Anyway, I haven't finished talking about Disneyland.
After we recuperated on Pirates of the Caribbean, it was time to head to Main Street for some ice cream, and to find a place to sit and call Dad, because it was his birthday. So that's what we did! While we were eating our ice cream outside the...I think it's called the Refreshment Corner, but this is just an indication of how little we pay attention to things involving food. The important thing is that it's a place with tables and chairs, and an upright piano. While we were eating our ice cream, a cast member guy came and started playing the piano. He played a ragtime medley of Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast songs which was pretty awesome. Also, we might have imagined it, but he seemed to see us and nod in recognition, possibly from when we ate ice cream there last December. But that was a long time ago, so maybe not. On the other hand, we can be pretty noticeable sometimes.
But anyway, we called Dad while he was playing, because Dad always liked the live performers at Disneyland, so we thought he might like to hear the piano in the background when we called. And while I was talking to Dad, who should come walking along but Mary Poppins and (a rather blond) Bert! Despite his blondness, he was a really good Bert--he had the mannerisms down really well. Of course the pianist took that as a cue to start a Mary Poppins medley...which neither of the movie characters sang along to. Hm. But the pianist sang, so at least we got some lyrics, and Mary wowed everyone by saying supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backwards. It was pretty cool.
We finished talking to Dad, and Mary Poppins and everyone left, so we went to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. I had been reminded of it by the survey that I took Thursday night. We knew that they'd recently introduced the Voices of Liberty to the Mr. Lincoln area, but we weren't sure how exactly, nor did we really care, because we saw a video on the Disney Parks Blog, and they just seemed...kind of pretentious, I guess. But then again, we tend to have an impression of all Singers as pretentious, so of course we're biased. And of course we realize that not all people with vocal training are going to listen to people without vocal training try to sing and roll their eyes or scoff or make it a point of mentioning what terrible technique the plebeians have, but so far we haven't had much experience with Singers that don't. Still, our curiosity and desire to know about everything at Disneyland was enough to not keep us away, especially because Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is awesome.
So there we were at the opera house, waiting for the show to let out so we could go sit down for the next one. And we waited...a little longer than usual, it seemed. They have cool museum exhibits in the lobby, though, so we weren't bored. There was a great (in a sad kind of way) painting of Abraham Lincoln all alone in the Oval Office, looking very tired, called The Burdens of War.
Anyway, they finally let us in...and introduced the Voices of Liberty. So that's how they incorporated it into the show. They made it a pre-show. And I guess I should explain what the Voices of Liberty are. They're an a Capella group that dresses in what I assume are period costumes, but it's tough to say because the soprano has a plunging neckline, and I'm like, so what do you work at the...never mind. And they sing American traditional and folk songs. We love American traditional and folk songs, but, as we had seen from the video on the park blog, the arrangements are very...arty. They sound much more like, "Hey, listen to me! I'm a Singer!" when they should sound like, "I'm an American, and I love my country." It should be more about the heart and less about the technique, if that makes any sense.
We were also bothered by their performance of Yankee Doodle, because the guy who sang the line, "Stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni," shrugged his shoulders with a, "Whatever that means!" look on his face. This bothered Athena because she was like, "If you're so smart, with your fancy arrangements, you should know. And don't encourage people to not know things!" It bothered me because we'd read an article a long time ago, and I did know what it means. The song was originally sung by British soldiers to mock Americans, and bringing attention to that lyric in that way...it just didn't seem right. Unless you wanted to prove to the British that Americans really don't have any idea what they're talking about, which I suppose wouldn't be an inaccurate assessment in this day and age, but don't encourage it!
I liked when they started singing "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," because it was simple, which makes it sound more heartfelt...but then they got to the second verse and arted it up. (Not that I have anything against art, just that I don't like Art. It calls more attention to the artist than the art itself, and that's the problem.)
But there was one thing they did which I thought was pretty cool. They sang a medley of official military songs--you know, the anthems for each branch of the military. And before each song, they would call out, for example, "The United States Army!" and anyone serving or who had served in the army was invited to stand up so we could applaud them. So that was pretty cool.
Finally it was over and we could watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The show really got me this time, maybe because I'd been a little extra emotional, but I think it has a lot more to do with how we've been going to Facebook lately. A lot there, and a lot in general, has had me thinking about how we're all so prone to labeling people, and going to war with each other, in a sense, because somebody's not wearing the right uniform. I'm not trying to say that the people who were trying to enforce slavery were just "wearing the wrong uniform," but we have ancestors who fought for the South because they lived in the South, and they'd be shot if they didn't fight. Those people were just wearing the wrong uniform. The people they killed were just wearing the wrong uniform. And that's a big theme of the Mr. Lincoln show.
And I totally recommend that everyone go to Wikipedia to read the speech Mr. Lincoln gives in the attraction, because it seems really important now.
After the show, we spent some time looking at the castles art exhibit at the Disney Gallery. It was a little boring, actually--all the same art, over and over--and maybe if we'd stayed longer, we would have found a hidden treasure that was much more interesting, but the music out on the street sounded louder than the normal Main Street BGM, so we went outside to check it out. There was a marching band around the flagpole, and the Dapper Dans were back again! We had no idea it was that late, but apparently it was time for the flag retreat. Only now, because it was the weekend, it was fancier! And it included a medley of US military anthems, and when they played the song for your branch, you could go and stand around the flagpole. It was especially great, because every time they started a new song, new people would go up, and they'd all shake hands with each other! Also, when they played the army theme song, one of the Dapper Dans stood forward, so that was kind of neat, too.
And this time, they asked us to sing along for a bunch of stuff, which Singers never do. And the marching band played Stars and Stripes, with a super awesome piccolo solo (which is the same solo you probably hear in every recording of the march, but that doesn't make it any less awesome, and besides, this time it was live!).
I thought I could finish today! Clearly, we talk too much. In fact, I think the main reason we've been sitting here for an hour writing this report is not that it's that long (it's a little long), but that I'd type something, and then we'd have to discuss it. And we got distracted at Wikipedia. But you have to admit, Wikipedia is pretty awesome.
Today I'm thankful for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the cheering powers of our Tiger & Bunny CD, the promise of (most likely) watching the Ace Attorney movie tonight, finishing the file yesterday, and marching bands.