Ode to the (Lion) King…from a wide-eyed wanderer

In honor of The Lion King 3D being out in theaters right now – and for it being the #1 movie this past week! – I thought it might be a good time to wax sentimental about this Disney classic.  Of course, it goes without saying that my favorite part of the movie is the music (surprise, surprise).

For the record (no pun intended), The Lion King is the highest-grossing 2D animated film of all time in the United States, and the soundtrack is the biggest selling soundtrack EVER from an animated film.  And, of course,  Can You Feel the Love Tonight garnered Elton his first (and only) Academy Award.

With the King of the Jungle (from The Circle Of Life video)

I’ll never forget taking my son to see the movie when he was about 18 months old.  It was the first movie he ever saw in a theater, and he stood up on his tiptoes the entire time, peeking breathless over the top of the seat in front of him (“peering out of tiny eyes, the grubby hands that gripped the rail”). He was totally enthralled, and I was enthralled watching him.

And my sister still talks about the time she was roaming around Toys ‘R Us with her two toddlers, and when one of the songs from the movie came on, her son said excitedly “Mommy, Elton John, Elton John!”  Starting ’em young – makes me so proud!

Yes, I do love the music.  Elton and Tim Rice make a great combination (but not as great as Elton and Bernie, I might add, but they sure worked some magic for this movie).  The Lion King soundtrack was the first of several collaborations for the pair.  I love all five of the original songs, but my favorite song from the movie has to be “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.”   It’s a fun song (reminiscent of Hercules and Your Sister Can’t Twist), and it tugs especially at my heart because I used to dance around the living room with my son to this song.

I Just Can’t Wait to be King

To complete the circle (of life) of this blog post, I thought I should also include links to the other original songs from the soundtrack.  Classics, all of them.

Can You Feel the Love Tonight (One of my favorite lines is very Taupin-esque, even though it’s Tim Rice’s pen: “It’s enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best”).

The Circle of Life

Hakuna Matata

Be Prepared

I was able to see the musical version of The Lion King, too (not on Broadway, alas).  Some day!

Oh yes, and The Lion King  is my daughter’s favorite movie (I’m sure because of the soundtrack, too).  😉

(The Lion King – 1994)

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I must have lost it on the wind

For all the boys who’ve ever stolen my heart, be it for a moment, a day, a week, a month, a year or a lifetime…this one’s for you.  Truly, your relationships (family, friends and flames alike) make you who you are  – and I’d say I’ve been pretty lucky (for the most part) all around.  (And so have all of you, by the way)!  I’d like to think I’ve come a long way over the years, yet I know I still have a way to go.  But that’s what makes it interesting.

Most know who they were, but some never did know.  And mostly thank you’s, some apologies and even a few blushes are in order.

Back when I was younger each one was a prize
Love just came along and hit you right between the eyes

Now I may not be so young any more, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate where I’ve come from, what I’ve been through and who’s helped me get to where I am.

But some are always in my heart
And some I’m not so sure
Either way they all left their mark
And for some I found a cure

Every once in a while, I look back and think about the relationships I’ve had over the years.  Sometimes it makes me wonder what the heck I was thinking, but mostly it just makes me smile.  You can always ask yourself “Why didn’t I”, “Why did I?”, “How could I be that stupid?”, “How did that one get away?”, “Why didn’t I feel the same way?”, but it doesn’t really matter, does it?  I was who I was then, I am who I am now.  And (borrowing from another song) “you can’t go back, and if you try it fails.”   Not that I’m trying to go back, not at all.  It’s just nice reminiscing sometimes.

And from one you learn something
And another you learn, nothing
And there’s one who might teach you everything
But before I learned to listen
And if indeed someone said it
Then I guess I must have lost it on the wind

Funny, if you were listening with your heart, you wouldn’t have heard it anyway.

You couldn’t tell me I was wrong, you couldn’t tell me anything

I Must Have Lost It On The Wind (The Captain and the Kim – 2006)

A kismet moment

Ok, so I normally listen to my EJ CDs when I’m driving, but I just happened to turn the radio on this morning when I was taking my daughter to school.  And to further the title claim, I don’t normally listen to Majic 102.7, but I just so happened to have the radio tuned to that station, and lo and behold, the DJs were talking about today being Dan Marino’s 50th birthday (my other favorite icon) and how he was going to get a transatlantic birthday greeting from someone…someone who is called sir…and something about the message being a candle in the wind.

Now who could that be?

Well, another lo and behold, and of course it was (a spoofed) Sir Elton John wishing Dan a Happy 50th.

My two favorite icons.  Melded together.  One degree.

KISMET.

I don’t remember all the words, but I do remember the chorus…

It seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to throw to when the blitz came in
I would’ve liked to have seen you in the Super Bowl
But your bad knees burned out long before your shoulder ever did

Priceless.

A good day, a good day indeed.

One more whisper of a voice unheard

I mentioned this song in my last post, and, after seeing the video for the first time, I just knew I had to blog about it.  Poignant, to say the least.  And thematically more far reaching than one might initially think.  Yes, it’s about a young man dying of AIDS and the (unexpected) reconciliation with his father, but it could be about anyone with a discordant familial relationship.  (Doesn’t that describe most of us)?

Yesterday you came to lift me up
As light as straw and brittle as a bird
Today I weigh less than a shadow on the wall
Just one more whisper of a voice unheard

That last line, the one I chose as the title for this post, refers to the thousands (millions?) of people afflicted by HIV/AIDS who, at the time (1992) were largely ignored.  Part of our past that none of us wants to think about…have we come as far as we think we have?

`Cause I never thought I’d lose
I only thought I’d win
I never dreamed I’d feel
This fire beneath my skin
I can’t believe you love me
I never thought you’d come
I guess I misjudged love
Between a father and his son

I know this song is especially meaningful to Elton because he lost so many friends to AIDS.  But I suspect it holds extra significance since he had a strained (nonexistent) relationship with his own father.  You know, no matter who you are and how you’ve come to terms with your feelings, it has to hurt in some way not to have a relationship with a parent, a child, a sibling.  It just has to.

I know it did for me.  Reconciliation with my own father came over several years, not a single point in time.  Blessedly (and I know that sounds strange), I was there with him when he passed away.  The Last Song in reverse?  Perhaps.

Closure can be so uplifting.

The Last Song

The Last Song (The One – 1992)

P.S.  As a side note, The Last Song was the first single to benefit EJAF.  It was also played as a closing montage for the 1993 film And the Band Played On.