Jesus Christ Superstar- Musical


The musical that I have cried to countless times. I got to be honest, I am not that much into musicals, but this one is a stroke of brilliance.

Remember this is a musical first set up in 1971 by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

The time is important, because this is just after a lot of the ground breaking musicians of our time, died young. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison…

One must wonder why no one stepped up and stopped those people, once it became clear that they were on the path leading to their own demise. This musical picks up on that, very brilliantly, with the very first song;

“Heaven on their minds”

Judas tries to warn Jesus that he has started to believe in what people say about him. “I remember when this whole thing began, no talk of God then, we called you a man…” This is a close friend, desperately trying to reach an idol, and failing miserably because he is blinded by his own greatness and by the love and adoration of his fans.

So, no, don’t see this as a religious musical and if you are religious, don’t be offended. This is really using the eldest story in the world, the story of Jesus, to display a very real issue with fandom and celebrities.

“Hosanna,” describes rather beautifully how the authorities feared this new impact that rock’n’roll had on the youth and how the rock star enjoyed being the center of an uprising, right until the moment, where the crowd suddenly expects him to die for them, to be their martyr. The song changes in a heartbeat, and suddenly Jesus are no longer in control of this monster he has created.

In the end, Jesus realizes that he must see the saga through. That he must finish what he started, at his own peril. That for him to live forever, for his message to be heard, he must be willing to accept the ramifications of being a superstar.

He questions his faith, everything he is, and most of all, the great plan that God seem to have for him. In the end, he accepts his fate and chooses to die, as much in spite as anything else.

“Gethsemane” is perhaps one of the most beautiful and touching songs ever written.

“I only want to say
If there is a way
Take this cup away from me
For I don’t want to taste its poison
Feel it burn me,
I have changed I’m not as sure
As when we started
Then I was inspired
Now I’m sad and tired
Listen surely I’ve exceeded
Tried for three years
Seems like thirty
Could you ask as much
From any other man?

But if I die
See the saga through
And do the things you ask of me
Let them hate me, hit me, hurt me
Nail me to their tree
I’d want to know
I’d want to know my God
I’d want to know
I’d want to know my God
I’d want to see
I’d want to see my God
I’d want to see
I’d want to see my God
Why I should die
Would I be more noticed
Than I ever was before?
Would the things I’ve said and done
Matter anymore?
I’d have to know
I’d have to know my Lord
I’d have to know
I’d have to know my Lord
I’d have to see
I’d have to see my Lord
I’d have to see
I’d have to see my Lord

If I die what will be my reward?
If I die what will be my reward?
I’d have to know
I’d have to know my Lord
I’d have to know
I’d have to know my Lord

Why, why should I die?
Oh, why should I die?
Can you show me now
That I would not be killed in vain?
Show me just a little
Of your omnipresent brain
Show me there’s a reason
For your wanting me to die
You’re far too keen on where and how
But not so hot on why
Alright I’ll die!
Just watch me die!
See how, see how I die!
Oh, just watch me die!

Then I was inspired
Now I’m sad and tired
After all I’ve tried for three years
Seems like ninety
Why then am I scared
To finish what I started
What you started
I didn’t start it
God thy will is hard
But you hold every card
I will drink your cup of poison
Nail me to your cross and break me
Bleed me, beat me
Kill me, take me now
Before I change my mind”

I am including two links to it, because I simply can’t chose between them. Both of them outstanding vocal performances.

This one is from 1973, the movie

This one is from 2000, a theater play

Once things start to go wrong and the authorities finally get a hold on Jesus, only a few really mourn him. This song is strikingly beautiful. If only one could go back, and not go that far to prove the point…

“Could we start again, please?”

In the end, the sad story of his life is hung out to dry in the media, as his fans have turned on him, and all cry for blood. The perfect way to describe mob mentality, and how human nature seem to love to watch their heroes fall from grace.

“Jesus Christ Superstar”

One could be so bold as to mention how the media thrive on stories of how miserable Britney Spires have grown up to be. Have we seen it all before? How we love to hate our idols? Isn’t it just sad?

This is such a beautiful piece of music from start to end, it is such a perfect display of human nature at its worst, and most of all it is about a man who thought he could change the world for the better and ended up dying on his own cross.

And now, just because I can, I am adding a link to a Swedish set up of the musical, where I to my great happiness realized that Ola Salo, former lead singer of the Ark, got the role as Jesus. That is almost perfect right? My favorite musical and one of my absolute favorite singers of all time?

Yeah, what I didn’t expect was that they had changed the lyrics into Swedish… Which is very distracting, because I know the original song by heart, word by word. As a Dane, I should be able to understand Swedish, and I kind of am, but no, not like this, not with the English lyrics running through my head…

Here he is, with “Gethsemane”

One could argue that Ola, as much as I adore the man, does not do quite as well as some of his predecessors… Still, it’s not an easy song to pick up and perform…

So, really, if you have not subjected yourself to this musical yet, go do it now. It’s out on DVD in a lot of versions and it is beautiful, sad, cruel, touching, loving… everything true art should be.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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