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Wednesday, March 08, 2006


It's no secret that I just adore the work of Jason Robert Brown. I've written plenty of posts about his shows, songs, lyrics etc. It seems everytime I really listen to any of his music, I find new reasons to love his songs. With each listen, I discover new ways of interpreting the lyrics and sometimes, I even find a new understanding of myself.

There are times when a set of lyrics are particularly striking to me upon first listen and that is when I really take notice of a song. If I am hearing a show for the first time on CD (which throughout the years has often been the case) I fully immerse myself in what I am hearing. I tend not to listen to a show superficially, because when I listen to it for the first time, I want to be completely attentive and present. Sometimes I think the attention I pay to lyrics is the same attention I paid to poetry in all of my English Lit classes in college. Yet when they are song lyrics, you interpret and judge the song not only with your head but with your heart because music is something you feel.

For as much as I love Sondheim, in some ways, I think I love the work of JRB even more because his music strikes a chord in my soul. I realize this sounds super cheezy, but when I hear his music and read his lyrics, the way I relate to it comes from somewhere deep within me. Maybe this is why after two years, I can still listen to The Last Five Years and each time, find a new understanding of the show. JRB's work fascinates me -- it is fresh, interesting, thought provoking, intelligent, what Broadway needs and one of the reasons I love musical theatre so much.

I first heard about JRB when Parade was nominated for a Tony Award in 1999, yet I've never heard the score in it's entirety (until now, I just purchased it on iTunes). I'm amazed though that I never heard any of his work until I discovered The Last Five Years. Now it seems that I prefer listening to almost anything written or performed by JRB. I've yet to listen to anything that he's written that I don't like or appreciate. I've been listening to his CD, Wearing Someone Else's Clothes a lot these days and this week, my JRB song du jour is Someone to Fall Back On. I was just reading a review in which someone said this might just be the most honest love song they've heard. I agree. It's simply beautiful, honest...a great song.

* * *

~Jason Robert Brown

I’ll never be
A knight in armor
With a sword in hand,
Or a kamikaze fighter;
Don’t count on me
To storm the barricades
And take a stand,
Or hold my ground;
You’ll never see
Any scars or wounds -
I don’t walk on coals,
I won’t walk on water:
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
I am not anyone’s wildest dream,
But I can stand behind
And be someone to fall back on.

Some comedy -
You’re bruised and beaten down
And I’m the one
Who’s looking for a favor.
Still, honestly,
You don’t believe me
But the things I have
Are the things you need.
You look at me
Like I don’t make sense,
Like a waste of time,
Like it serves no purpose -
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
And if that’s what you believe you need,
You’re wrong - you don’t need much,
You need someone to fall back on...

And I’ll be that:
I’ll take your side.
If I’m the only one,
I’m used to that.
I’ve been alone,
I’d rather be
The half of us,
The least of you,
The best of me.
And I will be
Your prince,
I’ll be your saint,
I will go crashing through fences
In your name. I will, I swear -
I’ll be someone to fall back on!
I’ll be the one who waits,
And for as long as you’ll let me,
I will be the one you need.
I’ll be someone to fall back on:
Your prince,
Your saint,
The one you believe you need
I’ll be - I’ll be
Someone to fall back on.


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