Oscar’s 90th – Segment 4 – Hum if You Don’t Know the Words

This segment is about the Best Original Songs in the 90th Oscar show. And it is either about the presenters introducing the songs or the songs themselves.

The first one that I want to focus on is introduced by Dave Chappelle. In the show it is the fourth nominated song for Best Original Song, “Stand Up for Something.” It is from the movie, “Marshall” that is based on a young lawyer and one of his early trials of Thurgood Marshall who we all know or should know he later became a Supreme Court Justice. And not just any Supreme Court Justice but the first black Supreme Court Justice. The song, “Stand Up for Something” was introduced by Dave Chappelle as being written by Diane Warren and Oscar winner, Common. It was recorded and performed here at the Oscars by Common and Andra Day. The song as recorded as “Stand Up for Something” by Andra Day and featuring Common is a very inspiring song!!! Andra Day has the most gifted and beautiful voice. I love it and I love the song. You can see it in its fullness here as the official music video: Andra Day – Stand Up For Something feat. Common [Official Music Video] If you expand the info below the video it will give you the lyrics. Again they are wonderful, beautiful, inspiring but interesting that they did not include the words spoken or rapped by Common. So I am going to give them to you with the song lyrics below. So you really don’t need to hum as the title of this blog entry states!

You can have all the money in your hands
All the possessions anyone can ever have
But it’s all worthless treasure, true worth is only measured
Not by what you got, but what you got in your heart
You can have, you can have everything
What does it, what does it mean?

It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
You can’t just talk the talk
You got to walk that walk, yes you do
It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
And I’ll stand up for you
And I’ll stand up for you, yes I will, yes I will

You do the best, to do the best that you can do
Then you can look in the mirror
Proud of who’s looking back at you
Define the life you’re living
Not by what you take but what you’re givin’
And if you bet on love there’s no way you’ll ever lose
Take a stand, make a stand for what’s right
It’s always worth, always worth the fight

‘Cuz it all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
You can’t just talk the talk
You got to walk that walk, yes you do
It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
And I’ll stand up for you
Stand for respect, dignity
If that’s all you got, then you got all you need
And without that, you don’t have a thing, oh, no, no

(Common’s rap)

Rise up, love, lift your hands
I stand with you ’cause I understand
Ain’t here to judge, just to take a stand
The greater plan’s the Creator’s plan
Let’s all rise like the day began
Reach out and touch with the Savior’s hand
On rock, we stand like this native land
Let the ways of love be the ways of man

And it all means nothing
If you don’t stand for something
You can’t just talk the talk
You got to walk that walk, yes you do
It all means nothing
If you don’t stand up for something
And I’ll stand up for you (stand up, stand for you)
I’ll stand up for you (stand up)
And I’ll stand up for you (stand up, stand for you)
Stand up for you, yes I will, yes I will (stand up)

Again it is WOW! Love this song. They lyrics are wonderful but when sung and rapped by Andra and Common they are powerful and beautiful. Fantastic! You need to stand up for something. Something you believe in. And if it is good and right they will, I will, all of us singing along with will stand with you. All the riches in the world does not matter if you don’t stand up for something. And you have to do more than talk the talk – you have walk the walk – live what you preach. Live what you believe and stand up for it! And if you don’t then can you honestly look at yourself in the mirror. Adding in Common’s words telling you to “Rise up, love, lift your hands” and if you do he’ll “stand with you ‘cause I understand. Ain’t here to judge” you need to “just to take a stand”. But the rest of Common’s words I totally agree with as well. Simply because I am a Christian. And I think that is surprising because you do not typically hear such words in a popular song. Obviously you would in a Gospel song or Christian pop sing but not usually in pop song and one used in a movie.

Common-and-Andra-Day-oscars-stage-2018-1

Clearly, I stand for something! And for the purpose of this blog I will limit it to what this blog is all about. My activist, advocacy, passion that has been for the inclusion of people with a disAbility in the creative roles in movies and television! I STAND UP FOR SOMETHING that is so long overdue that the entertainment industry should be ashamed of themselves. And throughout this Academy Awards show they have been cheering how diverse and inclusive they are. But again it is for women, racial minorities, and the LGBT minorities and again dismiss, overlook, exclude, discriminate against the largest minority, the people with a disAbility. There is a small exception to that which I will talk about in the next segment. But still I “Stand Up for Something” that I think we all agree needs to be addressed. People with a disAbility need to be represented – and self-represented in movies and television. And I will not give up!

The Oscar Performance

The fourth nominated Best Original Song. And as I have shown this song certainly deserves this honor. In this performance they had 10 activists on the stage with Andra Day and Common. They all “Stand Up for Something” that is good. And as the song says if you do, “I’ll stand up for you.”

But as the song begins, instead of Andra Day beginning to sing for us to stand up for what we believe in and believe is right, Common decided to rap first. And he decided to tell us what is good and right. He tells us what it is that we should “Stand Up for…” Common turns to politics. Maybe we should not be surprised after all we have had the Oscar’s host Jimmy Kimmel inserted that from his opening as I showed in the first segment in this Oscar commentary. But this song is so good and universal. Common starts the song with telling us what is good and right. And not only that but because it is political he also tells us what is not good or right. And obviously this means if you “Stand Up for” any of those deemed by Common to not be good or right you are wrong and do not have the right to “Stand Up for” and if you do you are wrong. He is ruining the song. We all have something we stand up for. We do not agree on all issues. Common tells us that the NRA is not of God. What if someone else rapped saying that Planned Parenthood and their abortions are not of God?

Again we are all different. And we have such divisiveness in this country. How do we come together or have tolerance for one another if we tell one another – especially on these large platforms what we should and should not believe? What we should “Stand Up for”? But that is the beauty of this song!  The song does NOT tell us what to stand up for. We are individuals and the song tells us that standing up for something we believe in and what we believe is the right thing to do. This is wonderful and how we can all sing it together – regardless what it is we are standing up for! I do not want to get into all who have used this song to anthem their cause because the song is universal and does not tell anybody what to stand up for. We are to “Stand Up for Something” that we believe is good and right. I do not want to tell Common what he should stand up for and I do not want him to tell me or anyone else what they should stand up for. And that if they stand up for something other than what Common says to stand up for that they have no right to do so. Ruining this song in this performance and rapping in such a way has me lose respect for Common. And unfortunately, it might be some time before I can listen to this song in its original form – its original video without thinking about this Oscar performance of it. Something so beautiful has become such a downer. All thanks and no thanks to Common.

Presenters for Best Original Song

And while we are talking about nominees for Best Original Song and throwing in political statements I noticed these two presenters for the second and third nominated songs. Here in the second song nominated, “Remember Me” from the animated featured film, “Coco”, was presented by Mexican born actor Eugenio Derbez. He is a very good actor. I noticed him from the movie, “How To Be A Latin Lover.” It was hilarious and he did a great job in it. So he is here at the Oscars and presenting for this song.

Eugenio Derbez - Oscars - in the after world there are no walls

“The next nominee for original song was composed for the animated feature “Coco” by the Oscar winners for “Let It Go” Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. (Applause) In the movie, this song pulls a 12-year-old Mexican boy from the land of the living across the border to the land of the dead. All for the love of his family. Because, you know, in the afterworld, there are no walls. (He pauses for a reaction but it is dead silent) Anyway… whether sung as a lullaby or a joyous celebration this song ultimately shows the power of music to bind generations and bring people back to life. Literally and figuratively. And now performing, “Remember Me” three of the artists from the movie soundtrack, Gael Garcia Bernal, Miguel and Natalia Lafourcade. Viva Mexico.”

Wow! I would think that with that statement, “Because, you know, in the afterworld, there are no walls” and he pauses for a reaction that that audience would erupt with applause and cheers. But they did nothing. I was shocked.

The third nominee for Best Original Song was presented by transgender actress from Chile, Daniela Vega. She was on the stage earlier that night as the film she starred in, “A Fantastic Woman” in which she plays a transgender woman mourning the death of her partner had won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Daniela was the first openly transgender person to present at the Academy Awards. Which I suppose they planned whether her film won or not because the song, “Mystery of Love” is from the movie, “Call Me by Your Name” about the gay love relationship between a 17 year-old boy and a 24 year-old man. I might also state that the Academy is making history as Daniela Vega is the first transgender person to present at the Oscars. I would think the audience would be making loud cheers and applause when she presents. Here is Daniela’s presentation.

Daniela Vega Presenting original song - 1

“Thank you. Thank you so much for this moment. I want to invite you to open your hearts and your feelings to feel the reality. To feel love. Can you feel it?” – (Daniela opens her arms and hands as to invite a response. She pauses. No applause or cheers from the audience. Daniela bows her head seemingly sad that there was no response. She takes a big breath, raises her head and quickly continues) – “Our third nominated original song comes from the movie, ‘Call Me by Your Name.” (For that the audience applauded. Daniela smiles and gives a chuckle of partial relief that they like that song and also sadness for they clearly can hear and understand her with her Chilean accent.) “Love is a mysterious thing, and a first love, even more of a challenge, right? Composer Sufjan Stevens song explores a new and surprising emotions [for] the film’s 17 year old protagonists, Elio, experiences when an American graduate student, Oliver, comes to stay for the summer. Here to perform, “Mystery of Love”, is composer, Sufjan Stevens.”

I wonder why there was not any response to these two presenters when they were opening it – inviting the audience to respond and they get nothing. Were they not paying attention? Did they not understand either of them because of their Spanish accents? But they did applaud and cheer during other parts of their presentations. So therefore they did understand through their accents. And Daniela, the first transgender actress to present at the Oscars, whom the audience knows because she was up on the stage as the star of the film that just won Best Foreign Language Film and she just asked them a question and waited for their response but the audience sat still and quiet. Normally, and throughout the show they have cheered and applauded every time there was a political topic mentioned. Maybe it was because it was not Jimmy Kimmel? No, because there were others that made political statements and they got cheers and applause’s. Maybe Eugenio and Daniela are not big enough stars to pay attention to? I just find it strange. I wonder if a person with a disAbility that was not a big star would get such a lack of acknowledge?

The Grand Finale

Lastly, for this entry, I have to talk about the best part of this year’s Oscar show. This is an amazing song by an amazing singer, Broadway star, Keala Settle! She sings and portrays, “The Bearded Lady” in the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” The movie is a musical itself and tells the story of how real live P.T. Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) whom had several careers but best known for becoming “the greatest showman on earth.” Some would say the original showman. Today many would recognize his name from the Barnum and Bailey Circus but Barnum began by himself as a traveling museum that had strange items, oddities and a freak show. The “freak shows” during the time of P.T. Barnum were humans commonly known as and called, freaks because they were very different, usually physically, from the general population. In the movie, as Barnum’s traveling show became more popular he socializes primarily with the rich and famous while leaving his cast of freaks that he used to befriend behind. And it is at one of these parties full of the rich and famous that the freaks, led by Lettie Lutz, a.k.a. “The Bearded Lady” with the song, “This Is Me” and into the party! Again it is a wonderfully written song made so powerful by the incredible voice of Keala Settle. And now here is the Oscar presentation by one of the actresses in the movie, Zendaya.

(Off screen Announcer) Now, please welcome, Zendaya.

Zendaya presents

Zendaya: The final nominated song is from our movie, “The Greatest Showman.” And was written by last year’s winner in this category, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. This song is so much more than a piece of music. It has become an anthem for all of us who have had trouble marching to the beat that others drum for us. For all of us who have had to find strength and beauty in what makes us different and then be brave enough to unapologetically sing it out to the world. Performing, “This Is Me” please welcome the incredible Keala Settle.

Now for those not familiar with the song here is the YouTube link to The Greatest Showman – This Is Me [Official Lyric Video] – and as it says it is a Lyrical Video. They wonderfully added the lyrics to the screen of the movie scene. Not as Closed Captioning. It is artistically done very well and worth watching! I have a screen captured from the video as the featured pictured of this blog entry – the 4th Segment of the Oscars above. And the picture right below!

This Is Me - video screen - 1

I love this song, “This Is Me”. And it is obvious as my being different, being a paraplegic and a wheelchair user, I can relate well to the song. And again Keala Settle does this so wonderfully. You feel it. And I am sure most people with a disAbility feel it too! That is why this is the Grand Finale of this year’s Oscars in my opinion! It should have won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. But I believe this song will be sung and remembered for ages – a lot longer than the song “Remember Me” that was awarded the Oscar. And the Oscar performance was amazing for “This Is Me.” Obviously it was sung by Keala Settle but she had a chorus of people from all ages and backgrounds on the stage with her. They danced a choreographed scene that eventually has some of them going off the stage and down into the aisles of the audience! I wished they had at least one wheelchair user! But this is the Academy Awards show. And despite the wonderful production of it, this was Keala that brought it home with heart-felt passion and I believe sincere tears. I am going to give you a link to it The 90th Oscars – Keala Settle singing This Is Me and I hope it remains there. And unlike the official music video that I linked above – this performance does not have the lyrics provided.

keala-settle-oscars-show-2018-2

So believe me you will not be able to hum along – therefore so you can sing along here below are the lyrics so you can follow along:

I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that’s what we’ve become (yeah, that’s what we’ve become)

I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh
This is me

and I know that I deserve your love
(Oh-oh-oh-oh) ’cause there’s nothing I’m not worthy of
(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is proof
This is who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come (look out ’cause here I come)
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I’m gonna send a flood
Gonna drown them out
Oh
This is me

The song is beautiful and it was not politicized like Common did for his nominated song. This song says it wonderfully for as Zendaya has said in her introduction presentation of this song has become an “anthem for all of us who have had trouble marching to the beat that others drum for us. For all of us who have had to find strength and beauty in what makes us different and then be brave enough to unapologetically sing it out to the world.” And I feel it should be for the people with a disAbility. The often forgotten or the dismissed minority that makes up nearly 20% of the American population. And are nearly lost in any productions of Hollywood movies and television. “Marching to the best that [Hollywood] drum[s] for us.” And although there are over 56 million Americans with a disAbility – it is those of us with a disAbility who are actors, writers, directors – the creative roles out here trying our very best to be seen and heard and acknowledged by Hollywood and are saying for all of those with a disAbility – “This Is Me.” Let us represent ourselves in the 21st century entertainment industry.

Next up is the final commentary on the Oscars, “Oscar’s 90th – Segment 5 – Diversity and The Newest Hollywood Term”

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