The Rhythm of Life
October 9, 2015 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Because, at 1:32 am, you need to feel a bit of the Rhythm of Life.
posted by HuronBob (47 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
What. And. I just.
posted by habeebtc at 10:40 PM on October 9, 2015

At first glance, it looks like a ploy concocted by Morgan Jones to get Rick away from some walkers in the motor pool.
posted by clavdivs at 11:13 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

Love that this was posted! I have loved this sequence for ages. SDJr rocks like no man has before or since, especially in paisley nehru & leather. And was the cult 'daddy' thing not dead on? Especially for the 60s and 70s. Who knew musical theater could have predicted the Manson Family?

Huronbob is now Daddy.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 11:40 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

I spent many years going to summer music camp (that's a whole novel of comments in and of itself), but one of the songs we would do as part of mandatory Chorus was Rhythm Of Life.

The opening verse was not the same, but most of the rest of the song was, and it was inspirational to perform, and it remains a part of my life today because of those years.

This is a great post. Thank you!
posted by hippybear at 11:43 PM on October 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

Thank you for that!
posted by TheCoug at 11:46 PM on October 9, 2015

What is that madness???? Fantastic piece, never seen it before.
posted by growabrain at 12:35 AM on October 10, 2015

this is one of those things that I am suddenly emailing to everyone I know and the subject body is simply this link and the word GUYS
posted by special agent conrad uno at 12:53 AM on October 10, 2015 [5 favorites]

Fosse was onto some next level shit, man.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 12:58 AM on October 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

this is good, like a million pigeons waiting to get hooked on religion
posted by philip-random at 12:59 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I remember singing this as a teenager in the County Youth Choir. Genuinely fun to sing!
posted by pharm at 1:31 AM on October 10, 2015

wtf...saw this at 1:32...a.m.
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:32 AM on October 10, 2015

posted by wallabear at 2:10 AM on October 10, 2015

Oddly, this became famous in the UK thanks to a pretty great Guinness advert.
posted by adrianhon at 2:12 AM on October 10, 2015 [8 favorites]

I remember reading Fosse's obit and realizing just how much he had added to my life.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:13 AM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I remember singing this in choir class back in seventh grade. 1982-ish. Never realized it was a real thing. Thanks for posting!
posted by JohnFromGR at 5:04 AM on October 10, 2015

Perfect thing to wake up to this am on a rainy start to Atlanta Pride. Got to go find my flashy rain boots. Happy Pride Y'all!! Thanks HB!!
posted by pearlybob at 5:18 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

For those like me who had never heard of this before and want some context, here is the Wikipedia entry. It's a musical from 1966, later turned into a film in 1969 by Bob Fosse, originally based on a Fellini screenplay.

Watching the video without knowing any of that, though, I figured it was a contemporary video with costuming from the Summer of Love and (as noted above) zombie references. I was impressed that they had gone to the extent of giving the actors period undergarments as well, along with the fun costumes. I did not at all guess that it was more than 45 years old.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:22 AM on October 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

I only knew this tune as the insanely catchy jingle for a pain advert in NZ growing up, so thank you, a thousand thank yous, for educating me thus.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 5:27 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm not a musical kind of guy, but I loved that. Of Bob Fosse's films I've only seen All That Jazz, and I thought he had a exceptional visual style, and this confirms it even more. Ok, more Bob Fosse movies.
posted by zardoz at 5:36 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had never heard of this until HuronBob mentioned it in my Cy Coleman post two years ago, and it's been one of my favorite songs ever since.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:36 AM on October 10, 2015

AlonzoMoselyFBI.. thanks, I was certain I had mentioned it in the past, but couldn't find the reference..... And, Dip Flash, thanks for the context... Honestly, I figured EVERYONE knew about this.. I was wrong.. :-\
posted by HuronBob at 5:47 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I mean come on! South Park, guys! Second episode of the first season, Kathy Lee Gifford sings a few lines from 'If they could see me now'! Surely everyone looked up the lyrics, found the original song, and then another song from 'Sweet Charity', maybe got sidetracked a little, and then found this gem. I can't be the only one to find this song that way. I mean, come on, South Park!
posted by YAMWAK at 6:12 AM on October 10, 2015

Damn it! I just got this out of my head after having it stuck there for weeks. Arrrgh!

This number has always been my favorite and impresses the hell out of me. The types of movements, the precision, the combinations with stuff happening in the foreground and also in the background.

I saw Shirley McLaine about 25 years ago performing numbers from her career. She talked about Fosse a lot and how many times they would rehearse the smallest movement until it was just right. And add that up to a whole number.
posted by beowulf573 at 6:13 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Tagged "terrifying musical number" trigger warning.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:45 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this. I hadn't seen it since I last saw the movie X years ago and had forgotten the whole zombie/cult angle, mainly because my strongest memory was forged hearing it on the radio as a lad, when WNEW-AM would play it as a single of sorts. Back in that aureate age when the new B'way and film musical soundtracks provided content for mass media.

I only wish that Messrs. Fosse and Davis had each made more film musicals. Here's a number featuring the latter from Robin and the 7 Hoods that shows off his singing, dancing and impressions. Remember: Guns don't shoot up bars--multitalented entertainers wielding guns shoot up bars.
posted by the sobsister at 7:05 AM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Great song, no matter what time it is. And always good to see showtunes on Metafilter.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:06 AM on October 10, 2015

posted by Shmuel510 at 8:04 AM on October 10, 2015

For a production of this scale, that's some extremely bad fake facial hair.
(Not Sammy, though- that's real)
posted by MtDewd at 8:12 AM on October 10, 2015

Not included among the many versions in the previous thread is this eight-person high-school production, which is one of my favorites. What it lacks in technical perfection, it makes up for in verve.

Also, have a show-choir version in English and Welsh.
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:14 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Evidently I need to hire a secretary to keep track of my previous front page posts.
posted by HuronBob at 8:14 AM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I probably remembered that one only because I found it while considering making my own FPP on this song a couple years ago.

But it's been four years! Clearly we were due for a refresher.
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:17 AM on October 10, 2015

originally based on a Fellini screenplay.

Wat? Le notti di Cabiria??
posted by progosk at 8:27 AM on October 10, 2015

Bob Fosse for pistolero! More! Lots I profess of Bob.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:50 AM on October 10, 2015

At 1:32 am, you should instead be dancing to the Rhythm of the Night
posted by jefflowrey at 8:51 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I LOVED this.

(I was watching it and thinking it was pretty damn cool, who the hell made this, some elements of the choreography look so familiar -- and then I was enlightened.)
posted by maudlin at 8:58 AM on October 10, 2015

Yeah, we also did a (shortened and heavily bowdlerized) version of this in middle school choir, and I guess being twelve years old is already so deeply weird that it was just one drop in a very large bucket at the time, but occasionally as an adult I thought back on it like OKAY BUT WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:39 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

What always struck me as extra weird about this scene in the film is that this is where the guy takes her on a date.

He takes her to a hippie cult. On a date.

"Hey hon, I got a great idea. Let's go out for Italian and then check out those hippies up at Spahn Ranch this Saturday. It's be a gas!"
posted by evilcupcakes at 12:12 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Hippie tour buses were a thing in San Francisco, where the squares rolled through the Haight like they were on safari, peering at the exotic animals on display. And it still is a thing, apparently. Several companies have bus tours where you can travel back in time to that mystic land. So I'm sure there were any number of squares taking it a step further to get up close & personal with the weirdos & the freaks. Some of them probably even ended up turning on, tuning in & dropping out themselves.
posted by scalefree at 2:27 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

In all my late night TV growing up I never encountered this movie. How I missed it I'll never know but thanks for giving me a second chance at this gem.
posted by scalefree at 2:47 PM on October 10, 2015

I am so glad that I'm not the only person who ONLY knows this number from show choir.
posted by St. Hubbins at 7:21 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah but the choir version had such different lyrics. I'm going to try these from memory:

I was walking down the street last Sunday
Feeling sorta low and kinda mean
Suddenly a voice said "Go forth, neighbor
Spread the picture on a wider screen"
And the voice said "Neighbor there's a million reasons
Why you should be glad in all four seasons
Hit the road neighbor leave your worry and strife
Spread the religion of the rhythm of life"

For the rhythm of life is a powerful beat
puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet
Rhythm on the inside rhythm on the street
and the rhythm of life is a powerful beat

grrrr. I can't recall the second verse. Ah well, that's pretty good after all these years.
posted by hippybear at 8:34 PM on October 10, 2015

YES, that was the one we had too. I couldn't remember what they'd replaced "daddy" with, but "neighbor" sounds right.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:38 PM on October 10, 2015

In all my late night TV growing up I never encountered this movie.

That's how I found it, randomly flipping channels in the middle of the night until I hit car lights being turned on in some kind of parking garage and then Sammy Davis Jr coming in to sing and dance, and I stared at the screen thinking this is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. But I only watched up to Big Daddy's commandments and the meeting getting busted because then the station went to commercial and I started flipping again so I didn't watch the rest of the film (with more brilliant Fosse moments) until much, much later. Such good stuff, this.
posted by Spatch at 9:25 PM on October 10, 2015

Sweet Charity is one of those movies that TCM runs every once in a while. Like What's Up Doc. I'd expect either of them to be played more, but they really aren't.
posted by hippybear at 9:26 PM on October 10, 2015

Go and spread the gospel in Milwaukee
Take a walkie talkie to Rocky Ridge
All the way to Scranton then to Canton
Even tell it under the Manhattan Bridge

Damn, it's coming back to me in fits and starts.
posted by hippybear at 9:31 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Several of the links here are to the bowdlerized version.

(I recommend the Ferndale High School version, in which the lyrics are the most distinct. Though the 4th Grade Choir version is adorable, and a close second.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:38 AM on October 11, 2015

The King's Singers offer an excellent acapella version of the song here.
posted by Quasimike at 6:12 PM on October 11, 2015

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