The Music Man

There is probably not a minute of my day in which I don’t have a song from the Music Man by Meredith Willson running through my head. We got the soundtrack for Christmas, and Evie has lately become obsessed with it.

I love musicals, but the Music Man was not one of mine. I know of it vaguely, having heard some of the songs (especially Gary Indiana and the Wells Fargo Wagon), and somehow knowing that this is a thing people like, but that’s about it. So I’m not really sure why we picked this one out of a hat, but I didn’t really expect it would take off as it has. Evie went through a huge Wicked phase (because I was going through a huge Wicked phase), but subsequent musicals were sort of meh. Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music never really became favorites, and the Wizard of Oz soundtrack keeps in the rotation but never really had that, “play it again, play it again!” quality that the Music Man seems to have acquired.

The thing is, I have to hand it to the Music Man: turns out it is a mighty fine musical after all. I’m not ashamed to admit I really dig the songs, especially Rock Island and (Ya Got) Trouble. Even Ollie has been running around singing the songs (his favorite is Shipoopi, but he likes Marion the Librarian quite a bit as well). I doubt Evie could pick a favorite.

Evie has always excelled at picking up song lyrics, but she’s just about got the whole CD memorized. Picking up song lyrics happens to be a talent of mine as well, but she’s got me whipped. She doesn’t always understand the words she’s saying (at least she knows that “a woman who’ll kiss on the very first date is usually a hussy”), but she’s pretty impressive. The words are *so fast* in the Music Man, I can hardly believe she can follow along.

When I see her enjoying this so much, my consumer-instinct is to buy more musicals. However, I’ve convinced myself not to (although we already have one more in the pipeline). The thing is, when I was a kid, we were fanatical about Jesus Christ Superstar. Was it because this is the greatest musical of all time? No, it is not. But it’s the one we had; the one we listened to over and over again until we could sing the entire musical from memory, start to finish (and still can!). Musicals are like anything: having 5 or 10 at your fingertips doesn’t make you like musicals more, it makes you uninterested in musicals and full of ennui. Needless to say, I’m resisting the urge.

In the meantime, if you come slinking around here, expect to hear the big trombones and the rat-a-tat drums, big brass bass, big brass bass, and the piccolo, the piccolo coming out of the kitchen radio.

He’s a what? He’s a what? He’s a MUSIC man! And when the man dances, certainly boys, what else? The piper pays him!

Yessssss sir. Yessssss sir. Yessssssss sir.

5 thoughts on “The Music Man

  1. Pingback: Little Ronny Howard | Is this thing on?

  2. Pingback: Could I be a musical theater nerd? | Is this thing on?

  3. Well I love musicals. It was something I was raised on. It is interesting how much knowledge I have gained from musicals over the years. To starting out as just happy musicals to becoming a collection of happy and sad musicals took me by surprise. Musicals continue to be loved more and more


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