Good People, from Gemini the Musical (2007) (Day 184)

Bethe Austin and Kirsten BrackenThis was the last song to be written for the 2007 NYMF production of Gemini the Musical, and it was written to showcase the unique charms of Bethe Austin, who played Lucille in that production. (She’s seated on the right next to Kirsten Bracken – now Kirsten Scott – in the photo on the left.) There had been an Act II song for Lucille in the 2004 version of Gemini, called You’re Only Young Once, but we cut the song from the draft we prepared for the 2007 rehearsals. Once we got underway, we realized we had gotten lucky casting Bethe (a classmate of D’Arcy’s from Point Park days, as it turns out), and I had an idea about how to refashion that song (like this one, a jazz waltz, one of my favorite musical idioms) with a new “hook” and title. Both versions of the song included the line, “You can’t make a prince by kissing a queen,” and it’s gratifying to hear the audience reaction to that line on the track.

There’s good looking guys who are brutes
And phonies in custom made suits.
You mustn’t judge a lover by his cover.
Don’t matter what parish they’re from,
Or whether they’re clever or dumb.
When trying to rate a prospective mate,
I rely upon one rule of thumb.
GOOD PEOPLE,
Fill your life with GOOD PEOPLE.
Judy, trust me.
Don’t be misled by what goes on in bed.
That’s always the easy part.
GOOD PEOPLE,
They’re a thing to cling to, if you’re smart,
And plant them in the garden of your heart.

Fran’s not as hot as my first,
Still he is hardly the worst
Though he’s no knight in armor, he’s a charmer.
He’s got that weird rash on his skin,
And those damn cigarettes! It’s a sin!
He gambles too much, it’s such a shame,
But he’s good people just the same.

GOOD PEOPLE,
I know Fran is GOOD PEOPLE.
Plus he’s a singer!
Sex is a mess, though it feels good, I guess.
It’s always the easy part.
GOOD PEOPLE,
They’re a thing to cling to, if you’re smart,
And plant them in the garden of your heart.

It’s only normal to hope.
Kiss your toads,
I’ve kissed loads.
Kiss ’em but don’t be a dope. I mean
You can’t make a prince by kissing a queen.

You care for Francis, that’s clear,
So why should you care if he’s queer?
You got no cause to gripe, hon:
He’s your type, hon!
You may not end up his wife,
But I bet you’ll be friends for life!
Boys are just toys. Go have your fun!
But this Francis is a special one.

GOOD PEOPLE,
Fill your life with GOOD PEOPLE.
Judy, trust me.
Don’t be misled by what goes on in bed.
That’s always the easy part.
GOOD PEOPLE,
They’re a thing to cling to, if you’re smart,
And plant them in the garden of your heart.

I’ve been unusually fortunate to fill my life with good people, and going through the songs I’ve posted over the past months has been a wonderful reminder of the many talented artists I’ve had the privilege of writing for and working with. Of course, the good people in my life extend beyond the realm of the arts, and include a remarkably supportive group of friends, family, students, colleagues and well-wishers who have held me in their hearts and cared for me over the past decades. I’m endlessly grateful for their friendship, their talent, their passion, their generosity, their warmth and their quiet refusal to let me be anything less than my best self. Good people, I salute you! Only ten more days until Project 194 sails into port, and I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I have!

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