Wicked Awesome

Guest Poster: Melisa from The Suburban Scrawl!

Everyone knows that music is an emotional thing. It can take you back to another time, a specific moment in your life. It can cheer you; it can mellow you out. It can give you strength; it can inspire. Most people have certain “it” songs that can stir them up. I know that I do.

I have seen the musical “Wicked” three times, so far. (I was totally over the moon a couple of days ago when I heard that it’s coming back to Chicago in December: I’m saving for #4!) I won’t go on and on about how much I love this musical; the fact that I spent money on it three times already should tell you all you need to know about that.

Two main themes run throughout the fiber of the musical: the importance of fighting for what you believe in and the question of what is good and what is bad (or, wicked). Driving these ideas home were strong performances each time I sat in the audience, by the two female leads. Two songs in particular, “For Good” and “Defying Gravity”, made me sob the big, ugly tears. THAT’S how good the performances were.

The song “For Good” is about how a friendship can impact a person’s life:

“I’ve heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today
Because I knew you… “

The placement of that song within the musical is, of course, perfect (duh!), and, well, that along with the idea of a friendship so powerful has me through half a box of tissues before the song is half over.

“Defying Gravity” is the song that is performed at the end of Act I, just before the curtains close for intermission. The television commercial for “Wicked” (at least, when it was playing here in Chicago), ended with a line from the song:

“And nobody, in all of Oz, no Wizard that there ever is or was,

Is ever gonna bring meeeeee dowwwwwwwwwn!”

Naturally, I saw that commercial about five million times before I actually saw “Wicked” for the first time. I heard that line over and over…about five million times. It meant nothing to me, really, because other than knowing that “Wicked” was the backstory behind “The Wizard of Oz”, I had no knowledge of the plot.

Once I saw it? The scale of the production, especially during “Defying Gravity”, was MIND-BLOWING. When the actress who played Elphaba in Chicago (sadly, I never saw Kristin and Idina perform it live) sang that line that I had heard five million times, I finally got it. And…then came the waterworks.

I’m not sure I have ever—IN MY LIFE—heard two songs that have affected me so deeply as these two, because even now, a couple of years after the last time I sat in the theater audience, I can listen to the soundtrack of the OG Broadway cast and, within the first 15 seconds of either song (sung by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel), be crumpled up in those big, ugly tears (I did it yesterday!). At my computer: crying. In the family room: crying. Even in the car: crying. Sure, I have other favorite songs that pull at my heartstrings and provoke various emotions deep within me, but not as much as these two.

What about you? Are there any songs that, upon hearing the first few notes, rattle you to your very core?


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15 Responses to Wicked Awesome
  1. Belle
    February 4, 2010 | 8:26 am

    I definitely have music that rattles my very core, spanning several different types and for different reasons.

    I’ve never been able to see Wicked, but would love to!
    .-= Belle´s last blog ..More dish towels for the collection – Wordless Wednesday #21 =-.

    • Melisa with one s
      February 4, 2010 | 8:43 am

      Yeah, I feel like a dork in a way because these songs are from a MUSICAL, but whatev: I’m a “musical-loving” girl! I haven’t yet met a techno song that will make me cry, but there are others in other genres that will, too. :)

  2. Belle
    February 4, 2010 | 9:04 am

    Wicked Awesome http://bit.ly/9RElOe

  3. lceel
    February 4, 2010 | 9:34 am

    My son and I saw “Wicked” in London two years ago. That whole thing was amazing – and the music was incredible.
    .-= lceel´s last blog ..100 Word Challenge – Darkness =-.

  4. Melissa
    February 4, 2010 | 2:01 pm

    I saw Wicked in Chicago, too. I have to say it was a pretty awesome show. I had read the book before we saw it and while the musical was different from the book it was amazing to see the story play out on the stage.

    No big ugly tears moment for me but I do remember thinking how differently I felt about the Wizard of Oz after seeing Wicked!!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Why It Takes Me 42 Minutes To Make My Bed…Or…The One Where Melissa Finally Has a Nervous Breakdown!! =-.

  5. ThisBelleRocks
    February 4, 2010 | 2:04 pm

    Wicked Awesome http://bit.ly/9RElOe

  6. MariFarthing
    February 4, 2010 | 2:06 pm

    RT @ThisBelleRocks Wicked Awesome http://bit.ly/9RElOe // *love* me some Wicked! Great book, great show.

  7. Melisa
    February 4, 2010 | 2:42 pm

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: New Post – Guest Author @melisalw ! Wicked Awesome | Music Savvy Mom – Mozilla Firefox http://ow.ly/13OvO

  8. Sound Check Mama
    February 6, 2010 | 6:37 pm

    I saw Wicked in Chicago, in 2007 I think, and I loved, loved it! It blew me away.

    And, yes, there are songs that make me cry. “Go Rest High on that Mountain” is one. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is another. There are more ….

    Also, the site looks wicked awesome!
    .-= Sound Check Mama´s last blog ..Sound Check Mama’s going out tonight =-.

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