06 March 2006

stephin merritt (performed by william youmans) - "in the spring, when i was young" (from the showtunes lp, released march 14, available for preorder here.)

"in the spring, when i was young" features on showtunes, a collection of the songs merritt has written in his collaboration w/ theatre director chen shi-zheng. it is taken from chen's staging of the orphan of zhao, adapted from the 13th century chinese play.

how precisely does merritt figure? he calls his work for the plays "country & eastern"; while the instruments he's working w/ are different than his usual, the themes of death, regret, blood, and despair are right up his tin pan alley. "spring" is the most merritt-esque of the songs, the song's pipa not so unlike merritt's preferred uke; it sounds as if could fit in w/ ease at the end of get lost. it's a brief song, if that's the right word, a minute-and-a-half or so of instrumentation before william youman delivers several lines about yesterday, when he was young.

in other words,"hello young lovers" meets "when you're old and lonely," but words don't do justice.

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