Friday, March 16, 2012

Love and West Side Story

My flu shot didn't work this year and so I've been sick abed in the Land of Counterpane for days on end. After I read the last two Vogues, more of Molly Peacock's "Mrs. Delany", and finished knitting the scarf I began in October, I wandered over to I was looking to see if there was another Susan Boyle-like performance on Britain's Got Talent.
First up was Julian Smith's plaintive saxophone rendition of West Side Story's "Somewhere" Before Simon Cowell could wink his approval, I was weeping. The Bernstein and Sondheim song is my all time favorite piece of music. It's so poignant and wistful, and the melody conjures up memories of watching West Side Story when it aired on Sunday afternoons periodically when I was a child. On, I pulled up all the ballards from the film and the rest of my afternoon was lost in music and sentiments.
I could not help but notice that "Tonight", another compilation of the Bernstein/Sondheim team, has very simple words, almost like a lyrical children's goodnight story, "Tonight, tonight, the world is full of light, with suns and moons all over the place....but here you are, and what was just a world is a star" Of course the lyrics are helped along by the melodious orchestra and the soft purity of Maria (Natalie Wood) and Anthony (Richard Beymer), and the knowledge that it will end soon enough and sadly. Such beauty, such innocence, and such sweet and honest love.
I have been loved like that and I have loved like that. Simple lyrics, without multiple suns, moons, and stars. Just a strong and deep feeling that no matter how it ends, for just a song or two, it will be perfectly perfect. Have you loved like that too?


  1. What a wonderful blog! I just stumbled upon it (did a search for "melancholy" which turned up your post on same) and have spent the last couple of hours reading it with fascination.

    What an interesting lady you are and you have a lovely way of expressing yourself.

  2. Thank you so much, Bron! Keep reading..and commenting. Sometimes I feel like the cheese that stands alone!


    1. Emily, I will. Good prose on the web is a rare thing. ;)

  3. Sometimes a flu virus creeps in under the radar and isn't covered by your flu shot. That happened to me a few years ago and it was very unpleasant.

  4. Donna, I'm glad you made your bed stay into something positive! Lovely of you to do that for US! I have never loved simply, like that, but I have loved and attached songs to that feeling. Warm and fun post...and that's not ME above,'s another Kay! ;-)