March 2012 at Musical Cyberspace is all about songs with people’s names in the title.
Steeped in dramatic irony that is provided by the distance of time, “Bobby and Jackie and Jack” is a song written by the characters that appear in Merrily We Roll Along about the USA at the dawn of the 1960s. Stephen Sondheim, although creating a piece that fits in perfectly with the milieu of the show, sounds like he is offering a pastiche of some of his own early work. It’s clever, a novelty song that is – in the context of the show – perhaps cleverer than it is good, which makes it precisely the right kind of song for the moment in the show when it appears.
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