I’ve never seen the stage play but I loved the movie “Annie”. I’m not much “into” musicals, but a few stand out. A few I could watch again and again. In Annie I especially enjoyed Carol Burnett’s portrayal of Agatha Hannigan, the drunk, cruel, caretaker at Annie’s orphanage who all the girls feared. I love Carole Burnett.
Annie’s story is based on the popular comic strip character Little Orphan Annie from a bygone era and articulates an optimistic view of life through the theme just hang on, until tomorrow. Times weren’t easy in those days for Annie.
Anyway, how can any of us forget Annie’s rendition of that classic song Tomorrow? To my way of thinking, despite the setting and the uncertain future Annie faced, the song evokes the spirit of optimism. Sing the first few lines along with me …
The sun’ll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
There’ll be sun!
What a great thought that is! To know that despite all that happened today or whatever events of the past, the sun will rise again tomorrow. Even here in Seattle I know it’s up there above those gray clouds. All I have to do is imagine myself in an airplane gliding above the overcast and that bright sunshine that lights the way. Ever wonder the source of all that brightness? Of course it’s the sun, but where does the sun get all that energy? What’s the real source of all that light? Sing along some more …
Just thinkin’ about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
‘Til there’s none!
You know those cobwebs, the people, our circumstances, those nagging thoughts, the demands on our time? There’s a lot of messy things that can get in our way, obstacles that keep us from enjoying all that life has given us. They can block our progress if we allow them to. They’re a nuisance I know and at times seem to envelope us. But how easily those tiny strands can be moved aside by the shrug of a hand, a simple change in attitude. And then there’s that sorrow. Some of us live idyllic lives, while others aren’t as fortunate. But we’ve all had our share of some sorrow. Don’t we always however manage to put it behind us and think of all that we have to be thankful for? Of those better days that are bound to be ahead? I hope so anyway. Just thinking’ about tomorrow can brighten what’s left of today. No cobwebs, no sorrow, ’til there’s none. Just two stanzas to go. Let’s sing some more!
When I’m stuck with a day
I just stick out my chin
Have you ever had that kind of day? Gray and lonely? Often all we need do, with steadfast determination, is — as Annie sings — just stick out our chins and grin. You’ve heard it said; a positive attitude can change everything. Author Norman Vincent Peale made a fortune, and sold millions of books, as a progenitor on the theory of “positive thinking.” And don’t forget, there’s always someone who has weathered the storm, gone through worse than you and I. They made it through all that gray and lonely. We can too. Just one more verse to go, and it’s the best of them all! I love how Annie really belts it out, especially the last five lines. With determination and utter resolve.
The sun’ll come out
So ya gotta hang on
Come what may
I love ya Tomorrow!
Come what may, you gotta love tomorrow! One of my favorite T-V personalities, for more than two decades, was Tom Snyder, the host of the old late night television show titled of all things The Tomorrow Show (I kid you not). Snyder once said: We all make mistakes. Yesterday was yesterday. What can you carve out of tomorrow? Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays.
I’m grateful for Little Orphan Annie creator Harold Gray, Annie’s composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Martin Charnin. The three of them put it all together and created for us a more positive spin on life’s challenges through this little girl named Annie. Where would we be without her and that song whose tune and words reside in our hearts and minds? Where would we be without the reminder of at least one more tomorrow?
My favorite version of this song was sung by Andrea McArdle. Some songs just seem to belong to certain performers. Tomorrow belongs to Andrea. Her broadway performance as Annie earned her the distinction of being the youngest performer ever nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical. This video’s first 1:45 is her performance of that song at the 1977 Tony Awards. Give it a listen, and to the song that follows… sing along!