Sunday, April 3, 2011

Someone To Fall Back On

"Someone to Fall Back On"
by Jason Robert Brown
from Wearing Someone Else's Clothes (2005)

I’ll never be
A knight in armor
With a sword in hand,
Or a kamikaze fighter;
Don’t count on me
To storm the barricades
And take a stand,
Or hold my ground;
You’ll never see
Any scars or wounds -
I don’t walk on coals,
I won’t walk on water:
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
I am not anyone’s wildest dream,
But I can stand behind
And be someone to fall back on.

Some comedy -
You’re bruised and beaten down
And I’m the one
Who’s looking for a favor.
Still, honestly,
You don’t believe me
But the things I have
Are the things you need.
You look at me
Like I don’t make sense,
Like a waste of time,
Like it serves no purpose -
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
And if that’s what you believe you need,
You’re wrong - you don’t need much,
You need someone to fall back on...

And I’ll be that:
I’ll take your side.
If I’m the only one,
I’m used to that.
I’ve been alone,
I’d rather be
The half of us,
The least of you,
The best of me.
And I will be
Your prince,
I’ll be your saint,
I will go crashing through fences
In your name. I will, I swear -
I’ll be someone to fall back on!
I’ll be the one who waits,
And for as long as you’ll let me,
I will be the one you need.
I’ll be someone to fall back on:
Your prince,
Your saint,
The one you believe you need
I’ll be - I’ll be
Someone to fall back on.

One of the most personal songs for me, written by Jason Robert Brown, who is certainly at the top of my list of favorite composer-lyricists (right up there with Mr. Sondheim and Mr. Yeston).  His lyrics are so intensely personal, yet seem so effortless, so simple, and so conversational.  This song doesn't come from one of his shows (which include Parade, 13, Songs for a New World, and The Last 5 Years), but from his solo album, Wearing Someone Else's Clothes.  The first time I heard this song, I must have listened to it a dozen times in a row ... "he's talking about ME!"  The three-line phrase "the half of us, the least of you, the best of me" is nothing short of stunning.  And this won't be the last of JRB in this blog ... just sayin'.

No comments:

Post a Comment