I’ve been living in the Emerald City long enough to confidently inform you that YOU are the great and powerful Oz! I love, love, love music– as you may learn from browsing posts here on the Avenue; but some music, is undoubtedly a cut above the rest. In this case, The Wiz: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack takes the entire cake! This album is a music adaptation of the 1978 film, The Wiz, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy, and Michael Jackson, as the Scarecrow. This album was Chiefly produced by Quincy Jones, and features the hit single, “Ease on Down the Road.” What I love most about this album, is the key messaging of taking the road less traveled, to live the life of your dreams!
If you haven’t seen The Wiz film adaptation, I highly encourage you to gather the family and make it a movie night. At first thought, you’d discount The Wiz (the soulful, African-American remake of The Wizard of Oz) to be some child movie that isn’t fitting for a mature adult, but that’s simply not true! The film touches on so many topics and I can’t believe how fitting the music is, even in 2021.
Here are 5 songs and reasons why I’m obsessed with this entire album, and I invite you to share some of your favorite tracks from the album in the comments section below.
The Feeling That We Have, by Theresa Merritt
This track is a dedication song to Dorothy, from her Aunt Em, as she encourages her to go out and live her life, instead of living in fear and staying too close to home. Home is where the heart is and it is so hard to let it go! You know the vibes: laughing with familiar faces, eating good, always having somewhere to go when you’re bored or feeling lonely, that IS the feeling.
Aunt Em goes on to say that the feeling that we have, is always with her, and she can never lose that feeling: that feeling of no place like home. In the film, Aunt Em says “Dorothy, it’s time for you to go and make your own home for you an ToTo (her dog),” and I felt that!
About a decade ago, I, too, left home and began my journey to making my own home for myself and Sidney (our cat.) But even during this rollercoaster ride, I found comfort in knowing that my own Aunt Cheryl, and my late Grandmother would be with me; whether in the physical or spiritual realm.
If you’re a young person with big dreams, know that although the road gets tough, never lose the feeling of home that can only be felt from within. This world can be so big and scary at first, but that inner voice will always comfort you and help you find your way back home.
You Can’t Win, by Michael Jackson
Now this one right here, is for the haters! Because there will be dark times as you ease on down the yellow brick road. Personally, I had no idea that there would be so much hate towards a person that lives without fear. But, it makes sense because our entire society thrives off of fear, hate, and envy. Don’t believe me? Just turn on the news! So, when there is that one brave soul that decides to go against the grain by listening to their own inner voice, and paving their own way instead of following the herd and playing it safe… the crows will do everything to keep you down and discouraged! Just take a look at the lyrics below, and imagine your biggest hater or frenemy, always speaking in this tone towards you when you’re embarking on your journey in life:
… You can’t win, your in over your head
And you only got yourself to blame
You can’t win Child
(You can’t win Child)
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game
Use this energy as fuel to your mission. Pay attention to the voices that try to confuse you along your path. They laugh at your dreams. They tell you no. They question your motive.
And worst of all: they ask “Well, how are you going to make money?”
Don’t be naive about whose discouraging voice you may hear because they come in all shapes and sizes: parents, best friends, sisters, aunts, uncles, old classmates, romantic partners, bosses at work, former clients, etc..the list is LONG! Sometimes we don’t think that the people closes to us could be the main reason why we are afraid to follow our own path and live our best lives, but it can be anyone that isn’t in alignment with your WHY.
Watch out for fake love too, because people are great at wearing masks, and putting on a show!
Ease On Down The Road feat. Various Artists
The road might get lonely, but just keep going! Don’t you carry nothing — NO THING, that might be a load, just ease on down the road! Down the road is a whole new world, just head on down that road!
This song title is played throughout the film and soundtrack, at different climax points in the story. When Dorothy first arrives to Oz, alone, she eventually meets the Scarecrow, and this is the first time we hear the song, “Ease On Down The Road.”
To me, this song symbolizes how you will meet the right people along your path, as long as you stay in alignment with your inner voice. If you’re the fearless, brave one; then you may find yourself alone on your journey, but that’s okay. The hardest part is letting go of what you know, in order to receive your dreams. You have to make room for your dreams, by releasing all things that no longer serve you. That includes old friends, old habits, old thought processing, old ways of doing things, and the good OLD times.
Why not get creative and embrace the New Times? Oh I know, its because of fear. Fear keeps you stuck and creates this heavy load of energy and mind controlling thoughts that won’t allow for you to ascend. Think of it as a balloon versus a heavy bag of trash: a balloon freely floats in the air, and a bag of trash ain’t going no where! It just sits there and accumulates more trash and more JUNK to carry.
Now while you’re on the yellow brick road, do you want to carry a balloon or bag of trash with you? Exactly. Lighten your load by packing light and learning to let go of things that no longer serve you. It gets hard and lonely at times, but in the long-run it is worth it!
Emerald City Sequence by Richard Pryor
Picture this: after encountering so many pitstops and lessons along the way, Dorothy & Friends have finally made it to Oz, to meet The Wiz! The Wiz is supposed to be the big guy in the sky, that runs the best city in Oz: The Emerald City. Rumor has it that The Wiz can make any wish come true, and he’s the guy with all the answers and will help Dorothy get home, and help her friends with some of their own personal wishes.
Does this sound familiar to you? Imagine being lost in a foreign place and instead of thinking for yourself and going within yourself to find the answers, you embark on a long journey to meet some magic man!
Now y’all, I love, love the dancing throughout the film, but The Emerald City is my favorite scene! The black opulence, the costumes, the colors, the flash, the fur, the big screens, the diamonds, the flare, the dancing, I just soak it all up at first listen and glance!
It’s giving Giselle Ave. — truly. It’s so … Meeee!
The Emerald City reminds me of my city of choice: Atlanta, GA.
When I first moved to Downtown Atlanta to live out my big city dreams, I was confronted with a harsh reality: the city is nothing like it was on The Wiz! LOL. It’s grimy, its gritty, its not high fashion at all, in fact, there’s more trash on the ground than I care to see! There are tourists also looking for The Emerald City, and you learn a lot about yourself when you realize you may have been hoodwinked by the images of “The City.” Yikes!
Nevertheless, in the film, the Emerald City is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The city has a way of putting on a good front, and setting all the trends and standards for the entire world to see. The Wiz decides whether the color is Green, Red, or Gold; and the people of The Emerald City blindly listen to what The Wiz says, and they mindlessly follows his lead. Isn’t that crazy? But y’all, this is exactly how society works! The people hold the true power, but if they don’t know that then they’ll wait on The Wiz, or any other “public/political/religious/celebrity figure,” to tell them what to do next. No way, stop that right now: You Are The WIZ, The Power Is Inside of YOU!
Life is about taking action, grab it by the horns! Don’t wait for anything in life, go and get it or sit back and manifest it, but whatever you do — it is YOUR intention that creates your reality, and no one else.
A Brand New Day by Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Richard Pryor, Lena Horne, Mabel King, Thelma Carpenter, & Theresa Merritt
Oh yeah, oh yeah! This is the final sequence of the film, and takes place after the group takes down Evillene, the wicked witch of the west. This character symbolizes defeating your lower self, the Root Chakra (symbolized by the color Red) so that you can ascend to your Crown Chakra, be in the know, and live happy. All of our chakras need to be balanced, but many people live in their root only, and never get to live a full, balanced, life experience.
Your Root Chakra is where most of society resides: fear based, delusional, and grossly insecure. Society encourages “evil,” portrayed by the character Evillene, in The Wiz. But, after taking the long journey of easing down the road and finally defeating Evillene, Dorothy & Friends can finally see that it’s a brand new day. In this New Day (which is also my right now) you realize that all is well and the entire journey was worth every step! Once you scare those hater crows away, and learn that YOU are in fact The Wiz, and you make a few but mighty impactful friends along the way, you realize that A Brand New Day is here.
But it’s only here because you were courageous enough to follow the yellow-brick road.
Be The Dorothy of Your Own Life’s Journey
I am Giselle, creator of Giselle Ave. and I believe in myself. When no one else believes, I don’t care, because I know my ancestors are guiding me, and God is within my soul, eternally. I am a Lion, I am the one with courage, the Queen of the Jungle. My heart is filled with love, action, and big, big dreams! I take action by easing down the road. I don’t tag along to someone else’s dreams, because I have manifested and created my own.
Giselle Avenue is my digital embodiment of my journey down the yellow-brick road. I’m writing this blog post on a brand new day. I rejoice and dance in my office space, and sit and laugh at Sidney’s little personality, as he enjoys his new place, his home. I smile, and happily reply to a text from my Husband: my absolute favorite soul alignment along the way. I live with no regrets and never look back. I decide to choose happiness and to focus on the good, while also acknowledging the bad, and the ugly.
I acknowledge the feeling that I left back home, but I find peace in knowing that I created a new home: a space inside of my soul that is always with me, no matter which part of my journey I’m in.
Ease on down the road.