Thursday, August 7, 2008

Y&R 8/6/2008, How Can I Keep From Singing?



The post title technically refers to a hymn played on today's Y&R...but in truth it reflects how good I feel about my show right now. The slide montage that graces the top of this post/blog comes from the ending montage of that episode, and the song comes from the soundtrack. Young Jamia (Ana) first sings the hymn...so we know what it is and what it means. Then, the instruments take over and give us images for the ages.

What all makes this episode great?

1. Kay giving Jesus a talking to. Loved it! "When you finally come for me," she chides the Lord, "We're going to have a long talk."



2. Adam is all the more compelling when he is seething. The writers now understand that we want to FEEL our characters. To that end, the actual and previewed conflicts with Nick were spine tingling.

3. Nikki and her fight for sobriety is...okay....I hope she either does or doesn't soon. ON THE OTHER HAND, dumping David's ashes in a wheelbarrow full of (pardon my friend) horse sh*t was a thing of beauty. This was AS iconic as, over a decade earlier, David Kimble meeting his maker in a trash compactor.

4. My heart was strangely warmed by the nice way that Michael asked Kevin to ride with him to the prison (to maybe meet his daddy), and how nicely Kevin went along. I'm glad Terrible Tom was again mentioned. Today reminded me of HIS ashes (disposal!!) and his still-unopened safe deposit box.

5. Surprises for me: Victor on a bus to/in Mexico. That sideways shot through the open window vaguely reminded me of Y&R's debut (when Brad Elliot rode a dusty pickup--as a hitchhiker--en route to Genoa City)

6. That ending montage. I loved the music, I loved the set pieces...each set up with real craftspersonship:

- Victor at the graveside with a single flower
- Adam and his cell phone, remembering his dead friend Skye
- Kay seeing Nikki's open AA book and cross
- Nikki, ashes, and horseshit (!!!!!!!!!! GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Victor on the bus
- Sabrina's drawing

==

Now, the hymn moved me, so I was inspired to do some research.

That beautiful, beautiful instrumental piece was deeply moving to me, and wonderfully framed the montage with its combination of melancholy and soaring. Sentimental and melodramatic? Sure. But I watch soaps, so....

Now, dramatically, I understand the structure of those final scenes better. Ana's song gave us the lyrics and the explicit meaning of the song. Then, the montage imbued it with feeling as we watched our many "loved ones" (the Genuvians) go through their "endless lamentations".

Now, knowing this, I did some exploration. You may all know this, or not care, but to me it was interesting. Wikipedia says:

"How Can I Keep From Singing?" (listed in some hymnals by the opening line "My Life Flows On") is a Christian hymn written by American Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry in 1860. The original composition has now entered into the public domain. The song is frequently cited incorrectly as a traditional Quaker hymn.

Pete Seeger learned a version of this song from Doris Plenn, who had it from her North Carolina family. His version made this song fairly well known in the folk revival of the 1960s. Seeger's version omits much of the Christian wording of the original, and adds a verse. Most folk singers, including Enya, have followed Seeger's version.

The song received new prominence in 1991 when Irish singer Enya released a recording of the hymn on her album Shepherd Moons. It was also released as a single in the same year, with Oíche Chiún and 'S Fagaim Mo Bhaile appearing as additional tracks.

It is also sung by Dahlia Malloy (Minnie Driver) in the episode 'Virgin Territory' from Season One of FX's The Riches.


The original Christian lyrics are

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation
I hear the sweet though far off hymn
That hails a new creation:
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round!
Songs in the night He giveth:
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of Heav’n and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift mine eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smoothes
Since first I learned to love it:
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing:
All things are mine since I am His—
How can I keep from singing?

The Seeger lyrics are

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation.
I hear the real, thought far off hymn
That hails the new creation
Above the tumult and the strife,
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

What through the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
What through the darkness round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of Heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging.
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?

1 comment:

BETTYEJ said...

I came to your site by accident. I am so glad I did. Thankyou for going to the trouble of looking up that song that was played when they buried Sabrina. I was one of the few who loved her and Victor together, and the day they buried her, I couldn't watch. I will truly miss her and Victor beautiful love story and will always beieve that she was a very gifted actress and it will be Young and Restless lost.