“Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap!
It’s time to try defying gravity…”
~Wicked, “Defying Gravity”
I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit for this week’s Tuesday’s Tunes. After all, it’s not only music and writing that go hand-in-hand. It’s also music and imagery. Whether those scenes unfold across the small screen, the silver screen, or on Broadway’s vast and far-reaching stage, the idea remains the same. Music enhances what we see. It plays upon our emotions, describes what the characters are going through, and offers an almost magical escape. As my main character Sofie describes her theater-going experience:
Rows of red chairs flowed like the sea, glittery lights hung above, and around us, vested ushers guided people to their seats. It’s amazing to think how many theaters are like that in New York, each its own snow globe in a city that pulsates outside with its rhythmic heartbeat. Broadway is special. It’s a connection, an outreach, a chance to emerge more affected than when you entered.
Like Sofie, I love theater. I also love when television shows and movies incorporate chords of inspiration among their words. So, this week, here’s a look into some of my favorite soundtrack songs.
“Defying Gravity” – Wicked: I. ADORE. THIS. SHOW. As in, I could see it time and again, never once getting tired of its layered, beautiful, chilling story. There is something uniquely special about it, a universal connection that reaches straight into your soul and refuses to let go. It makes you believe – in magic, in hope, in faith, and in the fact that we can all truly be changed for good by the people who come into our lives. And, perhaps most importantly, it reminds us all that we can defy some gravity of our own, if we only have the courage to take that first leap.
“The Story” – Grey’s Anatomy: I dare you to listen to this and tell me that Sara Ramirez doesn’t have an amazing, captivating voice. Go on, give it a try. You won’t succeed, though, because she sings this song like the Tony Award winner she is. She tells a story so many of us can relate to – that, yes, we have lines across our faces, but that’s a good thing, because they make us who we are. They tell our stories. And, in this conclusion to Grey’s Anatomy’s musical episode, as we watch Callie convince herself to fight, as we watch her find the strength deep inside to live for her daughter, we’re reminded of something precious. Bravery can be hard to come by sometimes. Courage can be hard to find. But when you have something, someone, who makes you feel like a million bucks, then your stories become intertwined. The lines get crossed. And what follows? A song with beautiful harmony.
“The Living Proof” – The Help & Private Practice: Mary J. Blige’s song was featured in The Help – you can see scenes from the fantastic movie in the music video – and was also used in last week’s emotionally-charged intervention episode of Private Practice. It really struck me how the lyrics were so deeply, innately fitting for both experiences. They gracefully told the story of Aibileen Clark and Ms. Skeeter, and they also poignantly told the story of Amelia Shepherd. For each character, it was indeed a long, long journey to overcome. It was an uphill climb. But they persevered, they dug deep and found faith, and they came out on the other side changed for the better. How can you not love a song that plays those melodies?
What songs are you listening to this week? Do you like soundtrack albums? What’s your favorite musical?