Today’s selection from Leading Lady was actually composed by Kenneth Burton, the music director for the Mae Desmond Players in the 1920’s, and was featured in a musical revue the troupe performed called Mae Desmond’s Whispers of 1926. This song was one of several pieces of published sheet music in Mari Fielder’s extensive personal collection of archival material about her grandmother’s company. I loved being able to incorporate material like this – pastiche in the true sense of the word, found material “pasted” into the show – because it added authenticity to the historical fabric of our creation.
CHORUS: Though your life seems dreary and grey
It will turn to sunshine some day
When love has fashioned a dream in your mind.
Of the land where sweethearts may dwell,
Whose hearts are caught in its spell,
True happiness there you’ll find.
(An extremely pregnant MAE is revealed.)
MAE: Blossoms ever growing
Gentle breezes blowing
The scent of springtime fills the air,
Up in the trees ‘midst foliage new,
The birds are singing love is tender and true.
Thru the golden weather
Hand in hand together
You’ll wander on while skies smile above.
All earthly cares steal away,
Even night turns to day
When you find this land of love.
The image of a pregnant Mae singing a song about the sweet bliss of romantic love played well in our examination of the appearances and reality in the show-business life. Historians of the musical will know that Fanny Brice has a similar sort of moment in the musical Funny Girl, but that didn’t diminish its wicked humor for Seth and me.