This song appears in the musical/movie Cabaret. I first heard this song when my father sat us down and had us watch the movie a year or two back. The scene in the orchard/restaurant is one of the most frightening scenes I've ever experienced. One of the last things I did the day I got the DVD was to watch that scene. I also own the musical soundtrack, on which the song is split onto two separate sections (it occurs in two places in the musical), and when I first got the soundtrack I often listened to this song. I find it both powerful and seductive, which is all the more disturbing because I am Jewish. The images the song paints are beautiful and enticing--nature's beauty, tied with national identity, national strength, and a national destiny, all of which, it whispers, you, the people of Germany in the 1930s, could be a part of...Listening to this song I can understand why people joined the Nazi party enthusiastically. If I were in their place (and I weren't Jewish), I would probably act the same. They were not evil, just eager to be part of this bright vision. I wonder if it could happen here.

Fred Ebb wrote the lyrics for this song and John Kander composed the music for their 1966 musical Cabaret.

It was then, of course, not the anthem of the National Socialists. This was actually the Horst Wessel lied (also called Die Fahne hoch), which, if we want to talk about films, was used throughout Leni Riefenstahl's 1934 film Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens).

As most people are more aware of the appearance of the song in the film version (well described above by ArsDuo) rather than the play, I've done some research about how it is used there.

In Act I of the musical, the Master of Ceremonies of the Kit Kat Club comes out on stage with a record player and starts losing himself in the song a boy soprano is singing. At the end, the Master of Ceremonies turns off the music and announces "To me!"

The song is reprised as the finale of Act I at Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schultz's engagement party. Herr Ludwig arrives late, and is quite pleasant to Schultz. When Ludwig removes his coat, his Nazi armband is seen. Cliff gets angry, and Fraulein Kost lets slip that Herr Schultz is a Jew. Ludwig tries to leave. Kost stops him, and leads him and almost the whole party in the song.


Thanks to Phyllis Stein for some help.

In 1987, on the 11th of June, there was a General Election in the UK. The Conservative government, under Margaret Thatcher had already served two terms.

The date was significant for me, however, for an entirely different reason. I was very, very pregnant. This was my first (and as it later turned out, only) child.

Being summer, my husband was very busy -- he was a farmer at the time, and the harvest had just started. Mobile phones may have been available, but they weren't in common use, so my mother was staying with us, to ensure that I had the means to get to the hospital if it was urgent.

I started feeling labour pains early on in the day, and by three o'clock, they were strong and close together. Mum bundled me into the car, called Nicholas, and started to drive me to the hospital. On the way I called out "Wait!" and insisted that she stop so I could vote -- I can't remember what threats I used, but they were effective. Mum wasn't happy about it, at all, not least because she wasn't able to vote in my constituency and she and I vote in opposite directions, but I was a very politically aware young woman, and very determined (Some people call me stubborn, and it really isn't a good idea to try to deflect me when I have my mind set on something). She stopped, I voted, and we went on our way.

As it turned out, it was anything but a quick labour, and one of my overriding memories of that night is watching the coverage of the election, as I waited to go to the delivery room. It soon became apparent that the Tories, who I had adamantly voted against, were going to win a landslide victory, something that did nothing to reduce my already extreme pain.

A British tradition, on election night, is to have a satirical comedy programme on, just before coverage turns over excusively to progress reports on the voting. In 1987, it was Spitting Image, and burned into my memory, bright and clear, is the close of that programme, where puppets of the Tory Cabinet stood, dressed in the uniform of the Hitler Jugend, exactly like the film of "Cabaret, and bellowed out "Tomorrow belongs to me". You had to laugh or cry.

I'm still proud of myself that I came down on the side of laughter, given all the circumstances.

Having spent most of my adult life in Hollywood, in the employ of those who would serve up violence, drugs and sex as mere commodities to be consumed, like burgers and fries, by a well-sold, voracious, and not-particularly-thoughtful public, I have growing concern about what I might call the resultant coarsening of American society, not to mention the obvious and well-documented dumbing-down.

Correlative to freedomof speech, of the press, of religion—is responsibility, and it is in the matter of taking personal responsibility that I feel we most often, as a culture, fail our young people.

When our kids are born, we can't take our eyes off of them. They're cute, and they look just enough like us that we become immediately infatuated, as though we were looking into magic mirrors. But after a while, given enough sleepless nights, dirty diapers, broken dishes, spilled milk and temper tantrums in shopping malls, upon innumerable conversations with equally-exhausted worn-down parents, eventually we give our precious love-bundles over to the system. They go to school, and as children are hard-wired to do, they begin teaching themselves at a fearsome pace.

And the stuff they learn is often dangerous. Primarily because it is basically unmoderated. Kids consume raw data rapaciously: a million murders in Prime Time. How, when and who to fuck. A pill for this, a tab for that. Feel better. Look better. Get rich. Win.

No value judgements here. Just an observation.

As parents of young teenagers, Demeter and I have occasion (usually sleep-deprived) to compare notes. She's got a girl; I've got one of the other kind. She passed along to me the following, and it reminded me again that

Dialog between parent and child is indispensible.

To the tune of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" from Cabaret.

I'm a young person and life should be fun
My world should be just like TV
And if it gets boring, then I've got a gun
Tomorrow belongs to me.

I can watch like a fly on the wall if I choose
People living their lives just for me
And I can decide if they win or they lose
Tomorrow belongs to me.

Television and 'net give me all that I need
There's porn and there's music for free
I don't have to work and I don't have to read
Tomorrow belongs to me.

Oh Oprah, oh Sally, please give me the sign
I'm avidly waiting to see.
With just a makeover the world will be mine.
Tomorrow belongs to me.

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