FOX's “Once In A While” Lyrics From ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show' Give Audiences A Peek Into Brad's Feelings
Although Fox's Rocky Horror Picture Show remake isn't playing at your local theater at midnight. However, it will be available for your viewing pleasure on your own TV on Oct. 20. In the cult classic reboot, you'll find all the usual Rocky Horror Picture Show oddities from the Jim Sharman-directed 1975 film, including all the the songs you know and love — and even one song that wasn't in the film at all. According to Fox's soundtrack for the remake, the song "Once in a While" will be a part of this particular reboot, although it wasn't included in the '75 movie. While the tune was in the original stage production of Rocky Horror, it never made it on screen. Which was kind of a shame because the lyrics for "Once in a While" give us a glimpse into Brad's feelings and anxieties about marrying Janet, and therefore heighten some of the themes present in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The lost "Once in a While" footage begins with Janet (Susan Sarandon) at the monitor board, watching Brad (Barry Bostwick) have a smoke. As the song continues, we see multiple flashbacks of Brad and Janet. After he finally sings "she is gone," the song fades and ends with Brad, sitting on the edge of the bed, still smoking. Even after Brad's own indiscretions at the Frankenstein palace, he still feels a sense of unease about the two's impending nuptials. By the end of the film, it becomes clear that Brad and Janet aren't in love, but at this point, you can still see him working through that concept.
Let's take a look at the lyrics.
Once in a while, she don't want to call youSpeaking on the telephoneAnd once in your life, she won't want to know youYou look aroundThe one you've found, she is gone
Brad and Janet get engaged at the beginning of the film because they feel like it's the right move for their lives, but in this verse we can see that the concept of traditional marriage makes Brad uneasy. What's interesting is that Brad sings "she won't want to know you," when Brad doesn't even know Janet's last name.
And that's all the time that it takesFor a heart to turn to stoneThe sweeter the wineThe harder to make the breakYou hear something about someoneYou'd thought you'd known
The Rocky Horror Picture Show consistently jabs at the concept of romantic love. One of those ways, is through Janet's cheating on Brad. That's all it takes for a heart to turn to stone.
So baby don't cry like there's no tomorrowAfter the night there's a brand new dayAnd there'll be no pain, and no more sorrowSo wash your faceAnd phone my place, it'll be OK
At this point, Brad's desperate to conform with society's expectations of him. He seems to believe that once they get back to normal (wash their faces, call their homes), everything will be fine.
And that's all the time that it takesFor a heart to beat againSo give me a signThat a lover makesYou look aroundThe one you've found is back again
Somehow, Brad ends with the conclusion that his love will be in a good place again because he still believes in the traditional path (or at least, he's trying to).
The juxtaposition of traditions between Brad and Jane, and the events that take place at the mansion with Frank, hint at the anxieties about traditional gender stereotypes and romantic love found in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And though it's a slower song than most of the other ones found in the film and stage production, "Once in a While" seems to hit all the right thematic beats.
Images: 20th Century Fox