Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rhythm of Life, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sweet Charity

Imagine a girl, a thirteen-year-old girl going over to Bridgewater for Christmas with the British relatives right around 1980, and imagine that girl, near dawn on the red-eye from JFK, on her British Air headphones, finding the soundtrack of Sammy Davis, Jr, singing The Rhythm of Life on the Sweet Charity soundtrack. Imagine her emblazoned spirits. Imagine her adoration.Imagine that in that burning moment, that song became a secret anthem of her soul. Imagine the girl thinking she held some secret. Imagine that girl growing up into a Washington litigator, combative and shrewd, over decades. And imagine that she never tells anyone about how much she loves this song.

Then imagine that girl turns 37 and has a baby boy in London with her new husband. And imagine that the boy grows up, and the family moves to Cambridge, and the boy enters a Cambridgeshire Choir. And then imagine that the choir sings Rhythm of Life. And the boy is taken with the song and teaches it to his four-year-old sister. So this tiny entity randomly shouts out at breakfast that "Danny started out in San Francisco, blowing on his trumpet loud and mean!" and invariably chants that "the rhythm of life is a poweful beat, puts a rhythm in your fingers and a rhythm in your feet. Rhythm in the bedroom, rhythm on the street, for the rhythm of life is a powerful beat."

Then imagine that the girl bears witness to her own children adopting her obsession with the song without a single word from her. Can that girl deny that at the heart of the universe there is a common music? Even if that girl has no time for words like "god"?