Obsessive Theatre Buff (eagil) wrote in musical_lyrics,
Obsessive Theatre Buff

Back to Before

This was the first song I heard from Ragtime, sung by Marin Mazzie. I was soon obsessed,
ang got the complete soundtrack. It is not just another gorgeous song-it has significance in
the show. The placement is after Father leaves Atlantic City, and Mother is once again on
her own. This time, she is independent, and actually likes herself more that way. It is the
climax of her breaking free from her husband. All of the songs in Ragtime are wonderful,
but some of them seem unimportant. While some shows seemed focused on costumes,
dance, or operetta sytle, this one seems circling around songs. They might as well have
made it an operetta. During the show, I felt it needed more book. However, if any had
been cut, I also feel it would’ve been a great loss. Though this is a song well-connected to
the show, it also works as an indiviadual piece. Patti LuPone recorded it on Matters of the
Heart. In general, I must say I’m more of a Patti fan, but I liked the original version better.
I’m more used to it, being the first I heard of that remarkable song.

There was a time our happiness seemed neverending,
I was so sure that where we were heading was right.
Life was a road, so certain and straight and unbending,
Our little road, with never a crossroad in sight.
Back in the days when we spoke in civilized voices,
Women in white, and sturdy young men at the oar.
Back in the days when I let you make all my choices...
We can never go back to before.

There was a time my feet were so solidly planted,
You’d sail away while I turned my back to the sea.
I was content, a princess asleep and enchanted,
If I had dreams, then I let you dream them for me.
Back in the days when everything seemed so much clearer,
Women in white, who knew what their lives held in store.
Where are they now, those women who stare from a mirror?
We can never go back to before.

There are people out there,
Unafraid of revealing
That they might have a feeling,
Or they might have been wrong.
There are people out there
Unafraid to feel sorrow,
Unafraid of tomorrow,
Unafraid to be weak,
Unafraid to be strong.

There was a time when you were the person in motion,
I was your wife, it never occured to want more.
You were my sky, my moon and my stars and my ocean...
We can never go back to before,
We can never go back to before!

Also posted in my forum.
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