A lesson for all economists – the importance of Being Alive

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A little music crept into the blog yesterday.

At the same time I mentioned Bach could be my thing — but one has to be broad minded, and I am (honest). So take the following as one of the highlights of this year’s Proms:


That’s not Bach — that’s Sondheim — and Julian Ovenden’s rendition is brilliant. Oh, to be able to sing like that! I will spare you my version.

But what's the relevance here? Listen to it as a lesson for an economist — an observer who has never dared take part in the real thing — an innocent telling all others what to do — realising there is so much more to life than all he’s believed. That his dogma of neo-classical isolation is simply wrong — that there is so much more to Being Alive.

I don’t suppose that’s what Sondheim had in mind, but that’s one reason why it makes my heart sing. This is the awakening economics needs.

That and the sheer exuberant joy of it!

Anyway, here are the lyrics. Sing along!

Someone to hold you too close
Someone to hurt you too deep
Someone to sit in your chair
To ruin your sleep 
To make you aware
Of being alive

Someone to need you too much
Someone to know you too  well
Someone to pull you up short
To put you through hell
To give you support 
In being alive
Being alive

Someone you have to let in
Someone whose feelings you spare
Someone who, like it or not
Will want you share 
A little, a lot

Someone to crowd you with love
Someone to force you to care
Someone to make you come through
Who'll always be there
As frightened as you
Of being alive
Being alive
Being alive
Being alive

Somebody, hold me too close
Somebody hurt me too deep
Somebody, sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware 
Of being alive
Being alive

Somebody, need me too much
Somebody, know me too well
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive
Make me alive

Make me confused
Mock me with praise
Let me be used
Vary my days
But alone is alone
Not alive

Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I'll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!

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