The Theatre

Yes, the theatre.
It's a funny thing, the theatre, when you stop and think of it.
The comedy, the drama, the striving for a "hit".
The idea of an audience and an actor up on stage.
Don't you think it's rather funny watching someone earn his wage?

There's something about the theatre and I'm not sure what it is.
It's surely not the money or the thing they call "show biz."
We hear about the magic of the theatre,
fantasy quite unlike the movies or the telly. I agree.

I love going to the theatre, sitting right there, where you are
watching my favorite actors or the birth of a new star.
All those special evenings with Lloyd-Webber or the Bard,v something old from whoever, a new play by Tom Stoppard,
And the music of the theatre, Bernstein, Hammerstein, Sondheim are so devine
that sometimes I wish they'd never end.

The best way to go to the theatre is right there through the stage door.
I leave the world behind me like a mantle on the floor.
And oh the sweet relief to know that at least for the next few hours
I'll know the plot and in these times that's quite a lot.
And everybody knows their lines and who they are and where they stand. It's grand.

Unlike the world outside these doors, the homeless that the world ignores,
the violence, the poverty, the things we cannot help but see,
including our own inadequacies to somehow make it right.
I can't forget the things I've seen and all the places I've been.
I can't forget, they haunt me yet.
The millions of refugees and my anger will not let me sleep
and when my grief becomes too deep, I sing.

Yeah, I sing.
I sing along with friends, we sing and try to make amends.
We beg for money on the stage, we smile and try to hide our rage.
We try to help.
I know that you do too.
Most of us do.

So here we are in this hallowed place, sharing a special time and space.
I hadn't realized before, but maybe that's what the theatre is for,
to bring us together, to make us see that the magic is not just some fantasy
tho' we all need some fantasy.
No, the magic you see is in you, in me.
It's a funny thing, the theatre.

- Petula Clark
1998