As I write, I am listening to another song from the 80s that helped to form the person I am today.
As a young girl, ensconced in organised religion, I grew up in a sheltered environment. It wasn’t all bad. I felt known and loved within the church community (the point of it after all), and had many strong friendships. I am still connected with those key friends now. In fact, I had a coffee today with one of them. But I digress.
Within this safe (yet churchy) environment, I had many opportunities to perform: youth choir, solos, drama, speeches, to name a few. When I was 13, I performed this song as a solo to the whole congregation, with one of my besties accompanying me on the piano. I had no idea at the time of the depth of the sadness in the lyrics, I just loved the tune and could (barely) manage the key enough to stay in tune. I couldn’t sing it now—I’d cry before I got to the end of the first line. But sing it I did, and received a rousing applause at the end.
The key change before the last verse gives me chills to this day. The harmonies clash in the most glorious way, and the Divine Miss M’s voice is…well…perfection.
Here’s Bette Midler’s The Rose: