… the most distinctive quality of his work is its deep-dyed disillusion, which not infrequently comes across as harsh cynicism: “Caring too much is such / A juvenile fancy. / Learning to trust is just / For children in school.” Just as often, though, it manifests itself in the melancholy romanticism of “Glad to Be Unhappy” (“Unrequited love’s a bore, / And I’ve got it pretty bad”) or the hopeless despair of “This Funny World” (“If you’re beaten, conceal it! / There’s no pity for you”). In all these modes, Hart stands out from every other songwriter of the ’20s and ’30s, and the fact that his saddest lyrics were invariably set to major-key tunes by Rodgers makes the contrast still more striking.
Friday, March 17, 2017
… Broadway’s Tiny Giant | commentary. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)