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"In Whatever Time We Have" - CDs

Recordings

"In Whatever Time We Have"

"In Whatever Time We Have" - Review

We Will Make the Most of Time

By Shawn McCarthy

It was the fall of 1997. The creators of the stage musical CHILDREN OF EDEN - Stephen Schwartz and John Caird - were working diligently to complete the final changes to a show first conceived in the mid- eighties as a commissioned work under the title FAMILY TREE.

Opening night arrived and the verdict was in; the spectacular production at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey was a smash hit with both audiences and critics alike. Peter Filichia of The Star Ledger called it "One of the most profound and intelligent musicals ever written." Since that time this wonderful musical has gone on to capture the imagination and hearts of audiences all over the globe.

No doubt its popularity is in part due to the familiarity of the story, the colorful and dramatic production values often incorporated into the show, and its universal themes. Frequently, however, what resonates most with people is its strikingly powerful score by Stephen Schwartz that brings all of these elements to life. Many of its songs have found a life beyond the show; "The Spark of Creation," "Stranger to the Rain," and the title song amongst others, have been favorites of performers and fans of the show.

One particular song that seems to have struck a chord with many people is entitled "In Whatever Time We Have." In the show this lovely ballad is sung in the second act as a heartfelt duet between the characters of Japheth and Yonah. The song begins with Japheth attempting to convince Yonah that their best chances of escaping the impending flood are to stay together on the ark:

"In whatever time we have
for as long as we are living 
We can face whatever comes
if we face it now as one 

I could make it on my own
let me know that I don't have to 
No one really wants to be alone
in whatever time we have"

Later in the song Yonah responds:

"There are times I've been afraid/in a world that's so uncertain 
Then I feel your hand in mine/and there's courage in my heart" 

The song was first recorded as part of the original London Cast recording made in 1991 (long since out of print and unavailable). The roles of Japheth and Yonah were sung by Anthony Barclay and Frances Ruffelle respectively. Ruffelle's unique voice - a yearning quality coupled with a rock balladeer's power - lovingly sang Stephen's original lyric:

"In whatever time we have/after all the time without you

It's not easy to be sure/it's not easy to believe"

The original orchestration by David Cullen had an eighties pop/rock feel to it complete with synthesizer, electric guitar and wailing saxophone. Both the music and the lyrics were somewhat modified for the Paper Mill show. The accompaniment figure was rewritten and the new orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin relied heavily on acoustic guitar and flute giving the song more of a folk quality.

For the Paper Mill production Darius deHaas played Japheth and Kelli Rebke was cast as Yonah. deHaas' soulful tenor matched with Rebke's sweet alto blended beautifully to bring the song to its dramatic conclusion:

"In whatever time we have/we will make the most of time

And at least we'll be together/In whatever time we have"

A more recent recording of the song can be found on THE STEPHEN SCHWARTZ ALBUM released on the Varese Sarabande label in 1999. This is perhaps the best-sung version with Brian d'Arcy James and Luba Mason as the vocalists. James in particular brought his trademark vocal power and range to the piece. David Siegel, the album's orchestrator, chose an even more acoustic-based sound using harp, guitar, strings and in fact a full orchestra. As well, musical director Todd Ellison keep the song at a much slower tempo compared with the other recorded versions giving it an almost anthem-like feeling.

It's interesting to note that the song has found life outside of the show. In particular it's a popular piece frequently sung at weddings. Additionally, the song has also been a source of comfort for individuals and their loved ones as they cope with painful and difficult circumstances such as terminal illness.

"In Whatever Time We Have" is arguably one of Stephen's most beautifully written, openly passionate songs. The sincere simplicity of this compelling song will inevitably yield many more performances and recordings by artists who've been touched by its moving message.

"In Whatever Time We Have" - Lyrics

JAPHETH:

I DON'T GIVE A DAMN FOR THE THUNDER OF FATHERS
COME HELL OR HIGH WATER, WHATEVER THEY DO
HOW COULD I LIVE IN A WORLD WITHOUT YOU ...?

IN WHATEVER TIME WE HAVE
FOR AS LONG AS WE ARE LIVING
WE CAN FACE WHATEVER COMES
IF WE FACE IT NOW AS ONE
I COULD MAKE IT ON MY OWN
LET ME KNOW THAT I DON'T HAVE TO
NO ONE REALLY WANTS TO BE ALONE
IN WHATEVER TIME WE HAVE

IF AT TIMES WE ARE AFRAID
WITH SO LITTLE TO BELIEVE IN
IT'S ALL RIGHT TO FEEL AFRAID
I WILL HOLD YOU IN THE DARK

ALL WE KNOW FOR SURE IS THIS:
THOUGH THE WORLD COULD END TOMORROW
YOU AND I WILL BE TOGETHER
IN WHATEVER TIME ...

JAPETH AND YONAH:
WE HAVE ...

YONAH: IN WHATEVER TIME WE HAVE
FOR AS LONG AS WE ARE LIVING
WE KNOW LIFE WE CAN FACE
CAN BE A BATTLEFIELD WHATEVER COMES
BUT WE WON'T RUN IF WE FACE IT NOW
AND WE WON'T YIELD AS ONE ...

JAPHETH: YOU'LL BE MY FORTRESS
AND I WILL BE YOUR SHIELD

BOTH: NO ONE REALLY WANTS TO BE ALONE
IN WHATEVER TIME WE HAVE

YONAH: IF AT TIMES WE ARE AFRAID
THERE'S SO LITTLE TO BELIEVE IN
IT'S ALL RIGHT TO FEEL AFRAID
COME AND HOLD ME IN THE DARK ...

JAPHETH: WE COULD LIVE A HUNDRED YEARS

YONAH: OR THE WORLD COULD END TOMORROW

BOTH: BUT WE KNOW WE'LL BE TOGETHER
IN WHATEVER TIME ...

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, NIGHTS WON'T SEEM SO BLACK
FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, WE WILL NEVER LOOK BACK
IN WHATEVER TIME WE HAVE
WE WILL MAKE THE MOST OF TIME
AND AT LEAST WE'LL BE TOGETHER
IN WHATEVER TIME WE HAVE.

"Stranger to the Rain"

Recordings

Lyrics

SHED NO TEARS FOR ME
THERE'LL BE RAIN ENOUGH TODAY
I'M WISHING YOU GODSPEED
AS I WAVE YOU ON YOUR WAY
THIS WON'T BE THE FIRST TIME
I'VE STAYED BEHIND TO FACE
THE BITTER CONSEQUENCES
OF AN ANCIENT FALL FROM GRACE
I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE RACE OF CAIN
I AM NOT A STRANGER TO THE RAIN

ORPHAN IN THE STORM
THAT'S A ROLE I'VE PLAYED BEFORE
I'VE LEARNED NOT TO TREMBLE
WHEN I HEAR THE THUNDER ROAR
I DON'T CURSE WHAT I CAN'T CHANGE
I JUST PLAY THE HAND I'M DEALT
AND WHEN THEY LIGHTEN UP THE RATIONS
I TIGHTEN UP MY BELT
I WON'T SAY I'VE NEVER FELT THE PAIN
BUT I AM NOT A STRANGER TO THE RAIN

AND FOR THE BOY WHO'S GIVEN ME
THE SWEETEST LOVE I'VE KNOWN
I WISH FOR HIM ANOTHER LOVE
SO HE WON'T BE ALONE
BUT I AM BOUND TO WALK AMONG
THE WOUNDED AND THE SLAIN
AND WHEN THE STORM COMES CRASHING ON THE PLAIN
I WILL DANCE BEFORE THE LIGHTNING
TO MUSIC SACRED AND PROFANE ...

OH, SHED NO TEARS FOR ME
LIGHT NO CANDLE FOR MY SAKE
THIS JOURNEY I'LL BE MAKING
IS ONE WE ALL MUST MAKE
SHOULDER TO THE WIND
I'LL TURN MY FACE INTO THE SPRAY
AND WHEN THE HEAVENS OPEN
LET THE DROPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY
IF THEY FINALLY WASH AWAY THE STAIN
FROM A DAUGHTER OF THE RACE OF CAIN
I AM NOT A STRANGER TO THE RAIN
LET IT RAIN ...

_________________________________________

See also the main

Children of Eden page for sheet music, links, photos, etc