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Swim Kiss:  Album Notes

So, how did this all come together?  Why these songs, and where/what are they from?  I always am fascinated by these kinds of details when I hear recordings, and offer them here in case you are, too.

1. Come to My Garden
On my CD, this first track is actually a combination of two short song segments that exist separately in the 1991 musical, "The Secret Garden."  Marsh Norman and Lucy Simon adapted the children's book of the same name, which has always been a story I've loved.  I've played the role of Lily twice; once at Ball State University and more recently with Music Theatre of Madison.  Those who know me can attest to the strong pull nature has on my love of life, and this story about the healing power of restoring a garden, mixed with the gorgeous score of the musical, makes it one of my favorite shows to see or perform.

2. The Sound of Music
In 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved classic, "The Sound of Music," was given to the world.  This song opens the musical and captures what I feel to be the healing power of nature.  Growing up in the hills of southern Indiana, I would often "go to the hills when my heart (was) lonely" and the music of nature would again restore my soul.  I've also had the pleasure of playing  Maria twice.  First in Jasper, Indiana, and then again with Music Theatre of Madison.  This is one of my favorite roles to perform.

3. Something Beautiful
This has been my favorite song for awhile now.  The songwriting team of Ahrens and Flaherty are known for their many musicals but they wrote this song,  Something Beautiful, in 2008 as a tribute to a beautiful old willow tree in New York City's Central Park.  Trees are one of my favorite things, and the message to BE something beautiful is so profound to me.  From the very beginning, I knew this song was one I would include on my CD of favorites.

4. A Trip to the Library
I think "She Loves Me" is an adorable musical and this song always makes me laugh.  I love storytelling songs, and this one's a good one!  The musical team of Bock & Harnick wrote this show in 1963 and it has turned into an endearing classic for good reason.

5. Feelings
This song is from a show that's not performed much.  "The Apple Tree" was written in 1966 also by Bock and Harnick and is actually three separate one-act musicals tied loosely together by the common theme of someone wanting something that, when they get it, they realize they don't really want.  Feelings is from the first playlet/act, which is based on Mark Twain's "The Diary of Adam and Eve."  Eve is singing this song about the feelings she has for Adam.

6. Moonfall
This song is from the 1985 musical by Rupert Holmes: "The Mystery of Edwin Drood."  The show is a light musical comedy based on the unfinished story by Charles Dickens.  It has the interesting distinction of having several different possible endings from which the audience gets to choose at each performance.  I've always been drawn to the beautiful and haunting composition of Moonfall.  It's simply a yummy song.

7. Before I Gaze at You Again
Ah, "Camelot."  I was so blessed to play Guenevere at Light Opera Works in Chicago.  I still am mesmerized by the show and the complexity of the relationships between the King, the Queen, and Lancelot.  This song is sung at the end of Act I, just after Guenevere realizes that she has fallen in love with Lancelot and understands the devastation that will accompany the situation.  Lerner and Loewe wrote this musical in 1960.

8. Can't Stop Talking About Him
This Frank Loesser song from the 1950's movie musical "Let's Dance" just cracks me up!  It always makes me laugh, and I love how fast it is.  There is an intro that I didn't include because I wanted to highlight the song's flash of intense sparkle.  I felt that this super-short and quick song would make me want to hit the repeat button and keep listening to it over and over.  It seems to have worked!

9. Someone's Been Sending Me Flowers
I first heard this song recorded by Blossom Dearie and I fell in love.  Her version didn't include the middle section ("flowers are the language of love...").  This song was written in 1955 by the songwriting team Sheldon Harnick and David Baker for the "Shoestring Revue."  I think it's a charmingly funny song, and I like the dated punch line.

10. Tom
Wow.  This 1993 song from LaChiusa's "Hello Again" always captures my imagination.  The line "What's sweeter is what would have been" is so intriguing to me.  I think the idea holds the same kind of magic as having a crush on someone or something.  Our mind loves to flirt with an idea blurred just-so.  It can fill in the details according to personal wants, without having to deal with the disappointment reality often presents.  This song makes me think of all the What If games we play.  

11. How Could I Ever Know
Another song from Norman & Simon's "Secret Garden."  In the musical, this song is sung by the ghost of Lily to her struggling husband as he tries to find strength to move on and be the father their son needs.  I think it's an incredibly heart-wrenching and beautiful exploration of the bonds of love.

12. Children Will Listen
This arrangement that I recorded is a concert version of a song from Stephen Sondheim's 1986 musical, "Into the Woods."  In the show, this song is short and sung by various characters.  It's a powerful moment in the production, but when I heard this concert version I fell in love even more.  The message is so timeless and crucial.  In fact, I've written a blog article that discusses the importance of being "careful the things you say."

13. Grateful
This lovely song was petitioned by my mother to be included on the CD.  John Bucchino wrote it as a cabaret song in 1999, and the sentiment is one I live by (and she does, too).  
"In a world that can bring pain, I will still take each chance.  
For I believe that whatever the terrain,
our feet can learn to dance."