Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tunes (3)

One album I've found myself writing to a lot recently is the Spring Awakening soundtrack. If you aren't familiar with it, Spring Awakening is a German play written in the 1890s that was recently adapted into a Broadway musical. The story has stayed the same, it is still set in 1890s Germany, but the music is all rock and modern, thanks to Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. So even if you aren't a fan of showtunes or musicals, I think you might really enjoy the music from this show, because it doesn't sound like showtunes. It just sounds like awesome. 

I think the music in Spring Awakening so perfectly captures all of the angst that comes along with being a teenager and exploring your developing sexuality. Of course, the play is not without scandal, since it really has a little bit of something to offend just about everyone. Sex, homosexuality, masturbation, child abuse, suicide, rape, nudity, and abortion. Oh my! However, it's all centered on some of my favorite YA themes - love, relationships, self-identity, and friendship.

All of the songs in this show are so perfect for getting you in the mood to write YA because, BAM. ANGST. All over the place. I have all the songs on my current writing playlist, and, honestly, it's hard for me to not sing along out loud when they come up in the shuffle. (This can get a little embarrassing when I'm writing at Panera, but I really don't care much. Not much shame going on over here.) And did I mention that the original Broadway cast recording features Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff of Glee fame? (Oh man, I love me some Glee, and I need Jonathan Groff back on as Jesse like yesterday.) Yeah. So awesome. 

As I was putting together this post, I wasn't sure which song from the soundtrack to feature, since they are all so angsty and YA-perfect, each capturing a different feeling of what it's like to be a confused teenager. But then I looked at my iTunes play count, and it looks like one particular song has been played THREE TIMES as many times as the rest of the soundtrack. So, yeah, it looks like I do have a favorite track after all. 

(This video is the OBC performing live in Bryant Park. It's not the best sound quality, but I just love seeing the cast singing it!)

(This is the studio version that's on the album. The sound is way better, but there's no video.)

Has a song ever captured the feeling of a teenage crush so perfectly? I don't think so. I really don't. This song touches on all of it. The daydreaming about what you would say and do if you had time alone together. The listening to music and swearing that every song is somehow about you and your crush. The overlooking the a-holey things your crush does because you are blinded by lurve. This song makes me think back on my own high school crush, Travis. Oh, poor, poor Travis. I spent the better part of three years with Travis as "my junk." Every single thing I did somehow tied into my ultimate goal of TRAVIS SOMEHOW REALIZING THAT WE ARE MEANT TO BE. (Spoiler alert: It never happened)

This song = every feeling I ever had for Travis and every crush that came after him. And this song = the feeling I try to capture when I write about YA characters having a mad crush on someone. 

My Junk - Spring Awakening

In the midst of this nothing, this mess of a life,
Still there's this one thing, just to see you go by.
It's almost like lovin', sad as that is.
May not be cool, but it's so where I live.

It's like I'm your lover, or more like your ghost.
I spend the day wondering what you do, where you go.
I try and just kick it but what can I do?
We've all got our junk, and my junk is you.

See us winter walking after a storm.
It's chill in the wind but it's warm in your arms.
We stumble snow-blind, may not be true.
We've all got our junk, and my junk is you.

Well, you’ll have to excuse me, I know it’s so off.
I love when you do stuff that’s rude and so wrong.
I go up to my room, turn the stereo on…
Shoot up some you, and the you is some song.

I lie back just drifting and play out these scenes
I ride on the rush of all the hopes and the dreams.
I may be neglecting the things I should do.
But we've all got our junk, and my junk is you.

See we still keep talking after you're gone.
You still with me then, feels so good in my arms.
They say you go blind, maybe it's true.
We've all got our junk, and my junk is you.

It's like we stop time. What can I do?
We've all got our junk, and my junk is you.
My junk is you.
My junk is you.
You. You. You.


  1. Oh my, this will be in town next month and I was kind of meh about seeing it, but now I'm excited!

  2. I studied the play back in college, and was totally bewildered when I heard it was being turned into a musical--and I laughed out loud when I later heard it was rock opera-y, kind of like RENT. Seriously? Spring Awakening? Rock music? WTF. When I went to see it, I sat down all rolling my eyes and telling everyone I was with how much it was going to suck.

    Couple of hours later, I ran out of the auditorium going "OMG THAT WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME." Just goes to show how preconceptions can be wrong!

  3. I've never heard that song but I will have to listen to it later. I don't really know much about Spring Awakening, but they did it on 90210. ha. I'm definitely curious about it.

    I vaguely remember Travis, now that you mentioned him!

  4. I've heard of this musical but never knew what it was about. Thanks for posting the songs!

    You're right, it does sort of encompass all the feelings you have for a crush.