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Try to Remember

Try to remember the kind of September
when life was slow and oh, so mellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
when grass was green and grain was yellow.
Try to remember the kind of September
you were a tender and callow fellow.

Try to remember and if you remember, then follow,
(echo) follow, follow, follow, follow
follow, follow, follow, follow.


So goes the first verse of the most well-known song from The Fantastiks, the longest running show in the history of the American theatre (1960-2002). We learned to sing Try to Remember in our 7th-grade music class, back in 1965. I don't think we were taught anything about the play, but I took a particularly strong liking to this song. As I sang it I pictured myself as an old man, thinking back to my youth, and how I looked forward excitedly to the beginning of each new school year in September. I experienced premature nostalgia every time I sang that song.

Now it is nearly 40 years later, and I can in fact look back to those days with wistful nostalgia. I recall the excitement of anticipating the possibilities of yet unknown but wonderful things that might happen in the upcoming year. Maybe I would meet the girl of my dreams. "Who knows? It's only just out of reach, down the block, on a beach, under a tree ... " (I was also--and still am--a huge fan of West Side Story).

All this is a prelude to writing that we saw The Fantasticks last night, so I was able to hear the song performed in the actual musical. Rush city. Tom Burchinal (Matt) has an absolutely gorgeous voice. His duet with Mollie Vogt-Welch (Louisa) on "They Were You" almost made me moan with delight.

Another memorable experience at Pennsylvania Centre Stage. http://www.pacentrestage.psu.edu/fantasticks.html