I have fallen in love with Songs for a New World, composed by Jason Robert Brown. This is a score that I fall in love with over and over and over. There is so much that I could talk about here, so much for me to say but I am simply not going to go there. I could talk to you about the harmonies, the instrumentation, the relationship between the music and lyrics, and so much more. However, I want to talk about the lyrics. This go around, I just want to visit the opening sequence.
So much of this musical/song cycle revolves around the theme of decisions. Jason Robert Brown said when talking of this show, “It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.” I think this is a theme that is so applicable to everyone. We have moments of decision every day of our lives. Some are big and some are small but they are prevalent in every single day.
All I have been able to do for the last two weeks as I commute (or even while at work) is listen to this score. I listen to a part of a song and have to rewind immediately because something else stood out to me. Sometimes, it is the “I have to hear that incredible harmony – the amazing blending of tones.” At other times, it is more of the hearing a lyric and immediately understanding it to a level that I hadn’t before.
Having to make decisions frightens me. I will most often choose the safe road, the road others tell me is okay to travel. This is not what I should be doing, necessarily, and is something that I am trying to overcome. I am trying to overcome others making me second-guess myself. This life is made up of moments of decision. Where I stand will depend upon me. Life is truly about that “moment before it all becomes clear.”
These lyrics speak to me. They reassure me that I am not alone in the way that I feel. We may all be on our own journey’s in life but we are not alone as we travel. I want to share some of these words from the opening with you that have made me listen and relisten and then rinse and repeat. Over and over and over. These are not in the order that they appear in the song but in an order that makes the most sense to me. All credit does go to Jason Robert Brown for creating this set that I think should have had much more popularity.
- “It’s about one moment/The moment before it all becomes clear/and in that one moment/You start to believe there’s nothing to fear.”
- “It’s about one moment/That moment you think you know where you stand/And in that one moment/The things that you’re sure of slip from your hand.”
- “It’s about one second/And just when you’re on the verge of success/The sky starts to change/And the wind starts to blow.”
- “And you’ve got one second/To try to be clear, to try to stand tall/But nothing’s the same/And the wind starts to blow.”
- “And you’re suddenly a stranger/There’s no explaining where you stand/And you didn’t know/That you sometimes have to go/Round an unexpected bend/And the road will end/In a new world”
- “And you’re suddenly a stranger/In some completely different land/And you thought you knew/But you didn’t have a clue/That the surface sometimes cracks/To reveal the tracks/To a new world
- “All of a sudden/Your life is different than you planned/And you’ll have to stay til you somehow find a way/To be sure of what will be/Then you might be free.”