Blog 2142 – 08.07.2021
All I Ask Of You Is All That You Are And Everything That You Do
Searching my early morning brain for something to write about today I thought about duets. Many of my favorite songs are duets. I still thrill every time I watch The Little Shop of Horrors when the Ellen Greene and Rick Moranis sing “Suddenly Seymour.” And Lionel Richie and Dianna Ross singing “Endless Love” still takes my breath away. One of my very favorite duets is from the play and movie Phantom of the Opera called “All I Ask Of You.” It is a difficult song for me to sing by myself. I finally had to make some accommodations at the switches between the two voices which tease the title phrase till near the end of the song, still my version does not capture the magic of two voices intertwined, greater than the sum of their two parts.
My first and only semester at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga after getting out of the Army three months early to attend college included a seven a.m. class twice a week called Music Appreciation. My somewhat tired joke is that I did not appreciate being up that early, but the truth is that I realized in those classes that already I knew most of the classical music we listened from all the movie scores that I had listen to while watching so many movies as a boy and young man. The fifty years since I have spent watching and rewatching many more movies and listening to countless movie scores.
I have been a poet most of this adventure in space and time and have long thought that instrumental music is incomplete without words to accompany it, as indeed movies to me are so much more with a fitting score to accompany them. I am alas a word guy and even the title to the lovely duet “All I Ask Of You” had me turning the words over in my mind. The two men who love Christine in the story are night and day, twisted and straight, dark and light, and Christine is in the middle torn between the two of them who both ask “All” of her. The song innumerates several things both lovers are asking of her and she them, true lovers always ask but one thing really – “all or nothing.” It is not an easy choice for Christine or any of us to make between two competing loves, for to make the one happy is to deny and deprive the other. But then isn’t true love like the building crescendo of all great duets, an all or nothing proposition?
The Universe gives all and asks all of us in return. Or as Sir Paul McCartney sings, “And in the end, the love we take, is equal to the love we make.” All, I ask of you.
Whitney Houston I think said it most clearly what The Lover Of Our Souls Asks of us all, in her ballad “If I Don’t Have You”:
“Take my love, I’ll never ask for too much, just all that you are and everything that you do.”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
All I Ask Of You
If I Don’t Have You