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I’ll be honest. Last night, I felt guilty about not putting Les Miz in my list of 6 Heart Songs. I know not just every word and every note, but also every damned beat. People to this day think of me when they hear a Les Miz song. I actually (perhaps even sadly) have proof.

How did this start? My parents saw Les Miz in New York and I was in 6th or 7th grade. They bought me the program and double CD. I don’t remember when it wasn’t on in my middle school days while in my bedroom. I probably asked Mom fifty, one hundred times, to tell me again the story of the musical. It was tough to simply piece it together on my own. Speaking of, my true song was “On My Own”. My poor family. At least I know I was on tune, however, that doesn’t really ease that kind of suffering. But I still have that original CD. Just saying.

My uncle took a group of students to see Les Miz when I was in middle school. He was a high school teacher. All I know is it was at the Curran in San Francisco and he bought me a Program. The only other true musical I had ever seen in a real theater was Carousel with my grandmother in San Diego. Poor Unc–he had to listen to me sing all the lyrics from my seat. Although he was impressed at how well I knew them.

I can still sing the overtures.

A few years later, we went to London as a family and saw Les Miz at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Let me just tell you, the entire damned week had been colder than anything, except the night we went to the theater. You know it’s a tight, close theater when you’re only 16 and your knees smoosh against the seat in front of you. All of us were at fainting point due to the heat, exhaustion, and even jet lag. Well, all three of us (the boys and I) were ready to listen. We knew the storyline by heart, and we knew the songs well. But I had something interesting happen–I wasn’t as impressed. Okay, let me clarify–the show was great, but I could tell right away that what I witnessed at the Curran was genius, while this was merely phenomenal. Can you hear the difference? We could.

See why I feel guilty about not including it in my Heart Songs? It lives there. But then again, so do so many others. What about America’s “Ventura Highway”? I am pretty sure I referenced songs that motivated me while “ralking”, right? “Ventura Highway did just that. What about my first concert? The Beach Boys. What about my first music record (non-Disney “turn the page when you hear the chime” 45)? And my first cassette? I could name a song from all of those (“Little Deuce Coup”, “When You’re the Best of Friends”, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller).

If I were to list the pop stars that tracked a permanent experience on me, I’d be one tattooed lady. I love that a lot of the songs on tonight’s playlist are kind of well known, and even “best of’s”. But where is that line drawn? I mean, what do we love, and what do we love? And really let’s face it, what is the difference?

Does one genre outweigh any other?  Let’s just stick to Les Miz since that’s all I apparently have on the mind today. Are there any musicals that have stayed with you? Why did they change you? Are there any that you hate? Can you really hate a musical? Let me know what you think.

I think I need to make more room for my Heart Stones.


Love Will Keep Us Together–Captain & Tennille

Bring it On Home to Me–Sam Cooke

Castle on a Cloud–Les Misérables Original London Soundtrack

Andante from Converto in D for–Molter

Ventura Highway–America

Tramp–Otis Redding