Top 10 Musicals We Love

I met Lisa this morning, when dropping off my children, a mother who volunteered to help with the Knowledge Bowl at our school. This required a major effort on her part. The topic this year was “Music,” so part of her service included having Friday night parties at their home in which they watched musicals.

This reminded me of two things: how grateful I am for all of the generous, whole-hearted efforts made by mothers and fathers at our schools, and two, how beneficial it is for our children to watch musicals! I asked this mom if she would forward me a list of the musicals they watched. I told her how recently, when I was looking for a good movie idea, I googled “top 10 movies for families” and “best family movies” and had been very surprised with the results! These were not movies I would have chosen to show to my family. I guess I needed to google using different key words! Well, I’m going to add my list to the pile, and hope that whoever needs it will be able to find it!

Our family’s favorite musicals (top 10 plus a few):

The Sound of Music
The Music Man
Little Women
The King and I
Mary Poppins
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Fiddler on the Roof
My Fair Lady
West Side Story
Singin’ in the Rain

And here are some musicals my children haven’t seen or that we just listen to:

Anne of Green Gables
The Nauvoo Pageant
110 Degrees in the Shade
Les Miserables
City of Joseph
Savior of the World
The Secret Garden
South Pacific
The Wizard of Oz

There are many musicals that are not worth either seeing or hearing. And there are songs or parts of the musicals listed above that we skip over.

At this part of my post you might ask, “Why does it matter? Why are you so limiting in what you watch?”

I was cleaning out my filters in my washer and dryer the other day. I do this regularly because I have learned from expensive experience that when you don’t clean out your filters–either the lint collecting filter or the filter through which the rinse water goes–you cause problems over time. The washer starts to stink. A previous dryer stopped working very well, requiring several cycles to dry our clothes. Once we cleaned out the filters and the vent tube, it worked again! That’s how I learned from the repair guy (who is sometimes my husband and sometimes a costly repairman) the importance of cleaning out the filters and vents regularly.

I also learned from Heavenly Father the importance of “filtering” and “venting” my body. Each of our children was born jaundiced. Jaundice occurs when you can’t breakdown the bilirubin in your body. Your skin gets very yellow. Light and liquids can help break down the bilirubin and flush it out. I also have had kidney stones from not drinking enough water. Trust me. When people say that kidney stones hurt more than childbirth, they speak the truth. I have never been in as much pain as I was when I had kidney stones during my seventh pregnancy.

Lastly, I have also experienced constipation over a several month period, due to having taken an antibiotic that wiped out all of the good bacteria in my digestive system. Good bacteria normally help in the digestion and elimination processes by breaking down the food solids. Without that, and without sufficient water, things don’t work so well. Believe me, I don’t recommend chronic constipation. I’m learning my lessons! Now I try to drink plenty of water and be sure my body has acidophilus. I want to help ensure those fabulous filtering processes upon which I rely so very much can simply function the way they were designed!

It is only logical, then, that God intended for us to filter what we put into our minds, knowing that we can’t put trash in and expect to get roses out. (I read this great article recently in which the Poet Laureate of Utah, Lance E. Larsen, phrased this much better than I can. See below*.) Music and other media are powerful tools for planting wonderful thoughts in our minds and hearts, helping produce beautiful, healthy words, feelings, and actions.

AND I cannot imagine a life without music from musicals! It is so fun(ny) to see people burst into song to express their thoughts and feelings! Sometimes I do that just to make my husband or a child laugh or to help a child learn something for school. (I think one of my daughters might remember a spontaneous, operatic version of the Declaration of Independence I sang–or some other similarly long text–that she was trying to memorize. I know that if she didn’t learn it, we sure had a good laugh trying!)

Having happy music in our heads to sing, whistle, or listen to really helps make car trips shorter, Saturday jobs perkier, and life in general merrier. I wish you could hear my oldest son belt out “Bless Yore Beautiful Hide.” You’d know what I mean.

Happy Singing,

Liz 🙂

P.S. The list of movies they watched is posted as a comment on the About Me page.

* Mr. Larsen told of teaching a student at the University of Houston whose persona really intrigued him but whose poetry really leveled out at mediocrity. He worried about how to approach this student and “finally hit on the following question: ‘So Ethan, who have you been reading, who are the poets that keep you up at night?’

“He beamed. ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I want to avoid being a copycat.’ Good, good, I thought. ‘So,’ he said, ‘I don’t read poetry at all. I don’t want anyone’s style rubbing off.’

“Not so good. What Ethan failed to grasp is this: if we don’t consciously seek the best models in the canon, we unwittingly put ourselves at the mercy of the most banal–sing-songy nursery rhymes, drippy greeting cards, fast food jingles, polemical political slogans, the saccharine cooings that leak into our brains when we turn on our car radios. In short, garbage in, garbage out. Each writer is a capacious storage tank containing a lifetime of experience, actual and vicarious. How can we expect refreshing elixirs to pour forth from our spigots if we have filled ourselves with stale pool water and artificial sweetener?”  (“Coaxing the Muses: Thoughts on the Creative Process.” Humanities at BYU Alumni Magazine, Winter 2013, 17-18).

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