Sunday, 16 March 2008


Listen here

Yesterday I went to my daughters end of term performance at her Saturday afternoon drama club. She had a solo singing spot, and performed great. I'm a proud father.

They changed the format this time; normally they invite the parents to come an hour before the end of the three hour session for the show. This time parents and other associated family arrived at the very start, and, after the kids had done all their performing, classes started - children and parents. At the end, we performed in front of each other.

I got to play Billy Elliot! As I'm about 12 or so years over being embarrassed about performing in front of others, even if I make a complete tit of myself, I had such fun! We did the scene where Billy stays after the boxing class, and the girls come in for ballet. He joins in and dances. You have no idea how much I enjoyed saying "I feel like a complete sissy" in a totally camped up faux northern accent. I'd jump at the chance to do it again. Wish my life was stable enough for amateur dramatics, but I'm just away too much for that.

I got home and felt happily theatrical. Which led to this mix

Let me share a guilty secret with you. I love musicals. I love musical theatre. I grew up on a steady diet of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gilbert and Sullivan, Andrew Lloyd Webber etc, which was pretty much the closest I got to music, outside of church and school, until about 1981, when I was about 9 or 10. My dad got given a a portable AM/FM radio cassette recorder when he changed jobs. Joy Of Joys! I promptly discovered the top 40. Not long after, John Peel. The rest is emerging history.
I guess my parents weren't really that into the music of the seventies, and certainly didn't have the money to buy much music, nor the inclination to borrow-and-tape, even on to the Philips reel to reel thing we had. (I loved that machine, it was the one thing in the house I would've saved in a fire)

7th June 1977, I remember being nearly 4 years old, at the Queens Silver Jubilee. There was a pig on a spit getting roasted. Some country dancing, with a caller and everything. I got my photo on the cover of the local paper, wrecking the hay bales that had been put out in place of seats; I guess someone thought I was cute (hmm). Before we went to this do, we watched The Sound of Music on the telly. This must have been in the brief interval after the first TV I remember turned up in the house and I pushed it over and broke it. Made me very unpopular.

I'd hardly seen any TV at my tender age, and I was amazed by this movie. I couldn't believe it. I probably couldn't understand it very well, all the political drama centred around the Nazi invasion of Austria. But the songs! The dancing! The lonely goatherds! It remains to this day one of my favourite movies, and anyone who thinks they're too hip or cool to watch it should just get over themselves. It's a fantastic movie, right from the opening scene - such great cinematography - which is filmed in one take from a helicopter flying over the Alps, and zooming into Julie Andrews twirling around on the greenest grass you ever did see and singing the title track. And the moment when The Captain gets back with the Baroness Schraeder from Vienna, has a massive fight with Maria, then hears the children singing, and (thanks to a little soft focus) you see his heart first breaking and then righting itself as he realises what a crap father he's been since the death of his wife. Oh, and that he loves the children's governess of course. My eyes water every time. Sorry if this factoid makes you grimace, I cry at movies sometimes, okay?

This was my introduction to the world of musicals. I haven't looked back. I watch them on the TV, occasionally at the theatre. I listen to the music, I play the piano and sing. I share them with my little girl. Good family entertainment - even the potential atrocity that is High School Musical is partly saved by a good show tune or two - I just about see past cheesy, squeaky clean American teenagers with a song or two in the mix

So this mix covers a bunch of musicals. I've added to the mix some other music from the movies and TV that I like too. You'll know a whole bunch of these tunes, they're stuck in our collective musical memory. Don't feel shy about singing along.

You can grab it from here (90 Mb). Enjoy the guilty pleasure.

00:00OvertureRodgers and HammersteinSouth Pacific
03:00Numa no Soko no le (The House at Swamp Bottom)Joe HisaishiSpirited Away
04:24Part of Your WorldAlan Menken and Howard AshmanThe Little Mermaid
07:35BarbarellaBob Crewe & Charles FoxBarbarella
10:20Enjoy ItThe Sherman BrothersIn Search of the Castaways
12:27With a Little Bit of LuckFrederick Lowe and Alan Jay LernerMy Fair Lady
16:16Cry BabyMorgan C. Robinson and Lawrence RobinsonCry Baby
19:24Pure ImaginationLeslie Bricusse and Anthony NewleyWilly Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
23:24Who Will Buy?Lionel BartOliver!
30:26White HorsesMichael carrWhite Horses
32:41The Fairy Godmother Song

Adamson, Barton, Dohrn, Gregson-Williams, Smith & Warner

Shrek 2
34:24Bad GuysPaul WilliamsBugsy Malone
36:28Everybody Wants to be a CatFloyd Huddleston and Al RinkerThe Aristocats
38:27Florence's Sad Song (covered by Stuart Staples and Dave Boucher)Joss Baselli and Eric ThompsonDougal and the Blue Cat
41:03It's Not the End of the World (If He's Married)Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Don BlackTell Me On A Sunday
43:14There are Worse Things I Could DoJim Jacobs and Warren CaseyGrease
45:27Theme TuneLaurie JohnsonThe Avengers
47:43Good Night and Thank YouAndrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim RiceEvita
51:59I Have ConfidenceRichard Rodgers (no Hammerstein on this one!)The Sound of Music
55:19Are We Dancing?The Sherman BrothersThe Happiest Millionaire
58:41Hushabye MountainThe Sherman BrothersChitty Chitty Bang Bang
60:32La Valse d'Amelie (version piano)Yann TiersenLe Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
63:05All the Animals come out at NightBernard HerrmanTaxi Driver

1 comment:

DE said...

Took me a very long time to accept a song spoiling the narrative flow of a film. Stayed away from musicals for years. Now I'm ok with them - even quite enjoyed Billy Elliot at the Apollo (better than the film).

Hmm, Queens Silver Jubilee. I remember listening out for a certain song from the charts that mysteriously did not get played. The Facist Regime, as they said.

Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens
Be Silent