Good Morning Baltimore

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"Good Morning Baltimore" is the opening number of the musical Hairspray. It is performed by the protagonist, Tracy Turnblad, and alludes to the distinctive beat and vocal effects ("oh-oh-oh") of The Ronettes' 1963 hit "Be My Baby".[1][2]

Production[edit]

In the 2007 film, Tracy, played by Nikki Blonsky, blinks her eyes in time with the music at the beginning of this number.

Synopsis[edit]

Tracy Turnblad wakes up to a new day in Baltimore, and sings about everything she encounters on the way to school. She dreams of being a star. The song "takes us thorough Tracy’s morning routine, for instance, hitching a ride with the garbage man when she misses the bus for school."[3]

Analysis[edit]

About.com examines the song's themes:[4]

The opening number "Good Morning, Baltimore" tells us everything we need to know about the protagonist. She is a goddess of optimism. Although she lives in a society in which she is considered "plump," Tracy sees herself as beautiful. Moreover, she believes there is beauty in subjects that most would deem ugly. During the song she croons, "The rats on the street / All dance around my feet." She also greets the denizens of Baltimore, including a drunk and a flasher. In her eyes, they are kindred spirits. The song also reveals her ambitious nature. Her main dream is to become a dancer on the Corny Collins Show, a local television show featuring attractive teens from Tracy's school.

Answers.com adds further insight:[5]

This is the exuberant beginning of the story. The young and rotund Tracy dreams of a time when she can dance on her favorite TV show. Despite being criticized for her weight and looked down upon for her radical views on race, Tracy is a bright optimist. In this song, she welcomes another day in her beloved Baltimore, Maryland. The tone of the song is lightly satirical, as the movie shows some of the more unsavory aspects of the city, including the rats and roaches. Tracy sings of her aspirations and hunger for life, knowing there is something out there waiting for her.

Critical reception[edit]

BroadwayReviewed said "'Good Morning Baltimore' from the musical Hairspray is one of the most well known songs from the broadway show. Not only does everyone love this show tune, but it is an awesome song to represent the city. It is positive, funny and a bit quirky, just like Baltimore." It adds the song "is the perfect way to open the show because it isn’t just funny, but it is a fun song to sing. It walks you through the city and you even somewhat feel like you are actually there when she is describing it."[6] Talkin' broadway described the song as "lovably cheesy 1960s pop".[7] Common Sense Media said this "infectious song...sets the cheery tone" of the rest of the 2007 film.[8] Similarly, CinemaBlend explains "The song immediately sets the toe-tapping tone for the rest of the film".[3]

Reprise[edit]

A reprise is performed by Tracy as she is imprisoned for protesting. The lyrics are changed to show Tracy's loneliness and love for Link.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heller, Dana (2011). Hairspray. John Wiley & Sons.
  2. ^ Shewey, Don (2002) [2002-10-01]. "Broadway's biggest do". The Advocate: 62–63.
  3. ^ a b Alexandra Calamari (20 July 2007). "Hairspray". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  4. ^ Wade Bradford. "An Analysis of Songs and Themes in 'Hairspray'". About.com Education. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Meaning Behind the Fun: Hairspray Soundtrack List". Answers.com. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Showtunes about the USA 4 - Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray - BroadwayReviewed.com". BroadwayReviewed.com. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Talkin' Broadway Review: Hairspray". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Hairspray (2007)". Retrieved 4 August 2015.