• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 26

Topic: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"


    "The River is the Reason"
    (click the picture for MP3)


    Here's the favorite song from my "Tom Sawyer" among the people who have heard the show so far. When I wrote it, I was hoping it would be a fave, so I'm happy that it is. That's why I've been especially looking forward to sharing this one with our Forum.
    ------------------
    The boys are rafting down the river to Jackson's Island, escaping from Injun Joe. After an initial burst of energy that speeds them on their way, they let the raft drift so they can drink in the beauty of the mighty Mississippi River in the deep of night.

    The boys dangle their legs over the side of the raft as Tom starts singing. What follows is a bit of homespun Zen as Tom's maturing mind gets a good glimpse of a larger reality beyond his small town childhood experiences up to this point.

    Garritan instruments used in combination with other sound sources:

    JABB string Bass
    WORLD Banjo
    Garritan Stradivari
    GPO Strings

    LYRICS:

    10) “THE RIVER IS THE REASON”


    DO YOU EVER WONDER
    IF THE RIVER DREAMS?
    WELL IF HE DOES
    I BET HE DOES
    IN DEEP
    AND ENDLESS STREAMS

    AND NO ONE OWNS HIM
    HE'S BIG AND FREE
    HE CAN DREAM AWAY
    AND BE HIMSELF
    FOR ALL ETERNITY

    (CHORUS)
    THE RIVER IS THE REASON
    THAT THE RIVER IS LONG
    THE RIVER IS THE REASON
    THAT THE RIVER IS WIDE
    THE RIVER IS THE REASON
    THAT I'M SINGING THIS SONG

    AND THE RIVER
    ALWAYS TAKES ME HOME
    AND MY HOME
    IS THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD
    THE RIVER KNOWS
    IT'S THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD


    DON'T YOU EVER WONDER
    WHY THE RIVER FLOWS
    WELL I DON'T THINK
    ANYBODY ELSE
    BESIDES THE RIVER KNOWS

    HE AIN'T BEHOLDEN
    TO YOU OR ME
    BUT HE REACHES OUT
    TO ALL OF US
    WHEN HE JOINS
    THE BIG BLUE SEA
    (repeat Chorus - JOSH and HUCK joining in)
    I WANT TO BE LIKE THE RIVER
    REACHIN' OUT ALL OVER THE LAND
    THAT'S WHEN I'LL FINALLY DELIVER
    SOMETHING BIG AND GRAND
    DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

    THAT THE... (ALL THREE REPEAT THE CHORUS)

    AND THE RIVER
    ALWAYS TAKES ME HOME
    AND MY HOME
    IS THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD
    THE RIVER KNOWS
    IT’S THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD

    (HUCK and JOSH repeat the chorus under
    TOM’s final lyrics)

    THE RIVER IS THE REASON
    AND THE RIVER IS WISE
    THE RIVER IS THE REASON
    AND THE RIVER IS WISE

    (THEY look out at the river in wonder as the lights shift)

    Randy

  2. #2

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    Delightful...just delightful!

    You don't need to hire a cast and musicians and singers. Just do it all yourself.

    I have a feeling that your new musical is going to be a big hit.

    Way to go!

    Best,
    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    Wonderful song Randy. More than any others, the orchestration here made me really sit up and take note as it started to build up and get grander. I can see why it's your favourite, I really got lost in the moment - felt like sailing down a river, enjoying freedom. Well done.


    I'm way behind in the listening room - just got a new 64bit PC and spare moments have been spent getting it into shape and finishing off a couple of pieces - so I have some catching up to do.
    Website:
    www.grahamplowman.com
    YouTube Music:
    My Channel
    Twitter:
    @GPComposer
    Facebook:
    Facebook

  4. #4

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry G. Alexander View Post
    Delightful...just delightful!

    You don't need to hire a cast and musicians and singers. Just do it all yourself.

    I have a feeling that your new musical is going to be a big hit.

    Way to go!

    Best,
    Why, thank you very much, Mr. A. With how much you continuously entertain me with your wonderfully zesty pieces, it's great to know that I can manage to entertain you in return with these "Sawyer" songs.

    BUT - um, - let's not contemplate a production where I do all the singing. I squeak by in the "songwriter demo" tradition, but can hardly wait to hear a cast of good theatre-trained singers perform this.

    Randy

  5. #5

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    well...to be very honest I was expecting something more by the hit song...but it's for sure a pretty well made easy listening.

    What I really like in it is the mood, really fitting the moment and the overall concept.

    What disappointed me just a little bit, but of course it's a matter of personal taste and opinion, it's the missing development (I was expecting some more emotional climax), usual for the "hit-song" but probably not suited for this moment of the story in the show.

  6. #6

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    Quote Originally Posted by Plowking View Post
    Wonderful song Randy. More than any others, the orchestration here made me really sit up and take note as it started to build up and get grander. I can see why it's your favourite, I really got lost in the moment - felt like sailing down a river, enjoying freedom. Well done.


    I'm way behind in the listening room - just got a new 64bit PC and spare moments have been spent getting it into shape and finishing off a couple of pieces - so I have some catching up to do.
    Graham, love this post from you. Thanks much - happy to have entertained!

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio View Post
    "...What I really like in it is the mood, really fitting the moment and the overall concept..."
    I appreciate that, Fabio. I'm glad there were things about the tune you enjoyed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio View Post
    "...What disappointed me just a little bit, but of course it's a matter of personal taste and opinion, it's the missing development (I was expecting some more emotional climax), usual for the "hit-song" but probably not suited for this moment of the story in the show..."
    I understand what you're talking about, and I also appreciate that feedback, Fabio. It makes me think of how
    it would be good if I could explain some things about the show in each of these "Sawyer" posts. I've avoided being too redundant, but it does make things unclear to people finding these later posts.

    Basically, this show wasn't written with any kind of Broadway mold in mind. It was written for a specific theatre company which has a particular style in everything they do. The producer of that company asked me to write a show based on "Sawyer," and we talked about the style and approach needed, to be sure I had the right idea about the approach he takes with all of their shows.

    That particular style features a strong preference for a show's songs to be patterned more after pop songs rather than theatre songs. Simplicity is a key, and with the music needing to be simple, repetitive, the sort of thing that audiences, and young people in particular, can pick up on quickly.

    So, rather than having songs that are more complex, evolving dramatically (in either a comic or serious way) - their shows feature songs with a simple verse/chorus structure, and with the hook/chorus repeating often. Theatre music is generally more sophisticated than more standard popular music, being derived from opera rather than the music hall. But this group does their numbers very presentationally, always with dance, with the focus being on simply being entertaining without engaging the mind so much.

    And so in the case of this "River" song, we have one basic idea which is carried throughout, with no actual dramatic development or peak. Just when it could go on to the sort of thing you're talking about, it instead simply repeats the chorus.

    That's the general concept behind "Sawyer" and its elements like I've described here which make it so extremely different from something like my "Dorian" score which is very complex, where most of the musical passages weren't songs, but constantly evolving, semi-operatic scenes-set-to-music.

    So I find your observation astute, and it gave me the opportunity to post this kind of detail again about the nature of the project.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    Hey Randy! What a cool song. At times, it sounded like an ELVIS tune (because of the echo effect) and all you needed was Scotty Moore playing some rockabilly guitar licks. At other times, especially with the 3 part harmony, it sounded kind of like an Oak Ridge Boys thing. It has a country flare written all over it, and it sounds great. This is definitely a winner.
    Thanks for the post. Jay

  9. #9

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    Quote Originally Posted by jaynkate01 View Post
    Hey Randy! What a cool song. At times, it sounded like an ELVIS tune (because of the echo effect) and all you needed was Scotty Moore playing some rockabilly guitar licks. At other times, especially with the 3 part harmony, it sounded kind of like an Oak Ridge Boys thing. It has a country flare written all over it, and it sounds great. This is definitely a winner.
    Thanks for the post. Jay
    Ha! I love it, Jay - Since reading your post, I've been going around the house singing this song in a quasi-Elivis style. Pro Elvis impersonators have nothing to worry about - my impersonation attempts are strictly for a private audience of one, Me. hehe.

    Elvis could have done this tune up Brown!--as they used to say. What a great style he had with his quavery baritone voice. And you're right, the slap back echo on the lead vocal kind of puts this recording into Elvis territory. I did that for the fun of it, but almost took it out, since I didn't do that with any of the other vocal demos from the show. My wife talked me into keeping it though since she thought the slap back fit the tune so well, and she was right.

    Like a lot of the songs for "Sawyer," I studied some old country styles before doing any writing. I listened to bluegrass gospel in particular for this, wanting to emulate the kind of harmonies they use. Looking up examples of styles we attempt to emulate is such a fun part of projects like this.

    Something else I kept thinking of when I was writing the show - I never met my grandfather on my mother's side, but was told about him. He was a happy-go-lucky ne'er-do-well who was always out of a job, but played a mean fiddle. That was what he spent a lot of his time doing, playing fiddle in bands in Oklahoma back in the '20's. I felt that his spirit was with me as I worked on this music, and I kept doing what I could do work some passable fiddle licks into the tracks.

    Thanks for the really fun message, Jay.

    Randy

  10. #10

    Re: "The River is the Reason" - hit song from "Tom Sawyer"

    You certainly have a way with show music. I really like this piece. Now, this will be in my head for a day or two or three or ..........

    Well done Randy.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong

    Rich

Go Back to forum
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •