Unusual Way

Unusual Way by Laura Benanti (2003)

In a very unusual way one time I needed you
In a very unusual way you were my friend
Maybe it lasted a day, maybe it lasted an hour
But somehow it will never end

In a very unusual way I think I’m in love with you
In a very unusual way I want to cry
Something inside me goes weak
Something inside me surrenders
And you’re the reason why, you’re the reason why

You don’t know what you do to me
You don’t have a clue
You can’t tell what it’s like to be me looking at you
It scares me so that I can hardly speak

In a very unusual way I owe what I am to you
Though at times it appears I won’t stay, I never go
Special to me in my life, since the first day that I met you
How could I ever forget you once you had touched my soul?
In a very unusual way you’ve made me whole

This song pounds me in a specific corner of my heart that I thought didn’t exist anymore. I used to think, “Well, it was years ago and time heals,” But lo’ and behold, now every time I listen to this song (I know this sounds hyperbolic) that corner screeches.

In a very unusual way I owe what I am to you. If I happen to be someone the way that I am now, it all thanks to someone I immediately think when I listen to this song. The bitter and cynic me when it comes to young love.

Kalau ada di antara kalian yang pernah nonton film Nine pasti tahu lagu ini, Nicole Kidman yang nyayi. Now I have nothing against Nicole Kidman, she’s a fine actress. But as a singer? And comparing her rendition of Unusual Way with this version of Laura Benanti (who’s pretty much a musical theater legend in the making)? It’s just simply unfair. You go have a listen for yourself. Be my guest. :))

I have been wondering for so long, “Why don’t I listen to more female singers? I don’t listen to female singers as much as I want to. Why aren’t there more female indie-folk singers that I like, for example?” Because that’s true. Aside from, like, Adele and Thalia, I don’t usually listen to female singers and I’ve wondered why. Go see my library and I’m sure 80% of it filled with male singers. Some times ago I tried to dose myself with Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat’s songs, but that also didn’t work out. They’re fine, their songs are fun, but they’re just too pop and cheery for me. I’m more of a slow-ballad-brooding music kind of person. :P

But then I found this amazing magical unicorn named Laura Benanti for the second time, and I was hooked!

Why, the second time? Because of course I knew her from Matthew Perry’s show Go On four years ago and Benanti’s character was the one I liked the most. She’s very pretty, and she’s a brunette, and she’s funny, etc etc. Above all, she looks older than her age. Of course I fell for her. It really doesn’t take much for a woman to win over my heart. :P
I knew she’s more famous on Broadway but then okay, the period passed.
A month ago, Alifia tried watching Go On and we talked about it and damnit she made me want to rewatch the show. So I did a quick review. And there I fell in love again with Laura Benanti. Per usual, when I’m in love with someone I’d look for every project they ever did and dose myself with it.

And that’s when I found out that Benanti is truly a beautiful treasure magical unicorn angel baby because I fucking love her and her voice so much! She has this live album that I LOVE because she’s basically a stand-up comedienne thru the whole record, and OF COURSE with that soprano voice, she gives my heart a nudge. :)

Now, before you think Benanti’s pronunciation is weird or exaggerated in this song, it’s because she sings it in character. They’re (she and the cast) supposed to be Italian or something. Well, if you’ve seen the movie, you’d know. :P
If you wonder who that guy is at the end part of the song, it’s Antonio Banderas. Yes, I just knew myself that he has that kind of singing voice. *swoon*
Banderas and Benanti were in Broadway 2003 rendition of Nine. There are clips of the scene when they sing this song on Youtube if you want to look it up.


Conversation by Joni Mitchell (1970)

He comes for conversation
I comfort him sometimes
Comfort and consultation
He knows that’s what he’ll find

I bring him apples and cheeses
He brings me songs to play
He sees me when he pleases
I see him in cafes

And I only say hello
And turn away before his lady knows
How much I want to see him

She removes him like a ring
To wash her hands
She only brings him out to show her friends
I want to free him

Secrets and sharing soda
That’s how our time began
Love is a story told to a friend
It’s second hand

But I’ll listen to his questions
I’ll give my answers when they’re found
He says she keeps him guessing
But I know she keeps him down

She speaks in sorry sentences
Miraculous repentances
I don’t believe her

Tomorrow he will come to me
And he’ll speak his sorrow endlessly and ask me why
“Why can’t I leave her?”

He comes for conversation
I comfort him sometimes
Comfort and consultation
He knows that’s what he’ll find

Could you sense both the sweetness and sadness in this song? Why can’t I make such a simple and incredible song like this one? Well, it’s because I basically can’t write. That’s why.

I just realized Joni Mitchell is a soprano singer. Anyway, LOVE the strumming.

Let My Love Open the Door

Let My Love Open the Door by Sondre Lerche (2007)

When people keep repeating
That you’ll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can’t seem to get enough

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

When everything feels all over
When everybody seems unkind
I’ll give you a four leaf clover
Take all the worry out of your mind

I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Release yourself from misery
Only one thing’s gonna set you free
That’s my love

When tragedy befalls you
Don’t let them bring you down
Love can cure your problems
You’re so lucky I’m around

Never did I pay attention to this song while watching Dan in Real Life before. Terakhir kemarin nonton film tersebut untuk ketiga kalinya (soalnya saya lagi suka sama Juliette Binoche, and I just realized she was in that movie), saya kecentok sama lagu ini. And I ended up listening to Sondre Lerche’s albums. :))

I also fucking love Modern Nature and Sondre Lerche was actually in the movie singing that song. He’s the wedding band’s vocalist. :)

Hold On

Hold On by Wilson Phillips (1990)

I know this pain
Why do lock yourself up in these chains?
No one can change your life except for you
Don’t ever let anyone step all over you
Just open your heart and your mind
Is it really fair to feel this way inside?

Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye
Until then, baby, are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry?
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day?
Things’ll go your way
Hold on for one more day

You could sustain
Or are you comfortable with the pain?
You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness
You got yourself into your own mess
Lettin’ your worries pass you by
Don’t you think it’s worth your time
To change your mind?

I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day and
Break free from the chains
Yeah, I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day
And you break free
Break from the chains

For me, this song used to be one of the hilarious remarks of Bridesmaids movie and that’s it.

Now, I finally understand what is this song about and why some people take this song seriously and how I read that this song helped them going through the dark times in their lives. I finally understand.

Happy new year, everyone. :)


From “Harold and Maude” (1971)

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens (1971)

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

You can do what you want
The opportunity’s on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
you see it’s easy
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
‘Cause there’s a million things to do
You know that there are

This is one of those simple songs that I really love. Sejujurnya, semua lagu-lagu Cat Stevens yang jadi soundtrack film Harold and Maude enak-enak. Musiknya sederhana, liriknya sederhana, but you could live by it. Contohnya lagu ini deh, sepintas memang rasanya nggak ada apa-apanya, they’re just simple words and rather empty for some people. Tapi kalau mau dirasa-rasa lagi kan pesannya bagus: do what you want to do, be what you want to be. Yang bisa menghalangi kamu menjadi sesuatu ya kamu, yang bisa membuat kamu sukses menjadi apapun yang kamu inginkan ya kamu. There’s a million ways to go, you know that there are. Tinggal kamu mau memanfaatkannya atau nggak, kamu mau mengambil kesempatan itu atau nggak.

Filmnya juga kurang lebih sama (itu kalau kamu memang mau menyederhanakan pesannya sih).

Harold is a rich, weird, and miserable guy. If he got bored, he would do some suicide stunts for fun (he’s obsessed with death). Or when he doesn’t like the super expensive car his mother bought him, he would set it on fire and then purchase a hearse and drive it to attend some random funerals.
Maude is a fun, quirky, free-spirited woman borderline convict. She does whatever she wants (including steals people’s cars and even police’s motorcycle) and knows how to live her life to the fullest. She’s the antidote of Harold.

Harold’s enchanted by Maude’s cheery attitude toward life, and Maude kind of takes Harold under her wings and teaches Harold how to live a merrier life. So they start an unlikely friendship and romantic pairing.

Why exactly is it unlikely? Because Harold is 20, and Maude is almost 80!
I KNOW some of you would say, “Ya itu kan senenganmu kalo pasangannya beda usia jauh,” Tapi ya nggak sejauh itu juga kali yaaa… ~_~
It was kind of repulsive for me, that’s why I stalled watching that movie for a looong time. Dan juga karena saya pikir filmnya bakal suram soalnya melibatkan dua orang dalam kisah cinta yang terlarang gitu. Ealah, ternyata ndak sama sekali! Filmnya lucuuuu. Harold itu hasuk banget lah pokoknya.

The whole album of its soundtrack is awesome, but that one above is my ultimate favorite because I think it represents what Maude’s taught Harold the most. :)