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Barbra Streisand sings “A Piece of Sky”

As I was listening to songs to share, today I kept coming back to Barbra Streisand. Love her or hate her, there is something timelessly vulnerable and honest about her sound. Authenticity is what a listener craves, and Barbra always delivers.

This song comes from the film Yentl, which tells the story of a Jewish girl from Poland who defies all expectations to follow her dreams. Yentl assumes the name and appearance of a man in order to pursue her education, eventually leaving Europe to pursue a life of greater freedom in the United States.

Not only does this song remind me of the promise and freedom of this great country I call my home, but it also inspires me to reach out of my comfort zone and set my sights both high and wide. One particular passage of lyrics stands out:

The more I live, the more I learn
The more I learn, the more I realize
The less I know

Each step I take 
Each page I turn 
Each mile I travel only means
The more I have to go

What’s wrong with wanting more?
If you can fly, then soar!
With all there is, why settle for
Just a piece of sky?

Please enjoy “A Piece of Sky” from Yentl, sung by Barbra at her best.

Song of the Day: March 1


Efrain-3212 croppedThis week we welcome baritone Efrain Solis to Song of the Day! He has sung with companies such as San Francisco Opera, Virginia Opera, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. You can hear him with NYFOS on Tuesday, April 26th concert at Merkin Hall in Compositora: Songs by Latin American Women (get tickets here).
 

 

I was in love with Musical Theater in high school, and of course who doesn’t love Barbra Streisand? I remember seeing Yentl and being so moved by her performance and the tradition of the movie musical, which appeared so natural for her. I saw an interview where she was asked about performing with Judy Garland, and she went on to tell about her terrible nerves. She explains that Judy was holding her arm so tightly, as you can see during their performance, and how eye opening it was for her to see this icon of film and television as a real human being. That made this performance even more powerful to me – and I love a good mash up!
Both songs were written in 1930, coincidentally, and both became Hollywood hits. I also included the original 1930’s clip of Happy Days from the film Chasing Rainbows so that you can see how Barbra applied her signature smooth style to the song.

 

Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy (Arlen/Koehler)

Happy Days Are Here Again (Ager/Yellen)

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