Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.
Walk on, through the wind,
Walk on, through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.
You’ll Never Walk Alone was written by songwriters Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers for their Broadway musical, Carousel, originally produced in 1945.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the story:-
In a Maine coastal village toward the end of the 19th century, the swaggering, carefree carnival barker, Billy Bigelow, captivates and marries the naive millworker, Julie Jordan. Billy loses his job just as he learns that Julie is pregnant and, desperately intent upon providing a decent life for his family, he is coerced into being an accomplice to a robbery. Caught in the act and facing the certainty of prison, he takes his own life and is sent ‘up there.’ Billy is allowed to return to earth for one day fifteen years later, and he encounters the daughter he never knew. She is a lonely, friendless teenager, her father’s reputation as a thief and bully having haunted her throughout her young life. How Billy instills in both the child and her mother a sense of hope and dignity is a dramatic testimony to the power of love.
Returning to the musical, Carousel, here is the final scene where Billy’s ghost returns. As stage/film productions go, this scene, for me, is up there with all the great weepies, such as Jack drifting away to his death in Titanic, the Von Trapp family escaping over the mountains from the Nazis in The Sound of Music and, of course, when Lassie limps home to her master in Lassie Come Home. Okay, the film clip might seem a tad sentimental to us these days but whether the song is sung by football fans, a pop diva or a gospel choir, it will always be inspirational.