Thursday, July 9, 2015

What Now My Love? Reprise

The song that's been running through my head lately is "Et Maintenant" or "What Now My Love." I used to love that tune. I couldn't sing the song, because the original words were so embarrassing. So hammy. "What now, my love? Now that you've left me...I'd be a fool to go on and there is nothing, only my last goodbye." Like the speaker has a major mood disorder and that's why she left him, and if what he's trying to say is that he's going to commit suicide, he'll never be missed.

I used to think of possible better lyrics to that tune. Played at more of a march tempo than an aria tempo, it sounded like a protest song, and lots of popular protest slogans might have worked with it. "What do we want? When do we want it?" was a perfect fit. "Power to the people" would work. "Freedom and justice" get the idea.

The Cold War ended about the time my aspirations to earn money as a singer did. The Soviet Union was officially atheist, and our church aired a poignant documentary about Christians in Russia. I wrote the first few lines of a serious lyric to the tune of "Et Maintenant":

With love and peace, people of Russia,
Lay down your arms; turn toward the light.
Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Savior, 
Both yours and ours: why then should we fight?

I've never finished it, nor sung it in public.

Recently, though, the tune of "Et Maintenant" popped back into my head. This time around, I thought that, if the "romantic love" theme was stuck to it, why not give the couple a happier ending?

What now, my love? Now that we're married,
I come straight home after work each day;
The friends I've kept are the ones who like you;
I'm, like, a grown-up...but that's okay.
I sweep the rug; I mop the floor;
I stop the creaking of the door;
I've laid aside with childhood toys
Untidiness and noise.
What now, my love? Can it be--marriage
Has made a (man/woman) of me?