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Merrily we roll along - title?

SamanthaCH
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Merrily we roll along - title?#1
Posted: 12/8/19 at 12:01pm

So I've been listening to Merrily quite a lot this week, and I was wondering what is up with the title of the show. Why do you think Sondheim/Furth (Kaufman and Hart, really) chose a popular song from the 30s as the title of their musical/play? To me it's always sounded a bit too wordy. 

SeanMartin2
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Merrily we roll along - title?#2
Posted: 12/8/19 at 12:05pm

Aside from the fact that it speaks to the overall irony of the play, it's also an homage to the original stage play by (I think) Kaufmann and Hart, which had this as a title.

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ljay889
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Merrily we roll along - title?#3
Posted: 12/8/19 at 6:51pm

“Merrily We Roll Along is a musical with a book by George Furth and lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim. It is based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.”
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrily_We_Roll_Along_(musical)

Updated On: 12/8/19 at 06:51 PM
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chewy5000
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Merrily we roll along - title?#4
Posted: 12/8/19 at 9:56pm

Or is your question why did Kaufman & Hart choose that as the title to begin with?

IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
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joevitus
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Merrily we roll along - title?#5
Posted: 12/8/19 at 11:53pm

That probably was the question. It seems like I read somewhere that the title was taken from the children's song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," though I'm not entirely sure that's accurate, as the song has no line with that phrase. I'm guessing if the song is indeed the inspiration, Kaufman and Hart were making an ironic comparison between "Life if but a dream" and the far from idyllic lives their protagonists end up living.

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Merrily we roll along - title?#6
Posted: 12/9/19 at 2:02am

joevitus said: "That probably was the question. It seems like I read somewhere that the title was taken from the children's song "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," though I'm not entirely sure that's accurate, as the song has no line with thatphrase.I'm guessing if the songis indeed the inspiration,Kaufman and Hart were making an ironic comparison between "Life if but a dream" and the far from idylliclivestheir protagonists end up living."

If it came from a song, it's probably "Goodnight, Ladies," which is a folk song that includes the lyric (and later inspired a WB Merrie Melodie by the same name as the play/musical but is unrelated to either).

Kringas2
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Merrily we roll along - title?#7
Posted: 12/9/19 at 8:18am

The word "merrily" has more than one definition. The first, "in a cheerful way," is the one that immediately comes to mind for most people.

But the word also means "without consideration of possible problems or future implications." Kaufman, Hart, Sondheim, and Furth must have been aware of the second definition when they named the show.

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Merrily we roll along - title?#8
Posted: 12/9/19 at 10:54am
I remember singing this in music class as a tot:

Merrily we roll along,
Roll along, roll along!
Merrily we roll along,
Laughing all the way!

It was the same tune as "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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