Young Musical Love

Romance is quite a beautiful part of musicals. No theme has been greater than that. But what is so special about the young love that is presented? As a matter of fact, most romances in musicals are young lovers. That makes sense because most musical characters are young.

I feel like with young musical characters, there is this kind of innocence built into them. There even is a wonderful sense of youth built into the romances as well. There even is a sense of maturity. At times, love has fragility and vulnerability built into the mix especially during unrequited love songs.

Possible Spoilers:

I feel like the love triangles fare very well with young musical characters. Whether that is the love triangle either in Wicked or Les Mis, it still works really well. The love triangles are incredibly complicated especially the Wicked one. No matter what, you can’t make all of the characters involved happy at all. I still don’t fully understand a love triangle, but it makes more sense than ever.

There is always the unrequited lover and that can be confusing. In the Wicked one, that is really challenging because the unrequited love shifts gears on you because it starts with Elphaba having unrequited love for Fiyero, but in act II it shifts to Glinda feeling unrequited love for Fiyero. Elphaba and Fiyero are my favorite musical couple because you wouldn’t expect them to get together at all. They may be young, but their song is so mature and quite mystical.

In the case of Les Mis, the unrequited love never shifts gears on you because it is always Eponine. This love triangle fares very well. There are two times where you see all three together and you end up feeling for all of them.

Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius is quite a special one because she constantly is showing true love towards him even if he won’t do the same for her. Eponine’s unrequited love is very heartbreaking and painful for her especially because Marius is the only good in her life and is the only person to show her kindness. That is why she loves Marius so much and why she keeps on loving him. She continues to love him until the very end of her story.

When it comes to Disney, young musical characters give the show a kind of magic, which is perfect for Disney. One such couple is Katherine and Jack, the newest Disney couple of my life. Below are pictures of young romances including my favorite couple. I feel like young musical romances are incredible because of their songs.

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Elphaba and Fiyero

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Cosette, Marius, Eponine

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Raoul, Christine

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Jack, Katherine

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Tony, Maria

What is special about young musical couples?

 

 

“I’m Not That Girl” Analysis

When I mean “I’m Not That Girl”, I am only referring to when Elphaba sings it. This song is very parallel to “On My Own”, which is why I decided to analyze it today.

Just like “On My Own”, “I’m Not That Girl” is an unrequited love song. “On My Own” is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and “I’m Not That Girl” is about Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero. As a matter of fact, “I’m Not That Girl” was my first exposure to unrequited love. I knew it was a song about a girl who loves a boy who doesn’t love her back, but I didn’t know it was called unrequited love. Well, in middle school and high school, I interpreted the song as sad. I didn’t see it beyond sad and couldn’t see anything else about it.  That was how much I understood the song and eventually I found the heartbreak in that song.

Even in 2013 when I saw the show for the third time, this song stayed sad. I was aware of the emotion of heartbreak by then, but still couldn’t find heartbreak in “I’m Not That Girl”. I don’t remember when it was but I soon made the connection to “On My Own”. When I realized it was about the same thing as “On My Own”, I picked up on the fact that the song is heartbreaking. But it wasn’t until I memorized the lyrics where I realized the song has a lot of insight built into it.

In my opinion, “I’m Not That Girl” is not quite as heartbreaking as “On My Own”. The melody of “I’m Not That Girl” even sells that opinion. The melody stays very consistent throughout. The song still has some innocence built into it with the right amount of vulnerability, fragility, and insight. The melody doesn’t sell as much strength and power as “On My Own”. I feel like my understanding of sad in musicals really shows its journey through “I’m Not That Girl”. I feel like “I’m Not That Girl” is moderately heartbreaking. The song once started out as being sad and eventually became heartbreaking over time.

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I don’t exactly know how to analyze this song. By understanding that “I’m Not That Girl” is heartbreaking, but not quite as heartbreaking as “On My Own” shows that even heartbreak is layered. Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero is not as important as Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius.

I love the scene leading up to “I’m Not That Girl”. Elphaba and Fiyero are in the woods about to free a lion cub. Previously a new professor was about to an experiment on the lion cub and out of anger, Elphaba cast a spell on the class and it didn’t affect Fiyero. Well they run into the woods and through their conversation, Elphaba realized she loves Fiyero, but her best friend, Glinda, loves him as well. In that entire scene, I feel like Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but didn’t’ realize it. Because Elphaba realized she loves Fiyero literally just moments before she sings that unrequited love song, the song doesn’t even have room to be fully heartbreaking.

Just like “On My Own”, there are lyrics that are quite similar. One such place is where Elphaba sings “every so soften we long to steal to the land that what might have been” and that is a place of fantasy, but right after that she sings “but doesn’t soften the ache we feel when reality sets back in”, Elphaba realizes that her best friend loves Fiyero. That is just like the instances in “On My Own” when Eponine realizes that the reality is that is only in fantasy that she can be with Marius.

Just like “On My Own”, I feel like “I’m Not That Girl” goes beyond the unrequited love. There is a lyric in there that goes “I wasn’t born for the rose or pearl” and I interpreted the lyric as Elphaba doesn’t think she’s good enough for Fiyero because she’s green. For me, it is a bit ironic feeling heartbroken in “I’m Not That Girl” due to the fact that she will eventually get Fiyero in the end, but I have to feel heartbroken because Elphaba doesn’t know it yet.

So overall, I find “I’m Not That Girl” less heartbreaking than “On My Own”. I feel there is more innocence in “I’m Not That Girl” and has even less strength and power. My understanding of “I’m Not That Girl”  was strengthened thanks to the help of another song from another musical. That shows that musicals rely on each other. I feel like “On My Own” helped me understand “I’m Not That Girl” because “On My Own” is a more intense and strong form of unrequited love. I feel like it is easier for me to analyze “On My Own” than “I’m Not That Girl”. A big reason for that is that Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love while Elphaba’s story revolves around her friendship with Glinda.

“On My Own” Analysis

Well, it currently is sprinkling outside and reminded me of “On My Own” from Les Mis. “On My Own” is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius, which is a highly important part of her story. I do feel like this song goes beyond the unrequited love. Below I will describe the song more in detail.

Well, “On My Own” was my second exposure to unrequited love in musicals. But it was the song where I finally began to understand the concept. I didn’t quite understand what it meant to suffer through unrequited love. But through this song, you can clearly see just how strong Eponine’s love for Marius is. A common misconception about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius is that some people are puzzled as to why she loves him so much. In order to understand the unrequited love situation, you have to understand what Eponine’s life is like outside of Marius.

There are three parts in this song: the intro, the middle, and the rest. The intro starts at “and now I’m all alone again” and end at “the city goes to bed and I can live inside my head”. After that the main part of the song begins starting with “on my own pretending he’s beside me” and that part ends at “and all I see is him and me forever and forever”. Then there’s a sudden crescendo and keeps on building up until it is time for the song to slow down and come to a close.

I feel like in the introduction, it does give you more insight into who Eponine is as a person. I feel like you see aspects of Eponine’s life that are not related to the unrequited love. Through the opening lyrics “and now I’m all alone again”, it does show just how empty Eponine’s life is. Even at the words “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to”, it shows that she has virtually no one in her life. She doesn’t even have parents who care about her and they treat her horribly and she doesn’t have friends either at all. Just by looking at lyrics like that, you start to understand why Marius means everything to her. He is all she has in her life, but she cannot have him. He is the only person who treats her kindly. She could have become just as selfish, greedy, and abusive as her parents, but she doesn’t which I think has something to do with Marius.

The second part of the song is truly when the song begins. That whole section gives a nature of fantasy throughout. It shows that she gets through the day by imagining that Marius is with her and that he loves her. But when that crescendo starts, the emotion truly starts to enter the picture.

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At that moment, it is when Eponine comes to terms with the situation she finds herself in. She realizes that Marius will never be hers. She realizes its only in her mind where she can imagine a future with Marius. She realizes that no matter what, Marius will never love her and she is quite aware that Marius doesn’t even realize that she loves him. I feel like the building up of emotion is key to the song. As the song gets louder, the song gains more and more strength and that type of strength shows just how strong of a character Eponine is and shows just how strong her love for Marius is.

Towards the end, there’s another lyric that goes beyond the unrequited love. She sings “a world thats full of happiness that I have never known”. She is a character who doesn’t have a lot of good things happen in her life. She was raised to be a criminal and was horribly abused. She knows that the only good in her life is Marius. This song shows that she will always love Marius and will continue to show true love towards him even if he wouldn’t do the same for her.

I have to confess that I didn’t realize “On My Own” was heartbreaking right away. I found myself falling in love with Eponine the second time I saw the movie. I wasn’t able to grasp the concept of unrequited love right away. But as I got to know Eponine more and more, I realized that this song was a heartbreaker. This song is quite a powerful song and the use of crescendo adds to the heartbreaking nature of the song.

Because I talked about “On My Own” today, I am planning to talk about “I’m Not That Girl” tomorrow.

True Value of the Negative Musical Emotions

I already talked about on this blog about the importance of the negative emotions in the musical world. When I mean negative emotion, I am talking about the emotions found in the songs. Understanding the negative emotions is quite tricky and quite difficult to work with.

The negative emotions do hurt in the world of musicals. So what makes them an emotion worth feeling? The negative emotions may hurt, but in many ways, they are quite beneficial to a musical experience. It is easier to have an emotional connection to a character who expresses negative emotions due to amount of conflict that is part of their lives. There are some musical characters like Elphaba and Jack Kelly that you don’t experience negative emotions from them right away and already can have an emotional connection. There are some musical characters who mainly feel negative emotions throughout the entire show and you still have an emotional connection to them.

There are two ways to experience joy through the negative emotions. The first is you having an appreciation of feeling them in the first place. The second is found through any bittersweet moment. Those are moments like “For Good” and “A Little Fall of Rain”. The only way to understand joy in the bittersweet moments is to understand the characters who are part of those songs. “For Good” for instance is the moment where Elphaba and Glinda reunite with each other again, but its the last time they will see each other. I don’t view the song as a heartbreaking song even though it is a goodbye song. It is important to understand the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda because their friendship is core to Wicked.

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Another bittersweet moment is in Les Mis, which is “A Little Fall of Rain”. Now this song is heartbreaking, but still bittersweet. I know where the joy easily comes from in this song. This is the main moment of Eponine’s life where she is truly happy. Yes, it her death scene, but this is actually the happiest moment of her life. Its not because she is dying, but because she is dying the arms of Marius. If you don’t understand Eponine at all, it is nearly impossible to understand the joy of this song. She lived a very tragic life having to be raised by parents who don’t even care about her and raised her to be a criminal. She doesn’t have many good things happen in her life. In this scene, I am happy that Eponine finally is happy for once in her life. It is very important to understand how much Eponine loves Marius to understand the joy found in this scene.

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I love sad the most when it goes beyond the mild levels of that emotion. It starts at songs like “Santa Fe” from Newsies. But heartbreak is a very special degree of sad, which is an emotion which was once unidentifiable. Sad was an emotion that existed when I was younger and it did have some understanding, but I hardly remember what the emotion was like. I do remember it being in “I’m Not That Girl” and “For Good”.

Heartbreak decided to exist in musicals in the most unexpected of ways. Good thing I already knew that sad was already existent and common in the musical world. It decided to enter my life through a heartbreaking musical. Growing up, I believed that all musicals were happy and comic because thats all I knew.

So I was quite surprised when I saw the Les Mis movie and that was when I realized heartbreak is a musical emotion. This was in December of 2012 and my journey began with Les Mis that same year, but did not become a true fan until early 2013. Its just when I realized Les Mis was a tragedy that I was thinking “is this a tragedy and I was like wait a minute, tragic musicals exist” and as a result watched the rest of the movie in shock and confusion and by the end “I was thinking did I just like a tragedy”, but still didn’t know if I liked it or not.

The true value of feeling the negative emotions comes from the fact that is shows that you care about musical characters. It shows a sense of sympathy and even sense of empathy and it shows that you have an emotional connection. Sad in the form of heartbreak is so wonderful. Heartbreak is stronger then an ordinary sad song. Heartbreak is a main emotion in the world of musicals. Whether that is in South Pacific, Wicked, Cats, Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, or Rent, the negative emotions are worth it. The only time I honestly get nothing out of the negative emotions is when I see a musical that I don’t end up liking.

Heartbreak is an emotion that is full of fragility, honesty, insight and vulnerability. Due to heartbreak being existent, I quickly realized how much easier it was to pick up on the negative emotions in other musicals and even made it easier to pick up on inner conflict as well. The song “I’m Not That Girl” for instance changed from being a sad song to being a heartbreaking song and that is one of the best things that ever happened because it strengthened Wicked’s love triangle.

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I wouldn’t have realized “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking if that emotion never decided to make itself known and glad I was able to realize the song was heartbreaking thanks to the help of “On My Own”, a more heartbreaking and stronger unrequited love song. Since the emotions of “On My Own” are much more obvious, it helped me understand the emotions of “I’m Not That Girl”. Due to “I’m Not That Girl” and “On My Own” being two unrequited love songs and due to one being more heartbreaking than the other, it shows that even heartbreak can be layered. Both songs share some common emotions like heartbreak and loneliness. “I’m Not That Girl” doesn’t have room to be fully heartbreaking since Elphaba just found out she loves Fiyero literally just moments before she sings that song, but it does have great insight built in to it. Both “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl” go beyond the unrequited love.

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Les Mis and Wicked are two musicals that I have a strong emotional connection to and feeling the negative emotions in each are worth it due to my love for each of them and my emotional connection to the material. Another realization came from “Memory”. I always knew about “Memory”, but it was one of those songs where I don’t know if I knew its emotion or not. I knew I always loved the song, but through “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Memory” decided to be a heartbreaking song. What makes a song heartbreaking is based off of how you interpret a song. The value of the negative emotions comes from the fact that you are showing that you care.

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If it wasn’t for Les Mis, the negative emotions wouldn’t have changed the way they did. The realization of heartbreak made the negative emotions even more worth feeling. It shows a sense of relationship and shows a sense of understanding. Les Mis was able to show me that heartbreak is an actual musical emotion. The negative emotions are tough to work with due to just how much they can actually hurt. There are other negative emotions besides the obvious sad and heartbreak.

The hardest negative emotion to work with is uncomfortable. That mainly happens in “Lovely Ladies”, but due to understanding the importance of the scene, I learned to tolerate it and feeling uncomfortable in that scene is highly important. In Les Mis, if you don’t understand Fantine, you will feel so lost in the plot. Anger is another negative emotion, which is an emotion that is part of conflict. Without the negative emotions, characters would feel less real. Theatre is a safe place to discover negative emotions. While the negative emotions do hurt, it is worth feeling them if you have a strong emotional connection and a love for the songs. If you fall in love with the songs, you do find yourself falling in love with the emotions.

The negative emotions have changed a lot over the years. Heartbreak was what drastically changed the emotion. It made me understand negative emotions in a more empathetic way and in a more beautiful way. Heartbreak shows strength. It is so difficult to describe the negative emotions since they vary so much in what they are capable of. They have an incredible amount of beauty, fragility, vulnerability, insight, honest, and strength. To be a true musical fan includes understanding the negative emotions.

In you opinion, what is the true value of the negative musical emotions?

Parallels in Musicals

Yesterday, I talked about why musicals rely on each other. This post is kind of similar, but this post I am going to be talking about parallels that you can find in musicals.

One parallel is “Memory” and “I Dreamed A Dream”. These two songs are from Les Mis and Cats. “Memory” is sung by Grizabella in Cats and “I Dreamed A Dream” is sung by Fantine in Les Mis. Both songs are heartbreaking songs and reflect on the past. Both Grizabella and Fantine do not have very good lives at all so in both of these songs, they think about the past and realize just how worse their lives have gotten. In my opinion, “I Dreamed A Dream” is a stronger song and part of that is due to the fact that I have a stronger emotional connection to Les Mis

Without “I Dreamed A Dream”, I never would have realized “Memory” is a heartbreaking song. I did see Cats when I was in elementary school, but have no recollection of seeing. However, I do remember I always loved the song “Memory”.

Another parallel is between “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl”, two unrequited love songs from Les Mis and Wicked. They are both heartbreaking songs and without “On My Own”, I never would have realized “I’m Not That Girl” is heartbreaking, but at least I knew the song was sad.”On My Own” is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and “I’m Not That Girl” is about Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero.

In my personal opinion, “On My Own” from Les Mis is stronger and more heartbreaking than “I’m Not That Girl” from Wicked. The thing with Elphaba is that literally just moments before she sings “I’m Not That Girl”, she realizes that she loves Fiyero and as a result, the song does not have room to be fully heartbreaking and her story doesn’t revolve around unrequited love, but instead her friendship with Glinda. In my opinion, this song goes beyond the unrequited love. One of her lines is “I wasn’t born for the rose or pearl” and through those lines, you realize that Elphaba doesn’t think that she is good enough for Fiyero because she is green  and outside of that line, she realizes that her best friend, Glinda, also loves Fiyero and that line is part of why “I’m Not That Girl” is an insightful song. In this song, you need to be quite vulnerable, but at the same time you need to keep some innocence alive due to who Elphaba is at this point in the story.

“On My Own” is stronger and more powerful than “I’m Not That Girl” and as a result you feel even more heartbroken. Unlike Elphaba’s story, Eponine’s story revolves around her unrequited love for Marius. There is a big reason why she loves him so much. Outside of Marius, Eponine’s life is extremely tragic and heartbreaking. Her parents are the Thenardiers, who don’t even love her and horribly abuse her. She was raised to be a criminal and all she saw was darkness growing up. She was completely left to fend for herself on the streets. So in this burst of light, Marius entered her life and for the first time someone treated her with kindness. Because Marius is literally all she has in life, it explains why she loves him so much. She literally will do anything for the one she loves.

In “On My Own”, Eponine accepts the fact that Marius will never be hers, but she still decides to stick by his side no matter what. In my opinion, this song goes beyond the unrequited love. One of Eponine’s lines is “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to” and you do realize just how empty her life is and another line is “a world full of happiness that I never known” and this shows just how unhappy she is and how her life has gotten even worse over the years. Those two lines shows just how insightful the song is.

Besides the “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl” parallel and the “Memory” and “I Dreamed a Dream”, there are other parallels in the world of musicals. Musicals vary so much in storyline, character, melodies, and emotion. It is crazy how one musical song can help you understand another musical song.