Sunday, May 15, 2011

Since You Stayed Here


"Since You Stayed Here"
by Peter Larson and Josh Rubins
from Brownstone (1984)

You'd never recognize the room.
The pictures all have different frames now
And all the chairs are rearranged now.
Somehow ... I've thrown out every souvenir.
Yes, there've been changes made since you stayed here.

You'd never recognize the street.
Our favorite stores have different names now.
The colors in the trees have changed now.
Strange how I've hardly thought of you this year.
Yes, there've been changes made since you stayed here.

The same address ... well, more or less.
More happens, less matters ... I guess.

You'd never recognize my life.
I play a much more careful game now.
And when I cry it's not the same now.
Somehow ... I never waste a single tear.
Yes, there've been changes made since you stayed here.

You'd never recognize the room,
You'd never recognize ... the room.

I'm a big fan of the "obscure musical," and this one is definitely one of the more obscure ones.  A small production with a short Off-Broadway run in the mid-80's, but thankfully the score was preserved in a lovely studio cast recording.  Brownstone, as the name implies, told the interwoven lives of five people living in a brownstone apartment in New York City - a writer and his wife, an upstart lawyer, a young boy, and a woman getting over a breakup.  The musical is nearly "through-sung," that is, with very little dialogue.  There are a number of gems in the score, particularly this song ... so much longing and heartbreak in the guise of perhaps self-deluding self-confidence.  I have felt many of these things as I'm sure most people have ... the things we wish we had the opportunity to say to someone who has hurt us.  The final verse beginning with "You'd never recognize my life ..." never fails to choke me up.


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