I had intended to go through the Love Never Dies cast album tomorrow and do a detailed song by song blog, however, I feel the title song, because of it's history - and the fact that most of the reviews I have read as well as some "phans" seem to be ignorant of it's history - deserved it's own post. Things have been rolling around in my head about it and I need to write about it.....
I actually fell in love with a song called The Heart is Slow to Learn when it was premiered at ALW's 50th birthday celebration:
Of course, mention was made that this song was written for "Phantom 2" which was then still just rumor, conjecture and "Andrew Lloyd Webber is working on/planning a sequel."
Something about the melody stuck with me. I loved it and have been trying to get sheet music for it ever since - no luck. As it pertained to the Phantom story, I wasn't happy with it. Musically, I thought it fit the show, but, lyrically - as I assumed it was to be sung by Christine - I didn't like what it indicated for the plot. I am one of those who believe Christine was in love with the Raoul, and not the Phantom. The lyric here seems to indicate that Christine was never happy with her choice to leave with and (presumably) marry Raoul, and that she was pining for the Phantom. I DID think this would be a good lyric for the Phantom, but, not a good fit musically. I had to think of it in terms of a stand alone piece, and not in terms of a Phantom plot. I was able to relate the lyric to my own life and painful times of lost love.
Well, the Phantom sequel was scrapped - what appeared to be permanently - and ALW moved on to the next project - The Beautiful Game with Tim Rice. I don't know much about this show. It never made it to the states, and most of the reports seemed fairly negative. The one things that is well known about this production is that ALW - never one to waste a piece of unused music - took the melody of the Heart is Slow to Learn and it became "Our Kind of Love" :
Well, I don't have much of an opinion on this incarnation of the melody since I have no idea how it fits into the context of that show. I still like the melody. I also kind of like the penny whistle in the arrangement, and the way this singer belts.
This brings us to the current incarnation of this melody as the title song for Love Never Dies - I have chosen to post the music video rather than Sierra's performance here since the lower key makes Katherine's diction a bit easier to understand than Sierra's - although I prefer Sierra's voice and interpretation:
Interestingly, these lyrics are fairly generic as far as the plot goes - general musings on love rather than musings on a specific relationship. Now, if the lyrics had remained from The Heart is Slow to Learn, I actually might have been alright with Christine singing it since in the context of this plot, this song was written BY the Phantom FOR Christine - therefore, would not have been Christine's thoughts on her feeling, but rather the Phantom's thoughts on his...woah....that was just an epiphany for me.....only in writing this out did I make that connection. *laugh* I actually see a way that this could have worked for me in a sequel...I didn't think that was possible.
What it comes down to with this song, I do love the music, and I will purchase the vocal selections for Love Never Dies if only for this song - especially since musically, it is identical to the Heart is Slow to Learn. Those are the lyrics I will be singing in the piano bars.