Besides being a nurse, I'm also a musician and composer which usually takes second or third place in my life. However, having some music background allows me the opportunity to enjoy a LOT of great music found in an almost endless list of genres and styles of music. From rock to jazz to country to classical to (even) Broadway Musicals, I hope to share some really well-written compositions that are well-crafted at least to my modest ears. I titled this thread "Great Moments in Music 001" in hopes to provide other examples of great music as time allows and interest is shown. I hope that others share their favorite tunes as well.
The title of this particular tune is, "Every Day a Little Death". It's from the musical-comedy, A Little Night Music. Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics and music to this show. It's been performed on Broadway at least a few times. The musical won a number of awards. Other theaters throughout the world have produced this musical. I even helped produced this music many years ago when I acted as Co-Musical Director for a small, local community theater.
Of course the music is beautiful. But the lyrics are both stunning and brilliant. From the rhyming scheme to the story being told in this song (and the entire musical), Stephen Sondheim demonstrates his command of the English language and craftsmanship as a composer. Please take special note of the lyrics. "Every Day a Little Death" is sung by two women whose husbands have cheated on them. As they sing this song, they share their emotion of being betrayed by their husbands. For one character, the betrayal has been both long-lasting and quite open and obvious. Her husband did not hide the fact that he sought the "pleasure" of other women.
This particular production that's being shared is not from a produced musical of the show, A Little Night Music. Rather, it's from a television show that show-cased songs written by Stephen Sondheim. I chose to share this particular Youtube video because it provided the clearest sound for listening. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If anyone is even remotely interested in the craft of writing lyrics, I hope that this tune satisfies you.
I appreciate craftsmanship, whether it's music, painting, sewing, wood-working, metal-working, etc., etc.. At least to my modest ears, this song demonstrates the craftsmanship of song-writing at the highest level. Enjoy.
Sep 9, '13
by Ted, BSN, RN
A comment or two to ponder. . .
When you listen to the melody and harmony of "Every Day a Little Death", notice the key and overall feel?? Overall, it's in a "major" key which is generally recognized as being a relatively "happy" sound. Yet, the lyrics are all but "happy". Here's where I see the craftsmanship in composing this particular piece. At first listen (without paying too much attention to the lyrics), it sounds, well, "happy". Certainly the music isn't in gloomy, sad, defeated. The lyrics, on the other hand, lets you know just how these hurting wives feel (gloomy, sad, defeated; numb like death).
Within the show, you see that these wives puts on an "all is well" facade of sorts. It was expected of them back in the time period of the show. (It seems that similar expectations are held on the spouses who've been cheated by their partners today, especially the spouses with partners who hold public positions.) It can be said that the music signifies this "happy facade". The lyrics go beyond that facade and tell the hidden, true tale. "Every day a little death. In the parlor in the bed." It doesn't get much gloomier than what the lyrics describe.
All of this, in my mind, make for great craftsmanship. Stephen Sondheim is just brilliant in my eyes. I hope you don't mind the analysis. It's how I think when I get to know a musical piece deeply.
I'm going to start searching for another piece of music to share. In the meanwhile, if YOU have something to share that brings YOU much meaning, please post it and tell why the music grabs you in a significant manner.
Happy Listening, folks!
Last edit by Ted on Apr 7, '14
Sep 20, '13
by Ted, BSN, RN
herring_RN - I bow to you as you lived through and now share some very cool moments in music history! Your father was a very talented musician!! It is so cool that you witnessed and personally was a part of such music history! Thank you for sharing another great video. And thank you for sharing a bit of yourself as it relates to music and music history! LOVED the video! (Love
Big Band music!!!)
Respectfully. . .
PS. . . Interesting tidbit about Anita O'Day! Memory (and lack of memory) is such a weird thing. What's cool is that she WAS able to sing during that jazz festival despite being helped on stage. Music really is a powerful medium.
Music is something that I am glad that we're both interested in and enjoy, herring_RN! Your sharing of your experiences is just so appreciated and so precious. Thanks!
Last edit by Ted on Sep 20, '13