30 day song challenge: day 03 – a song that makes you happy

For the past 29 years, I have been known on occasion to wander around singing this song. It’s my ultimate “happy” song. It’s also terrifying to me now to realise that when Annie came out I was even younger than little Molly in this clip.

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Having mostly grown up in the “post-modern, ironic” era, there’s something almost shocking about the earnestness of these old clips. The wide-eyed innocence of the tots singing their little hearts out. It wouldn’t happen now. Even the music in musicals these days is different. You don’t get the grand old cast-of-hundreds song-and-dance routines any more.

Even if the whiff of nostalgia makes me misty-eyed, I can’t help but think of another musical sequence that is so beautifully put together, it’s impossible not to smile. What makes this song so magical isn’t the cheeky lyrics (all the Catholics I know are amused rather than offended) but the sheer spot-on parody of those overblown Lionel Bart musicals like Oliver! – again, right down to the wide-eyed gap-toothed child.

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That, in turn, reminds me of another beautifully-executed spoof: Elephant!, the musical-within-a-film from The Tall Guy about Joseph “John” Merrick, the Elephant Man. This clip parodies Andrew Lloyd Webber perfectly – I’m just annoyed that I still can’t find the song that goes “just when I think he’s staying / I find out that he’s packing his trunk”.

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