music, PFAM

La Vie Boheme

The latest Patients For A Moment (or PFAM) blog carnival topic focuses on music, which I absolutely love. Phylor has asked us to explore, essentially, the soundtrack to our illness. I find it funny timing that she would pick this topic. Here’s why.

Last Sunday, while amping myself up for my wisdom tooth surgery the following Tuesday, I did something that I’ve always wanted to do. I woke up late. I popped open a gigantic bottle of Arbor Mist Sangria, my favorite wine. And proceeded to drink… while watching the Blu-Ray DVD Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. It is the filmed final performance of the one play that I can say changed my life.

When I was in high school, I was in an abusive relationship with this kid pretty much from my sophomore year until graduation, give or take a few break-ups in-between. My senior year of high school is when the bulk of the break-ups came, because I realized what a bad situation I was in and I knew I needed to get out. Up until then, I had a kind of ‘whatever’ mentality regarding things. I knew that people didn’t believe I had an illness, especially with the lack of doctor’s visits due to my family’s income. I figured that I had found the best I could get – which clearly I now know was so far off.

The biggest change my senior year of high school was that my best friend, my uncle Nathan, moved back to Eugene with his family. Having just gotten out of the army, they moved in with us. Nate has always been a huge help and encouragement to me. So when he and his wife introduced Rent to me while I was home sick for a few days, my eyes opened up to a lot of things. Each time I listen to or watch Rent, I take something new away from it. While I enjoy the movie, released in 2005, I will always love the music itself more. But watching the actual play, on Broadway, was sadly something that I wasn’t able to do. So when I saw this DVD last weekend at Barnes & Noble on clearance, I snatched it up quickly.

If you don’t know the basic story line of Rent, it’s about a group of friends dealing with disease, discrimination, relationship issues, poverty – life, essentially.

Here are just a few of my favorite songs and lyrics from Rent:

One Song Glory:

Find/the one song/before the virus takes hold/glory/like a sunset/one song/to redeem this empty life/time flies/and then no need to endure anymore/time dies

Life Support:

Look I find some of what you teach suspect/because I’m used to relying on intellect/but I try to open up to what I don’t know/because reason says I should’ve died/three years ago

Will I:

Will I lose my dignity?/Will someone care?/Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?

But my favorite song above all is I’ll Cover You. If I posted it, I’d just end up posting the whole thing. The lyrics are here and the song itself is here. The reprise is here and, no matter how many times I watch or listen to this play, I can usually hold back tears except for when Collins begins to sing. His relationship with Angel is so sweet and, spoiler alert, when Angel dies because of AIDS, it is the saddest thing.

But not all of the music from Rent is sad! Check out songs like La Vie Boheme and Out Tonight. Rent has something for just about everyone, and is truly a celebration of life – with all the good and bad included. That’s why I really think it is the soundtrack to my illness. I have good times, bad times, and horrible times as well. There are times when I want to go out and dance my butt off, and other times where I feel like no one is there for me and I’m all alone dealing with my disease.

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1 Comment

  1. This is a unique and fascinating way to look at sountracks of our lives/playlists for chronics. I don't know what musical would represent my life — you have me thinking and considering.

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