The one that always makes me cry

edited April 2011 in Songs
Big Bob's Song as sung by Howard on Smile demo and Howard Sings Ashman


  • Somewhere That's Green, which to me is the absolute brilliance of Howard and of that show. The entire song is a joke, every word completely tongue in cheek. But it seldom gets big laughs and (from me at least) often gets tears--because for however ridiculous the things she wants may be, the character is written so honestly and so earnestly that you totally want it for her too. Easily one of the best songs written for the musical stage ever.
  • Oh... and "A Firestorm Consuming Indianapolis." Really great and hard to listen to, especially in context.
  • Interesting. Curious how you know the song (sadly, the show is seldom produced, as you probably know). I think of everything Howard and Alan wrote, this is probably the most difficult to perform - and to direct.
  • I know it because once I realized the genius that was Howard Ashman, I sought out everything I could get my hands on that he wrote. I think Rosewater is a lovely piece and wish it got done more, but it seems to be living on in primarily obscurity these days alas.

    Speaking of songs that make you cry... how about "I, Eliot Rosewater?" Such a great song. "Though acne scars may mar your face, your father loves you all!" Another great example of a quasi humorous Ashman lyric that is also incredibly moving
  • "Proud of Your Boy" and "Sheridan Square" for sure.
  • Proud of Your Boy
    Part of your World
    Beauty and the Beast (Howard's Demo)
    Somewhere that's Green - reprise
    We'll Have Tomorrow
  • Yup, esp. Howard's demo of Beauty.
  • Echoing Andrew,

    Proud of Your Boy
    Part of Your World
    Beauty and the Beast

    I still can't get over how precise the lyrics are in Beauty and the Beast. It's easy to underestimate the incredible difficulty involved with writing a love song between a girl and a beast. It could turn out really awkward, suggestively perverse or sentimentally cheesy. But Howard drew the line brilliantly. I love the lyrics

    Barely even friends
    Then somebody bends

    Just a little change
    Small, to say the least
    Both a little scared
    Neither one prepared

    Ever just the same
    Ever a surprise
    Ever as before
    Ever just as sure

    Bittersweet and strange
    Finding you can change
    Learning you were wrong

    Beautiful lines.
  • edited June 2011
    Right now, and for a little while, it's been Proud of Your Boy. Mostly because I'm right now feeling just like Aladdin in the song. And I just don't know how to show my mom that, as I'm writing this, I'll make something of my life and won't be her own dissapointment. I don't know. I guess I just think she somewhat thinks of me as the worst son probably compaired to one of my step brothers. And that I'll just make her angry from something small. And this song pretty much fits it with me right now.
  • I'm sorry you're having a tough time of it. It's interesting how lyrics (and books and poetry and all art, I guess) speak to you at a certain time in your life. You'll always remember Proud of Your Boy and these feelings even after you've resolved your problems with your Mom. I listened to EmmyLou Harris's Boulder to Birmingham for a year after Howard died, crying every time. That line, "I would walk all the way, from Boulder to Birmingham if I thought I could see, I could see your face," just killed me. Howard had introduced me to the song, and to Harris's work, which just made him it sadder.
  • Somewhere that's Green (reprise) and the instrumental reprise of Skid Row that follows.

    That's why I hate it when people try to force humor into one of the saddest moments in musical theater.
  • edited July 2011
    I was just coming on here to post that. When I watched the original ending to the film and "Somewhere That's Green (Reprise)" started, I had to go and do something else on the computer until it was over. And, when I listen to the entire BCA or OST, I am destroyed for a good five minutes after I hear the song.

    Also, whenever I really have a chance to just sit and enjoy Beauty and the Beast, I always get teary eyed after "Beauty and the Beast" and, for some reason, "Human Again". There's just something about those songs, combined with the animation, that just gets me going. (Once when I was sick, I even teared up at the end of "The Mob Song", and I have yet to fully figure out why.)
  • Somewhere That's Green (Reprise), definitely. We'll Have Tomorrow, as well.
  • I was just coming on here to post that. When I watched the original ending to the film and "Somewhere That's Green (Reprise)" started, I had to go and do something else on the computer until it was over. And, when I listen to the entire BCA or OST, I am destroyed for a good five minutes after I hear the song.

    By throwing out the ending, Warner Bros. threw out their Best Picture nom, Best Actress nom, Best Visual Effects nom, and Best Original Song nom (MGMFOS is so much better in the original ending).
  • Proud of Your Boy is a new favorite weeper for me,.
  • I really listened to "Sheridan Square" for the first time last night... Twice. It completely destroyed me for a good five minutes.
  • "Sheridan Square" destroys me every time.
  • Suddenly Seymour. It is so beautiful.
  • The songs that Howard wrote which make me tear up (and I'm rather glad that they do) are "Part of Your World", "Proud of Your Boy", and "Sheridan Square". (In regards to "Part of Your World", I'm inclined to think of that song as his magnum opus, especially when you hear his recording of it on the record "Howard Sings Ashman"; I listen to that song and I start sobbing like you wouldn't believe.)
  • "Eliot/Sylvia" is the most gorgeous music Alan ever has written. Howard did a masterful job of making prose and lyric combine and condensing a chapter out of Vonegut's original novella into a wonderful theater lyric. It's almost an art song, really. (Someone at a York Theater talk back called it that, and Alan seemed taken aback that someone would put him in the category of Schubert or Schumann, but she did, and I will.) That always moves me.

    "Somewhere That's Green" also gives me a lump in the throat a little bit, particularly when Ellen Greene sings it.
  • "Something there" in Beauty and the Beast.
    It reminds me Howard's phone recording episode, telling Paige O'hara "Straisend".
    Another thing is "Sheridan Square". I've never heard Howard's voice sounds so heavy and mournful as in this song.
  • I'm about halfway through a run of "Little Shop". I've played 3 and a half (the half was a junior version) productions of the show, and it wasn't until this time that I've really listened to the lyrics. At yesterday's show I found myself tearing up at the end of "Somewhere That's Green". Seymour's opening chorus to Audrey in "Suddenly Seymour" gets to me too. I've played a couple of productions of "Beauty and the Beast" and strangely enough, "Be Our Guest" gets to me.
  • Hi Showdrummer, Somewhere That's Green is one of my all time faves. It's the sentiment but also the lyricism buried in the mundane and simple desires of Audrey that get to me. As for "Be Our Guest" - hey, why not? It's welcoming as a - I dunno - spring day? Howard was the poet, not me. Thanks for writing.
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