My favorite work by Webber and Rice is Evita, the musical story based on the lives of Che Guevara and Eva Peron. In the song “Oh What a Circus”, Che’s character comments about the grieving masses once Eva has passed on into immortality:
“We’ve all gone crazy, Mourning all day and mourning all night, Falling over ourselves to get all Of the misery right”
and later in the same song:
“Why all this howling hysterical sorrow?”
He asks who this goddess was who lived among us. Those who write a musical about Michael Jackson’s life one day might well take a lesson from these lyrics. Indeed, who was this “god” who lived among us? Why all the hysterical sorrow? Have we fallen over ourselves enough already?
I used to think I’d love to be famous so that people would miss me when I died. Having a monument in my honor or appearing on currency, stamps, and other items would be a crowning achievement! Imagine the world lamenting my death!!!
So now I know how empty that all is. Even the great pharaohs with their monuments are gone—nothing now except for dust in many cases. Others were fortunate enough to be well preserved and to centuries later have their bodies exhumed and paraded in front of gawking crowds!
No, that’s not how I want to go. When my time comes, if I were able to be aware of what goes on, I think I’d be content if someone says “He was my friend”. I’d be happier still if my remains were not around to be dug up and studied or bothered in any way. When I’m gone, let me rest in peace. Celebrate my life if you must, but let my death be a note in the family tree, not a pageant!