18. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast – ‘Floor Show (Rose Tint My World/Don’t Dream It, Be It/Wild And Untamed Thing)’ (1975)

“Now the only thing I’ve come to trust
Is an orgasmic rush of lust
Rose tints my world
Keeps me safe from my trouble and pain”

“Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nightmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever
Can’t you just see it?”

“I’m a wild and an untamed thing
I’m a bee with a deadly sting
You get a hit and your mind goes ping
Your heart will jump and your blood will sing”

Written by Richard O’Brien

Produced by Lou Adler

Taken from the album The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Original Soundtrack

My favourite part of this film is not coincidentally the absolute musical highlight. Running through three separate movements to form the one amazing floor show, almost all the characters get their chance to shine through these wonderfully written lyrics and glorious rock and roll throwbacks. After everyone pissed him off, Frank decided to turn the madness up a notch, freeze everyone, dress them up in drag and force them to perform a stage production.

‘Rose Tint My World’ is first up, and is my favourite of these three movements. It’s simplicity is the key, with four characters, four verses, four stories. First up, with the classic opening line, is Columbia -“it was great when it all began”, she sings in her trademark nasal squawk. She confesses that her only vice is drugs (she probably gets them from the zen room), and is the first to sing the heartbreaking line that ties all these songs together.

“Rose tints my world
Keeps me safe from my trouble and pain”

Rocky is next, and although he is only seven hours old, it is clear sex is his only vice – it’s all he’s ever known, it’s what he was created for. Brad and Janet, however, are just discovering sex, and in their opposing verses – Brad is scared but Janet is excited – we discover who they really are underneath the conservative exterior.  As the four of them shimmy across the stage in their fishnet stockings and heels, breasts pop out, legs are lifted painfully high and feather boas are molested – representing freedom at last from their secrets.

“Whatever happened to Fay Wray?
That delicate, satin-draped frame
As it clung to her thigh
How I started to cry
Because I wanted to be dressed just the same”

If you think those guys are fucked up, the king of fucked up is waiting in the wings for his turn to shine. After an royal fanfare, there he stands: Dr. Frank N. Furter, dressed to the nines. The film’s emotional centrepiece begins with a burning question. “Whatever happened to Fay Wray?”, Frank asks, before lamenting his childhood fantasy of looking like her. He chronicles his early confusion, and then his sexual liberation, in the second verse. A constant repetition follows, of the single line that sums up the film, it’s most important and most beloved message: “don’t dream it, be it”.

While an orgy begins in the swimming pool beneath the stage, Dr. Scott, frozen up until now, receives his very own liberation with the discovery that he’s been dressed in fishnet stockings. Though he stays in his wheelchair, his legs can magically move again, as if the power of sexuality willed them to life. As quickly as it began the orgy is over and the cast has launched into a rock-and-roll number called ‘Wild And Untamed Thing’, the final movement of our floor show. Taking the themes from the first song and setting them to a new, uptempo background, it is the final burst of joy in the musical before Riff Raff invades the party with his amazing final verse, ending the festivities and recalling the melody of ‘Rose Tint My World’, bringing this show full circle. It concludes a glorious celebration of sex, freedom, and giving yourself over to absolute pleasure. The defining sequence from my favourite film.

Audio:

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