The Sondheim Lyrics Chain

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

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Goodbye, despoilers of beauty,
Ruin another career.
When you wake up with one genius less--
If you can find me, I'm here.

And I'm free,
Free as a bird in a tree,
Free as the slippers I wear


I am in a tree.  I am ten.
I am in a tree.
(I was younger then.)

In between the eaves I can see...
(Tell me what I see!)
I was only ten.


Come, little birds,
Down from the eaves
And the leaves
Over fields,
Out of castles and ponds...


Quick, little birds,
Flick through the ashes,
Pick and peck but swiftly
Sift through the ashes


Aug 03, 2020, 08:40 am #438 Last Edit: Today at 01:17 pm by scenicdesign71
With finer textures, ash looks fairer,
Which makes it rare, but flaxen's rarer--
(No, no! The flaxen's cheaper!)
--Yes, yes, I know: cheaper, not rarer...

This is one of those rarely-mentioned Sondheim gems that eschews any especially-flashy rhyming to instead dazzle the ear with its sheer fluency.  I don't know whether he researched this stuff -- is, or was, "golden saffron" really a thing? is ash-blonde hair truly rarer than flaxen? -- but his catechism of colors and textures, rattled off at speed, sounds so consummately knowledgeable that we can't help but feel renewed awe for Sweeney's (not to mention Sondheim's) mastery of his craft.  Something similar happens in Road Show with Addison's flamboyant gift for architecture and decor, unfurled in language that impresses the listener less with showy rhyme than with sheer breadth and precision, and -- again like "Wigmaker Sequence" -- with its just-so scansion and the effortless speed at which it appears to tumble from Addison's brain -- all without sounding stilted or artificial.


Wherever we sleep--
If prices are steep--
We'll always sleep cheaper together.

Whatever the boat I row, you row--

A duo!


Everybody says no, everybody says stop,
Everybody says: mustn't rock the boat!
Mustn't touch a thing!

Everybody says don't, everybody says wait!
Everybody says: can't fight City Hall,
Can't upset the cart.
Can't laugh at the king!


The King is giving a festival.

More than life...

I wish...

I wish to go to the festival--

More than riches...

--And the ball...

I wish my cow would give us some milk.


We all take the bow
(Including the cow),
Though business is lou-
Sy and slow...


Life is slow but it seems exciting
'Cause Buddy's there.
Gourmet cooking and letter writing
And knowing Buddy's there.