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 you.tube.com. 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" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3zC6DBA9rA. 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 youtube.com, 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" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_QffCZs-bg. 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?