Above: The cover of FINISHING THE HAT
Today I updated the Finishing the Hat readathon with a reflection on Stephen Sondheim’s “Introduction”. Enjoy!
I have just started reading ‘Finishing the Hat’, which I was given last month. I was immediately struck by the comparison he made between ‘Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ and ‘All the Things You Are’ as well. Both are songs which I love, but they are very different, and ‘Mornin’ is definitely more specific, as in less characters could sing it – ‘All the Things You Are’ could happily be sung by many, many musical theatre characters without it seeming odd. I think the song works differently depending on who sings it – someone like Will Young is perfect for the lyric, because it sounds fresh-faced, young and earnest. Someone older sounds sillier singing it as they have too much life experience to be so effusive, I think. It sounds like a deep love, but a young one, possibly even a first one.
I now also need to listen to a Porgy and Bess recording, paying special attention to the lyrics! If they are a high-water mark for the musical theatre, then studying them should prove fascinating.
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