Musical theater: it’s one of my greatest loves — and one of my favorite forms of writing dangerously. Whenever I have the chance I just adore going to a show, especially a classic. And Carousel by Rodgers & Hammerstein is on my top ten — no, my top five — list of my all-time favorites. Luckily, I recently had the chance to catch a wonderful performance of this wistful and beloved musical.
Some of its lovely tunes are still well known: “If I Loved You,” “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over,” are two. But “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” is surely the song that will live on forever. Who can forget these wonderful words penned by the fabulous Oscar Hammerstein:
“When you walk through a storm
Keep you chin up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart.
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.”
Beautiful, isn’t it? Absolutely beautiful in its heartfelt simplicity. It’s the artful mix of witty, joyful songs like “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” with soulful ballads like “You’ll Never Walk Alone” that makes Carousel so haunting. Both the story and the way in which it is told through song have a bittersweetness that is like life itself. It’s this honest, heartfelt truthfulness seasoned with a dash of hope that pulls the heartstrings. Let’s bring these same qualities to our own work. Write on.