How the World of Musicals works

 Music keeps us happy, tears us up, touches our heart, makes us jump and tap our toes. Music is amazing - it really is. It's like magic. The other day I was listening to a beautiful sweeping soundtrack, just crying. And it struck me how powerful just a few violins can be - how a specific blend of melodies can snap bring tears to my eyes in a normal day. And then the other day I was listening to a snappy old ragtime, suddenly finding myself dancing all over my room in the dark in my pyjamas. The music just forced me to dance - even though I was almost dozing off with the mp3player things in my ears. They just DID something to me that made me throw off my covers and start moving my legs and snapping my fingers.
But still, although music is powerful and does an enormous amount of things in everyone's lives, we do not live in musicals, where the magic doubles and practically everything is possible. Alas we don't. But if we did, all sorts of things would happen...

Rain is a perfect excuse for a good song. Of course, there's two very different ways you can go - you can go the romantic, sad way with rain rolling and mingling with your tears, or the optimistic way, holding an umbrella you hardly ever use because singing in the rain just makes you so happy again, right? Right?!!
Or you don't have to sing about rain, if you're happy and dry under a big umbrella. You can sing about the umbrella - or the fella with the umbrella, or whatever! You'll find the lyrics immediately - they will come rolling on your tongue as you walk. I promise. It just HAPPENS, and rain is always a bonus. The songs in the rain are always the popular ones, you'll see.
Start dancing. No really, just start. Do complicated stuff with your hands and your sticks and bottles or with whatever you happen to be having. Once YOU start, loads of other people will come behind you and do exactly the same things as you do - like a mirror. There won't be a single mistake and it'll cause quite a sensation. You'll see.
Oh, and if you happen to be in a rather um... risky place, don't worry. Even if it's the rooftops. Just dance them socks off, do weird things, and people will come and make it into a beautiful symmetrical scene.
Everyone just knows what to do. It's awesome.
Always wear tap-shoes. This is crucial, guys and dolls, this is crucial. You want to know why? Because you might need 'em, that's why. You never know when you're big tap-dancing scene will come up, when a soundtrack will pop up in your day. You need those tapping shoes ready to dance flawlessly.
Oh, and wear a big smile whenever you dance. Even if you're tired as can be, never show it. Just dance on and on. Only when you're really finished and when the music suddenly stops, you may collapse on an (upside down? Why not.) sofa, laughing hysterically. Because it WILL be fun.
Wear bright clothes. Have you noticed how (in most musicals) everyone wears the most deplorably colourful outfits? Yellow here, red there, purple there, bam pink, blue there, lime-green over here. Rainbow jumbles everywhere, and bah - don't worry about historical accuracy for this time - it's all about music. You may wear your hair down, ladies, and it may look like a wig. So yes, wear colour.
As for more outfits tips - men, tuxedos are very good - caps if your name is Dick van Dyke, sporty look if your name is Gene Kelly and a fine black top hat if your name is Fred Astaire. All matched with tapping-shoes of the finest kind, of course.
Ladies, colourful dresses in unique models and shapes and combinations. Go for ridiculous stuff. Frothy petticoats are advised, and so are not-too-short hemlines because you're bound to swirl and twirl in your dress. Or you can just go for my favourite look - a white dress with blue satin sashes. (Got it? Got it?)
Oh, and if you're aiming for fame, try bright red shoes with sparkles. Judy Garland is one of the most famous actresses to date, so that proves it works.
Never say you can't sing. Because that's ridiculous. Everybody can sing, but sometimes it only takes a super-nanny who can swing a heavy guitar AND a satchel with all her earthly belongings while singing and dancing unashamedly to convince you. And you'll see - you'll be singing like a pro five minutes after your first lesson. And dance on the bargain. Even if you're five.
Apparently the singing gets better when you look out of a window. Better still, if you sit on the windowsill. Because yeah, you might have an audience watching you. (And remember, if you're singing with a group, see that you're nicely posed (nice and symmetrical, you know) and that the little ones know all the lyrics. Of course, they will.)
Music is magical in musicals, but it rarely affects animals, unless they are drawn by a handsome chimney sweeper. So if you want your robin to calmly stay on your finger with the scene, you'll have to use some kind of clay-cardboard-prop. (Seriously though, readers, robins look like THIS.)
I would LOVE to be in a musical just for oooone day. But nome, that's not going to happen unless it's all going to get arranged and rehearsed for. :-P But still, it's nice to dream. And really, the musical world is MAGIC. It's so unreal, and yet we hardly ever realise it.
I hope you're having a happy musical day!


  1. This is just an amazing post! You just made my whole entire week. Sometimes I feel like I live in a musical, I certainly act like I do! Like when I am sweeping I'll sing it's a hard nock life. When I'm Walking into the woods, I sing into the woods. When someone says any words from a musical song, I burst out singing. Do you have this condition?
    Mae :)

  2. Super fun post; thank you! I recognized most of the pictures, but not all of them. Out of curiosity, would you mind telling me what musicals the following three images are from? 1) yellow umbrella picture, 2) video of dancing duo and 3) guy and girl in berets with violent shades of clashing clothing. Thanks so much!

  3. Mae, thank you so much! Oh yes, I definately sing musical songs at the appropriate moments. Yup. I do have that condition.

    Catsinboxes, um, I haven't seen the musicals of all these pictures, but I can tell you what the musicals are. 1) Easter Parade (one I'm dying to watch!) 2) I suppose you mean the gif? That's For me and My Gal. 3) Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (believe it or not, I had to look this one up, because I just found the picture when I wrote this post, but had no idea where it was from!)

    ~ Naomi

  4. Awesome post! I love musicals but they are pretty unrealistic. :)

  5. I LOVE this! Oh my goodness! You literally just made my (already bright) day even brighter. :-)

    Musicals are just my THING. Ahhh. The singing, the dancing, the drama, the nostalgic unrealistic-ness. LOVE.

    Reading through all your points, I can't help wishing life were like this...break into song, and everyone around you will join in; start dancing, and everyone's at your heels. *sigh* Why can't life happen like that, once in a while? ;-P Well, that's why we have musicals, I guess, so we can enjoy it anyway. :-)

    You are so hilarious, Naomi. :-) I love all your little tips. And so many swoony pictures! I squealed when I saw the picture of Molly and Johnny Brown on my dashboard. ;-P

    This was so much fun to read through! Thanks!


  6. Mae,
    I have that condition too! It's called Musical Theatre Geek. And it's very contagious. :-)

    "Once YOU start, loads of other people will come behind you and do exactly the same things as you do - like a mirror. There won't be a single mistake and it'll cause quite a sensation. You'll see."
    Musicals are wonderful, yes? :-)
    Oh, have you seen Meet Me in St. Louis?? We just watched it about a month ago. Such fun, it is! :-)
    Well, in America, robins DO look like the one Mary Poppins is holding. Haha. But still, it looks like a clay-and-cardboard thing. :-)
    Lovely post, dear!

  8. Best blog post ever written.
    You have just put into words exactly what I have been trying to explain to people for years.
    I'm right with you, I wish my life was a musical! (So much so that I have a pinterest board with that name:))
    Thank you so much for this!
    Naomi xx

  9. My children are growing up thinking it is absolutely normal to dance about and burst into song whenever the opportunity presents itself. They're probably going to spend a fortune on therapy when they grow up, but hey, it's fun while it lasts :-)

    And singing in the rain IS the most fun ever.

  10. This is one of your best posts yet! I love this, especially the thing about singing through windows. :D Aren't musicals just so much fun to watch?

  11. AAAAAHHH yes this post I just can't!!

    Ahem. Composure.

    I LOVELOVELOVE musicals, so this is thrilling me;) (I'm actually trying to improve my repertoire of musicals, hehe.) You described it so well! And you included a picture of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which, ya know, makes me ecstatic:D

    Haha, I like how you threw in those references throughout - i.e. guys and dolls:D

    Fabulous, fabulous!

  12. Lois, thanks! Yup, unfortunately they are rather unrealistic. :-)

    Emma, I'm glad you loved this! I know, just the idea of musicals happened in real life sounds SOOO idealistic... maybe in heaven. :-) Haha, thank you hon - I of course, thought of you when I put up the picture of Molly and John. But also because Debbie Reynolds is one of my favourite actresses - she's jest adddorable.
    Haha, 'it's very contagious.'

    Miss Elliot, aww thanks! SIGH, no I haven't yet seen Meet me in St Louis. I feel like I have, because I know ALL the songs word by word and I knew all the costumes and the story. Thing is, it ain't on Youtube, and it's veddy expensive on Amazon.
    Well, Mary Poppins is supposed to be in London, so American Robins shouldn't be there. :-)

    Naomi, best blog post ever written?! Why, thank you! And you're welcome - I'm so glad you liked it. :-)

    Hamlette, You sound like such a fun mother! (Not that my mother isn't, of course) - I'm sure your children will grow up very musical then. :-) Singing in the rain IS fun. :-)

    Hannah, aww thank you! Yes, musicals are just a joy for the eyes to watch. :-D

    Arwen, You're too sweet! I'm so glad everyone loves this post. Oh yes, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - another musical I seem to know so well but haven't watched yet. I love that dance, though - the music is fabulous.

    ~ Naomi

  13. When I'm singing the Goodbye song from "Hello, Dolly!" they think I'm fun. When I'm reminding them to practice the piano, not so much ;-)

  14. Such a great post, Naomi!
    Musicals are magical but it is quite a different world (though it would be fun to start dancing and everyone joining in, at least once).
    Apparantly singing gets better when you look out of a window - so funny.

  15. Practically Perfect in every way! Why must school detract me from writing such a lovely long ocmmnet. Musicals are my life they are magical and surreal and once you enter the world of teh pit orchestra or stand on the stage your life will change. I know I have been changed FOR GOODDDDDDDDD (sorry saw wicked last night) from musicals. Delightful and fun post

  16. Such a fun post! I love musicals! My favorites have to be The Sound of Music, The Music Man, Mary Poppins, and....okay, I should stop before this gets too long. ; )

  17. Oooh yay! A musicals post!
    Rain is the perfect time for anything!
    Oooh yes, or if you have never danced with this group before, suddenly you'll know all the moves and they'll give you a solo part!?
    Have you seen I Love Melvin? I want to sooo bad!
    Awesome post!

  18. Naomi, this was WONDERFUL! Seriously. You remind me so much of Amy Dashwood from Yet Another Period Drama blog with all your funny and long, wonderful posts. Brava, my dear. :)
    Musicals.....I adore them. Music is simply one of best things in the world.


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