Heartbreaking Love Songs- Not Ironic?

This will be the complete opposite of yesterday’s post. Yes, there are ironic heartbreaking love songs, but at the same time, there are the ones that aren’t even ironic at all. Some characters are part of tragic couples and there are also characters whose stories revolve around unrequited love- their songs are the non-ironic heartbreaking ones. POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Somewhere

I could have chosen any of the West Side Story songs. Maria and Tony are part of a tragic couple, who are based off of Romeo and Juliet. Their songs get sadder and sadder as the story continues. Somewhere is the closest to the finale.

All I Ask of You (Reprise)

The Phantom is one of our characters whose stories revolve around unrequited love. However, in his case, he doesn’t take it very well. Doesn’t exactly accept the situation.

As Long as He Needs Me

Even though Bill Sikes is abusive, Nancy still continues to love him. Yes, she developed a strong affection to Oliver, which can make things difficult at times. This song is very heartbreaking.

On My Own

Whenever I think of unrequited love in musicals, I think of Eponine. She has such a strong love for Marius. It actually is her greatest strength, and the only good thing in her life. It was his kindness that led her to fall in love with him. People might wonder why does she continue to love him- well, without him, she would have no light in her life.

My Favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals

One of my favorite duos in musical theatre are Rodgers and Hammerstein. They are one of the most famous composer and lyricist teams. They are part of the Golden Age of musicals- their Oklahoma changed the world of musicals forever in 1943. The singing and acting element was already interrogated into the plot- Oklahoma added the final piece to the musical- they were able to add dance to the plot; it wasn’t like it was just there to just be there- dance finally made sense. What are my top favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals?

Oklahoma

  • I have loved Oklahoma for five years now. The love began with the film. It only was last year when I saw the stage show. Oklahoma is a romantic musical comedy with double romances with one being more important than the other. Now, let’s me say why I love Oklahoma.

Songs

  • Everyone know you can’t love a musical without good songs. From “Surrey With the Fringe on Top”, “People Will Say We’re in Love”, “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’, and the title song, “Oklahoma” makes Oklahoma such a memorable musical. Of course, those are not all the songs. Just giving examples.

Characters

  • I am still trying to figure out WHO they are. I do love Curly, Laurey, Will Parker, and Ado Annie. I have such a strong hate towards Jud, which makes me love Curly even more. That sounds a bit crazy- but it is true. Look, Oklahoma consists of two love triangles, and one of them consists of Curly, Laurey, and Jud. Curly will do anything to make sure Laurey does not end up with Jud, who is the villain of Oklahoma: Jud is a horrible person who is abusive who will harm both Curly and Laurey. Any R and H musical has two romances- the other is a love triangle- but once again: I love Will Parker and Ado Annie together. Still- I barely know these characters. Yes- Curly and Jud fight for Laurey and Will Parker and Ali Hakhim fight for Ado Annie, but who each end up is who I would see fit for each of them.

Plot

  • Many people think Oklahoma’s plot is too simple- meaning it revolves around this social event. I do not really see it that way. Oklahoma is more of a romance- the one between Curly and Laurey. They are in love with each other, but do not like admitting it: at least they eventually do. It also has the subplot between Will Parker and Ado Annie despite the fact that Annie has a hard time making up her mind even though the one she truly is in love with is Will Parker. Well, it really is two love triangles- I would rather not have the third person in each scenario, but it is clear who that it is. Oklahoma’s love triangles are weak compared to others I have seen, but they are not fully weak. It also is dealing with Oklahoma eventually becoming a state: it only is United States territory at the time it takes place in.

South Pacific

  • My love for South Pacific began at the same time my love for Oklahoma began. As a matter of fact, it was in the same week. I was leant both of the movie right before a snowstorm. So, I watched both movies five years ago. So far, I only saw the movie of South Pacific. Like any R/H musical, there is a double love story.

Songs

  • I love the songs in South Pacific. The songs are a combo of exciting, love, and heartbreaking songs. From exciting songs like “There is Nothing Like a Dame” to romantic songs like “Some Enchanted Evening” to heartbreaking love songs like “This Nearly Was Mine”. My favorite song in South Pacific is “Some Enchanted Evening”- I do not know why, but I somehow know.

Characters

  • Just like Oklahoma, I know names of characters, but still barely know WHO they are. There is Emelie, Nellie, Joe Cable, Liat, and Bloddy Mary. My favorites of this list are Emelie and Nellie, who serve as the main couple in South Pacific. Out of those two, Nellie is our protagonist. There actually isn’t an antagonist in South Pacific- I think South Pacific is more of a man vs. self conflict.

Plot

  • South Pacific is a romantic musical comedy. It is crazy to think about how easily the musical could have been a tragedy, but it isn’t. It is about Nellie and Emelie’s romance and one a subplot is Joe Cable and Liat’s romance. Joe Cable and Liat’s romance is actually tragic. An underlying theme found in South Pacific is racism, and I think that theme might be our “antagonist”. One of the songs is brilliant- “You’ve got to be carefully taught”- the brilliance of that songs come from the fact that your’e taught not born racist.

Sound of Music

  • This is my favorite and the longest R/H musical that has been part of my life. It is actually one of my childhood musicals. Childhood musicals are important because they help form a foundation for what musicals are. They hold something that no other musical can achieve. I first saw it through the movie, and in 2015 saw the stage show. I was surprised by my reaction during “Edelweiss”. When I saw it live, I was crying during “Edelweiss”, and that was a reaction that was brand new to me. I never once thought the songs in Sound of Music would have sadness in them.

Songs

  • These songs are easily singable and memorable. From “Do Re Mi” to “My Favorite Things” to “Sound of Music” to “So Long Farewell” to “Climb Every Mountain” to “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” to “Something Good” to “Edelweiss”. As a matter of fact, the first musical theatre song I memorized the lyrics to are “Do Re Mi”. There is no way you can’t dislike these songs. “Edelweiss” is my favorite song in Sound of Music.

Characters

  • I love a number of these characters. Maria is an easy likable protagonist. She is amazing with the children and teaches them to sing. She helps bring happiness into a house that used to filled with darkness. The Captain may be stern with Maria and the children, but yet still loves his children. He eventually warms up to Maria after hearing his children sing- all he needed in his life is music.

Plot

  • How in the world can you dislike the plot? I really do not need to say more. Honestly- how can any musical theatre fanatic dislike Sound of Music? It is my favorite of the classics- when I mean “classic”, I am talking about the Golden Age of Musicals.

Romeo and Juliet vs West Side Story

I never did a post like this before. As some may know, the musical, West Side Story, is based off of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet. I decided to talk about the two of these in this post. This comparison shows how I looked at tragedy in high school versus how I view the same genre now: very opposite views.

Major and Minor Spoilers:

Romeo and Juliet was the play where I first discovered the genre of tragedy. It was in 9th grade. It started high school in 2008, and when we got to the Shakespeare unit, we had to read Romeo and Juliet. We had to learn what the genre of tragedy us. I never knew tragedy was a part of theatre. The word, TRAGEDY, confused me. I was thinking tragedy can’t be a part of theatre. Only comedy can exist in theatre and not any tragedies. The word, tragedy, to me sounded pure sad. I thought that was what it meant. I didn’t want to delve deeper into the genre. I didn’t want the genre to enter my life. I told myself I will never love a tragedy. With Romeo and Juliet, I kind of ignored it: yes, I studied it because I am a hard working student, but did not like all because I pushed it back and told myself I will not love it. I also ignored it because it was a Shakespeare play. In the show, I was like I don’t get it: two families not getting along: where did that come from? The ending I was disagreed with- the double suicide I hated. So much of my opinion came from not giving tragedy a good enough chance.

In between Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, I learned to love tragedies all because of Les Mis.

I first discovered West Side Story in 11th grade. I was told it was based off of Romeo and Juliet, but for some bizarre reason, I did not realize it was a tragedy at the time. I did not watch the film until 2014. A snowstorm hit Charlotte, and a good church friend leant us five films, and West Side Story was one of them. So I had to watch it no matter what. At this point, I knew it was drawn through the dance, and at that point I defiantly knew it was a tragic plot. I connected the dots between Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story. This sounds insane- the musical may be based off Romeo and Juliet, but I like West Side Story’s plot more. You might be thinking is it only because its a musical not a play? Instead of Romeo and Juliet, the main characters are Tony and Maria. Instead of two families, it is two gangs (The Jets and Sharks). It is not because of that. A lot of it has to do with the ending- in this version, one of them lives- I prefer that ending to the double suicide. I don’t exactly know why I prefer that ending, but I just do. I liked West Side Story enough to like the songs- I feel like the love songs get more and more heartbreaking as the show continues. So, as a high school kid, I HATED the idea of tragedies. Now, TRAGEDIES are enjoyable. I don’t love West Side Story nor do I like it- it is sitting right in the middle of liking it and loving- so mixed emotions.

So this gives you an idea of how I used to view tragedies- so I once told myself I will NEVER love a tragedy. It also shows that I no longer have that negative view, but I still am particular about the tragedies I like.

Did you used to have a negative view on tragedies? Are you particular about the tragedies you love?

Who is Maria (Sound of Music)?

This is Maria from Sound of Music. She is one of the earliest musical theatre characters I was introduced to. When you first meet Maria, you realize that she is strongly connected to nature and that she loves to sing. You also learn that she is training to be a nun. But things do not come as planned. Maria is not a very good trainee and mother abbess think it is a good idea for Maria to become governess to this Captain’s seven children. Well Maria does not like this idea one bit.

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However, Maria decides to become the governess even though she would rather not. She comes to the house and realizes that in fact the Captain is in fact strict. She does not follow his rules, and decides to go by how she thinks a governess should be. The children do not warm up to her right away. The children always have played tricks on their governesses and do those tricks on Maria. As time goes by, the children warm up to her as they get to know her. They love her more once she teaches them to sing bringing more happiness into their life. Maria is very gentle and loving around the house. The Captain gets angry at her a couple of time and at one point almost sends her back to the abbey, but ultimately doesn’t after hearing his children sing and finds happiness and music back in his house.

So Maria a kind-hearted, gentle and loving woman.

The Austrian Couple

These posts are getting harder as the series continues. Maria and the Captain from Sound of Music seem to be the hardest one so far. But just like with some couples I mentioned before, their romance develops over time. Maria falls in love with his children before falling in love with him. The Captain is a very stern and strict man before meeting Maria. But when Maria enters happiness back into his life by bringing music back into his house, he eventually will come to conclusion that he loves Maria. Maria taught the children to sing and the Captain hearing them sing brings back the happiness that was once lost back.

The Captain has lost his wife a couple years prior to the events in Sound of Music and has a hard time dealing with that loss.

Maria understands the children better than the Captain does and eventually the Captain realizes that Maria was right all along. The song, “Something Good”, highlights their relationship perfectly. I think their love blossoms as the show continues and eventually these two get married.

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