I admit I sing in the shower. I’m known to bust out in a spontaneous burst of gospel in my office. I sing at the top of my lungs at stop lights. I’m a karaoke junkie. While most people love the sound of their name, I love the sound of my voice – scratchy, pitchy and a slightly wobbly it may be. I started singing at age 4. The Catholic elementary school I went to had its own version of hell – an annual musical that they forced EVERY child in the school to participate in. Each year about 800 parents from around the city of Chicago would gather at some downtown arena – my favorite the awe-inspiring Blackstone – and watched in masked horror as hundreds of children from age 5 to age 14 bounce from stage left to stage right singing pop, contemporary, religious and just plain fun songs for about three hours. I have a loud powerful voice that can harmonize when I focus and sound downright awful when don’t. Still I love to sing that that’s why I’m gleefully in love with Glee.
Glee Makes Musicals Fun
On the surface it would seem that I’m not Glee’s demographic. Set in a high school, Glee follows the ups and downs of the nerdy glee club and their fight for respect and survival. But I know that the hidden secret to Glee’s success is that it conjures up all the teenage angst I felt and rightfully tells it through that irrepressible emotional venue that is song. Even though I love to sing, I hate musicals. I hated musicals because they never portrayed what I was feeling in their songs. Oh I’m not crazy person, I love West Side Story and Julie Andrews as much as the next person. But if I had my choice between going to a musical and a day at home cleaning my toenails, well, let’s just say I’d have sparkling digits the next day. I always hated musicals because I couldn’t get over the fact that people would be involved in an intense conversation and then suddenly break out in song. But Glee, some how erases that lyrical prejudice for me. Maybe it’s the songs. Maybe it’s the performers. Maybe it’s all of the above. But whenever I see Glee I find myself coming up with a soundtrack for my life during the day. It’s as if at any moment I’m going to break out in song.
Glee Becomes Soundtrack for My Id
Glee is insightful in the songs it selects. Not just incredibly catchy pop numbers but song icons that can be heard on the soundtrack of many a life. The show crosses barriers but doesn’t do so to show off more to show us up. It’s not pretentious or even preachy yet it says a lot about society in subtle and palatable ways. I know there are some out there who don’t like Glee for various reasons but when people decry its politics, its progressive slant its whatever I just turn up the volume. My ego and super ego take a back seat to my need to throw my hands in the air and wave them like I just don’t care, to shake what my momma gave me and to, of course, do it all at the top of my lungs. Long live Glee.