The Sondheim Lyrics Chain

Started by KathyB, Jul 10, 2017, 09:48 AM

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It's the return of this one. Let's hope I can describe the rules adequately.

In this game, the object is to build a continuous chain of Sondheim lyrics. Each new lyric in the chain should begin with the lyrics left in boldface by the previous player and build upon them.

For example, Player A starts off with:
"My windowpane has a lovely view,
An inch of sky and a fly or two"

Player B responds with:
"What do we do? We fly!
What do we do? We fly!"

Player C then adds:
"What can you lose?
Only the blues"

The object is to keep this chain going as long as possible. The next player has to find a Sondheim lyric that contains "blue" and then leave off on a word that he/she thinks/knows will be in another Sondheim lyric. The object is cooperation rather than competitiveness, although if you've got a very sneaky lyric in mind, you'll probably be Liked for it.

The only other rule I can think of is try not to use the same song in response. This game kept going for years on the old board. Let's see if we can make it to a couple of weeks, at least!

So, I will start this one with something I hope is easy

"Maria, I just met a girl named Maria"

Chris L

"Hello little girl
What's your rush?
You're missing all the flowers

I don't remember the original rules, but I assume a plural noun can be matched with a singular one. If not, I'm declaring that rule here. ;)
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Vera Charles

I've been thinking, flowers -
Maybe daisies -
To brighten up the room

Chris L

"Good times,
Room hums,
Late nights,
Quick bites"
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?



Quick, though, the trade is brisk.

But it's here!

It's where?

Coming up the stair

Vera Charles

(Is this allowed?)

Fluttering up the stairway,
Shuttering up the windows

Chris L

Nah, it's not cheating.

"Sitting in the window or
Standing on the stair
Something in them cheers the air"
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Vera Charles

Three cheers and dammit,
C'est la vie.
I got through all of last year,
And I'm here.


Passionless lovemaking once a year?
Leave the lies ill-concealed


More Sweeney

Ladies seem to love it

Flies do, too!

Hand the bloody money over!
Hand the bloody money over!


(I'll throw in the 'y' for extra credit, even though KathyB didn't leave it):

Twenty minutes to arrange
Those bloody awful flowers... (Bang!)
Can I get away with more?  (Bang, bang, bang!)
Then I have to brush my hair,
And that could take me hours...  (Bang!)

A fit of vapors?  (Bang!)
No, that's too quaint.  (Bang!)
A wracking cough, and then
A graceful faint?  (Bang!)
A lengthy lecture  (Bang!)
On self-restraint?


PS: In the old game, plurals and singulars were definitely not freely interchangeable.  If the clue included the 's' in bold, the response had to include that 's' too.

The person leaving the clue could helpfully decide to simply not boldface the plural ending (e.g., "classes in optical art"), thereby allowing the responder to ignore it ("What if her coach is second class?").  But if the plural actually changes the spelling (e.g., "the fillies of the Follies"), then there's no way around it: you can't leave "Follies" (no bold 's') as the clue, because follie isn't a word; and you can't respond with "If I was a Folly girl" because then you'd be pulling a 'y' out of thin air while leaving the actual -ies ending entirely unaccounted-for.  The specific combination of letters is very much the point here -- as much as, if not more than, their meaning.

The same applies to verb/adverb/adjective forms and other such spelling alterations (-ing, -ed, -y, -ly, -ily, etc.): it's okay to simply not boldface these endings (Kathy's "bloody," above), as long as their exclusion still leaves a legitimate word ("blood") as the clue.  And the response can likewise be part of a longer word ("flies," ditto).  But the spelling has to remain intact, and the response has to account for the entire clue -- hence, if the clue was "Walking off my tired feet," with the 'ing' bolded, then the answer can't be "Today I woke to weak to walk".  But the reverse -- "too weak to walk" as the clue, "walking off my tired feet" ('ing' not bold) as the response -- would be fine.

Again, it's about the sequence of letters, not the meaning (beyond the stipulation that the clue must be an actual word) or even the part of speech:  "All the wolves, all the lies..." / "And my Lucy lies in ashes" is perfectly legit, in either order, despite the fact that one is a noun and the other a verb, and their meanings are entirely unrelated.  But the sequence of boldfaced letters has to be accounted for in its entirety and without alteration.

Spacing is the one thing that I believe was allowed to  change from clue to response:  if you wanted to get devious, you could respond to "...Where there never was a hat!" with "Was that the reason, tell us, John...?".

What I'm less sure of is whether the reverse would be allowed, i.e. leaving "was that the reason," with a space in the middle, as the clue, inviting "isn't much blue in / The Red and the Black" (same spacing) but also "where there never was a hat" or "it's got a pot o' gold / At the other end" (different spacings) as possible responses.  My hesitance springs from the question of whether the actual word in this example -- there -- needs to appear in its normal, properly-spaced form in the clue, not just as one option among several possible creatively-spaced responses.  If you leave "The Red and the Black" and I respond with "pot o' gold at the other end," then we really are just playing with letters -- the actual word "there" has become kind of a phantom (there's no there there!), which doesn't seem right somehow.

Chris L

Thanks, Dave. I'm pretty sure I never played this game when it was on the old board, so it's valuable to have someone who remembers the rules in such detail. Anybody who wants to know how this game works should read @scenicdesign71's message.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?


And love is a lecture
On how to correct "your"


One another's terrible mistakes
Witches can be right,
Giants can be good