With Commitment Came Freedom!
Ruthy here, and since we were closed on Wednesday, July 4th, but open on Thursday, July 5th, only Thursday is a carryover day from Wednesday, then we'd be officially closed on Wednesday and Thursday and that's wrong with a capital "W"! And how was that for a run-on sentence, darlings?
So in keeping with the themes of patriotism, faith, hope, love, sacrifice and romance, we're going to dissect the award-winning Broadway musical (and then film) "1776" starring William Daniels, Blythe Danner, Ken Howard, Howard DaSilva and Virginia Vestoff among many others.
What breaks this musical down into what we love as viewers and/or readers?
Any patriot will appreciate the deep emotions of both sides of the political debate that raged during the Second Continental Congress. Ripping a colony away from the mother country, especially a mother country that is big on money and power and manpower and weaponry seems absolutely foolhardy in the present... but in retrospect we see that it was the right thing to do.
But those emotions pull the viewer in. Not just the debate of liberty... but the frustration of argument, proving points, gathering votes. And the major frustration of being away from one's wife for months at a time while illness raged throughout New England and the South and medicine only had a rare solution. How tough that must have been!
The beautiful sacrificial romance between John and Abigail Adams is a heart-tugger, but they also make it funny... which draws the viewer in. Romance should have an element of fun, teasing, laughter. What if they'd done the whole thing dripping with sadness? OY.
"There's one thing every woman's missed in Massachusetts Bay," sings Abby...
John smirks... because of course it must be him they're missing!
"Don't smirk at me, you egotist, pay heed to what I say!" she sings back to him.
Smiling. Laughing. Grinning... as if they were together, but they're not, they're bound by letters that take far too long to get from fetid, foggy, fuming, foggy, filthy... Philadelphia!
And what about Thomas Jefferson (Howard) and his lovely Martha? (Blythe Danner)
Oh be still my heart because poor Tom couldn't keep his mind on writing a declaration of anything except true love right about then after a long enforced separation from his beloved...
And John Adams sent for Martha figuring that once Tom's problem was solved... the country's need for a Declaration of Independence would be solved, too.
3. Difficulty that we can relate to:
90 degrees.... No air. Open the windows and you get flies... so many flies!
Keep the windows closed and the heat builds and builds. If you've never visited Independence Park in Philadelphia, it is so worth the trip. The viewing, the setting, seeing your ancestors or our forefathers as it would have been nearly 250 years ago!
Keeping food fresh in hot conditions
Being away from family.
War: loss of life, loss of property, loss of standing. A lot to lose for people whho were loyal to the crown if the revolutionaries win.
4. Great music:
I love this musical score. I love the whole thing (with the exception of Cool, Cool, Considerate Men that they left out of the movie... it was slow and kind of meaningless... ) but when the young messenger soldier sings "Mama! Look Sharp!" about a mother searching for her dying son's body after a battle... oh be still my heart.
"Sit Down, John!" A wonderful musical tribute to John Adams' legacy of being slightly difficult to get along with as a general rule, but a man of commitment! Oh, wouldn't we love that today?
And for romance poignancy: the beautiful song from John to Abby and back to John...
"Yours, Yours, Yours..."
How he misses her once Martha has joined Tom in the city... When he begs her to come to Philadelphia, but it's impossible. Children with measles and a failing farm. And Abby handles it all... alone.
The viewer/reader feels the true emotion of their loneliness... the depth of their sacrifice for a cause so much greater than sexual satisfaction... but being married and in love and normal... they miss what a normal life and marriage would bring, but they hold tight, supporting one another from afar to attain a cause far greater than married love... Freedom.
A strong and satisfying conclusion:
The declaration... written finally.... is adopted by all thirteen colonies with New York originally abstaining, then approving.
Freedom.... adopted. And then fought for and won as blood spilled.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are Life... Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
And so we go on this 5th of July, 2018.
What is your favorite part of history, American or general history? What draws you in? What makes it meaningful?
I've got bread pudding here (a big New England favorite) and a Low Country boil going on as a nod to our Southern colonies that joined in the quest for freedom.
Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is loving life, liberty and her personal pursuit of happiness which includes but is not limited to writing beautiful stories with unforgettable characters... just like the kind of books she likes to read! Follow her on facebook or stop by her website ruthloganherne.com She'd love to meet you!