Friday, November 2

Can't keep a good woman down

Last night, after posting my blog, I realized Funny Girl was on on. I settled in my favorite chair with my cross stitch and flipped to good old TCM. I realize this may be obvious to many, but I don't know that it's occurred to me how fun musicals are while crafting. Funny Girl is an especially great musical for me because I was raised on it. I don't even have to look up to know what's going on or what Barbara is wearing. I know exactly what that tug boat looks like with Barbara on it belting Don't Rain on My Parade. I sat and sang and stitched and had a great time. I know this might be someones idea of hell but it was heaven to me.

My Mom loves Funny Girl, as a result I do to. I don't know how many times we listened to that soundtrack in my early childhood. We used to sing The Rollerskate Rag, I'd Rather Be Blue Over you and Sadie, Sadie. When I got older I realized how completely messed up those songs are. Well, Rollerskate Rag isn't so bad but "I'd rather be blue, thinking of you than be happy with somebody else"? What kind of message is that for an impressionable young lady to grow up on? What about If a Girl Isn't Pretty? *shudder* And I won't even go into the obvious offensive nature of Sadie. The songs titles alone are enough to make me mad. Take a look. I've teased Mom about her exposing me to these lyrics but she stands by her choice. Deep down I do too. I'm glad I can sing along to the songs in Funny Girl while cross stitching in my granny chair.

The only problem with Mom's influence is that there are gaps in my musical repertoire based on her tastes. For instance, I never knew anything about Bye, Bye Birdy because Mom happens to hate it. She doesn't like that it features a "wanna-be Elvis". This coming from the woman who decided to NOT see Elvis perform at a neighboring town for 50 cents because she and her high school friends thought he was "so rural". Needless to say, this was before Elvis had hit it big. She laughs at that notion today and has grown to love Elvis just like the rest of us.

A few weeks ago we watched Carousel for what was my first time. When I mentioned that I'd never seen it, Mom said "I like it until it gets to that dumb dance scene. It just goes ON and ON and ON. I always get bored and turn the channel at that point so I don't remember what happens at the end. Plus it's hard to watch what's-his-name sing circles around Shirley Jones. I NEVER thought she could sing." These are the reasons I wasn't exposed to Carousel as a kid. We decided to muscle through the annoying dance scene (and it is indeed annoying) to see the ending. Then the cable freaked out on us. It did that weird jerky pixilated screen thing and then just froze. We freaked. By this time we were completely sucked in and HAD to see the end. Mom called the cable company explaining that she just had to know what happens at the end of Carousel and that this cable malfunction was "ruining our lives". (Those poor cable operators must hear it all.) We learned it was a problem with the channel not the cable company and that they couldn't do much about it. With this terrible news, I looked up Carousel on Wikipedia and read the end of Act II to Mom. Then she cried. I'm still not sure I did the right thing. We may have been better off not knowing how it all ends. It's another film that does not exactly portray women (or men) in the best light. They are long suffering victims and it sucks and makes me mad but somehow a good tune makes it all digestible. What does this say about me?! I know... I'll burn in hell, huh? Well, at least I'll go there with a good tune in my head.

1 comment:

shandon said...

The King & I has that interminable "Small House of Uncle Thomas" sequence, and Oklahoma! has that looooong, boring dream/dance sequence. Rogers & Hammerstein were a little too self-indulgent!

I think Shirley Jones had a great voice, but she was better in The Music Man. Gordon MacRae, though -he WAS the tops.