Monday, May 30, 2011

Tell My Father

"Tell My Father"
by Jack Murphy
from The Civil War  (1999)

Tell my father that his son
Didn't run, or surrender.
That I bore his name with pride
As I tried to remember,
You are judged by what you do
While passing through ...

As I rest 'neath fields of green,
Let him lean on your shoulder.
Tell him how I spent my youth
So the truth could grow older.
Tell my father when you can ...
I was a man.

Tell him we will meet again
Where the angels learn to fly.
Tell him we will meet as men
For with honor did I die.

Tell him how I wore the Blue,
Proud and true through the fire.
Tell my father so he'll know ...
I love him so.

Tell him how we wore the Blue,
Proud and true, like he taught us.
Tell my father not to cry ...
Then say goodbye.

Another dual-purpose post for today.  First, on this Memorial Day, it is my tribute to those who have fallen in battle.  Second, I want to give due credit to lyricist Jack Murphy (and composer Frank Wildhorn) after the skewering I gave them yesterday for the travesty that was Wonderland.  Much of The Civil War is quite lovely, and I think that "Tell My Father" is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.  I hope you'll agree with me.

In the show, it is sung by a young Northern infantryman who is dying on the battlefield and is asking his best friend to deliver a message to his father back home.  I have performed this song myself as both an audition and workshop piece - it fits my singing voice and, because of the "father connection," I identify with it. 

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