Till There Was You
There were bells on the hill
But I never heard them ringing,
No, I never heard them at all
Till there was you.
There were birds in the sky
But I never saw them winging,
No, I never saw them at all
Till there was you.
And there was music,
And there were wonderful roses,
They tell me,
In sweet fragrant meadows of dawn, and dew.
There was love all around
But I never heard it singing
No, I never heard it at all
Till there was you!
This is one of the best songs from one of the best musicals ever, The Music Man, lyrics and music by Meredith Willson. The scene in which this song appears, below, is the key to the whole story. Taken literally, Robert Preston's music man character is a charlatan. He says he can teach children to play music, and the citizens of the town pay him to do so. But he cannot actually teach music at all. The people do not get what they paid for.
But they get something else, at least as valuable. For the Music Man brings the town and its people to life. He makes them happy and excited, he makes them sing and dance, he even brings love, if only fleetingly, to one who had never known it before. He instills in them the courage to do what they never dared to do before. He makes their lives worth living. And that is an enormous gift to bring to anyone, let alone a whole town.
Only one person, the mayor, is so dour as to take the Music Man literally, and see him as simply the charlatan that he appears to be on the surface. He suggests the people tar and feather the Music Man. But everyone else in town - even the mayor's wife - supports the Music Man against the mayor. In spite of having been conned about his music teaching ability.
In addition to Till There Was You, there are several other wonderful songs in The Music Man. Lida Rose, Marian the Librarian, Seventy-Six Trombones, just to name a few. Robert Preston and the lovely Shirley Jones give magnificent performances, and the Buffalo Bills quartet will make you understand the beauty of the barbarshop quartet.
Watch the YouTube clip below for a taste, then buy or rent the DVD and enjoy the whole wonderful story. We need more Music Men in the world.
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