RIP Stephen Sondheim has passed away at 91

Thomas Veil

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His tunes were great, but for me this is what I liked best about his music:

His lyrics, scrupulously literate and resonant with complex ideas or emotional ambivalence, were often impossibly clever but rarely only clever; his language was sometimes erudite but seldom purple. He was a world-class rhyming gymnast, not just at the ends of lines but within them — one of the baked dishes on the ghoulish menu in “Sweeney Todd” was “shepherd’s pie peppered with actual shepherd” — and he upheld the highest standards for acceptable wordplay, or at least tried to.
More so than any other lyricist, his words were indeed clever and never sounded forced.

Once upon a time I had plenty of nothing,
Which was fine with me
Because I had rhythm, music, love,
The sun, the stars and the moon above,
Had the clear blue sky and the deep blue sea.
That was when the best things in life were free.​
Then time went by and now I got plenty of plenty,
Which is fine with me.
'Cause I still got love, I still got rhythm,
But look at what I got to go with 'em.
"Who could ask for anything more?", I hear you query.
Who could ask for anything more? Well, let me tell you, dearie.​
Got my diamonds, got my yacht, got a guy I adore.
I'm so happy with what I got, I want more!​
Count your blessings, one, two, three
I just hate keeping score.
Any number is fine with me
As long as it's more!
As long as it's more!​
I'm no mathematician, all I know is addition
I find counting a bore.
Keep the number mounting, your accountant does the counting.
(More! More!)​
I got rhythm, music too, just as much as before
Got my guy and my sky of blue,
Now, however, I own the view.
More is better than nothing, true
But nothing's better than more, more, more
Nothing's better than more.​
One is fun, why not two?
And if you like two, you might as well have four,
And if you like four, why not a few
Why not a slew?
More! More!
(More! More!)​
If you've got a little, why not a lot?
Add and bit and it'll get to be an oodle.
Every jot and tittle adds to the pot
Soon you've got the kit as well as the caboodle.
(More! More!)​
Never say when, never stop at plenty,
If it's gonna rain, let it pour.
Happy with ten, happier with twenty
If you like a penny, wouldn't you like many much more?​
Or does that sound too greedy?
That's not greed, no, indeedy
That's just stocking the store.
Gotta fill your cupboard, remember Mother Hubbard.
(More! More!)​
Each possession you possess
Helps your spirits to soar.
That's what's soothing about excess
Never settle for something less.
Something's better than nothing, yes!
But nothing's better than more, more more
(Except all, all, all) Except all, all, all
Except once you have it all (have it all)
You may find all else above (find all else above)
That though things are bliss,
There's one thing you miss, and that's
More! More!
(More! More!)
More! More! More! More!
(More! More! More! More!)
More! More! More!
(More! More! More!)​

How clever, how utterly effortless sounding is that?

He was truly one of a kind.

 

Hrafn

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His tunes were great, but for me this is what I liked best about his music:


More so than any other lyricist, his words were indeed clever and never sounded forced.

Once upon a time I had plenty of nothing,​
Which was fine with me​
Because I had rhythm, music, love,​
The sun, the stars and the moon above,​
Had the clear blue sky and the deep blue sea.​
That was when the best things in life were free.​
Then time went by and now I got plenty of plenty,​
Which is fine with me.​
'Cause I still got love, I still got rhythm,​
But look at what I got to go with 'em.​
"Who could ask for anything more?", I hear you query.​
Who could ask for anything more? Well, let me tell you, dearie.​
Got my diamonds, got my yacht, got a guy I adore.​
I'm so happy with what I got, I want more!​
Count your blessings, one, two, three​
I just hate keeping score.​
Any number is fine with me​
As long as it's more!​
As long as it's more!​
I'm no mathematician, all I know is addition​
I find counting a bore.​
Keep the number mounting, your accountant does the counting.​
(More! More!)​
I got rhythm, music too, just as much as before​
Got my guy and my sky of blue,​
Now, however, I own the view.​
More is better than nothing, true​
But nothing's better than more, more, more​
Nothing's better than more.​
One is fun, why not two?​
And if you like two, you might as well have four,​
And if you like four, why not a few​
Why not a slew?​
More! More!​
(More! More!)​
If you've got a little, why not a lot?​
Add and bit and it'll get to be an oodle.​
Every jot and tittle adds to the pot​
Soon you've got the kit as well as the caboodle.​
(More! More!)​
Never say when, never stop at plenty,​
If it's gonna rain, let it pour.​
Happy with ten, happier with twenty​
If you like a penny, wouldn't you like many much more?​
Or does that sound too greedy?​
That's not greed, no, indeedy​
That's just stocking the store.​
Gotta fill your cupboard, remember Mother Hubbard.​
(More! More!)​
Each possession you possess​
Helps your spirits to soar.​
That's what's soothing about excess​
Never settle for something less.​
Something's better than nothing, yes!​
But nothing's better than more, more more​
(Except all, all, all) Except all, all, all​
Except once you have it all (have it all)​
You may find all else above (find all else above)​
That though things are bliss,​
There's one thing you miss, and that's​
More! More!​
(More! More!)​
More! More! More! More!​
(More! More! More! More!)​
More! More! More!​
(More! More! More!)​

How clever, how utterly effortless sounding is that?

He was truly one of a kind.

R.I.P. Thank you for all the great adventures!
 
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