Song of the Day, Sept. 30... Once More, With Feeling! - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-30-2004, 04:34 PM   #1
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Song of the Day, Sept. 30... Once More, With Feeling!

Today's song of the day comes not from a traditional musical group, but instead from a musical. Again, not a traditional musical, but the televised Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "Once More With Feeling." Joss Whedon and his team of writers are brilliant at dealing with life metaphorically, be it vampires and demons or a futuristic frontier. Sitcoms in the "real" world rarely touch on human emotion in any believable way, and dramas tend to come off stiff and wooden. Let's not even discuss "reality" television. But Joss's shows take the events over the top, but portray the characters the way real people would be in those situations. They are at times petty and weak, in turns wise and foolish, and moral ambiguity is the continuous thread through much of Joss' work, especially "Angel" and "Firefly". But once in a while, it's good to have some fun. Not the smartass witty interchange between Xander and Willow or the dry smug remarks from Wesley or Jayne, but instead silly, over-the-top fun.

In the Sixth season of Buffy, Joss decided to write a musical. The musical would be an absurd notion on any other show. But with Buffy, a freewheeling creative impulse is easily met, as long as the plot doesn't stray from the central body of established mythology. So when a demon named Sweet comes to town and curses them to sing, then dance, then burst into flames, it's perfectly acceptable. And the songs add depth to each character, fit perfectly with the previous and following story arcs, and still manage to make the episode work as an independent piece. The cast are mostly quite talented vocally, with the exception of Alyson Hannigan (Willow, who only has about 2 lines of singing). Sarah Michelle Gellar(Buffy) is adequate, as is Nicholas Brendon(Xander). But the stars of the show are Amber Benson(Tara), James Marsters(Spike), and Anthony Stewart Head(Giles). All are experienced singers, and demonstrate their considerable skill here, mostly for the first time. (Giles has several episodes in Season 4 singing such classic tunes as "Behind Blue Eyes" and "Freebird").

The songs themselves are remarkably well-written, mostly dealing with love and disillusionment. Buffy is disillusioned after returning from the grave and being pulled out of Heaven, Spike is disillusioned with Buffy, who is coming to him with her problems only because she doesn't even consider him a real person and she doesn't want to burden her friends. Yet he loves her, soulless vampire that he is. Xander and Anya sing about hiding things in relationships, and the repercussions that can follow. Tara sings of her love for Willow, and then her ultimate loss when she learns of Wil's deception. Giles' song is about letting someone grow and letting someone go. (A problem the entire group has). Dawn feels ignored, and the group as a whole is lost. Each song is written in a voice true to the character, and the widescreen format, vibrant colors, and brilliant direction make this one of the best, if not the very best, of the shows 144 episode run. Everything unravels at the end, the skeletons are all out of the closet and busted to dust, and the darkest and most real season of the show is in full swing.

My personal favorite from the show is Buffy's "Something to Sing About." She's been forced to return to earth after her death, faced with caring for her sister after her mother's death, forced to live in so much pain, forced out of Paradise. She eventually works herself into a frenzy, and almost to death in the song. The most likely of heroes, and the man who will become part of the most disturbing televised relationship I've ever seen on numerous levels, is finally the one to save her. Oh, and the melody is really nice. Keep in mind the extremely ironic delivery and sardonic nuances that are required of the performance to get the full effect.

"Something to Sing About"

Life's a show
And we all play our parts
And when the music starts
We open up our hearts

It's all right
If some things come out wrong
We'll sing a happy song
And you can sing along

Where there's life
There's hope
Every day's
A gift
Wishes can
Come true
Whistle while
You work
So hard
All day

To be like other girls
To fit in in this glittering world
Don't give me songs
Don't give me songs

Give me something to sing about
I need something to sing about

Life's a song
You don't get to rehearse
And ev'ry single verse
Can make it that much worse

Still my friends
Don't know why I ignore
The million things or more
I should be dancing for

All the joy
Life sends
And friends
All the twists
And bends
Knowing that
It ends
Well that

On if they let you go
On if they know enough to know
That when you've bowed
You leave the crowd

There was no pain
No fear, no doubt
'Til they pulled me out
Of heaven

So that's my refrain
I live in hell
'Cause I've been expelled
From heaven
I think I was in heaven

So give me something to sing about
Please, give me something...

Life's not a song
Life isn't bliss
Life is just this
It's living

You'll get along
The pain that you feel
You only can heal
By living
You have to go on living
So one of us is living

Dawn: (spoken)
The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.

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Old 09-30-2004, 07:39 PM   #2
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Come on, I can't be the only Buffy fan out of thousands of people here

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Old 09-30-2004, 07:40 PM   #3
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sorry, i'm not feeling this one. /bad joke
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Old 10-01-2004, 05:04 AM   #4
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Oh, I know, it's not really on the merit of the song. It's my attempt to root out other Buffy fans.
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Old 10-01-2004, 01:48 PM   #5
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I was going to post that the title of this thread made me think of Buffy.

Considered me rooted.
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Old 10-01-2004, 08:35 PM   #6
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