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Try To Remember


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There are so many lyrics that can and do catch the older (gay) man's yearning for youth and beauty. There always seem to be threads on this forum about "successful" escorts needing to see past most clients' ages and looks. And other threads about clients' need to feel valued for more than the money they bring to an encounter. And, in the relatively short time that I've been on this forum, I've read just about every variation (that I can think of) of the above two themes. So, I thought, that as my final posting of song lyrics, I would try to find a set that caught the complicated list of emotions that an aging client (say the wrong side of 60) brings to an encounter with a much younger (sexier, handsomer?) man who is, certainly in part, only seeing him as a business transaction: From The Fantastiks by Tom Jones, 1960, here's "Try To Remember":

 

 

Try to remember the kind of September

When life was slow and oh, so mellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When grass was green and grain was yellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When you were a tender and callow fellow.

Try to remember, and if you remember,

Then follow.

 

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,

Follow, follow, follow, follow.

 

Try to remember when life was so tender

That no one wept except the willow.

Try to remember when life was so tender

That dreams were kept beside your pillow.

Try to remember when life was so tender

That love was an ember about to billow.

Try to remember, and if you remember,

Then follow.

 

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,

Follow, follow, follow, follow.

 

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,

Follow, follow, follow, follow.

 

Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow,

Follow, follow, follow, follow.

 

Deep in December, it's nice to remember,

Although you know the snow will follow.

Deep in December, it's nice to remember,

Without a hurt the heart is hollow.

Deep in December, it's nice to remember,

The fire of September that made us mellow.

Deep in December, our hearts should remember

And follow.

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If I'm not mistaken, originally sung in the off-Broadway premiere by Jerry Orbach, the first El Gallo. I've known and loved that song for as long as I can remember, from when I was a tender and callow fellow. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Lee

 

=======

 

A friend is someone who reaches for your hand but touches your heart.

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I saw Jerry Orbach sing that song in "The Fantasticks" in 1960, the first show I ever saw in New York. Even at that callow age, it struck a deep chord of nostalgic sentiment in me; it was the only thing I remembered afterwards about the show, but the music and lyrics have stayed with me permanently.

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I've heard that song a million times, but I admit that I had never thought of September as signifying youth.

 

More generally, I would say, though, that I'm happier in my thirties than I was in my early 20s. I certainly wept a lot more back then.

I've looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It's life's illusions I recall

I really don't know life at all

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I've heard that song a million times, but I admit that I had never thought of September as signifying youth.

 

More generally, I would say, though, that I'm happier in my thirties than I was in my early 20s. I certainly wept a lot more back then.

 

September represents youth to those in December. As you are in the June or July of your life, September may not seem to be a time for which you will be nostalgic. If you think that, you are wrong.

I have never seen a purplekow :)

I hope I never see one ;)

But I can tell you this and how I would rather see than be one :D

 

Help there is a purplekow in my mirror :eek:

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Blast you, blast you, BLAST you, unsub!

 

Now I've got that song irrepressibly running around in my head ... and it (along with other forum members' comments) brought to mind similarly melancholic-reminiscent-saccharine-impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head (once you reach a certain age) songs like "Circle Game," "Send in the clowns," and "Hello Young Lovers." (The latter from "The King and I, for forum members too young to know it.)

 

not just longing for youth and beauty (although certainly including that), but also loss of innocence, loves known and lost, opportunities/paths taken and missed, and life stages passed through ...

 

as my child heads off to college -- having demonstrated long ago where Hugh Lofting got the idea for the "push-me-pull-you" in the Dr Doolittle books -- I can't stop tearing up while thinking:

 

Yesterday, a child came out to wander

Caught a dragonfly inside a jar

Fearful when the sky was full of thunder

And tearful at the falling of a star

 

and then skipping through the verses to:

 

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty

Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true

There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty

Before the last revolving year is through.

 

ah ... lyricists who tug at the hearstrings

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Ah yes, "Try to Remember" - I loved that song from the moment I first heard it - when I was a tender and (even more) callow fellow. Loved the show too. But in the show, it's the opening number - almost a prelude kind of song that invites the audience in to the action and invites us all to remember earlier times in our respective lives so that we might enter into the spirit of the show more readily. An amazingly effective and simple composition. Another reason why The Fantasticks" was such a great show.

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Guest Starbuck

We all have our good points. Some escorts can look past age and weight and appreciate the opportunity to spend time with a man who knows show tunes.

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Blast you, blast you, BLAST you, unsub!

 

Now I've got that song irrepressibly running around in my head ... and it (along with other forum members' comments) brought to mind similarly melancholic-reminiscent-saccharine-impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head (once you reach a certain age) songs like "Circle Game," "Send in the clowns," and "Hello Young Lovers." (The latter from "The King and I, for forum members too young to know it.)

 

not just longing for youth and beauty (although certainly including that), but also loss of innocence, loves known and lost, opportunities/paths taken and missed, and life stages passed through ...

 

as my child heads off to college -- having demonstrated long ago where Hugh Lofting got the idea for the "push-me-pull-you" in the Dr Doolittle books -- I can't stop tearing up while thinking:

 

Yesterday, a child came out to wander

Caught a dragonfly inside a jar

Fearful when the sky was full of thunder

And tearful at the falling of a star

 

and then skipping through the verses to:

 

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty

Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true

There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty

Before the last revolving year is through.

 

ah ... lyricists who tug at the hearstrings

 

Forgive me, SC, but I think that this song from "Aspects of Love" catches your feelings quite well. It's sung by a father to his daughter the night before her wedding. I like this YouTube version so I won't (as previously promised) post the lyrics. Just imagine the male singer being the girl's father--not her suitor. Here you go:

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September represents youth to those in December. As you are in the June or July of your life, September may not seem to be a time for which you will be nostalgic. If you think that, you are wrong.

 

Oh, I certainly will be. But words like "tender" and "callow" suggested to be that "September" represents one's twenties. After all, one doesn't often call a forty-year-old a "callow youth."

 

In any case, for a woman, December comes a lot earlier.

I've looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It's life's illusions I recall

I really don't know life at all

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Thanks for the post and the lyrics... but unfortunately, I won't get it out of my head tonight, and will dream about it as well. I too saw Jerry sing it on Broadway, and have seen the Fantastics probably more than any other musical. But there are some other very good ones too, especially from South Pacific... Hello Young Lovers... for example, which I saw done by two guys in a take off of the original... such fun, and while I am the other side of 60 as well, I have been privileged to know a lot of guys, much younger than I who also enjoyed those songs and lyrics.

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I've played it about 5 times on Youtube since this was posted. I heard it in a college music, and it was sung in a much more upbeat tempo than the version in the 2006 production.

I've looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It's life's illusions I recall

I really don't know life at all

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I've heard that song a million times, but I admit that I had never thought of September as signifying youth.

 

.

 

Deep in December, it's nice to remember

The fire of June (?)....

 

It just doesn't have quite the same lilt, because it ruins the internal rhyme scheme that makes the song so effective. But I'll admit that the connotations in "September Song" are very different.

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the more appropriate (to this thread) lines from "September Song".....

 

Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December

But the days grow short when you reach September

When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame

One hasn't got time for the waiting game

 

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few

September, November

And these few precious days I'll spend with you

These precious days I'll spend with you

 

here's a pretty haunting Sinatra audio of this classic...

 

.

Some Of My Daddy's Reviews (updated link coming soon-ish)

Pronouns: me, me, me

 

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I know this is going to seem really shallow and stupid to some of you, but I really think the references to months in the song have no symbolic intent at all. I think Charlie is right - the use of a specific month just rhymes better. The song is the first thing in the show and as such, it's more about establishing an ambience or feel for the theater-goer than it is about evoking past experiences that the playgoer may have had when younger. Especially since most of the characters are young - there is no way that Matt and Luisa are examples of September and they are the romantic leads that we are expected to identify with. This song is not comparable to Kurt Weill's September Song - that is clearly about age. Read into the Fantasticks piece what you will, but that is really only your filtering through your own lens of life experience; it is not that of the composer and lyricist.

 

For those of you who insist on reading things into the song, than I can only guess at what the line "Deep in December" must conjure up for you.

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there is no way that Matt and Luisa are examples of September and they are the romantic leads that we are expected to identify with.

 

Later, in the song "Metaphor," Matt does sing this lyric to Luisa:

 

"You are September, A special mystery to me!"

 

Also, the wonderful monologue that El Gallo speaks to introduce the glen scene near the end of Act I ("Soon It's Gonna Rain" etc) references September. It starts with:

 

"You wonder how these things begin. Well, this begins with a glen. It begins with a Season, which, for want of a better word, we might as well call September."

 

And ends with:

 

"It is September, before a rainfall. A perfect time to be in love."

 

So yes, I do think it's more of a seasonal reference than one linked to age specifically. BUT, both age AND season play a huge role in Jones and Schmidt's less known musical Celebration - a show that I feel has a lot of parallels to The Fantasticks, but has a much different tone. (And, speaking of "deep in December," Celebration takes place on New Year's Eve, and references the solstice and Saturnalia.)

 

Age issues also drive two of their other major shows - one of the big plot points in 110 In The Shade (based on The Rainmaker) is Lizzie's desperation to find love and not be branded as a spinster. One of her cathartic moments is the extraordinary song "Old Maid" where she spells out that fear, culminating in "Oh God, don't let me live and die alone." And, I Do! I Do!, written for Mary Martin and Robert Preston, traces the life of a married couple from the wedding day to 25 years in the future. And again, one of the most cathartic moments goes to the female character, who sings a song called "What Is A Woman?" as she contemplates leaving her husband after they experience "empty nest" syndrome after their children have themselves grown up and gotten married.

 

I would say that there IS a theme of age/experience in The Fantasticks - Matt and Luisa as the innocent lovers who spend Act II growing up and losing their youthful idealism before they can truly figure out how to love each other - with the older El Gallo becoming a foil to Matt and a seducer for Luisa. Much like the structure of the later Into The Woods, the end of Act I of The Fantasticks is "happily ever after" and a celebration of idealism - Act II contains the painful real-life lessons that burst that bubble.

 

But I agree with Phil - September in this case is not really about age - just about time. :D

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