Don’t Rain on My Parade

streisandToday is Wednesday, June 12, 2013.

I’ve loved Barbara Streisand’s voice since she (and I) were very young.  When I go back and listen to recordings done when she was in her 20s, I marvel at the pure tones and the way she got all the high notes.  Later, her voice had a heavier, more substantial quality, but still strong and powerful.  It’s hard to name a favorite, because I love just about every song she’s ever sung, but “Don’t Rain on My Parade” is one that stands out, because it reminded me of how I started to feel after I was divorced, and there was nothing standing in the way of myself and “success,” whatever that would turn out to be.  I loved the “full steam ahead” and the “I’m going to give it my best shot” attitude.

Streisand sang this in the movie, Funny Girl, in which she played the starring role, reprising her role from the Broadway musical, starting in 1964.  The film, which premiered in 1968, was based loosely on the life of comedienne and Broadway star, Fanny Brice, and deals with her tempestuous relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nicky Arnstein, played by Omar Sharif.   In the film, Brice decides to leave the Ziegfeld Follies to follow her heart… and Nicky.  As she takes the train to the pier and grabs a ride on a tugboat that takes her to the ship Nicky is sailing on, she sings “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”  It has become one of Streisand’s signature songs.

Here is a YouTube version of the song.

Don’t Rain on My Parade (Bob Merril & Jule Styne)

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade
Don’t tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade
I’ll march my band out, I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn’t make it
But whether I’m the rose of sheer perfection
A freckle on the nose of life’s complexion
The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye
I gotta fly once, I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you see,
I gotta have my bite, sir.
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Don’t bring around the cloud to rain on my parade,

I’m gonna live and live NOW!
Get what I want, I know how!
One roll for the whole shebang!
One throw that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target and wham,
One shot, one gun shot and bam!
Hey, Mr. Arnstein, here I am …

I’ll march my band out, I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out, your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn’t fake it, hat, sir,
I guess I didn’t make it
Get ready for me love, ’cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march, my heart’s a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody, is gonna rain on my parade!

*** *** *** *** ***

The story ends on a sad note, with Fanny and Nicky deciding to split up.  Life is like that.  We have high hopes and dreams when we are young, and if we are smart, we pursue them with all the passion we can muster.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, things turn out a little differently than we had envisioned, but we find that the experiences we had have given us the opportunity to learn much about ourselves and others.  🙂

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