Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions

So there's this dingy little music store tucked up one level right on Powell Street around Union Square. You'd never know it was there but for the little old-school glass bulletin board thing sporting a few old sheet music covers near the entrance. It's absolutely obscured by the Macys and the H&Ms and Body Shops and Urban Outfitters filling out the block. You climb the stairs and it's this small space stuffed to the gills with charts and scores and librettos, with a practice room in the corner and an ancient cash register at the front. And everyone there can talk music, hardcore. Composers and obscure shows and old jazz, they've got it.

So I'm there tonight picking up a score for a show I'm thinking about doing, and I stumble across Bernstein's Candide, and about lose it right there. Because holy Leonard B. If he hadn't already earned my love just by being a general badass, well, then there was West Side Story to seal it. But then, damn, there's "Make Our Garden Grow."  If there's to be a soundtrack to my life, always and ever, this will be the tune wailing at the funeral (take note, pls).

Let dreamers dream what worlds they please
Those edens can’t be found
The sweetest flowers
The fairest trees
Are grown in solid ground
We’re neither pure nor wise nor good
We’ll do the best we know
We’ll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow
And make our garden grow

So here's my virgin attempt at embedding a YouTube clip (don't hold your breath). This is Lenny B himself conducting a 1989 version with June Anderson and Jerry Hadley (he died in 1990, so this is the December prior). Somewhere around 3:30 when the orchestra drops out and the crushing a cappella harmonies take over, I die a little, every time.


molly said…
Ive felt the same way about it ever since being introduced by old uncle joe as our graduation piece. So with the heart stopping sensation the music brings all on its own I also get a blast of youthful reminiscence for that exciting time when everything was possible and real life was about to begin.

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