Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes

tom2000a
Chorus Member
joined:11/10/12
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/24/13 at 11:38pm
First of all....Does Liaisons really rhyme with Raisins?

And what about this?

What once was a sumptuous feast
Is figs.
No--not even figs--raisins!

Kind of weak.
AwesomeDanny
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/24/13 at 11:46pm
That's the joke.
blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/24/13 at 11:49pm
This post is weak.
Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 12:59am
Moderator: Please delete this thread. It is blasphemy.

But also, it's stupid.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Almira
Broadway Star
joined:12/6/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 09:05am
When I read the title of this thread, the first thing I thought of was the raisin/liaisons rhyme.


Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 09:10am
Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good fight.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Almira
Broadway Star
joined:12/6/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 09:12am
I should also add, the raisin/liaison line was the only line in the entire Sondheim canon I could think of.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
metropolis10111
Leading Actor
joined:7/28/06
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 09:15am
There are several lyrics that while they work are a little desperate for me. I'm sure this thread will get a TON of backlash but it's nice that every so often talk about the man's weaker moments
Almira
Broadway Star
joined:12/6/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 09:26am
I've always been impressed with Sondheim's own (as much as possible) objectivity of his work. He doesn't seem to regard it as unimpreachable, hallowed or sacrosanct.

I'm sure he is sensitive to criticism, who isn't? But he does seem courageous enough to often acknowledge the gap between what he was aiming for and what he came up with. Which, of course, makes fans like me love his work even more.


Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Updated On: 12/25/13 at 09:26 AM
AngusN
Broadway Star
joined:3/23/05
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 10:53am
There are quite a few in Into The Woods will have a think after Christmas and note down.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 01:19pm
Don't trouble yourself.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
StageStruckLad
Featured Actor
joined:3/13/13
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 03:00pm
Part of "Good Thing Going" always bugs me:

We took for granted a lot, and still I say,
It could have kept on growing,
Instead of just kept on,

Seems like something is missing at the end of "Instead of just kept on." I've never heard anyone use the expression "It just kept on."
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 03:44pm
I think "kept on staying the same" is the implication. I don't think you're meant to think "kept on" is an expression.

The only lyric that really bugs is from "Country House." I don't consider that song to be Follies canon anyway, but "you can't afford to be bored with your board" always felt like a half-assed lyric to me.
TylerJia
Swing
joined:12/12/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 04:07pm
"Oh when the Jets roll in at the Cornball dance, we'll be the sweetest dressing gang in pants"

I know it was early in his career, but has always got to me.
perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 04:08pm
Sondheim has always cited his own lyric to "I Feel Pretty" as weak not because it isn't good but because it's a little too witty and sounds like the author speaking rather than the character. But it isn't a bad lyric by any measure; Sondheim on his worst day is still better than most people on their best day.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 04:56pm
^^^^ Agreed. Butů

"Then I careered from career to career."

I'm sure it was good for me to learn that "career" could be used correctly as a verb, but I've yet to hear it used as such anywhere else. To me that line has one "career" too many.

****

I wish Sondheim would acknowledge that his (really Sheldon Harnick's) complaints about "I Feel Pretty" concern a theatrical convention, not some sort of universal "law".

The characters in LI'L ABNER are neither clever nor educated and they rhyme away madly for comic effect. Different type of show; different convention.

And is Petra supposed to have come to service directly from a Ph.D. program at the U. of Stockholm? If I'm not mistaken, "The Miller's Son" is the most heavily rhymed lyric in the NIGHT MUSIC score (with the possible exception of "Now"). Yet Petra's number works wonderfully, if you ask me, even if the rhyming only connotes what we might call "street smarts". (See, too, Dorine in TARTUFFE.)


Updated On: 12/25/13 at 04:56 PM
Hest882
Broadway Star
joined:6/10/08
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 05:20pm
StageStuckLad, that's funny. That oh so simple truncated lyric is actually one I think of as pure genius.

My least favorite lyrics are actually the spoken ones in Being Alive. I feel like the friends are there to hit us over the head with the message of a marvelous song that easily stands on its own.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 06:46pm
"Too busy to know that they're fools."

No, they are not.

"No Place Like London." Repugnant lyrics, repugnant show.

"day after day after day after day......."

Oh please, must you bludgeon us with the same banality from here to eternity?

"You're always sorry, You're always grateful."

Wow, what profound insight, so brilliantly expressed!



Updated On: 12/25/13 at 06:46 PM
kdogg36
Leading Actor
joined:9/13/07
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 08:09pm
I'm a huge fan of Passion, but this has always stood out for me:

A love as pure as breath,
As permanent as death,
Implacable as stone.
A love that, like a knife,
Has cut into a life
I wanted left alone.


What bothers me specifically is the extremely trite "knife" simile hot on the heels of three much more striking ones. Of course knives cut; there's nothing interesting to me about that turn of phrase.
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 08:40pm
I am always frustrated by "I'll call you in the morning or my service will explain", not because it doesn't rhyme, but because it seems like there are too many syllables to fit with the music comfortably. But maybe it's just me.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
Sally Durant Plummer
Stand-by
joined:8/15/13
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 08:54pm
After 8, I realize you dislike Sondheim's work with a passion, but isn't there any song, or even one lyric, of his that you don't hate? I am not trying to be snarky, I am honestly interested. Obviously, Sondheim is not your type of music or theatre, and I respect that. But, do you really hate every single word he puts to music, or note he writes? Even I, who detest Andrew Lloyd Webber and his work, appreciate "Tell Me On A Sunday", especially when someone as talented as Berdadette Peters or Betty Buckley is singing it!

Updated On: 12/25/13 at 08:54 PM
indytallguy
Featured Actor
joined:7/13/08
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/25/13 at 09:17pm
After Eight said:
"No Place Like London." Repugnant lyrics, repugnant show.

Repugnant lyrics? Repugnant show? I can never take another thing you say seriously.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/26/13 at 02:35am
"but isn't there any song, or even one lyric, of his that you don't hate?"

Sally Durant Plummer,

No, I do not hate every song he wrote. Most of them just leave me cold, or irritate me mightily.

And by the way, the subject of this thread is Sondheim's poor lyrics. Many people have noted examples thereof, so why are you getting on my case for doing what everyone else is doing? Is this thread restricted to only his fans? It certainly wasn't stated as such.

Now, YOU say you detest ALW and his work. DETEST? Really? You really DETEST the music to By Jeeves?

Updated On: 12/26/13 at 02:35 AM
gcal
Featured Actor
joined:10/19/04
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/26/13 at 03:11am
Gaveston,

I love the 3 "careers" in that line! She's made a career out of careering from job to job.
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/26/13 at 03:46am
I don't think Sondheim is beyond reproach but I have to jump in re the line from PASSION, which is one of my favorites from Sondheim. Of course a knife cuts, it's not like Sondheim is trying to surprise us there, what's so brilliant about it is that Fosca (impersonating Giorgio at that point) is saying that he believes her love for him is comparable to a knife rather than to a more typically romantic symbol. Using knife as the metaphor there suggests violence and death, which of course foreshadows the ending but also changes since it is Fosca who dies after having sex with Giorgio.
Phyllis, can we just pretend "Country House" doesn't even exist?
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
indytallguy
Featured Actor
joined:7/13/08
Sondheim's weaker lyrics/rhymes
Posted: 12/26/13 at 07:02am
What I like most about that line from Passion is how it ends:

Has cut into a life
I wanted left alone.