How It Could Happen and Before You Go

Janna Goodwin (vocals) with Jesse Manno (bwangwang, oompah, whistle, production). Opening number, The House Not Touched by Death (1997)
Janna Goodwin (vocals), Mitchell Goodwin (keyboard, production)

I don’t pretend to be a singer. The lyrics to these songs, from The House Not Touched by Death: A Medical Musical Comedy (which I wrote, and which Pilgrim Theatre toured from ’97 through ’99) appear in The End of the World Notwithstanding. I thought a reader might want to hear the tunes. Thanks to my brother, Mitch, and to Jesse for helping make these little ditties happen.

How It Could Happen opens and frames the show, which is about doctors, patients, and facing mortality.

Before You Go begins with one character, Louis–whose HIV test has just come back positive–asking his friend, “Do you think there’s a before-life? Like, do we get any instructions? Does a Kind Voice say to us, Hey, sperms! Listen up!” The friend protests, wondering if perhaps the Voice might not also address eggs, but Louis is sure that eggs already know the score; it’s spermatozoa who need counsel:

Listen up! Lous, as the Voice, continues. It’s not going to be all hot tubs, dark chocolate, and low, low prices. There are sinkholes, and snakes, and flesh-eating bacteria, too. Then, the song begins.