Spotlight: The Top 10 Musical Theatre Breakup Songs

FEELS TRAIN!

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One of the great things about the arts is that is can shape our emotions. As humans, we are often very driven by those emotions. Therefore, tapping into the right ones can bring about a great deal of social/personal change. But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This list is fairly basic: just a compilation of, in my humble opinion, the most powerful, sob-inducing musical theatre songs about the end of a relationship.

~Always Starting Over (If/Then)

“My love, our life is over, but love, I’ll make you one last vow…to start over and over and over somehow. My new life starts right now!”

~The Winner Takes It All (Mamma Mia!)

“I don’t want to talk about things we’ve gone through…I’ve played all my cards, and that’s what you’ve done too. Nothing more to say, no more ace to play.”

~The Music That Makes Me Dance (My Man) [Funny Girl]

“What’s the difference if I say I’ll go away, when I know I’ll come back on my knees someday? For whatever my man is, I am his forevermore.”

~Burn (Hamilton)

“The world has no right to my heart…you forfeit all rights to my heart! You forfeit the place in our bed…with only the memories of when you were mine!”

~Small World (Reprise) [Gypsy]

“Lucky, you’re a man who likes children. That’s an important sign. Lucky, I’m a woman with children. Small world, isn’t it?”

~Losing My Mind (Follies)

“I spend sleepless nights to think about you. You said you loved me, or were you just being kind? Or am I losing my mind?”

~Be On Your Own (Nine)

“And you’ll take with you all you own, from A to Z, and all of me.”

~This Nearly Was Mine (South Pacific)

“Now, now I’m alone. Still dreaming of paradise, still saying that paradise once nearly was mine!”

~Send in the Clowns (A Little Night Music)

“Isn’t it rich? Isn’t it queer? I thought that you’d want what I want- sorry, my dear…but where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns. Well maybe next year.”

~We Do Not Belong Together (Sunday in the Park with George)

“No one is you, George, there we agree. But others will do, George. No one is you and no one can be. But no one is me, George, no one is me…I have to move on!”

Do you love him, Loretta?

“Love don’t make things nice. It ruins everything. It breaks your heart.”

Dearest Anonymous…we had a good talk last night, I think. It always feels good when you get things out on the table, because then you can work on fixing them. Step by step.

Of course, in our case, that will take quite some time.

It’s easy to fall in love with love. It makes your brain run on all cylinders. It makes your heart race in the best way. You get this stupid grin on your face for no discernible reason. And you feel at peace with your world. In my humble opinion, love is the most important driving force of the human spirit. It’s what keeps us together as a species. When channeled, it can move mountains.

Unfortunately, no matter how powerful love is, sometimes it gets misdirected. When that happens, you get what Nicolas Cage describes in the above quote from one of my favorite movies. Or you get what’s transpired between you and me over the past year.

Neither of us may have regrets, but I will still maintain that leaving me was a mistake on your part. Maybe that’s at the core of why I seem to get pulled into your gravitational field over and over. Because I don’t believe I got a fair chance to prove that I could be what you needed.

Near the beginning of Moonstruck, Olympia Dukakis asks Cher if she loves her fiancee. When Cher replies “No,” Olympia says that this is a good thing: “When you love them, they drive you crazy because they know they can.” Well…I don’t think you are quite that sadistic! But, you will lie in the bed you made.

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For now, Anonymous, have a lovely summer, good luck with your new gig, and may we both find the happiness we deserve. See you on the flip side.

Daily Prompt: Vigor (or, Sailing Away)

This weekend, I saw the newest Disney film Moana. I thought it was very good in its own right, but one part of it in particular stuck with me.

In the first quarter of the story, our vigorous heroine sings a song called “How Far I’ll Go.” It is soon followed by a reprise containing the following lyric: “There’s a line where the sky meets the sea and it calls me. I’m on my own, to worlds unknown.” It was already an emotional scene, but for me, there was a deeper meaning.

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Midway through this year, every room of my mind was filled with you. Maybe I fell too hard, too fast. That’s certainly not unheard of in my life.

And with you, it was even worse because my heart raced from the very first time I saw you. Maybe it needs more barriers, a thicker shell. Who knows? Certainly when you left me, told me you could not love me despite your best efforts…I wish it were made of stone. Now some days what transpired doesn’t affect me at all- at other times, it bothers me a whole lot. It didn’t have to happen this way.

As I saw Moana sail away from her home, alone, to the next chapter of her life, the metaphor was not lost on me. For nearly half a year, you were like home. I felt safe there, felt cared for. But evidently, that’s not where I was meant to stay. Moana, too, was not destined to remain on the island where she was raised.

Don’t get me wrong- I made mistakes as well. But that is, if you’ll excuse the pun, water under the bridge now. Today I board my boat. Today I press onward, if alone. I’ll turn my head, briefly, and see you standing on the seashore. Even then, after all this, I’ll probably smile at you as I sail away.

“All the time wondering where I need to be is behind me…”

“The Girl Who Never Left”

by Amanda DeLalla

The girl who never left…

At last, I understand.

She is no longer of this world.

But her specter remains on this land.

The girl who never left…

I didn’t want to open a scar,

But it’s a part of who you are.

I don’t even know her name.

But I know who, for her death, you blame.

The girl who never left…

And now I finally realize

You see too much of her when you look into my eyes.

For that, I so apologize.

I never truly believed it till now-

That ending your life only transfers the pain somehow.

But now proof stands before me, it is so real

And I just want to hold you until you heal.

I cry for you, I cry for me, I cry for us- bereft…

In the wake of that girl who never really left.

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If you, or someone you care about, has suicide on their mind: call 1800-273-8255 or otherwise seek help NOW!

“The Limbo”

by Amanda DeLalla

I’m stuck between two places,

My mind flies through times and spaces.

(Remembering days I spent with you.)

Sadness touches thoughts of you, boy,

Memories that once brought me Joy.

(Like you carrying me into your room.)

This is the limbo, I suppose,

Before you walk down the path you chose.

(Or gazing at the city, under the moon.)

Been crying myself to sleep at night,

And if you just came back, things would be right.

(That time you bought me tiramisu.)

Not even a week since you’ve been gone,

And I avoid Facebook for fear you’ll log on.

(We laughed together at Chekhov’s gloom.)

It’s just like Oscar Hammerstein said,

I may not wanna live but I’m scared of being dead.

(I’ll relive this all again by tomorrow afternoon.)

INSIDE OUT

“You Kissed Me”

by Amanda DeLalla

You, kissed the painted lips of

Me, till I never wanted to let go again.

You, wrapped your arms so kindly around

Me, and I knew I’d found a true friend.

You, the pain in your eyes, and

Me, hurting too, couldn’t disguise it from

You, and a girl who cries, that’s

Me, even on my birthday, when

You, give a splendid surprise, yet say to

Me, that we’re on borrowed time.

You, probably all out of rhymes, still wanna go with

Me, ’cause you like how I let my love show.

You, trying to force yourself to love

Me.

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“What Do You See, My Dear?”

by Amanda DeLalla

What do you see, my dear?

When you look into my eyes,

Am I sensing your fear?

Could you tell me lies?

What do you see, sweet boy?

Someone who you could adore?

Or perhaps you see merely a toy,

You can put aside once you’re bored?

What holds you back, my dear?

Why don’t you feel so free?

Is your reflection what you’re afraid to get near?

Or are you ashamed of me?

They say that one’s worth should come from within.

Some have trouble adhering to that.

If I tell myself I have thick skin,

My dear, why do I ask what you’re looking at?

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A Trilogy of Couplets

by Amanda DeLalla

“I don’t know, I guess someone somehow somewhere screwed up real bad when you can only love guys old enough to be your dad.

“I’m just so confused; I don’t know what to think. Misery or judgment? You pick your poison then you drink.”

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The Lord broke my heart to prove to me He only takes the best. We love you Alan Rickman. Find peace and be at rest.

A Color: RED

Red. One of the many colors that the leaves turn this time of year. The most vibrantly versatile color of them all, even more so than blue or grey- its implications run the gamut from danger to Christmas to…love. And there are many kinds of love indeed, but today I am thinking of the romantic sort.

The man I love is twenty years my senior and the father of two adorable boys. Though deep down I know we can never be together, I cling to one iota of hope that somehow, someday our life circumstances will both change and we will be united. As of now, he is a mentor to me- kind, funny, smart, handsome, and someone who sees eye-to-eye with me on several deal breaking wavelengths. So he is able to give me both scholarly and spiritual guidance. I have never met anyone like him before. I don’t know if I ever will again.

Do you know why? Because a lot of guys cross my path- some I was interested in, some not- and those I was interested in barely gave me a second look. So not only did they not see me, I didn’t see their true selves either. But he is different. He understands me, and I him. If I had dated tons of guys and they all met my standards, maybe I wouldn’t have fallen for this one so hard. I tell myself that our friendship is enough. But then I spot the wedding band on his finger and die a little inside. Because I can’t shake this gut notion that if only I were ten years older, and he was single, that we could have been soulmates. As things are, I guess, all I can do is listen to the songs that remind me of the burning, RED-hot love in my heart that is only going one-way. Did I mention he’s also a music lover?

Relevant Music:
“Red” (Taylor Swift)
“Wrapped in Red” (Kelly Clarkson)
“Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” (Cole Porter)
“Falling Slowly” (ONCE)
“Let Her Go” (Passenger)
“Brown Eyes” (Lady Gaga)
“All I Want for Christmas Is You” (Mariah Carey)
“Dancing Mad” (FINAL FANTASY VI)
“All for Love” (Lady Antebellum)
“Come What May” (MOULIN ROUGE!)

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A Color: GREY

This is more of a philosophical catharsis than a typical Puccini’s Chronicles entry, my dilettante friends- but I promise, there WILL be some song recommendations at the end of this.

Last week’s color (sorry for being a bit late) is GREY. A mixture of black and white. Mostly associated with rain clouds and less austere funeral garb. A beautiful but not all that cheerful shade.

Today I read a review of the musical performance of someone I really admire- someone whose career has spanned decades but who shows zero hint of being conceited or ungrateful- and her performance at this particular moment was described as “tired,” with the vocals having seen “better days.” The reviewer hastened to add that she would improve as she settled into the piece more, but these mere comments just broke my heart.

As I metaphorically looked into the eyes of this performer I have so loved, I got a taste of her mortality- that a day may (hopefully not) come when she cannot perform with the luminescence which she has had her entire career. I am on the brink of tears just thinking about it. To me, of course, she will always be radiant, she will always be a beacon of talent and grace. But to the world, and maybe even to herself, it might seem as though it’s time to pass the torch. Nobody lives forever; this I know and yet imagining a world without her- or anyone I care about, for that matter- is why I’m feeling artistically GREY.

Relevant Music:
“Fix You” (Coldplay)
“It Will Rain” (Bruno Mars)
“Blown Away” (Carrie Underwood)
“The Moment I Knew” (Taylor Swift)
“Chandelier [Piano Version]” (Sia)
“Young and Beautiful” (Lana del Rey)
“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” (Elton John)
“Aerith’s Theme” (FINAL FANTASY VII)
“1000 Words [Orchestra Version]” (FINAL FANTASY X-2)
“Stay” (Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko)

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