Give Me Pain

The following are the lyrics from the finale song from the musical “Next To Normal” about a family who struggles with their mother’s bipolar disorder (it sounds dark and it is, but it is very tastefully done and is a beautiful story). To give you a quick overview, Dan is the father, Diana the mother, Natalie the teenage daughter, and Henry is her boyfriend. Gabe is the oldest son who actually died when he was two but is still a major character. One of the main conflicts in the play is Diana trying to cope with the loss of Gabe which leads to her discovery that she has been hallucinating him throughout the years, aging him all the while, and is haunted by his memory. At the end of the musical (where this song comes in) Diana has decided to stop all her medication and experimental treatments, which only masked her sadness, and experience the grief and loss so that she can overcome it on her own. She leaves her husband and daughter to pick up the pieces of her life, hoping to ultimately return with the ability to cope.

Link to the YouTube video of song:


We need some light.
First of all, we need some light.
You can’t sit here in the dark.
And all alone, it’s a sorry sight.
It’s just you and me.
We’ll live, you’ll see.

Night after night,
We’d sit and wait for the morning light.
But we’ve waited far too long,
For all that’s wrong to be made right.

Day after day,
Wishing all our cares away.
Trying to fight the things we feel,
But some hurts never heal.
Some ghost are never gone,
But we go on,
We still go on.

And you find some way to survive
And you find out you don’t have to be happy at all,
To be happy you’re alive.

Day after day,
Give me clouds, and rain and gray.
Give me pain, if that’s what’s real.

Henry and Natalie:
It’s the price we pay to feel.

Dan and Diana:
The price of love is loss,

But still we pay.

Dan and Henry:
We love anyway.

And when the night has finally gone.
And when we see the new day dawn.
We’ll wonder how we wandered for so long, so blind.
The wasted world we thought we knew,
The light will make it look brand new.

Let it
Let it
Let it
Let it
Let it
Shine, shine, shine.

Day after day (day after day),
We’ll find the will to find our way.
Knowing that the darkest skies will someday see the sun.

When our long night is done,

Dan and Natalie:
There will be light.

(There will be light.
There will be light.)

There will be light.
When we open up our light.
Sons and daughters, husbands, wives.
Can fight that fight.
There will be light.
There will be light.
There will be light.
There will be light.

I actually think that every song in this show is wonderfully written, but I have picked this one in particular because it is the climax of the story as well as the ending. What I like about it is how it captures the feelings and emotions of a family struggling with mental illness without being overly dramatic. It is tasteful, simple, and not too poetic – it is realistic. I think that if the lyricists were to use any grandiose language it would take away from the universality of the situation. Many people either struggle with or are affected by mental illness, it is a heavy subject that must be presented in an appropriate way and I believe that this song did that. My favorite quatrain is the one that states, “Day after Day//Give me clouds, and rain and gray.//Give me pain, if that’s what’s real.//It’s the price we pay to feel.” It doesn’t mask the fact that the situation is a hard and difficult one, but it acknoledges those who have risen above it as well as those currently in the trenches. It also gives a sort of hope that everyone feels pain and sorrow in different ways throughout their life. Sometimes it sucks, but if we never experience darkness then we can never experience light.

For me this show is even more real since it is almost a recreation of my life. Having a mother who struggles with depression has led to almost every situation presented in this show. I am very thankful that someone had the grace to write something so honest.

2 thoughts on “Give Me Pain

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