The Sondheim Lyrics Chain

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

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There's a just keep in "Waiting for the Girls Upstairs," but, in my opinion, the one in "Move On" has better choices for a target word after it:

Just keep moving on,
I chose and my world was shaken,
So what?
That choice may have been mistaken,
The choosing was not.
You have to more on.


"Move On" was the one I had in mind ("Just keep your shirts on!" from "WFTGU" never occurred to me, but it's a great catch!).  But I'm tickled you chose my favorite stanza; some centuries ago, I actually picked "I chose, and my world was shaken -- so what? / The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not." as a favorite quote for my senior-year high-school yearbook photo.  Sounding both pretentious and portentous in that context, the lines actually held no specific personal meaning except as generically-appealing Words To Live By -- but, exquisitely versified by my idol (even with the mildly questionable rhyme of "what" and "not") in my favorite show, they sounded mighty profound to me.

Which is why I'm gonna be an annoying pedant and point out that it is in fact "The choice," not "That choice".  There's a trim little parallelism in there, focusing the distinction between "choice" and "choosing" onto those two words alone, which goes just the tiniest bit soft if the article also changes.  "The/The" makes us listen harder to what's being said, while "That/The" arguably overexplains.

I was half convinced I'd waken,
Satisfied enough to dream you.
Happily I was mistaken,

I'll steal you, Johanna,
I'll steal you.
Do they think that walls could hide you?
Even now, I'm at your window.
I am in the dark beside you,
Buried sweetly in your yellow hair...


In the old days of this game we had an acronym, QFM, which stood for "Quote from memory." I should have used that with my lyric. (By the way, I do realize it's "The," but my fingers obviously didn't. Or I should have just checked the lyric before typing it, which I understand would not necessarily stop my fingers from typing the wrong word anyway.  :) )

Even now
(now I can't get Barry Manilow out of my mind)


(Typed directly from Finishing the Hat)

Even now,
When you're close and we touch
And you're kissing my brow,
I don't mind it too much.


And if I wanted too much,
Was that such a mistake
At the time?

You never wanted enough.
All right, tough -- I don't make
That a crime.

On first hearing, "I don't make that a crime" sounded ever so slightly faux-conversational to me: it gets its meaning across, but I'm not 100% convinced it's how most people would verbalize that idea, and the obvious explanation is that it's being condensed, so efficiently as to become almost too concise, for the sake of the rhyme.  Still, if it's not altogether effortless, it comes closer than such a feat of compression has any right to, and the result is a model of elegant simplicity, if not of absolute conversational realism: six lines, three interlocked but decidedly modest rhymes (much/such, mistake/make, enough/tough), and not a five-dollar word anywhere to be seen.  (Nor, conversely, a stumble into the pop banality or tortured syntax for which a lesser lyricist might have settled in the well-trod arena of the bittersweet-breakup song).  And of course, leave it to SJS to make Charley's lyric -- the song that ends up "opening doors" for Shepard & Kringas -- track the dynamics of their eventual professional "breakup" with poignant specificity shadowed by ambiguity: who "wanted too much," and who "not enough"?  Artistically, commercially, interpersonally?


I've been trying to find this for two months. Any hints?

don't make


Mama said, "Darling,
don't make such a drama.
A little less thinking,
a little more feeling"
I'm just quoting Mama!
Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!


No more feelings.
Time to shut the door.
Just – no more.


I like this song too much to mangle it by trying to quote from memory.

Maybe it shows--
She's had clues,
Which she chose to ignore.
Maybe, though, she knows,
And just wants to go on as before--
As a friend, nothing more.
So she closes the door.

Well, if she does,
Those are the dues.
Once the words are spoken,
Something may be broken--
Still, you love her,
What can you lose?


A false alarm.
A broken arm.
An imitation Hitler, and with littler charm --
But oh, can that boy foxtrot!


I have not forgotten about this game.

I also have not found the lyric. :(
I checked Into the Woods, thinking it sounded like something Jack's Mother would say. I also thought it sounded like Mrs. Lovett, possibly, so I checked Sweeney Todd. And Follies, and Night Music and Company

I am waiting for inspiration to strike, even though it hasn't yet in two months.


Quote from: KathyB on Feb 15, 2023, 04:19 PMI have not forgotten about this game. ... I am waiting for inspiration to strike, even though it hasn't yet in two months.

Ah, but forgetting might actually help hasten inspiration... or I could just find another target word.


A boy like that who'd kill your brother,
Forget that boy and find another,
One of your own kind.
Stick to your own kind!

A boy like that will give you sorrow.
You'll meet another boy tomorrow,
One of your own kind.
Stick to your own kind!
Self indulgence is better than no indulgence!


Oh, DUH. [facepalm] double DUH. :-[ :-[ :-[

Say toodle-oo to sorrow.
And fare-thee-well, ennui,
You're gonna love tomorrow,
As long as your tomorrow is spent with me.
Today was perfectly perfect, you say,
Well, don't go away,
'Cause if you think you liked today...


I'm calm. I'm calm.
I'm perfectly calm.
I'm utterly under control.
I haven't a worry:
Where others would hurry,
I stroll.