The other day I read a book quoting some lyrics from a '60s musical. To my astonishment, I remembered the tune precisely. But this should probably come as no surprise.
Growing up, my parents believed that the evils latent in rock-and-roll would inevitably lead their children down the path to utter depravity. (Like David Bowie.) To put it short; we grew up listening to Broadway showtunes to keep us from turning gay. And I know all of those songs by heart. All of 'em. (Audible sigh.)
Not every single one is bad. Some are quite beautiful. For the most part, though, I feel about knowing every Broadway showtune the way I feel about knowing Steve Miller Band songs I learned in hazy college dorms. I wish I could put these songs in the "Trash" icon and hit "Secure Empty," freeing up cranial hard-drive space for something more useful. (Those of you who are ecologically responsible PC users might know "Trash" as "Recycle Bin.")
Perhaps, though, I don't remember showtunes merely because music has mnemonic properties and that's all I listened to when I was a kid. It's possible there is a deeper, more mystical reason.
I submit that Broadway showtunes may be memorable, not from repetition, but because they were intended as PROPHECY. That's right. Just like Nostradamus sounded like a complete con artist but EVERYTHING he said is TRUE. Look up the FACTS.
And, eerily (cue "X-Files"/History Channel music here), showtune PROPHECY was aimed at the Minnesota Twins, right NOW, about to venture into 2013's Winter Meetings . . .
Let's look at some examples, shall we?
Plant a radish, get a radish, never any doubt;
That's why I love vegetables, you know what they're about!
Plant a turnip, get a turnip, maybe you'll get two;
That's why I love vegetables, you know that they'll come through!
They're dependable. They're befriendable!
They're the best pal a parent's ever known.
While with children, it's bewilderin'
You don't know until the seed is fully grown!
(Just what you've sown.) -- "The Fantasticks," 1960
Clearly, this passage is a reference to the Twins' drafting struggles which led them to the AL cellar. But hope remains; the "turnip" and "radish" probably refer to Sano and Buxton. One of whom has a hidden twin brother of equal skill; whichever one the turnip is.
Lord, who made the lion and the lamb
You decreed I should be what I am
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan
If I were a wealthy man? -- "Fiddler On The Roof," 1964
Terry Ryan's nightly prayer. Indeed, having money to spend on free agents WOULD spoil a vast, eternal plan. Other messages along these lines include the ominous warnings hey, big spender, spend a little time with me sung by a woman of ill-repute and now he spends just like a sailor describing a cutthroat ("Sweet Charity," 1966, and "Threepenny Opera," 1928.) Obviously free agency = prostitution, murder, and pissing off God.
For the people all said "sit down! Sit down, you're rocking the boat."
People all said "sit down! Sit down, you're rocking the boat.
And the devil will drag you under! By the sharp lapel of your checkered coat!
Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, you're rocking the boat." -- "Guys And Dolls," 1950
Paul Molitor, do not disturb the Twins Way. You have been warned.
C'est moi! C'est moi, I'm forced to admit. 'Tis I, I humbly reply.
That mortal who these marvels can do, c'est moi, c'est moi, 'tis I.
I've never lost in battle or game; I'm simply the best by far.
When swords are crossed 'tis always the same: one blow and au revoir! -- "Camelot," 1960
Joe Mauer needs more love. Someone, somewhere, give it to him.
You can talk, you can bicker, you can talk, you can bicker
You can talk, talk, talk, talk, bicker bicker bicker
You can talk all you wanna, but it's different than it was!
("No it ain't! No it ain't! But ‘ya gotta know the territory!") -- The Music Man, 1957
Sabermetrics and science and shifts and platoons are stupid newfangled creations. You just keep that train a-rollin', Twins. Screw Bill James, Billy Beane, and Andrew Bryz-Gornia.
I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair (repeat twice more)
And send him on his way. -- "South Pacific," 1949
I'm just a girl who can't say no;
I'm in a terrible fix!
I always say, "come on, let's go,"
Just when I oughta say "nix." -- "Oklahoma," 1943
Songs by Rogers & Hammerstein, being the most cloying, annoying, ad-jingle-ready entries in the Broadway canon, are probably the most profound and difficult to decipher of all showtune PROPHECY. I think these two have to do with trading away veterans and the dangers of making bad trades. Or they could just be euphemisms for sex. Further consultation with the oracles and sacred texts is required. The Twins should be safe and do nothing.
Shut your ******* face, uncle-******!
You're a bonafide *********, uncle-******!
You're an uncle-******, yes it's true
Nobody ***** uncles quite like you. -- "South Park," 1999
From the earliest mists of time, ancient PROPHECY predicted the rise of Jim Souhan. (Some scholars think the line without evil there can be no good, so it must be good to be evil sometimes, from another canto by the same anonymous authors, may also refer to Souhan. I suspect it describes Twins blogs.)
I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented
Like a nightingale without a song to sing.
Oh, why should I have spring fever,
When it isn't even spring. -- "State Fair," 1945
See? I told you not ALL of them were horrible songs . . .