Sunday, May 22, 2016


For this Summer's Boogaloo production.

"Write what you know". That's what my teachers always told me.

So when I saw what I'd have to be writing a song about here I knew I'd be in deep kim-chee. So I enlisted some lyrical help. I usually work with a lyricist anyway, so I'm perfectly comfortable with that.

The song is sung by a woman whose parents have recently passed away. Going through their papers, she learns that her father had been married previously and that she has a half-sister she never knew about. Now they've corresponded by mail and the singer is waiting for her sister to arrive by rail from California. They will meet for the very first time on the railway platform.

You can view & download a lead sheet for this song here (PDF) 
(I think there's a grievous error in it, but it's not one you can't work around.)

Lyrics by JoAnn Abbott
Music by Dave Leigh

All of my life it was only me
No one else to laugh with, only lonely me
Though I loved my parents,
It wasn’t the same
As a sister with whom I could play

Now I’ve learned my loneliness is done
I can’t wait to see her – we’ll have so much fun!
How I hope she likes me,
And when this day ends
We’ll be not just sisters – we’ll be friends

I envied other families
When I’d see them all together
Happy as the birds that fly
In flocks all of one feather
I’d even envy them when they would fuss and fight
For they always seemed to work it out,
They always seemed to make it come out right.

All my life I’ve waited for this day
When she gets here I don’t know what I’ll say!
Will she like my clothing?
Will she have my hair?
Will she want to know me? Will she even care?

Well no matter if we don’t look the same
We’ll still be sisters and I’ll make her glad she came!
How I hope she likes me,
And when this day ends
We’ll be not just sisters – we’ll be friends


This is sung early in the first act. I merely told JoAnn that the singer needs to be nervous. She took it from there and pretty much hit it out of the park. At least I think so.

Once the ladies meet, it's pretty much as expected. They really DO hit it off, and after a bit of gushing and hugs, they reprise the song prior to their exit.
It’s amazing how we think the same 
You’re my sister, and I’m so glad you/I came! 
And I more than like you, I will love you till the end 
For we’re not just sisters – we are friends!


This pretty much cries out for something slow and sweet, like "Goodnight, My Someone" from The Music Man, so that's what I went with. The bridge was a little troublesome for me. It's a little more rhythmic than I'd hoped for, but it seems to work.

To be honest. I always dread writing for women, and I don't mean lyrically. I never seem to get the range right. If you're writing for a soprano, for instance, you tend to think, "hey, I can just throw notes up to the rafters and she'll hit them all". And she will. But it may wind up sounding more church or opera than a person who's vulnerable and airing her feelings. I haven't heard this one sung yet, so I don't know if it will need transposition.

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