Thursday, November 29, 2007

Michelle's Song

The plot of Friends sounds an awful lot like that of later big-screen teen romances such as The Blue Lagoon and Sahara, in which neglected/abandoned/lost adolescent boys and girls come together amidst great difficulty, persevere, and find love. The titular "Michelle", then, is the Brooke Shields/Phoebe Cates half of the equation, played by Anicée Alvina, and no young gamine of the screen ever had a sweeter pop song dedicated to her than this.

Bernie has crafted an unabashedly starry-eyed love song, with this as the chorus:

So take my hand in your hand
Say it's great to be alive
No one's going to find us
No matter how they try
No one's going to find us
It's wonderful so wild beneath the sky

The sentiment and feel is similar to the duo's other notable valentine, "Your Song", and the Paul Buckmaster/Elton team dress it up with a melody in the verses that sounds similar to, but different from, the old traditional "Wild Mountain Thyme". The chorus reminds me a little of the "Bring your family down..." section of "Burn Down the Mission", of all things. Of course, they are skilled at this sort of reshuffling, so the total effect is very romantic, with Buckmaster's oboe piping along in the background with the surging strings, and of course Elton's piano and the rolling drums sound that was a feature of many of the songs from his early 70's period.

The title song, probably for commercial reasons, was the single and was a minor hit; for my part I think this would have made a strong follow-up and if not for the box office failure of the film, who knows, it might have seen release. For my part, I think it's probably the best cut on the album.

1 comment:

Steve said...

I found this song heartbreakingly beautiful...the songs on the album, but this one in particular, tell the story more succinctly and poetically than the movie did. This is still one of my favorite albums - probably because it evokes memories of my earliest deep loves. The movie, on the other hand, was fairly forgettable. Its biggest sin, imho, was including only snippets of the songs!