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Friday, February 10, 2006


I think Jason Robert Brown (JRB) is a genius. I've posted before about his other shows and music and everytime I listen to his work, I am reminded of the complexity of his talent. This week, I've been listening a lot to Songs For A New World -- a compilation of songs written at different times for different projects. Instantly, it is obvious that JRB is a gifted writer/lyricist. He tackles jazz, gospel, funk as well as "typical" musical theatre-esque songs with such ease that listeners at first don't notice the many layers to his lyrics. With every word and every phrase, JRB is constructing beautiful poetry set to music in a way that is missing this day and age both on-stage and in popular music. The song below, "I'm Not Afraid Of Anything" is one that first caught my ear the first time I listened to this album. I was struck not only by the melodies, but the lyrics and the way each phrase is constructed. Yes, I can be a little obsessive at times...and when I really like a song, I study every aspect of it from listening until I can sing it in my sleep to attempting to understand the musicology of each bar of music. I (typically) don't do this with most music (seriously, I don't) and certainly not with entire shows, much less composers, but ever since I first heard The Last Five Years, I've become pretty interested in the body of work from Jason Robert Brown.

* * *

~Jason Robert Brown

Jenny's afraid of water
I mean she swims so well, but still
She's afraid of water
And so she won't go near the sea
Not me

Katie's afraid of darkness
I mean she sleeps and all, but still
She's afraid of darkness
So when the lights are out she has to hold my hand
I don't understand

I'm not afraid of anything
Be it mountains, water, dragons, dark or sky
I'm not afraid of anything
Tell me where's the challenge if you never try
So watch me fly
I'm not afraid

Daddy's afraid of babies
I mean he got through me, but now
He's afraid of babies
Guess he's scared of what they'll be
Not me

And Mama's afraid of crying
You know she tries to hold it in
But she's afraid of crying
And she can look at me with tears stuck in her eye
And I don't know why

I'm not afraid of anything
Be it growing old or going out of style
I'm not afraid of anything
Who would give up what they want without a trial
Another mile
I'm not afraid

And I feel the calling of adventure
And I hear the ringing in my ear
The lights are glaring
Trumpets blaring
I'm right here
And I hear the calling of tomorrow
And I feel the stirring in my bones
And David loves me
He's afraid to hold me

Listen to the calling of excitement
Can you feel the pounding of my heart
The lights are ready
Pulse is steady
I can start

Never stop the calling of a challenge
Blessing on the water and the stones
And David loves me
He's afraid to tell me
David loves me
He's afraid to trust me
He's afraid to hold me
And he'll always be
He's afraid of me

And I'm not afraid of anyone
I am sure to win with anyone at all
I'm not afraid of anyone
Not a soul alive can get behind this wall
So let them call
And watch them fall
‘Cause after all
I'm not afraid.


scmusicals said...

I like that song a lot. But, my favorite song from Songs For A New World has to be "The Stars and the Moon". It puts into perspective a person's priorities and the consequences of their decisions. Beautiful music with a strong message...what a concept! =)

chizi said...

Yes, "Stars & The Moon" is my other favorite song from "Songs For A New World" and I debated for awhile as to which lyrics I would post. Thanks to you, I think I'll post it too! See what I mean, JRB=GENIUS!!! :)

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