Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I beg to differ ...

... Broadway's Country Mouse. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hammerstein was born and bred as an affluent New Yorker, but his spiritual home base was the rural and the sentimental.
Maybe because his actual home base was his farm outside Doylestown, PA.
Hammerstein's default mode was sentimental. There's a place for Hallmark, of course—I enjoy "If I Loved You" from Carousel as much as anyone else.
Taken in context there is nothing sentimental about "If I Loved You." It is a heartfelt and heartbreaking realization by Billy Bigelow that he blew the only really good thing that had happened to him in life - Julie's love. "You'll Never Walk Alone" is another story, in my view the only flaw in an otherwise great musical.
Moreover, take away birds and flowers and you just jettisoned a heck of a lot of poetry in English.

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