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Poetry Friday: If I Didn't Believe in You by Jason Robert Brown

May 15th, 2009 (07:22 am)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: from The Last Five Years

Don't we get to be happy, Cathy?
At some point down the line
Don't we get to relax?
Without some new tsuris
To push me yet further from you?

If I'm cheering on your side, Cathy
Why can't you support mine?
Why do I have to feel
I've committed some felony
Doing what I always swore I would do?

I don't want you to hurt
I don't want you to sink
But you know what I think?

I think you'll be fine
Just hang on and you'll see
But don't make me wait 'til you do
To be happy with you
Will you listen to me?

No one can give you courage
No one can thicken your skin
I will not fail so you can be comfortable, Cathy
I will not lose because you can't win

- selected lyrics from If I Didn't Believe in You from the musical The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown

Listen to the song as performed by Norbert Leo Butz on the official soundtrack.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View all posts tagged as The Last Five Years.

Consult the Poetry Friday roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.


Posted by: kellypolark (kellypolark)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)

I'm a huge fan of music. I love reading song lyrics!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 15th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)

Me too! I'm a singer, songwriter, and musical theatre actress, so I like to mix it up on Poetry Friday - to post a classic poem one week, a contemporary poem the next, lyrics, quotes, anything that I find poetic!

Posted by: Pamela Ross (writerross)
Posted at: May 16th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)

Is Jason Robert Brown the music man behind THIRTEEN? I read the book, enjoyed it, and gave it to my little niece after my sister took her to see the show a few months ago.

What is THE LAST FIVE YEARS about? Nice song. Listening now. Thanks for the link. N. Butz is so talented.

I would love to be a songwriter-- but I cannot write music. Damn. :{


Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 16th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)

Yes re: Thirteen. I read the book and heard a few songs, but have yet to see the full production or hear the entire soundtrack.

Here's how I summarized L5Y in a previous comment:

The Last Five Years has a cast of two. The man, Jamie, is a hopeful writer; the woman, Cathy, is a struggling actress. This is the story of their relationship, from meeting and dating to marriage - and the dissolution of that marriage.

Jason Robert Brown created something extremely emotional. First of all, 95% of the story is told in soliloquies, but I call them songologues because they are sung. Then he added another twist: the characters are moving in opposite directions on the timeline. Cathy starts the play with a song about Jamie's leaving, so she's at the end of the marriage, but then Jamie sings, and it's five years earlier and they are having their first date. As she tells her story in reverse, he moves forward, so they meet halfway through, during the proposal and wedding. This song, The Next Ten Minutes, is their only duet. The play ends with Jamie leaving, singing that he could never rescue Cathy, so sad, and with Kathy arriving home after their first date, singing about how amazing everything is, so happy, so hopeful.

Posted by: Pamela Ross (writerross)
Posted at: May 16th, 2009 07:59 am (UTC)

My CAPTCHA word to post:


It's the word, baby.

That was weird. ;>

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 16th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Cosmic


Posted by: mimagirl (mimagirl)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)

I really really like this.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)

The words or the song? Did you listen? :)

Posted by: mimagirl (mimagirl)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
i could've danced

Both. :) (yeah, I listened.)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 17th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)

I'm so glad that you liked it. I hope you'll check out other songs from the musical. Norbert is fantastic as Jamie. For Cathy, I prefer the vocals of Lauren Kennedy - She originated the role of Cathy, but had a role in something else when L5Y moved to Off-Broadway, so Sherie Rene Scott got the part then, and she's the one on the official soundtrack. However, Lauren released an album called Songs of Jason Robert Brown, so you can hear some L5Y songs on there. :)

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