"There But For You Go I"
Last week, my sister and I had the honor of taking my mom to see Brigadoon for her birthday. It was an incredible, amazing show.
(If you don’t know the story of Brigadoon, it’s about a Scottish village whose leaders decide that they are safer from land battles if they disappear only to re-appear every 100 years.)
It was a special night like any night is we are together to enjoy each other, food, wine and music. But the significance of the night was more than just a show.
Many many moons ago when us kids were all just a bunch of glimmers in my parents’ eyes, my parents starred in a college production of Brigadoon. My mom will tell you that my dad kept signing up for shows because she was in them, but we’ll never know if that’s true or not :)
But the show was the reason my parents began dating. My mom was Fiona and my dad was Charlie, roles that brought them together many times on stage and off.
During the production, my mom whispered many memories.
“Your dad was more of a tenor.”
“I got a standing ovation when I sang that song.”
“This set is obviously a lot better than ours was.”
“Your dad did NOT dance like that.”
And then there were the moments that no memories could be said because emotions were high.
When I was in high school and taking private voice lessons, I asked to learn the score of Brigadoon. I loved it.
When my dad was lying sick in the hospital towards the end, I remember my mom lugging in a stereo to the room and asking me to sing to him as she was to overcome to sing herself. Up until his funeral where I would later sing, this was my hardest performance. The song has a meaning to me far stronger than that of the context of the play. And isn’t that the great thing about music?
This is hard to say, but as I wandered through the lea,
I felt for just a fleeting moment that
I suddenly was free of being lonely.
Then I closed my eyes and saw the very reason why.
I saw a man with his head bowed low.
His heart had no place to go.
I looked and I thought to myself with a sigh:
There but for you go I.
I saw a man walking by the sea,
Alone with the tide was he.
I looked and I thought as I watched him go by:
There but for you go I.
Lonely men around me, trying not to cry,
Till the day you found me, there among them was I.
I saw a man who had never known a love that was all his own.
I thought as I thanked all the stars in the sky:
There, but for you, go I.
~ Charlie Dalrymple