QuaranTune #13: "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel

A show tune a day keeps the quarantine blues at bay...

Kelli O'Hara & Stephanie Blythe in Carousel

In a time where many of us are feeling more isolated than ever, there is one classic show tune that reminds us we are never alone. Although we can't embrace each other or take each other by the hand right now, we are all walking through these unprecedented times together and all longing for the end of this storm. Of course, that show tune is "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, this musical theater anthem debuted in Carousel, which officially opened at Broadway's Majestic Theatre on April 19, 1945. It has since been the stirring centrepiece of no less than five Broadway revivals, most recently in 2018, performed by opera star Renée Fleming in a Tony-nominated portrayal of Nettie Fowler.

It is also one of a privileged number of show tunes that has overflowed the boundaries of musical theater and has long enjoyed a proud position in mainstream culture. Over the past 75 years, it has been recorded by countless artists from Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Doris Day to Tom Jones, Alicia Keys and Aretha Franklin. It has even been adopted by sports team across the globe, such as Liverpool Football Club in the UK.

In short, if "You'll Never Walk Alone" doesn't emotionally impact you with an optimistic hope for the future, then perhaps nothing will...

Here's Stephanie Blythe alongside Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara from the New York Philharmonic's acclaimed 2013 staging at Lincoln Center.

 

And here's Renée Fleming's version from the 2018 Broadway Cast Recording.

When you walk through a storm, Hold your head up high, And don't be afraid of the dark. At the end of the storm, Is a golden sky, And the sweet silver song of a lark. (Nettie Fowler, Carousel)

(Header photo by Chris Lee)