My Strong Love for Musicals and Christian Music

I am so thankful for my deep love for Christian music and musicals. Because without them, I do not know where I would be right now. They truly taught me the power of music. Christian music did teach me that music can bring back memories and can make you feel connected to God. A lot of the Christian songs that I love remind me of the different memories I had at Kanuga. Part of the Kanuga songs remind me of Parish weekends and while the rest are more for Winterlight.

The lyrics below are from a Christian song I learned to love at Kanuga. It is called “The Servant Song” and it reminds me of Kanuga each time I listen to it, but it also reminds me of the Bristol Pilgrimage that I went on two years ago. I sing contemporary Christian music every week at school at our student-led worship service.

We are pilgrims on a journey-7
Motto of the trip

On the other hand, musicals really did teach me the emotional impact of music especially considering the shows that are still so new and fresh in my life. Every single musical has more than one emotion in it. Some have a few and while some have a lot. The five emotions that tie musicals together are excitement, joy, love, heartbreak and sadness, which are five of the most common emotions found in them. I grew up with comedies and happy musicals. I grew up with musicals like Annie, Sound of Music, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Grease, Aladdin and Wicked.

Wicked is the musical where I first started to understand the emotional side of musicals. That was back in 2006 when I first saw it on Broadway with my mom. I was only 12 at the time and I do remember “Popular” being my favorite song. This was the only show that I grew up with where I actually remember sad being part of. The main emotions growing up were basically excitement, love, joy, and sad. Heartbreak wasn’t there because I didn’t understand what it meant for a song to be heartbreaking. “I’m Not That Girl” was just a sad song and I strongly disliked “No Good Deed” at the time.

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Even though I learned to love two sad musicals, I found a way to still describe all musicals as joyful and I did that by describing them in the best positive way I can. Those two sad musicals are Les Mis and Rent. I fell in love with Rent by listening to the songs though Pandora and I fell in love with it first, but didn’t realize it was sad until after I had already seen the Les Mis movie. I was able to realize that they both have a positive nature. Rent is really a story about what to do with the life that you have and how do you measure it. It teaches you to live in the moment and measure your life in love and it really is a celebration of life. Les Mis is really a story about hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity and redemption.  Without Les Mis, I may never have actually understood what it means for a musical song to be heartbreaking.

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Other emotions I found in musicals are hope, love, anger, compassion, haunting, uplifting, loneliness, guilt, desperation, devastation, depressing, fear and uncomfortable. I still cannot believe that musicals range from being very happy all the way down to very sad, which is more layers than one might find. Annie would be a very happy show even though it has one sad song in it, which is “Maybe”, but that song isn’t that sad at all. Annie is very happy because it is pretty much all joy from start to finish and barely has any conflict. On the other side, Les Mis would be very sad. Musicals are like a series of ladders overlapping each other with each ladder representing something different.

There is a huge difference between the emotions within a show compared to whether a show is happy or not. Musicals have come such a long way since shows like Annie and Sound of Music which are both very happy and simple and those two do not have that many emotions in it at all. Eventually they built up to a show like Les Mis, which is a lot more powerful and filled with this incredible wide range of emotions starting with uplifting building eventually to depressing. In the past I thought a song could not push past sad, but it sure did in Les Mis. I know deep down that musicals will continue to play games on me and change because I am still young and have yet to discover other new ones.

I don’t Doubt that I will stop loving Christian Music and musicals. I truly learned about the power of music through them. They taught me how music can bring back memories and the emotional impact that music can bring.

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Author: mphadventuregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog deals with spirituality and musicals. I am finding that by writing about these, I am realizing I know more about each of them then I think I do. I hope you find my blog inspiring!

21 thoughts on “My Strong Love for Musicals and Christian Music”

  1. This is a really great post! I definitely agree about musicals showing the emotional impact of music. I still remember when I was a sulky teenager and would go into my room and crank up a ridiculously sad song and just cry. Musicals have showed me not just the emotional impact of songs from musicals but also of just music in general

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    1. Musicals have more capability in their emotions than they appear. From Music Man that is just positive emotions, but once those negative emotions show up, it is so much harder to describe a musical’s capability

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      1. Definitely! It’s pretty hard to be able to explain the full range of the emotional scale of musicals. People think that musicals are all just happy and full of dancing, singing people who never have any problems in life, but that couldn’t be less true, I think

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      2. At the time for me when musicals were still all happy, I was aware that sad was a common emotion, but there was time during that part of the journey where I did forget which musicals had sad in it.

        I only remembered being it being in Wicked, but than again I was at the age where I could start to understand the emotional side of musicals. I cannot believe I forgot pretty much what sad was like in those days so the best way I can describe how far that emotion has come is to use Wicked

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      3. When I was a kid, it’s almost like I didn’t understand that sadness is a thing that characters in movies and musicals could experience. Maybe I just wasn’t empathetic back then or maybe I was just blissfully ignorant. But as I grew up, I noticed scenes that I didn’t even remember as a kid. I was always used to sad musicals (or, at any rate, bittersweet musicals) but as I revisited them as I got older, I actually picked up on the sadness.

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      4. At least through the happy musicals, I understood that sad was common. Because I had seen those forgotten scenes before and what I do remember from Wicked, I was able to understand that. Than again, I was younger and still trying to understand musicals. I think sad was understood at a certain degree. But now that emotion has reached a capability that I never thought was possible

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      5. Yeah, definitely! As a kid, I rarely cried during movies and stuff, but now, I cry at the slightest thing. In some ways, I think our capacity for understanding emotions grow as we get older. Or maybe it’s just that as we get older, we experience loss and all that and understand those pangs of hurt that characters just seem to be suffering from

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      6. In elementary school, I think for me musicals were mainly about the spectacle and dance. But when Wicked entered my life in 2006, musicals slowly started being more about the spectacle and dance and the emotions. Even today, sometimes picking up on musical emotions can be tricky, but so much easier

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      7. Definitely. When I rewatchd Oliver! a few years back and there was this one violent scene, I jumped off of the couch and turned to look at my dad and said “That scene wasn’t in the movie when I watched it when I was five!” But… it was. I probably just didn’t understand it and had forgotten about it

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      8. Or you probably didn’t understand the scene, which could have led you to forget it. When I saw Sound of Music two years ago, when I felt sad in Edelweiss, I was thinking that emotion wasn’t in this when I was in elementary school, but me as a college student embraced that emotion

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      9. Yeah. I’m pretty sure I didn’t WANT to understand the scene. I still hate watching that scene because it makes my heart feel like it’s suffocating itself.
        Funnily enough, when I last watched The Sound of Music a while ago, I’d forgotten the emotional impact Edelweiß has and I was shocked by the tears that I shed over it

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      10. What was odd about Edelweiss, while watching it, what the Captain sang before the children and Maria joined, I didn’t even feel sad at all while watching it live two years ago. Sad decided to enter in the middle of the song (odd place for sad to be a part of a musical song). I caught it in a very small window, which was the moment the Captain stopped singing and right before the children joined in. That took me off guard because for that emotion to join when it did in that song came out of the blue. I was thinking “I don’t remember sad being in that song”. Maybe when I first heard it, it didn’t . Than again, my tears were a combination of things. It is my favorite song from the musical, has a memory of my first piano recital, and than the what was happening in that song in that moment. For the first half of Edelweiss, I wasn’t even crying, but in the second half I was. If I have to cry in a song, it wouldn’t start to happen midway through

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      11. It was a nonverbal that I caught where sad decided to enter the picture. I kept on thinking is that a sad song or is not but rather a bittersweet moment. If sad ends up happening in a small window, the faint edge of sad could show up and you could forget it easily

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      12. I see what you mean by that. I think when I was younger, I feel like excitement was the emotion I grasped and understood the most and the one I cared about the most. I understood that sad was important, but it didn’t matter to me as much as the positive emotions or maybe both mattered equally, but I just don’t remember. So I feel like in the college years, the emotions decided to start over once Les Mis entered the picture

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      13. I knew I hadn’t seen an emotional impact like it before. It went above and beyond and made me view all the emotions fresh and now when I see new musicals or revisit old ones, I am more in tune with the emotions than ever before. Its crazy how one musical can cause so many emotional shifts and change your way of thinking when it comes to the musical world

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