Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Losing My Mind

"Losing My Mind" 
by Stephen Sondheim
from Follies (1971)

The sun comes up,
I think about you.
The coffee cup,
I think about you.
I want you so,
It's like I'm losing my mind.

The morning ends,
I think about you.
I talk to friends,
I think about you.
And do they know?
It's like I'm losing my mind.

All afternoon,
Doing every little chore,
The thought of you stays bright.
Sometimes I stand
In the middle of the floor,
Not going left,
Not going right.

I dim the lights
And think about you,
Spend sleepless nights
To think about you.
You said you loved me,
Or were you just being kind?
Or am I losing my mind?

I would be completely remiss if I started a blog about writers who inspire me and NOT, within the first few days, pay homage to the writer whom I fondly call The Master - Stephen Sondheim.  It is his work ALONE that inspires me most as an aspiring playwright and lyricist.  I consider him to be the greatest composer-lyricist to EVER write for the musical theatre stage and "Losing My Mind" is, without a single doubt, my favorite song of his.  In my opinion, the 1971 musical Follies is one of his finest works (right behind Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George) and it tells the story of a group of senior Follies performers returning for one last reunion at their old theatre which is about to be demolished.  Along the way, they mingle with the shadows of their former selves and we learn of loves lost, missed opportunities, disappointments, and compromises each has made in life.

I initially tend to strike some people as guarded, cold, and dispassionate, though I have been fighting for YEARS to change that first impression some have of me.  I can truly be a sentimental mess and have a heart that falls easily for unabashedly romantic, sometimes even melodramatic, material.  This song from the musical Follies slams me in the gut every time - the torch song to end all torch songs.  It is a beautiful, simple statement of heartbreak and lost love, and the line - "You said you loved me, or were you just being kind?" is enough to make me break down in tears every time I hear it.

No comments:

Post a Comment