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A Promise (w/ Woody Mankowski)


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Description
This is a new version of a song I wrote for my mother when she was dying. The song was first sung by the character of Victor Frankenstein in my off-broadway show, Creature. He references his own mother who died in childbirth and continues his soliloquy from there. It is sung at her graveside.

This is an R&B-jazz version, a re-setting of the song. It is sung by Woody Mankowski. (Submitted on Mother's Day, 2005.)

Other songs featuring Woody Mankowski:
Dreams III
River Runs Through Me
Windowshade
I Wanna Fly
Cliff's Edge
Final Words
Pilgrim of the Return
Final Words
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Lyrics
A promise.

My life is a promise to those who came before us, here.
A promise of time. Of meaning.
That all their work was not in vain;
and all their love…

Their love is a promise to me,
a promise that life is shaped of beauty and sacrifice
whispered from lips… a mother’s lips,
a whispered wish that lives inside.

Inside, would I have pleased her? Brought her joy?
Am I what she would have wanted?
Has my life been worth her death?
Has my life been worth my own living?

Does death diminish all we do?
Does death diminish all our dreams?
Does death take away the meaning life can hold,
all our reasons of being?
Does death kill the promise?
Can we ever know what survives?
What survives this promise that is life, that is life?

I will awake the world!
Shake them from sleep,
from all their weeping,
from petty fears,
into a mother’s promise.
And they will see again
through the eyes of a child.
Through eyes like mine.

Through eyes like mine.
What do they see?
They see you. They see me.
They’ll see a world of change…and promise.
Song Stats
Hits: 7057
Comments: 35
Fans: 23
Plays: 887
Downloads: 294
Votes: 32
Uploaded: May 08, 2005 - 02:36:38 PM
Last Updated: Aug 06, 2007 - 11:06:58 AM Last Played: Jan 10, 2017 - 07:31:55 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Acoustic bass: Jeff Cox.
Drums: Dane Richeson.
Tenor sax: Doug Schneider.
Vocals: Woody Mankowski.
Software:
recorded in ProTools
mastered in Peak
Comments
aclarke said 4520 days ago (May 8th, 2005)
Stunning work!
Beautifully written and played. Woody has an amazing
voice and does total justice to this work. Soulful and
inspirational- thanks for sharing such a personal song.
Check out my latest song called Right on Time 2014- feat. David McNair
TobinMueller said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Stunning work!
Thanks. Yes, even tho this was written for a character in a show, it is a very
personal pronouncement. Victor Frankenstein has always been a archetype
for me, a sort of hero, if only he had not run away from his gift and his
passion. My mothers dying words to me were, "Don't... care about... money...
or fame... Make... history." (Lots of panting between words, she was very
short of breath.) What she was really saying was do what you do and simply
do it. Make your own history. An unforgettable moment.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
snowdragon said 4519 days ago (May 8th, 2005)
Fascinating concept
Glad you added the note about the Frankenstein show. It
added a whole new dimension to the song for me.
Imagining the good doctor in a New York state of mind
opens up a realm of possibilities.
Check out my latest song called Nightmares
TobinMueller said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Fascinating concept
Ooo, I like that image. I should retitle the show "Victor Frankenstein: In a
New York State of Mind." Very cool idea. Your comments made me smile.
Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Tom Atwood said 4519 days ago (May 8th, 2005)
One tough sax
Excellent chops all the way around, but the end section
with Doug Schneider is inspired. Wonderful song,
production, vocals.
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
TobinMueller said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
One tough sax
Thanks. Doug plays professionally in Chicago, and also provided half of the
dueling piano in the We Are One Body - (he is the piano that
wins
the dual, by the way). An amazing musician. Thanks for listening all the way
to the end!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
twonicus said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
amazing
this is my favorite version of my favorite of your
songs. this is always a joy to listen to.
Check out my latest song called Say It Loud (MJRF)
TobinMueller said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
amazing
Thanks, Tone. You are my favorite fan in the whole world, you and Suzanne.
The enthusiasm you have for my music is one of the things that sustains me.
Thanks for being such a great son and such a great human being, and for
liking my stuff the way you do. It means more than you know.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
twonicus said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
amazing
this is my favorite version of my favorite of your
songs. this is always a joy to listen to.
Check out my latest song called Say It Loud (MJRF)
SlimGirlFat said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Wow
Inspirational track Tobin.
beautiful lyrics and sung
perfectly by Woody.

D/L
SlimGirlFat

TobinMueller said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Wow
Thanks. And Happy Mother's Day to you to.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
alley-oop said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Cream of the crop
The soul of this track and the love you show your mom,
pulls at my heart. Great lyrics, fitting and wonderful
tribute to your's and mothers everywhere. The players lay
it down! Your work always inspires me.
Check out my latest song called rain
TobinMueller said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Cream of the crop
Thanks, Tom. Thanks for listening with such a careful and empathetic ear.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Z293 said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Great Groove
to this song. Nothing like live drums and in this case the
acoutic bass is just what's called for. Everyone was
recorded just right and Doug's tone is just outstanding.
Check out my latest song called La Pavillon
TobinMueller said 4518 days ago (May 10th, 2005)
Great Groove
While mixing this one, I thought it would be cool to bring the ride cymbal
forward, just for a different sound, make the track sound more intimate.
Thanks for liking it. The vocals came near to saturation a couple of times,
but we had to go with his best take. Must have gone through 30 different
mixes to get the levels this way. I appreciate your comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Emily Rohm said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
A familiar tune...
Having the advantage of knowing the showtune version, I
can even more greatly appreciate this version. Woody's
voice is amazing!! This song is beautiful. I seem to
remember a countermelody at the end...*wink* It's
obviously not needed! I love this song, Tobin.
Check out my latest song called Monica's Waltz
TobinMueller said 4518 days ago (May 10th, 2005)
A familiar tune...
Thanks, Emily. This version came out of messing around with the song at
Chris' apartment, trying to hip it up. Remember that black piano in his
hallway? We almost performed it like this on stage at the Houseman, but
thought we couldn't do that to the fellow playing Victor. But Woody really put
himself into this one. Thanks for the great memory and comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Doadars Uncle said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Deep
Nice piece.

Promise is Hope!

Thanks for posting!
Check out my latest song called Don't Leave (remix)
Boris the Bull said 4519 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
thoughts from the bull...
this is such a fine, lustrous piece. it's very theatrical, or
maybe i mean cinematic, in its movement.

the words, the music, and the voice comingle well
together like a fabulous party.

though i'm not typically a big fan of this type of music, it's
impossible to resist the jazzy, "soultry" nature of this
tune.

nice work all around! thank you for sharing it.
Check out my latest song called What You'd Be Like
TobinMueller said 4518 days ago (May 10th, 2005)
thoughts from the bull...
Woody's voice has a touch of Ray Charles in it, which lends this version a
universal cross-genre feel. His voice is so warm and alive. Thanks for the
comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Mystified said 4518 days ago (May 9th, 2005)
Beautiful
...one of those times when words just don't convey feeling
well enough.

Beautiful.

Thank you.
Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
SpasmodicMan said 4518 days ago (May 10th, 2005)
Heavy questions, uplifting answers
You ask some heavy questions. Mothers can do that to
you, thinking about them. Always a boy in their eyes,
always the promise of a better way. Heavy questions, but
the performances soar. You nailed it. Not the
usual lyric, but blew me away. Tops for song writing.
Check out my latest song called The Androgyne
EdensEve said 4517 days ago (May 11th, 2005)
Messianic
This song made me cry. The words reached in me and
shook something loose. Following up your questioning
paragraph with I will awake the world, I couldn't help but
see Messianic and the personal anguish open up. This
really got to me.
TobinMueller said 4516 days ago (May 12th, 2005)
Messianic
Thanks. In most musical theatre writing, each stanza needs to be about
something new, something different, otherwise why keep singing? the
character needs to be growing, thinking, transforming as the song
progresses. Thanks for following the changes Victor goes thru as he tackles
each new thought. With all the emotions this song unhinges in me, I
appreciate your comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Kevensor said 4517 days ago (May 11th, 2005)
Wow!
Thanks for posting such high quality songs such as this. What a wonderful arrangement and performance.

Bravo! If this doesn't deserve 10s, then I don't know what does.

DL/10s!
Check out my latest song called Broken Hearted - Redux
thetiler said 4514 days ago (May 14th, 2005)
Tobin/WW- nice
This is pretty dang heart retching.

Tobin, what can I say. You do such high quality material.
This is just another example of a Tobin high quality
product. Of course Dane, Doug, and Woody are excellent.
Your mother must be proud!


Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
muffclone said 4514 days ago (May 14th, 2005)
simplemente perfecta!!!
Great vocal and very good music!!
Check out my latest song called DOCTOR ROBERT BAND 2
I. Spike said 4513 days ago (May 15th, 2005)
...moved...
I lost my mother to cancer and this song resonates with
me....
Beautiful melody, changes, arrangement, perfomance.
Great stuff Tobin.
Check out my latest song called Aqua Velveeta
mulletsrock said 4445 days ago (July 22nd, 2005)
Powerful and well crafted
Masterful arrangement of a powerful song, both musically
and lyrically. Woody's voice is very good. I would love to hear
this live.
Check out my latest song called Frankenfun II (with iGStudio, Tobin, Suz...)
jesushairdo said 4375 days ago (September 30th, 2005)
a perfection
thats what it is!
loved it.
Check out my latest song called Dawning
Isak Sherwood said 4257 days ago (January 26th, 2006)
Makin' jazz rock
Great fusion of jazz and R&B. Truly a top notch tune played by heavies. You make jazz rock.
Erotic said 4236 days ago (February 16th, 2006)
cool
great production..good singer too...started a little weak but redeemed his self...overall 8.5
Check out my latest song called The VIP
Joe Brady said 3858 days ago (February 28th, 2007)
Very moving piece
wonderfully performed by the vocalist and musicians; must be great to sing your songs, they're really built well. Any of your shows hit the road?
Check out my latest song called Long Way From Denver
TobinMueller said 3858 days ago (March 1st, 2007)
Productions
This show played at the John Houseman (NYC-Off Broadway) and ran for a year at 13 Street Rep (NYC, West Village). We toured a while back, nothing currently. I am in the process of revamping the tunes for a CD release tho! Thanks for asking.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 3676 days ago (August 30th, 2007)
The right people

One thing in the music world that is not easy is to find the right artists to
make music with .
You seem to be realy able to do it .
Wonderfull song !!!
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
send a note
I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Genre Info
Rhythm and blues (or R&B) was coined as a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Jerry Wexler at Billboard magazine, used to designate upbeat popular music performed by African American artists that combined jazz

More songs in Rhythm and Blues:

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