You read that right.
The Mandy Moore Song.
As in, the pop-tartletina extraordinaire…Mandy Moore.
Normally I’m not a fan of the pop-tartletinas, as I feel most of them have been given a whole hell of a lotta fame and fortune based on very very little legitimate talent. And as someone who’s had to scrape and fight and hustle for pretty much everything…part of me wants to just rip out their weaves, shove a GED down their throat and then lock them in a room with their mom's voices on a loop saying,
"When I was your age...I had to blah de blah de blah blah blah di dee blah blah BLAH..."
I happened to be down with walking pneumonia a few years ago (surely a direct result of my most recent and spectacularly insane breakup), just watching whatever came on the TV in a stupor, and a movie called A Walk To Remember came on. It was one of these really sappy, cheesy, teen-angsty, someone-always-has-fucking-cancer movies which normally make me want to yak out my eyeballs. But for some reason…maybe I was too weak to change the channel, I dunno, but…I watched the whole thing.
And I fell absolutely head over heels in love with Mandy Moore.
I would have married Mandy Moore right that second. And I didn’t give a damn whether she had cancer, wore hideous pastels e-very-DAY, and was the President of the God Squad.
I didn't give a damn.
I loved her.
There is one song from this movie that she sings as she becomes (natch) the sleeper hit of the big musicale in high school...that just wrecked me. I was lying in my bed, under an avalanche of tissues anyway….just sobbing.
Oh Mandy, Mandy, Mandy. You’re so strong even though you have cancer, because you have God. And I’m so weak because, even though I don't have cancer- I date ridiculous frito-lays who rip the soul out of my body and then try to make a donation to my CD years later after breaking up our engagement by phone, which makes me take a poll on Facebook asking whether I should keep it or refund it.
But I just love- strangely enough- the whispery tone she uses on this tune. There is absolutely no core or body to it at all and btw- there's no way if she'd actually been in that high school musical, anyone past the front row would have heard her. But, when she does the whispery-thing…it’s extremely moving. And it's a very 'microphone-friendly' sound as well, I discovered.
Ok, admittedly sometimes... I have absolutely no clue what she’s actually saying but…
I don’t care.
Sweet, pure, virginal little Mandy. Who,
To be angry.
And she’s a sweet little actress too. If you’ve never seen her in yet another movie about God; SAVED- I think she turns in an incredibly under appreciated comic performance. Which shouldn’t surprise you, if you've read my blog post about comedy in general- via the ‘SAD CLOWN SONG’.
But yes, Mandy Moore has some real talent. God bless her.
Not like that terrifyingly beautiful Taylor Swift who I saw on SNL the other night. Wow. And I could NOT be convinced that she was actually famous for being a singer. I literally got into fights with people at BILLY because I just would not believe this girl was known for…actually….singing. I thought she was another Paris Hilton, known for…. being extremely pretty and generally silly in public or something. But nope. She's actually a singer? I guess? If you all say so....
I scribbled down the name of the song a few days later when I was sure I hadn’t hallucinated the whole thing, ordered the DVD and the CD off Amazon.com, and the sheet music from Sheet Music Direct.com and waited for the magic to arrive at my home.
A few days later…I sat at my piano and sang this song over and over and over again. Originally, I had thought it was a love song but when I finally read the lyrics--I realized it was actually a prayer.
I actually realized a lotta things when i finally had the lyrics in front of me which really leads to my only criticism of Mandy's performance of this song- which...let it be known across the kingdom- i LOVE.
There's a set of lyrics that goes,
"At the top of my lungs, I'm giving it back".
Now, listening to it I kept thinking,
"It SOUNDS like she's saying 'at the top of my lungs'...but she's singing it soooooooo quietly...that can't be right.
She does actually sing the words, "at the top of my lungs"...in a whisper.
because she's Mandy.
And her character had cancer.
So BACK OFF EVERYBODY....JUST BACK OFF!!!!!
the song is a prayer?
Cause Lord knows I didn’t need another goddamned syrupy love song to make me feel like a complete spinster in training. A PRAYER!!! JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED!!! I sang it even more. Sang and cried and sang and cried and sang and cried. Ohhhhhh, aren't you all so relieved you're NOT my neighbors? Those poor people. Imagine how awesome it must have been to live next to me during Sweeney rehearsals. Oof. Ok I'm totally sending them all fruit baskets now.
but this song is just so gooorrrgggeeouuussss.
And it's a SEXY prayer.
But ya know....God's gotta a sense of humor. Clearly. So, I'm sure it's all cool.
It's really a song for when you need some hope. I find myself singing it walking down the street when I'm headed to something that's making me nervous like an audition, or therapy, or physical therapy for the ankle....
but totally in a cool, kicky way.
And it's got a lovely, mournful minor key and it's very simple. Very music box-y.
There's really nothing grand to report about the musical arrangement here on my side at least...except that it kicks ass and I love every note of it. Probably because it's a 100% direct lift and I have given the arranger (Mervyn Warren) FULL credit for it on the album. In fact, this is the only song on the entire album that I did not arrange in some way...so kudos to Mervyn and his awesome arrangement. I am extremely grateful to you and your talent.
Track #4 ya'll.
The closest to American Idol I'm ever gonna get.
off to dinner...