MY DAY: A lyrical kind of day

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July 12th has mixed emotions for me, but I celebrate both.

images (2)Today, in 1895, the legendary lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, who, along with his collaborator, Richard Rodgers, revolutionized the American musical as we know it today, was born.  Also on thisimages day, in 1988, the legendary director, playwright and producer, Joshua Logan, took his final bow.  Like his friend, Oscar Hammerstein II, Mr. Logan was to amass a much beloved treasury of national wonders in the musical theatre world, and together, they penned the libretto/script to the timeless classic, SOUTH PACIFIC.

I must say, that although I preach/insist, even growl about lyrics in private lessons, and when directing, I seldom note them in popular songs on the radio.  I am usually magnetized to the melody, first.  I am just now uncovering song lyrics from my high school years – I had no idea what they were.  When it comes to a live performance I am attending, I do focus on the lyrics – and am often, quite let down.  Diction is often a semi-failure in so many productions or concerts.

The lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II, who with Mr. Logan, is my greatest inspiration, are incredible.  Some theatre folks will argue that they are sugary sweet, or out-dated.  Perhaps, but they are far beyond that in my opinion.  Rodgers & Hammerstein were often ahead of the curve for their time as they addressed issues of spousal abuse, bullying and stalking, improper behaviors for single women, and racism.  These three theatrical giants made certain we were ‘carefully taught.’

My favorite lyrics were by Mr. Hammerstein, set to composer Jerome Kern’s haunting, lush melody, “All The Things You Are.”

You are the promised kiss of springtime

That makes the lonely winter seem long

You are the breathless hush of evening

That trembles on the brink of a lovely song

You are the angel glow that lights a star

The dearest things I know are what you are

Some day my happy arms will hold you

And some day I’ll know that moment divine

When all the things you are, are mine

You are the angel glow that lights a star

The dearest things I know are what you are

Some day my happy arms will hold you

And some day I’ll know that moment divine

When all the things you are, are mine

This video is of the Hastings College under the direction of my other great mentor, Dr. Fritz Mountford, who was Fred Waring’s protege.

Happy birthday, Mr. Hammerstein!

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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