(Warning: TGIM! Long and tangential narrative ahead! Proceed with caution! And yes, as a matter of fact "tangential" IS a word.)
(My cutie-pies enjoying the AZ sun with cousins...)
Currently the children are obsessed-- oh, and I do mean OBSESSED-- with the movie version of "Phantom of the Opera." Last night TGIM and I listened on speaker phone while our three children heated up the phone lines with their sizzling virtuoso renditions of "Think of Me" (in key!-- Hannah), "Phantom of the Opera" (complete with "dun, dun, dun, dun, DUUUUN!"-- Tanner), and "Angel of Music" ("CHRIS-tine, CHRIS-tine... where in the world have you been HI-ding?!"-- Alli).
Funny. When my little brother (and I use the word "little" loosely here; the boy is what? 22 now? and must be all of 6'3' and 280 pounds!) was in kindergarten, I inadvertently introduced the "Phantom" soundtrack to him. Hooked him right in, I did! What IS IT about The Phantom, y'all?! It's MESMERIZING... I don't know that he feels any particular gratitude towards me helping make him such a well-rounded kindergartner, what with his "Phantom" fixation and all, but then again, he didn't do himself any favors with the Michael Jackson obsession a few years later either. I mean, a little white kid ripping open his shirt and shrieking "Dirty Diana! Oooooh! Hee!" doesn't exactly endear himself to the masses, let me tell you. Sorry, Josh. Just sayin'.
Back to "Phantom." Let's see... I was probably 17 at the time, and was upstairs in my parents' room on the bed playing cards with mi madre. Now, on any given summer day, this is where you would more than likely find me or my sisters or my other brothers, or just about anyone my mother could wrangle into playing cards with her, basically. You had to have pretty thick skin to play cards with my mom, you see. Let's just say she had a tendency to gloat when she won. Gloating which more often than not involved some variation of exuberant shimmying and jazz hands accompanied with "I WIN! YOU LOSE! LOOOOOOOOOOSER!" And if you had the luck to beat her? You were invariably subjected to "Best two out of three! Best three out of five!" and so forth. You know, until she won.
So there we would be, sprawled out on my parents' comfy king-sized bed facing each other, and Mom would deal. Then she'd say, "Loser goes first." Which meant, "Go, child. Don't forget to check your self-esteem at the door because I am going to whoop your ass again and again and AGAIN! Mwah ha ha!" Or at least that's what I imagined it meant. At the time. But still I played. Because I may be just a tad competitive. And beating Mom? That was an upset-- a coup, if you will-- indeed.
But I digress. As usual. Sorry, TGIM!
Anyhoos, one of my favorite aspects of the card playing tournaments in el roomo de mi madre was the MUSIC. If I was going to be cooped up playing cards with a parental unit when I could be, I don't know, reading a book, writing emotional, angst-filled diary entries, or you know, perfecting my savage tan (or freckles! whatever! shutuprightnow!), then by damn, I would be selecting the musical entertainment! Am I right?! Can I hear a big, "Hell yeah!!"?!
So now, thanks almost single-handedly to me (and a smidgen of Kasey Kasem), my mother can identify any given song by such varied artists as U2, Prince, Van Halen, Def Leppard, INXS, The Scorpions, Bon Jovi, OMD, Erasure, Tears for Fears, Pat Benatar, Heart, the J. Giles Band, Boston, Madonna, oh, you name the 80's band! She knows it! (Oh, ho, ho! You are SO welcome, Mother.) This is not even to MENTION the Monster Ballads by every 80's hair band in existence. Ooooooh, remember Europe's "Carrie"?! "Caaaaaaarrrrie! Caaaaaaaarrrie! Things they change my friend..." GOSH! I loved that song.
But this day was different. I remember it perfectly. Occasionally, since my mom and I have a fondness for (read: obsessive love of) musicals, I would let my mother select some form of show tune or rock opera for our listening pleasure. This day my parents had just purchased the soundtrack to "The Phantom of the Opera" which I had managed to go 17 long years without ever hearing, so we broke it out, slapped it in the old tape deck, and began to play cards.
Then? Then, you guys? THEN? I heard Sarah Brightman sing that note. THAT note. The note which pierces your very SOUL. In the song "The Phantom of the Opera" when the Phantom commands Christine, "Sing my Angel of Music!" and she begins those opera chords which grow higher and higher and HIGHER until she is singing so high and so beautifully that you can barely STAND IT. And glass trembles, but doesn't quite shatter.
You know. That part.
(If you have never heard this song, I suggest you go and listen to it today. Like, speedy quick. It will blow you away. Sarah Brightman? Amazing. Total diva, but AMAZING.)
So of course I did what any self-respecting closet show-tune loving OCD teenager worth her salt would do. I replayed that freaking song over and over again, card game almost completely forgotten, calling to everyone in the house, "You gotta come hear this song! Come here! Comehererightnow! LISTEN!"
Josh, my 5-year-old brother, was the only other person in the house that day. The rest is history. And let me just state for the record: It's not MY fault he chose to carry around his own personalized copy of the "Phantom" soundtrack, playing it for all his friends when they came over to play. It's not MY fault he subjected his carpool buddies to it every time they got in the car with him. It's not MY fault he knew all the lyrics to the songs and sang them-- with abandon-- anywhere and everywhere (read: grocery store, school, church) without any type of advance warning whatsoever. It's NOT MY FAULT!
Blame Sarah Brightman. And Andrew Lloyd Webber. I know I do.
Because now my kiddos are carrying on the fine musical tradition of their ancestors. Oh, yes. They are feeling the "Phantom" love. And honestly? I wouldn't want it any other way.
ROCK ON, Lambson kiddos. ROCK. ON.
ETA: My mother laughingly relayed to me that my li'l bro Josh used to refer to this song as "the one where the lady sings her lungs out!" Apparently, this was the hot TRL song of the Abia Judd Elementary School carpool, with all Josh's schoolmates and friends hopping into the car and requesting, "Hey, Josh! Play that song where the lady sings her LUNGS out!"
What a bunch of weirdos.
I love it!
Heaven forbid anyone ask for more at the dinner table because the kids and I will break out singing "Oliver, Oliver..." much to my husbands chagrin.
Honestly, for over a year I made the kids watch a muscial with me every Friday night complete with oral quiz and star ratings. Torture you say? Culture I say!
- » 8/01/2005 2:23 PM
- Cat commented:
Woman?! You and my mom? Total BFF's!
- » 8/01/2005 2:26 PM
- Random and Odd commented:
LOL. You crack me up. I swear.
I thought having the kids know the words to "Baby's got back" was good.
YOu've got me beat.
- » 8/01/2005 5:40 PM
- kalki commented:
I've never heard the song. (Geez, I know: BAD.) But you don't get RSS, so we're even. ;)
I'm moseying over to iTunes now...
- » 8/01/2005 6:58 PM
- mrtl commented:
You crack me up. Never heard the song either, but I will.
- » 8/01/2005 8:58 PM
- Bente commented:
I also love Phantom of the Opera. I went to see it about ten years ago on a highschool trip to Toronto. It was amazing! And I know the note you're talking about, it gave me goosebumps just thinking about while I read.
- » 8/01/2005 11:19 PM
- Amy commented:
Great fun! I loved "Caaarriieee!" too! And "Rosaaaannaaa" too.
Us kids were OBSESSED with the movie "Hair". We were hippies of the 80's. And some of the lyrics were REALLY RUDE. And we would sing them down the halls of our darling little Catholic school.
- » 8/02/2005 5:11 PM