Life is a Musical

I have a long serrated kitchen knife that gets regular use for one reason. Most likely, its knife destiny was intended to slice bread, but I’ve found it to be the perfect knife to use to slice and dice tomatoes. Whenever tomatoes need to be sliced and or diced, I open the knife drawer and get out the tomato knife. And, it takes about three seconds from me putting my hands on the tomato knife to start singing the tomato knife song, which is to be sung to the tune of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony: “To-Ma-To Knife. To-Ma-To-Knife. To-Ma-To Knife, Knife KNIIIIIIIIIIFE! TOE-MAY-TOE-knife…” and quickly morphs into Bohemian Rhapsody, “I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me, he’s just a poor boy, from a poor family….” And then the rocking out really starts.

I admit, busting out into the Tomato Knife Song is slightly less theatrical than performing a Glee-inspired song and dance routine (I’ve yet to add moves to the Tomato Knife Song, which is probably wise since I’d be doing said moves with a knife in my hand) but it is what it is: a spontaneous celebration of something mundane. And frankly, I enjoy the entire process of slicing tomatoes so much more now that the process has its own musical number. Which, of course, leads me to the point of this blog: life as a musical.

Sometimes music breaks the monotony of life. Seriously, who doesn’t feel better after singing along to “Greased Lightning”? And frankly, the Grease 2 song about Reproduction should be part of every high school curriculum. But let’s branch outside of Rydell High for a moment. What about Elvis singing “Yoga Is as Yoga Does” or “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music? It’s a song about saying good night, people. Advertising companies learned long ago that catchy tunes + products = winning formula. Heck, musicians learned it too when advertising companies came knocking on their doors for the rights to their songs. Are you telling me you don’t remember the “Stuck in the Middle With Me” commercials for Hanes Her Way panties?

I say, life isn’t easy. We encounter people who make us angry, obstacles that keep us from achieving  our goals, and ever-shifting timetables that force us to reassess where we are in life. In order to get through the day we have to accept the realities of showering, laundry, cleaning the dishes, pumping gas. Why not turn your entire life into a musical to get you through it?

Author: Diane Vallere

Diane is the author of four mystery series. Like her character Samantha Kidd, she is a former fashion buyer; like her character Madison Night, she loves Doris Day movies, like her character Polyester Monroe, she lives in California; and like her character Margo Tamblyn, she has a thing for costumes. Find out more at

11 thoughts on “Life is a Musical”

  1. I have a similar knife and have also found it great for slicing tomatoes but I didn’t know I was supposed to sing along. I’ll start immediately,, but it’s a good thing I live alone. The music tahat particularly brightens my life is old hymns–wonder what tune tomato knife would go to?


  2. I’m not really a music person. Don’t judge me. 🙂 I’m just a word girl. (Although for just a second there I was tempted to copy your riff from Bohemian Rhapsody.) I do absolutely love any “spontaneous celebration of something mundane.” Such a beautiful way to approach life. Or tomatoes. Or laundry. Since my car doesn’t have Sirius and I live too far north to get a variety of radio station choices, I recently started to listen to audiobooks. I do not love housework. Not even tomato slicing. But I started “reading” while I do laundry, the dishes, vacuuming, and I gotta admit the house is much cleaner. It’s not really spontaneous, but if there’s any way of twisting the mundane into something pleasurable, I say go for it!


  3. I love it! There are songs I’ve used throughout the years in various situations, and songs that never fail to pick me up. I saw a YouTube video of a flash mob that did Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, and by the end, I was ready to conquer the world!


  4. How fun! What is the appropriate song for washing dishes? I think I need that.

    Maybe something water-themed? Come Sail Away? Yellow Submarine? Splish Splash? Need your expertise…


  5. Hilarious! I’m with you, Diane. My sister and I are familiar with lots of musicals, so it doesn’t take much to set us off. If someone says a line that’s remotely like a line from a Broadway show, we’ll burst into song! Thanks for a fun post.


  6. This is the best! I love this post–and I couldn’t help but try to sing the tomato song. Life should definitely be a musical. I’m the only one in the family without musical talent, but I have more than my share of enthusiasm and appreciation. That counts, right? Cynthia, I think your choices of songs for washing dishes are spot-on–perhaps all of them, depending on how many dishes?


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