Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
I have loved “Saturday Night Live” since I was too young to see it. But that did not stop me from doing so by secretly watching it in my room or on the weekends when I was out of the house babysitting. By the fall of 1981, Lorne Michaels departed as producer and a whole new group of performers replaced the “Not Ready For Prime Time Players”. The new producer, Dick Ebersol, attempted to reclaim some of the show’s old magic by hiring the first head writer for the show, Michael O’Donoghue. His first tenure with the show was from 1975-1977 but his second one in 1981 was even shorter because of alleged problems with the cast due to his temper (by the mid 1980’s he re-established his writing talent as a co-writer of the screenplay for SNL alumni Bill Murray’s 1988 movie, “Scrooged”).
But while he was at SNL the second time O’Donoghue wrote today’s song. It was performed by then cast member, Christine Ebersole, in a skit with her sitting in a bar. No comedy, just her singing this incredible song with a piano accompaniment. I remember watching that night, listening to her voice and being completely floored by her performance and the song itself. She went on to do a lot of other things, including plays & guest TV appearances. In 2005 I was lucky to see her on Broadway when she played M’Lynn in “Steel Magnolias”. She was also in one of my favorite “Will & Grace” episodes from 2001 as a rival to Karen (season 3 episode 19).
Another woman heard this song and decided to record it. Since that women is Dolly Parton (Truvy in the 1989 “Steel Magnolias” movie) you know her version is nothing short of fabulous. It was a top ten hit for her in 1982 and features a wonderful sax arrangement. I have struggled for months to pick just one of her incredible songs to share, and even though she did not write this one herself, I still think it is one of her best. And SNL may have its ups and downs, but it is moments like the one created for today’s song that keeps me tuned in week after week because I know the magic of that show is just one surprising skit away.
“And it’s gettin’ near to closing
And the seconds pass like years
Lots of friends to share the laughter
Not a one to share the tears“.
Christine Ebersole on SNL in 1981 and Dolly Parton as Truvy in “Steel Magnolias” from 1989. (Images found online. Original sources unknown.)
Dolly Parton: “Single Women” (1982, written by Michael O’Donoghue).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.