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Moments of happiness 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:50 am
Posts: 465
Post Moments of happiness
Dear Cat-people:

Could someone please point me towards an analysis of this song. I just can't wrap my mind around it. I did find one essay which described it all in rather ... uh ... Freudian terms, if you know what I mean. I hope that's not the case.

Thanks for any help.


Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:29 am
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Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 6:22 pm
Posts: 1523
Location: Southern California USA
Current Obsession: Fanfiction - CATS
Post Re: Moments of happiness
Old Deuteronomy's version is a bit esoteric at best, but when you read a section of the Wikipedia, you can get closer to the answer:

From Wikipedia - "Moments of Happiness" or "Jemima"
"When he [Old Deuteronomy] sings of 'The Moments of Happiness', naturally, the deep, reflective philosophical verse goes over everyone's heads. So he sends the message again through two cats (they vary; in the film it is Coricopat and Tantomile) and finally to Jemima, who sings the true meaning again for everyone to hear. She distills the essence of Deuteronomy's learning, and all the cats sing with her..."

Lyrics to MOH:
The moments of happiness . . .
We had the experience but missed the meaning
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness . . .

The past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations - not forgetting
Something that is probably quite ineffable

Lyrics to Jemima/Sillabub's version of MOH:
Moonlight, turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

The "Old" Writer Cat.


Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:52 am
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:31 am
Posts: 1961
Post Re: Moments of happiness
Moments of Happiness gives songs like Memory a point.

Basically, Old Deuteronomy states that, rather than simply enjoying a happy moment, understanding what it actually is that makes someone actually happy makes the happy times more important. This is why Grizabella is chosen at the end over any of the other characters. Because she is not happy, but she now understands why she went wrong, and what her mistakes were, she is the one that understands the Moments of Happiness, and thus she is the one who can be reborn "If you find there, the meaning of what happiness is, then a new life will begin."

Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:28 pm
Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:50 am
Posts: 465
Post Re: Moments of happiness
Oh, that makes perfect sense now. Obviously the deep, reflective philosophical verse went over my head as well. Except that I'm playing Deuteronomy, so therein lay my problem. For some reason, I was too stupid to connect my verse to the verse which follows in the same song [insert smilie hitting himself on the head like the "I could've had a V-8 commercial]

Thank you both so much.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:03 am
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