Michael Bolton, A Modern Day Brother Grimm

by Derek Holser, Tastemaker in Residence

Some men are born to good luck: all they do comes right,
All that falls to them is so much gain,
All their geese are swans, all their cards are trumps,
Toss them which way you will,
They will always, like poor puss,
Alight upon their legs and only move on so much the faster.

So begins the story, Hans in Luck, by The Brothers Grimm.

Though Jacob and Wilhelm have been dead for nearly 160 years, they continue to inspire, in story telling and hairstyles. If that little ditty above seems familiar, it’s probably because ol’ Rod Stewart owes some royalties to the Grimm Estate. 

But I digress. 

Once in a blue moon, the stars align. Like a streaking comet or a baker’s dozen, a miracle has happened on this day. Yes, February 26, 2016 is a day to be heralded and for people everywhere to revel and delight.

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day. I know, I know, it’s almost more than one can bear. Please sit down, because this occasion is a multiplicity of wonder. In addition to the splendid opportunity to tell fairy tales, today is also Michael Bolton’s Birthday.

How divine! The great bard of Adult Contemporary’s birth coincides with the splendid stories of dragons and princesses, and so much more. While Walt Disney softened and brought most of best of the Brothers Grimm into living animated Technicolor, it’s Mr. Bolton’s songs that have come to embody the essence of fairy tales – that bittersweet mix of romance and rejection, bravery and betrayal.

So, with apologies to Rod, I encourage you to enlighten your children and neighbors, co-workers and grocery store strangers with the melodic enchantment found in so much of Michael’s songs. Here’s a sample from 2001 – I like to picture it being sung by Grumpy after Snow White ran off with that ninny-headed Prince:

I could hardly believe it, when I heard the news today,
I had to come and get it straight from you,
They said you were leaving, someone’s swept your heart away,
From the look upon your face, I see it’s true

So tell me all about it, tell me about the plans you’re making,
Tell me one more thing before you go,
Tell me how am I supposed to live without you?


Michael Bolton - How Am I Supposed To Live Without You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Maybe that one is a bit too painful? Perhaps it brings up middle school
memories at the skating rink when Becky Thomason didn’t want to
couples skate? I understand. How about a less tawdry number? How about
the time Mr. Bolton joined up with the aforementioned Disney empire, and
modernized Greek Mythology (sorta like fairy tales, right?):

I have often dreamed of a far off place
Where a hero’s welcome would be waiting for me
Where the crowds would cheer when they see my face,
And a voice keeps saying this is where I’m meant to be.

Yes, that’s from Hercules, the 1997 animated feature film. And it looks
like Michael was channeling his inner Herc as he crooned:

There’s something bigger going on here. The hair. It’s so consistently
audacious. It’s bold and full-bodied. It’s luscious and long. Maybe that’s the
secret to this whole fairy tale thing. Forget the beards, fellas. It’s time to
let that mane flourish.

I know what I’ll be doing February 26, and I hope you’ll join me. Throw on a
long, curly wig, grab some of Michael Bolton’s lyrics, light a candle or two, 
and begin to read. Celebrate this total eclipse of music and literature by
reading aloud to one and all the lyrics of the timeless and timely Michael Bolton.