Monday, May 26, 2014

Musical Monday - Mama, Look Sharp by Stephen Nathan

1776 is a musical about the Second Continental Congress and the political maneuvering of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson as they ushered the Declaration of Independence into being adopted by the colonies via a unanimous vote. But in the background of the musical, there is a war going on, and we are reminded of this by the increasingly distraught dispatches from George Washington that are delivered to the Congress on a periodic basis.

And then, late in the production, the political movers and shakers leave the stage and the courier, who has been plodding through scene after scene to drop off his messages from the war, stops and talks with the clerk of the Congress. And then he sings about the war and its often forgotten costs. And this reminds us that history is not just great men and women striding across the world stage and going grand things. History is also mostly unremembered people undertaking the dangerous and difficult tasks that make the actions of the "great" men and women possible. And paying the price for doing so.

And remembering those people who struggled, and fought, and died to make the world we live in is what Memorial Day is really about, at least in my opinion. And remembering that so many of them died like Billy - alone and scared, calling out for their mother, or really, anyone. And this song, to me, captures that sacrifice, and why we should honor it, perfectly.

Previous Musical Monday: Game of Thrones Opening Credits
Subsequent Musical Monday: Dr. Who Theme by The Doubleclicks

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