No One Is Alone

No One Is Alone

Author: John Bisceglia

“Do not fear for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10

Stephen Sondheim, in his musical “Into the Woods,” tells us a modern-day fable in the form of old fairy tales with updated messages. In the first act, it is the traditional story; but, in the second act, it is revealed what happens after the “happily ever after.” There are many poignant songs:  “There Are Giants in the Sky” is one that tells of fear of the unknown as well as adventure. In the same way, “Stay with Me” is a song of wanting to protect our children, and “Hello Little Girl” teaches us to look before we leap. This act ends with the message “Ever After,” which tells us that everything is OK until Act Two.

Now we are faced with the real world; everything starts to fall apart. “So Happy,” ironically, tells us of the human conditions of frailty and insincerity that can permeate life. “No More” tells us we can no longer blame it on the other, but must take responsibility for our own actions in order to heal ourselves. One of the final songs is “No One Is Alone.” This song always brings tears to my eyes. While it is somber, it is powerful in the revelation of not being alone. I grew up feeling alone, an outsider, not normal, but this song assures me that it is not that way.

“Mother cannot guide you.
Now you’re on your own.
Only me beside you.
Still, you’re not alone.
No one is alone, Truly.
No one is alone.
Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what’s good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone.
Witches can be right.
Giants can be good.
You decide what’s right.
You decide what’s good.
Just remember.
Some one’s on your side.
You are not alone.”

Prayer: As the prophet Isaiah reassures us, God – or whatever holds that place in our hearts – is with us. In these trying times, help us to know we are not alone!  Amen


If you are not familiar with music from Into the Woods, you can listen to the song here.

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