Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

This Moment

Posted on: April 12, 2010

I love the music of John Wallowitch.

His songs can be wickedly funny, devastatingly touching, and incredibly smart.  His melodies are beautiful, his music is captivating.

One of my favorite live cabaret albums is,

Dixie Carter Sings John Wallowitch Live at the Carlyle

This album, as the title suggests, was recorded live at the Carlyle Hotel.  The program, music directed by the wonderful Michele Brourman, is a night of deep immersion in the music of John Wallowitch, swimming in the loving friendship between the composer and Dixie Carter.  Dixie Carter and John Wallowitch are a perfect match, as Ms. Carter is able to express and magnify all the brilliance that Mr. Wallowitch is able to write…from the hysterically funny to the most deeply emotional lyric.

Sadly, the death of Dixie Carter, at the age of 70, was announced yesterday by her husband Hal Holbrook.

(My friend Michael Miyazaki mentions this album on his blog: http://cabaretdc.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/forever-27/, rightly calling it “one of the great cabaret recordings ever,” in a tribute to the passing of Dixie Carter, may she Rest in Peace.  Michael also posted a rememberance from Dixie Carter’s friend and frequent music director, Michele Brourman: http://cabaretdc.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/michele-brourman-remembers-dixie-carter/)

That night at the Carlyle Hotel, Dixie Carter sang John Wallowitch’s song “This Moment.” 

Just a few days ago, I pulled this album out to listen to a few tracks, heard that song again and decided to learn it for a show I’m putting together with some friends for the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival.

This Moment
Words and Music by John Wallowitch

It takes a life to realize what life is all about
And life is all about, this moment.

I’m here with you, before we’re through
What secret will we tell?
I’ll learn to know you well, this moment.

How soon, too soon, the hours fly.
I hear the clock go tickin’ by-
I won’t pretend that time has been my friend.

I bring my song to sing my song for you
Until the end.
And as I live my days,
I’ll count the wonderous ways
That brought me here to praise
This moment.

How soon, too soon, the hours fly.
I hear the clock go tickin’ by,
I only hope that time will be your friend.

I live my life to give my life with love,
Oh, don’t you see.
If only you’ll agree, please,
Come along with me.

I only guarantee
This moment.

I love the version of “This Moment” with Mr. Wallowitch singing the song himself, live, on his album “My Manhattan,” Track 13.  The cover of that album features a picture of John Wallowitch with Dixie Carter and his longtime partner (and modern dance great) Bertram Ross.

It is was a mind-boggling sequence of events for me to start learning this song in the same week when I learned also that Dixie Carter passed way. I first heard this announcement on the news last night, just before 60 Minutes came on.

Last night, 60 Minutes ended, as always, with the Oscar-the-Grouch-like character of Andy Rooney, in a segment about the passing of time and how the habit of making plans makes time pass so much more quickly, when, for the purposes of happiness, what we really need is for time to pass more slowly.

Andy Rooney summed it all up (the message of the song, the death of Ms. Carter, my love for songs and the music of John Wallowitch) for me by ending the show saying,

“Slow down. Don’t plan.  Savor every minute.”

To this, I’d only add,

“And, SING A SONG!”

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4 Responses to "This Moment"

Dixie was a magical woman with a magical voice. There are not enough words to say what a gift she and Mr. Wallowitch were to the world. I can’t wait to meet them in heaven.

Dear Liz, Thanks for your note. I can’t believe it’s been so long since writing that post. I’ll listen to this album again. That wonderful song didn’t fit with the show mentioned in the post. But what a marvelous song. Thank you for reminding me of all of it. Best wishes to you.

Thank you very much. I miss her so much. Your post and the irony of the sequence of events following and trailing her death made me shed a tear. She has been one of my biggest idols. Like I said, there is always hope in meeting her in heaven. 😌 Until then, I will marvel at her works of art she has left behind, and hope to be like her one day (I’m 17 and starting a career in musical theater and acting). I hope you enjoy listening to that heart-rending yet beautifully poised album.

Hi Liz, many blessings to you. Yes, that is certainly one of the best ever live cabaret albums. It is so wonderful with an incredible collection of great, great songs, so lovingly performed. You can feel their deep and powerful friendship emanating off the whole thing. How amazing it must have been for the audience members there that night. I have had the fortune of being coached by Ms. Brourman. She’s amazing, too.

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