The First Heartbreaking Musical Theatre Song I Loved

One of the many things I love about musicals is the emotional nature. They actually have developed so much over the years- from the time I started seeing musical to now. They have grown a lot due to getting older and discovering more musicals. One of my all-time favorite emotions belongs to heartbreak, which was invisible for a pretty long time.

I didn’t actually pick up on the emotional side of musicals until Wicked. Before I picked up on heartbreak, sad came first. At least I wasn’t blind to the fact that musicals were capable of sad songs, and that they were common. Well, I NEVER thought heartbreak would enter musicals- boy was I so wrong. Les Mis would really teach me a number of things- heartbreak entered for the first time.

So, what really was the first heartbreaking musical theatre song I fell in love with?

Memory

JEMIMA:
Daylight
See the dew on a sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses wither away
Like the sunflower
I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day

MUNKUSTRAP (spoken):
Now old Deuteronomy
Just before dawn
Through a silence you feel you could cut with a knife
Announces the cat who can now be reborn
And come back to a different jellical life

GRIZABELLA:
Memory, turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember a time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale, cold smell of morning
The street lamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning…

Daylight, I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I musn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day
Will begin

JEMIMA:
Sunlight through
The trees in summer
Endless mascarading

JEMIMA & GRIZABELLA:
Like a flower
As the dawn is breaking
The memory is fading

GRIZABELLA:
Touch me, it’s so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

Memory, Cats

By the way, I discovered “Memory” was heartbreaking due to “I Dreamed a Dream”. Something made me realize that they are similar songs. Just like Fantine, Grizabella used to have a better life and than everything became tragic. She somehow, for unknown reasons, became an outcast in the Jellicale tribe. “Memory” reflects on her past life and how everything became worse—-doesn’t sound similar to “I Dreamed a Dream”?

7 thoughts on “The First Heartbreaking Musical Theatre Song I Loved

  1. SAAAAME!! I memorized this song after I heard it. It’s very poetic and heartbreaking the way it’s sung.

    Though, my favorite song from CATS is “Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat”.

    Like

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