr and Stef, you each need to choose four books for me to order.


Bob said...

Emily, I agree that West Side Story is one of those classics, but your blog fails to mention one of the reasons why: Stephen Sondheim. Bernstein wrote the original lyrics but they were terrible and Jerome Robbins and Oscar Hammerstein enlisted Sondheim who was originally billed as the “co-lyricist” but Bernstein later graciously (and correctly) allowed him to take complete credit as Bernstein’s lyrics were all replaced by Sondheim’s. Who else could have made memorable lyrics out of “A boy like that would kill your brother?"

Sondheim at 80 is a national treasure, our last surviving great lyricist/composer who I was fortunate enough to see last year….

Emily Barton said...

Bob, of course, you are absolutely right (and I remember you devotion to Sondheim). However, you are dealing with my having taken a little poetic licence here, because I didn't just meet Sondheim's producer's ex. I just meat Bernstein's producer's ex, and I wanted to make my connection. However, the video does draw attention to Sondheim as well as Bernstein.