I grew up in a home where music was constantly playing. In the car the radio was always tuned to the oldies station. At home there was always a CD on; usually either the Beatles or some musical. My mom is a big fan of the musicals. Two of her favorites back in the day (and still) were Les Miserables and the Phantom of the Opera. I got to know the soundtracks to these musicals very well. Especially the boy parts. My sister would want to sing the pretty songs and duets with someone, but my brothers weren't interested, so that left me. Eleven-year-old Alyssa could do a pretty dang good Marius, if I do say so myself.
The Christmas season was more of the same, except Les Mis and Phantom were replaced by "A Christmas Spectacular of Carols and Songs," which was a recording of a Christmas concert by the casts of various Broadway productions, and Michael Crawford's "A Christmas Album."
If you didn't already know this, Michael Crawford originated the role of title character in the Phantom of the Opera. And if you've heard him sing, you know he's got a pretty unique voice. The only thing I knew hims from was Phantom. So when my mom would play his Christmas album, little ol' me thought that it wasn't Michael Crawford singing those beloved carols, but it was actually the Phantom singing them. Now, don't get me wrong - he sang them beautifully! I was and am a big fan of his cover of "O Holy Night, " s'matter of fact. I guess at the time I just figured that the Phantom did a Christmas special, a la Charlie Brown.
I believed this for an embarrassingly long time.
Smash cut to these days. I take after my mom in that I have music going pretty much all the time. Since I had Jack, I've been spending a lot of time playing the lullaby station on Pandora. It's actually a pretty sweet station. It plays a healthy mix of traditional lullabies, soft Disney tunes, big-time singer covers of traditional lullabies, and even some music you might hear on the radio today. The chill stuff. It's very hip. At least I think so. I'm not so sure what is hip these days.
The other day we were listening to it when "Baby Mine" started to play. I smiled inwardly, wondering if Jack would recognize it from when I sing it to him (it's one of the songs in our bedtime rotation). That is, until the singer began and I found myself hastily switching to the next song.
Why? Because the singer was Michael Crawford.
Again, don't get me wrong. He has a lovely voice! Divine! But in that moment when he started singing the song Jack and I know so well - one of our songs, I just couldn't get past the idea that had formed in my head all those years ago with the Christmas album: That it was the Phantom - of the Opera - singing that sweet tune.
And even though it didn't bother me that we listened to his Christmas album when I was a kid, and I didn't find it creepy at all back then, I just didn't feel right allowing the Phantom - of the OPERA - to serenade my child.