Memory : : : The Musical 'Cats'
The Musical 'Cats'
Midnight. Not a sound from the pavement.
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone.
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan.
Memory. All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days,
I was beautiful then.
I remember the time I knew what happiness was,
Let the memory live again.
Every street lamp seems to beat a fatalistic warning.
Someone mutters and a street lamp gutters
and soon it will be morning.
Daylight. I must wait for the sunrise,
I must think of a new life
And I mustn't give in.
When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin.
Burnt out ends of smokey days,
the stale cold smell of morning.
The street lamp dies,
another night is over, another day is dawning.
Touch me. It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun.
If you touch me you'll understand what happiness is.
Look, a new day has begun.
"Memory" is a show tune from the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats sung by the character Grizabella, a one-time glamour cat who is now a shell of her former self. The song is a nostalgic remembrance of her glorious past and a declaration of her wishes to start a new life. Sung briefly in the first act and in full near the end of the show, "Memory" is the climax of the musical, and by far its most popular and well-known song.
The lyrics, written by Trevor Nunn, were based on T. S. Eliot's poem, "Rhapsody on a Windy Night".
Lloyd Webber, fearing that the tune sounded too similar to a work of Puccini, asked his father's opinion. According to Lloyd Webber, his father responded, "It sounds like a million dollars!"
It is arguably Lloyd Webber's biggest hit, inspiring thousands of renditions. Notable artists who have made the song popular include Elaine Paige (the original Grizabella), Barbra Streisand, Betty Buckley (first to play Grizabella on Broadway), Barry Manilow (who sang off key toward the end of the song), Simone Simons and Petula Clark.
The song's climax is in the key of D-flat major, the composer's favorite.
The song is often incorrectly referred to as "Memories"; the correct title is the singular "Memory".
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