Just recently, I wrote a post all about the importance that music plays in Gilmore Girls, from the role it plays for the characters to the way that music – from the theme song to the lalalas – was the undercurrent of thought and feeling that acted as backdrop to the show and its most important lead characters, Rory and Lorelai. I talked about the significance of the title of the new revival, Gilmore Girls: Seasons, harking back to Carole King, who also wrote and performed the theme to Gilmore Girls, ‘Where You Lead.’ What I didn’t mention was the role of Carole’s daughter, Louise Goffin, in the recording of that song.
Now, in a new article, Louise Goffin gives us all some insight into how she came to record ‘Where You Lead’ with her mother, how her own journey into motherhood meant she missed the Gilmore Girls phenomenon, and how she’s circling back now to understand the presence of the show. And, coming full circle, how she’s been invited to have a small role on Gilmore Girls: Seasons.
In the article, Louise shares how the theme song came to be:
“It was just another day; I was answering the phone and doing my laundry… when my mother called… soon she came to the part where she told me that a couple she was friendly with, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, were creating a pilot about a mother and a daughter and thought it would be fitting to have my mother sing one of her songs from Tapestry with her own daughter for the theme… I said, “It’ll be fun!””
At the time, Louise had her own young child, so for her, it sounded like a fun break from her lack of sleep role as a Mom! She goes on to explain that it was produced by the father of her child, Greg Wells, in their own little studio, which was their previous home. They set up the vocals in what used to be the laundry room!
Louise shares that her mom, Carole King, hadn’t been performing the hit ‘Where You Lead,’ despite it’s universal love by fans, because she felt like it was being misinterpreted. Gilmore Girls changed all that, for the better:
“My mom later confessed she had taken a break from singing “Where You Lead” live because the meaning of the song may have, in the past, been interpreted as a woman singing to a man, and it didn’t have a message in that context that she felt she could get behind as an empowered woman. With the song in the context of Gilmore Girls, it took a positive turn, and now with my mother and I singing to one another, it had a deeper meaning of love between a mother and her child. Its new message was practically a pop music version of the children’s book The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown (“If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny”).”
For many years, Louise didn’t really know about the Gilmore Girls phenomenon. She didn’t watch TV, too busy being a mom, and lived in England during many of the years when she may have been exposed to it by chance. It wasn’t until many years later that, in passing conversation, people would be floored when she mentioned she sang the theme song. She confessed, in comedic fashion, that she later YouTube’d the opening theme for the first time and realized what she’d been missing! She even later met Sam Phillips, who composed all the music for the series, who told her “I’ve heard you sing every week of my life for over a decade,” not knowing of Sam’s own involvement in the show!
As she said, amends are being made with Netflix. She’s watching Gilmore Girls. and Now, she’ll be a part of it:
“And then, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, I clicked my heels together and found myself walking onto the set on the Warner Brothers lot. I was invited, as part of the family tree of the history of Gilmore Girls, to make an appearance on one of the new Netflix episodes. I’m sworn to secrecy about the details. I was grateful to be able to witness Amy’s down-to-earth ease and confidence in the way she leads the actors, camera and crew. It’s not hard to understand why she’s back, why people have so deeply fallen in love with the characters and family themes, and why I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
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