This one lyric in Wicked keeps me up at night
It’s no secret that Wicked is one of my all-time favorite musicals.
Some may call me basic for such a preference, but what they don’t know is that Wicked is a deeply complex musical play that challenges us to look past prejudice and find our power within us, as well as within strong female friendships, amongst many other angles for analysis.
But I’m not gonna talk about any of that today because there’s a bigger issue to discuss.
“As Long As You're Mine” is the romantic ballad of Act 2, in which Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) and her love interest Fiyero belt their feelings for each other amongst copious amounts of fog.
There is a line in the song, sung by Fiyero, that reads the following:
“Somehow I’ve fallen under your spell, but somehow I’m feeling, it’s up that I fell.”
(for your enjoyment, the attached video compares the vocal stylings of this line by many a Yero, some sent from the gods, some just ok, and some downright terrible)
It’s. Up. That. I. Fell.
This lyric is the reason I can’t turn my brain off at night.
Is it physically or even metaphorically possible to fall UP?
What does it mean?
Why do I care?
I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.
Please enjoy this footage of my thought process as reenacted by Mr. Styles
I decided to do some research to put my mind at ease, and apparently no one really cares about solving this case but me. However, I did find a singular reddit feed with an enlightening discourse.
Here were the theories presented:
“Elphaba turned his life upside down, so, he fell up instead of down.” - kremergirl
A quite literal interpretation but ok
“She's made him better than he was before. He's dropped his ‘deep shallowness’ and become a better person thanks to knowing her” - CaptainPedge
Very meta. You have to go “up” to “rise” from the “deep.” Pure poetry tbh.
"maybe like saying being with her was like heaven or something?” - pacienciayfe
this ain’t it chief
“its just an Ozian figure of speech” - Inmate7269
This is the party pooper theory
“he's fallen under Elphaba's spell and he's saying that it isn't a bad thing, but is actually something that happened for good” - u/jdwinkle08
This is the theory that I personally subscribe to, A++ analysis
My personal interpretation of the line is that it could be perceived that the only way that Fiyero could want Elphaba was if she’d enchanted him with some sort of love spell (completely false but in line with Ozian fake news.)
However, Fiyero “fell up” in love with Elphaba, meaning that he willingly and enthusiastically loves her without the need for any magical intervention of Elphie’s part. Even if he was under a spell, he’d be down with it, and that’s all you can ask for in a man.
In conclusion, I pose the following questions for further consideration:
Did Stephen Schwartz invent romance?
Is Stephen Schwartz a master of logic-defying riddles disguised as song lyrics?