Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Someone Else's Story

"Someone Else's Story"
by Tim Rice
from Chess (1988)

Long ago
In someone else's lifetime,
Someone with my name
Who looked a lot like me
Came to know
A man and made a promise -
He only had to say
And that's where she would be.
Although the feelings run just as deep
The promise she made
Has grown impossible to keep,
And yet ... I wish it wasn't so.
Will he miss me if I go?

In a way,
It's someone else's story -
I don't see myself
As taking part at all.
A girl that I was fond of
Finally could see
The writing on the wall.
She realized she'd left him behind
And sadder than that she knew
He wouldn't even mind.
And though there's nothing left to say,
Would he listen if I stay?

It's all very well to say
"You fool - it's now or never."
I could be choosing
No choices whatsoever.

I could be
In someone else's story,
In someone else's life
And he could be in mine.
I don't see
A reason to be lonely.
I could take my chances
Further down the line.

And if
That girl I knew should ask my advice,
Oh I wouldn't hesitate
She needn't ask me twice -
Go now!
I'd tell her that for free.
Trouble is, the girl is me.
The story is ... the girl is me.

Love ABBA,  hate Mamma Mia!, but ADORE the score to Chess.  The music for Chess was written by ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, with lyrics by Ulvaeus and former Lloyd Webber-partner Tim Rice.  It's a veritable treasure trove of FANTASTIC songs.  Most of us became familiar with the show through the hit song "One Night in Bangkok" that screamed at us from our radios and the wonderful black-and-white checkered "concept album" in the mid-80's.

Unfortunately, like Merrily We Rolll Along, its troubled book about a love triangle at a US-USSR world chess championship match in the midst of Cold War propaganda and conflict has never really worked.  The song above was in the reimagined US version which opened on Broadway a couple of years after the West End production and four years after the concept album.

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