Sunday, June 24, 2012

Original Broadway Cast of "Hair" -- "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)" (1968)

Let the sunshine,
Let the sunshine in,
The sunshine in!

Some of you came here today expecting to find the third in my series of posts about my recent Cape Cod bike rides, all of which featured songs that I had heard on the satellite radio in the $9.75-a-day rental car I drove during that little vacation.  

You'll get the Cape Cod post in a couple of days.  Today, 2 or 3 lines is featuring the final song from the Broadway musical Hair.

This last-minute change in plans has produced an inordinate amount of bitching and moaning among the members of my production staff, marketing staff, traffic department, accountants, lawyers, etc. . . . everyone's all bent out of shape.

Thank you, Robert Burns
All I have to say to them is the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley, boys and girls.  If that's not clear enough for you, how about this: you'll suck on it and you'll like it!  And if you are still uncertain, how about this: eff you and the horses you rode in on!!!  ("Get the picture?  Yes, we see.")

I had a dream the other night.  (By the way, I hate books where the main character has a dream that is described at great length.  Either the dream is impossibly surreal and befuddling, or it's symbolic in a painfully obvious way.  In any event, using a dream as a fictional device is a truly lame way for an author to reveal what's going on in his character's head.  But as my late grandmother used to say, "Do as I say, not as I do.")  

In this dream, I was skiing down a huge mountain at an amazing rate of speed.  Suddenly I realized I was actually going down a giant ski jump ramp, and a moment later I had been launched upwards and was soaring through the crisp Alpine air.  It was exhilarating, albeit a bit scary -- I've never skied in my life.  But soon my upward trajectory began to flatten, and it struck me that any second I would start to plummet downward towards the earth.  Just before that happened, I woke up.

Obviously, I never had such a dream.  The dream is simply a somewhat clumsy metaphor.  (I'm not sure that it really is a metaphor, but I know it's not a simile and I'm equally sure it's not anthropomorphism or hyperbole or an oxymoron.)  My soaring flight off the ski jump ramp stands in for the upward trajectory of success that my wildly popular blog is enjoying, and the realization that my ascent is about to turn into a catastrophic descent is symbolic of my fears and anxieties about what the future may bring for 2 or 3 lines

What the future has brung . . . that is to say, what the future has brought . . . are posting schedules that are planned weeks in advance, and demographic analyses, and quarterly revenue projections, and carefully coordinated marketing campaigns.  Not to mention a lot of people in suits with three-button jackets and plain-front pants, all wearing tasseled loafers and Vineyard Vines ties.

Vineyard Vines ties
Enough!  I've had it up to here with all that crap.  (Pardon my French, but I had to deal with a credit card company's customer-"service" representative today about some late fees and interest charges that I had been told would be taken off before this month's bill was mailed out, and you know how that usually goes.)  

I'll be frank.  This is my blog and I will run it as I please.  If I decide to feature "Mairzy Doats (and Dozy Doats and Liddle Lamzy Divey)" tomorrow -- which is not the worst idea I've ever had -- I expect my employees to give me a snappy salute, ask me whether I would like to be kissed on the left cheek or the right cheek, and then carry out my wishes as fast as they can.  And I expect them to do that whether they are real or imaginary.  Comprende?

On to our song, which brings Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical (to use its full title) to an ecstatic close.

Most of you will probably associate the "Let the Sunshine In" portion of this song with "Aquarius," the opening song of Hair.  That's because The 5th Dimension recorded a medley of the two songs that was a #1 hit for six weeks in the spring of 1969.  But never did those twain meet in the musical.

I like "The Flesh Failures" part of the song a lot, but I can't say that I have any frigging clue what the lyrics mean, and none of them seemed particularly quotable to me.  (If you can explain the lyrics to me, please do.)

Here's the original Broadway cast recording of "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)":

Here's a clip from the 1979 movie adaptation of Hair:

Here's a link you can use to order the original Broadway cast version of the song from Amazon:

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