Tag Archives: DArcy

Making It Up As We Go Along (Day 193)

On the next to last day of Project 194, another song that’s very close to my heart. I wrote this for a revue that D’Arcy and I created called Happily Ever After, a collection of songs about married life, mostly by other composers. We had big fun performing it here and there, most memorably in the conservatory at Longwood Gardens one summer evening on our wedding anniversary. We got asked to perform it on a few special occasions, including a tribute to Bob Doss, the minister at the First Unitarian Church in Wilmington, and at the wedding of our dear friends Stretch Wesolowski and Lucy Siegel. And then we incorporated it into the cabaret version of Watch The Birdie, the one we did at Don’t Tell Mama in NYC and The Bourse in Philly, with Harvey Price on drums and some very fancy sequencing on my trusty DX-7 to fill out the arrangement. That’s the version you’ll hear on this track.

The idea of married life as an improvisation seems to be a really powerful metaphor, and the lyric “following the changes” has multiple layers of meaning for someone who’s both a musician and a traveler on life’s journey. D’Arcy and I have been married now for 35 years, and I’ve been married for considerably more years than not. The decision to marry was one of the biggest we ever made, and I’ve returned to the subject again and again in my songs to re-examine that decision, but I always come to the same conclusion: it was the smartest and best thing I ever did, and it’s one of the most important reasons that I grew up and became the person I am now.

Although I’d had it in my head for weeks that I wanted this to be my penultimate post, somehow I forgot that I’d already posted this song months ago, back on Day 90! This is what happens with a project of this scope, I suppose – sometimes, you get mixed up. I fixed it, though, by replacing my Day 90 offering with another marriage song, Talk It Through, featuring D’Arcy and Gregg Edelman back in 1984 in my musical BGDF. By all means, check it out!

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A Dream for Christmas (Day 192)

The last three songs I’m planning to post on Project 194 all have a particular personal meaning for me. I wrote “A Dream for Christmas” as a Christmas present for D’Arcy many years ago. This is a composer’s demo of the song with me in a particularly soulful mood. I know, it’s the middle of summer, and Christmas is the last thing any of us are thinking of, but there’s so much love and so much truth in this song that I have to share it now!

Looks like we made it through another year.
Let’s share some Christmas cheer,
What do you say?
Although our future’s not exactly clear,
At least we made it here
And we’re okay.
It’s Christmas Eve at a quarter to two.
The kids are sleeping, and there’s plenty to do,
But come sit with me by the Christmas tree
And you can open up my present to you.

I want to give you A Dream For Christmas
And wrap it sweetly in a song,
A dream of comfort and joy
To make our holidays seem beautiful
And last the whole year long.

I know the money isn’t always there.
There isn’t much to spare,
God knows its true.
We’ve learned to manage with the cupboard bare,
Though we try not to care,
Sometimes we do.
Though means are meager, we seem to get by
‘Cause dreams are always in ample supply
And the dream we share is a gift that’s rare.
It brings up happiness and harmony
That’s sure to linger when the Christmas tree is a memory.

I want to give you A Dream For Christmas
And wrap it sweetly in a song,
A dream of comfort and joy
To make the holidays seem beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
And make each day a holiday all year long.

You Must Go On, from Leading Lady (Day 153)

D'Arcy in Leading LadyThis song was written for the penultimate scene of Leading Lady, in its September 2013 iteration. Mae and Frank are bereft, having just lost their son Jamie in the influenza epidemic. Mae in particular is full of remorse, thinking that somehow her decision to put career before family was responsible in some way for his death. Maggie tries to console here by singing this. Of course it was written for D’Arcy Webb.

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A Man Around The House, from Leading Lady (Day 146)

Jim Bergwall and D'Arcy WebbAfter a brief detour to celebrate the birthday of my grandson Miles, I’m back to Act II of Leading Lady. Given the multiple versions of the show, it’s a little tricky to figure out what order to present these songs in or how to contextualize them. In the song Things My Father Taught Me, you heard Georgie Callahan (the brother of Mary, also known as Mae Desmond) eulogize his father, Michael, and the death of Mae’s father was part of the story for several versions of Leading Lady. In time, though, the character of Michael grew on us, and his ornery charm seemed too endearing to pass up, so we let him live so he help raise a grandson or two and flirt with his daughter’s mother-in-law, the widowed Maggie Fielder. This is Jim Bergwall as the ornery Michael Callahan and D’Arcy Webb as mother Fielder.

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Make Me Beautiful, from A Tiny Miracle (Day 94)

In my last Tiny Miracle post, the Little Tree received assurances from the Wise Oak that her “purpose would be plain in time” and that she needed to “have a little faith.”

The next song in A Tiny Miracle, Whispering Trees, was featured in an earlier post here. Back on Day 27, I was posting weather-related songs, and Whispering Trees depicts a wintry scene with evergreen trees slumbering beneath the winter snows.

Inevitably, though, the time comes for the trees to be cut down and taken to market. The Little Tree is nearly left behind, but the Grandson (now considerably grown up himself) pleads with his Grandfather and the tree he planted is added to the others already on the truck. On their way to be delivered to a tree lot in the city, the trees sense the excitement in the air, and fantasize about how they will be decorated for the holiday.

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