Hi, Everybody!!! Welcome back to the countdown.
Pretty Christmas decorative display found on Pinterest (original source unknown).
I love soap operas. Love them. Notice that I wrote in the present tense, despite the fact that I do not watch them anymore because nearly all my favorite ones were cancelled. I watched General Hospital for decades but they lost me over the years, especially when Tony Geary (the iconic Luke Spencer) retired. However, I must admit I find myself tuning into “The Bold & The Beautiful” if I remember it is on since Thorsten Kaye-All My Children’s beautifully delicious Zac Slater-is on it. I still like the genre for the most part. Some of the tried & true story lines like- who’s the real daddy of the baby despite what the first blood test results are because we all know so & so switched the DNA samples -should be retired. But I digress.
I started watching soaps with my mom when I was little, then when I was home sick from school or on summer vacation and later on when I could record them on my VCR. Then I would marathon all five episodes on the weekend. For today’s crowd, marathon was the original term for binge-watching. I really believe I invented that. But again, I digress.
My favorite soap of all time is Another World. I adored that show. Adored it. It was cancelled nearly 20 years ago, and I still miss my friends from Bay City. Every. Single. Day. AW had some of the best (and most underrated) actors & writers in the business, and depicted true solid enduring friendships and love stories in a way that was both believable and touching.
I learned some captivating poetry when a few characters recited some of the best ones (“A Drinking Song” by William Butler Yates and “I Carry Your Heart With Me” by E.E. Cummings are just two the soap introduced me to). One character-the extraordinary Charles Keating’s Carl Hutchins-in particular even quoted King Lear, among other Shakespeare plays. And I discovered an absolutely astounding singer thanks to AW, too.
In October 1995 a beloved character named Ryan Harrison was killed off. He was the proverbial good guy-nice, romantic, worked as a cop, was adored by his fiancé, loved by his family, etc. The scenes of him saying goodbye to the great love of his life were hard enough, but watching the various characters getting the news of his passing was unbearable. It was done at the end of the episode in a montage of scenes. But there was no dialogue. Just music. And singing. One voice. One song. And it was exquisite.
It was written for a Broadway play, but it fit the scene like a glove. I had never heard it before but from the first note I was enthralled. And then I was sobbing, not only because of Ryan’s death, or the other actor’s mesmerizing performances, but because the lyrics told such a beautiful heartbreaking story. I was so overwhelmed by emotion I actually stood up and applauded the actors, the singer and the genius who brought them both together. Whoever the person was in charge of the music on AW deserved an award-or perhaps even the Nobel Peace prize-for bringing us such a stunning moment.
I do not know who that person was, but the song was “Once Upon A Dream” from the Broadway hit “Jekyll & Hyde”. It was written by composer Frank Wildhorn and sung by his then wife, actress/singer Linda Eder. To this day, I cannot hear that song without wanting to cry my eyes out. And I can recognize Eder’s undeniably elegant & unbelievably beautiful voice the second I hear it.
That is why when I heard today’s Christmas song I knew it was her. She was a guest vocalist on a 1998 classical album by harpist Jung Kwak. The music is gorgeous to match Eder’s voice and the lyrics exude wishes for the holiday season and always without being overly sentimental:
“Let there be peace, let there be love
Listen to the silence, listen for the song”
Jung Kwak featuring Linda Eder: “The Gift” (1998)
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing some things that I love with you 🙂
What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?
Until next time, happy listening!!!