Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Who'd You Write This Song For?


I figure that the most powerful scene in the best musical of all time, 'Once', occurs very near the beginning.

For all kinds of reasons, not least of which is because, to my mind at least, it seems to be the most Framesian.

The 'guy', Glen Hansard, is busking late at night, standing in the mouth of an alley that looks like it is a portal that will swallow him up at any moment, tesseract-like, and deliver him from Dublin's genteel Grafton St. straight back across the River Liffey to the City's hardscrabble Northside.

Except that there is some sort of magical power that stops that from happening.

And that power is a song, 'Say It To Me Now', that the guy belts out at the top of his lungs for an audience of one that is not there.

As the guy finishes the song, a song that Hansard now belts out at every tour stop, sometimes literally, the camera pulls back, away from the portal, to reveal the girl, Marketa Irglova, who is not the girl that the guy was singing to.

And she asks a very simple question with even more power than the song itself, which is:

"Who'd you write this song for?"

The answer to which, in the end, leads them to write songs together.

For each other.

Just like they do now, in real life.


I had no idea that Douglas Fieger, the front man of a power-pop band that many people later came to revile for no really good reason at all, and a guy who wrote an almost Pixie-like little ditty of sweetness and lust called 'My Sharona' actually had one.

A Sharona, I mean.

But he did:

"It was like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat; I fell in love with her (17 year-old Sharona Alperin) instantly. And when that happened, it sparked something and I started writing a lot of songs feverishly in a short amount of time."

Which, given that Fieger was 27 at the time, can be viewed either a little scandalously or a little tragically, or both, again, in a Pixieish kind of way.

Except for one thing - which is that Ms. Alperin was then, and still is now, moved, by both Mr. Fieger and his creation:

"Doug changed my life forever. He left on Valentine's Day, a day of heart and love and that was Doug - all heart and love."

All of which begs the following question.....If you manage to make art, even if it is schlock-art, that truly touches just one person's heart, does that mean that you will never be truly alone?

I'd like to think the answer is yes.


Doug Fieger died on Sunday of lung cancer. He was 58.

Original link source - Dr. Dawg.



Anonymous said...

Once is a great movie!

RossK said...


Indeed it is.