Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 

Michael Ball - alone together

Home Page / The Story / The Songs / The Lyrics Act I / The Medley Lyrics / Lyrics Act II /
Lyric Changes / Sound ClipsJason Carr / Jonathan Butterell /Reviews /Interviews /
Your Reaction / MBFC Forum Discussion / In ConcertLinks and Credits


The Lyric Changes
 




Whilst none of the material in alone together was composed specifically for the show, several of the songs featured had lyrics altered from the original to better suit the character and storyline.  A comparison of the original lyrics with those used in the show offers a valuable insight into the intentions of the creative team.

The final "Good riddance/Goodbye" was added to the end of The Man That Got Away, emphasising the disgust and hurt he felt at his father's behaviour.

Alterations and additions to Say a Little Prayer explore the depth of feeling for his mother and his anguish at her death.  The tense is changed, moving from hopes for the future, to the present, to the past, as she passes away, when all that are left are memories, ending in his present state of heartache:

Alone Together Version 

The moment you wake up
Before you put on your make-up 
I'll say a little prayer for you 
While combing your hair now 
And wondering what dress you'll wear now 
I'll say a little prayer for you 

Forever and ever you'll stay in my heart 
And I will love you 
Forever and ever we never will part 
Oh how I love you 
Together forever, that's how it must be 
To live without you 
Would only mean heartache for me 

I run for the bus dear 
While riding I think of us dear 
And I say a little prayer for you 
At work I just take time 
And all through my coffee break time 
I say a little prayer for you 

Forever and ever you'll stay in my heart 
And I will love you 
Forever and ever we never will part 
Oh how I love you 
Together forever, that's how it must be 
To live without you 
Will only be heartache for me 

At night when I'm lonely 
My thoughts are for you, dear, only 
And I say a little prayer for you 
The memories that find me 
Keep coming back to remind me 
To say a little prayer for you 

Forever and ever you stay in my heart 
And I will love you 
Forever and ever we never will part 
Oh how I loved you 
Together forever, that's how it must be 
To live without you 
Only means heartache for me 

So darling believe me 
For me there is no one 
But you

 

Original Version

The moment I wake up
Before I put on my makeup
I say a little prayer for you
While combing my hair, now
And wondering what dress to wear, now
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, forever, we never will part
Oh, how I'll love you
Together, together, that's how it must be
To live without you
Would only be heartbreak for me

I run for the bus, dear
While riding I think of us, dear
I say a little prayer for you
At work, I just take time
And all through my coffee break-time
I say a little prayer for you

Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, forever we never will part
Oh, how I'll love you
Together, together, that's how it must be
To live without you
Would only be heartbreak for me

I say a little prayer for you

I say a little prayer for you
 
 
 

Forever, forever, you'll stay in my heart
And I will love you
Forever, forever we never will part
Oh, how I'll love you
Together, together, that's how it must be
To live without you
Would only be heartbreak for me

My darling, believe me
For me there is no one
But you ....
 

(Of all the web sites and recordings I've checked this against, Aretha Franklin sings "heartache".  The others cite "heartbreak".)

John Lennon's Mother is changed in the last verse, again to better reflect the theme:
 
Mother, you left me I never left you 
I needed you but you didn't want me 
So I, I just got to tell you 
Goodbye, goodbye 

Father, you had me but I never had you 
I wanted you but you didn't want me 
So I, I just have to tell you 
Goodbye, goodbye 

Mother, Father, look what you've done 
I couldn't walk but I tried to run 
So I, I just got to tell you 
Goodbye, Goodbye 

Mother, Father 

Mother, You had Me I never had you
I wanted you but you didn't want me
So I got to tell you
Goodbye , Goodbye

Father, You left me but I never left you 
I needed you but you didn't need me 
So I just got to tell you
Goodbye , Goodbye

Children, Don't do what I have done
I couldn't walk so I tried to run
So I got to tell you
Goodbye , Goodbye

(from  Barry's John Lennon Web Page)

During an interview with Sheridan Morley on the Radio 2 Arts Programme, a couple of weeks before his first appearance at the Donmar, Michael mentioned that new words for Is That All There Is had been commissioned from Eve Ensler (author of The Vagina Monologues).  These were to have replaced the spoken parts of the Lieber/Stoller song, made famous by Peggy Lee (see Interviews).  However Eve Ensler's version was only used for the first preview performance.  Due to copyright problems (we believe - we have no official word on this), every subsequent performance used the original words.

I remember when I was a very little boy our house burned down.  I'll never forget the look on my mother's face as she gathered me up in her arms and carried me through the burning building out on to the pavement.  I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched my whole world go up in flames.  And
then I said to myself "Is that all there is to a fire?"

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is, my friends
Then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze
And have a ball
If that's all there is

And years later when I was 12 years old my mother took me to the circus.  The greatest show on earth - clowns, elephants, dancing bears and a beautiful lady in pink tights who flew high above our heads.  As I sat there watching this marvelous spectacle, I couldn't help but feel that something was missing. I didn't know what it was but when it was over I said to myself "Is that all there is to the circus?"

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is, my friends
Then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze
And have a ball
If that's all there is

I fell in love. Head over heels in love with this wonderful person in the world. We used to take long walks along the side of the river. Sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes.  So very much in love. And then one day my love went away. I thought I would die, and when I didn't, when I didn't, I said to myself "Is that all there is to love?"

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends
Then let's keep....

Oh, I know what your're thinking to yourself.  If that's the way he feels about it, why doesn't he end it all right now.  But no, not me.  I'm not ready for the final disappointment.  Because I know, as sure as I'm standing here talking to you, that when the final moment comes, when I'm breathing my last breath I'll be saying to myself "Is that all there is?"

Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends
Then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze
And have a ball
If that's all there is

Eve Ensler's version gave a more modern approach to this world-weary number.  Gone were the mention of the circus and of the house-fire, and the first love became a first sexual experience.  The first monologue spoke of the character's childhood, and reveals much more about his relationship with his father.  As a small boy he used to creep around the house trying to make no sound, but one day, the stairs creaked beneath his feet.  Angry at the disturbance, his drunken father picked him up and threw him against a wall.  "Is that all there is to a beating?"

Instead of the trip to the circus we learnt of his first experience in the limelight.   At the age of seventeen he played the role of Tony in West Side Story.  Michael sang the one word "Maria" as he recalled the experience.  He loved the spotlight, the applause, but afterwards...  an early taste of the feelings expressed after the medley:  Nice Dream/Solitude.

Another significant change was made in There's No Business Like Showbusiness.  Here's the altered verse (on the left) with the original Irving Berlin lyrics on the right:
 
 
[This verse was not used in the show]
 
 
 
 
 

Chorus

You get word before the show has started 
That you're ailing mother died at dawn 
Top of that your wife and you just parted 
Oh you're broken hearted but you go on 
 

There's no people like show people, 
they smile when they are low
Angels come from everywhere with lots of jack, and when you lose it, there's no attack
Where could you get money that you don't give back?  Let's go on with the show

Chorus

You get word before the show has started 
that your favorite uncle died at dawn
Top of that, your pa and ma have parted, 
you're broken-hearted, but you go on
 

If you are aware of any other significant lyric changes, please let us know.  We'd love to be
able to include them here.  We've only been able to include those we noticed as we were
sourcing material ready to build the site.

Email deborahnorris@blueyonder.co.uk
 
 


 

Site Established December 2001, by Barbara Uram and Debbie Norris
This page was added 13 February 2002

Thanks to Donna Kelly for help in researching information for this page.