“Starlight” (1979) [As published in Field Of Stars (Volume 2)]
(Music and Lyrics by Jim Betts)
From Oberon (original title On A Summer’s Night)
Piano/Vocal Arrangement by Stephen Woodjetts
Piano Performance by Bob Ashley
Vocal Performance by Jim Betts
Click here to listen to an audio preview of “Starlight”
Click here to purchase an individual pdf copy of “Starlight”
Click here to purchase a “Starlight” pdf/mp3 package – 1) Piano/Vocal pdf, 2) Piano/Vocal mp3, 3) Piano Accompaniment mp3
“Starlight” was written for the 1979 Charlottetown Festival production of On A Summer’s Night, a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On A Summer’s Night was subsequently produced at Hart House (University Of Toronto) by The Group Of Several in 1985, and then adapted again as Oberon, and produced at Sheridan College in 2010. (There is a studio demo recording of the songs from that version that is available here if you’re interested.)
The song “Starlight” has its beginnings in two shows I worked on with the New Faces company at New College, University Of Toronto, in the 1970’s. I wrote an early version of On A Summer’s Night for New Faces in 1975. It didn’t bear much resemblance to the show we eventually did at The Charlottetown Festival, but some of the songs from the early show did survive. The “Starlight” song had its roots not in that show, however, but in the 1976 New Faces show The Last Night Of Starlight. The title song from that show was sung by a young Mag Ruffman.
When I was rewriting On A Summer’s Night for Charlottetown, I had a place in the show for a song like “The Last Night Of Starlight”, but it needed to have a slightly more positive slant. Stars died in “The Last Night Of Starlight”; in the new version that became “Starlight”, stars are born. In the current version of the show, now titled Oberon, it is sung by the title character as his “I want” song.
“Starlight” has become one of my most performed songs, partly because it has been published as part of the Royal Conservatory’s Voice Repertoire Series and, as a result, is often performed at voice competitions and student concerts. It turns out there are a few YouTube versions out there.