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So many kind of civilization chide Osautomobile Hammerstein, II for his Hallmark card-style lyrics of hope and stamina that pepper his musicals composed via Rictough Rodgers (Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King and I, The Sound of Music and many kind of others). They sum up Hammerstein in one wide stroke: sentimentality. I have actually constantly uncovered this to be a wrong assessment of the guy. Many type of of his lyrics have actually an edge, a slight darkness beneath the surface. "Caretotally Taught" from South Pacific, "Love Look Away" from Flower Drum Song," "What"s the Use of Wonder"n" from Carousel, "How Can Love Survive?" from The Sound of Music, "Lonely Room" from Oklahoma!, and also "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" from The King and also I debunk this concept. What I have always assumed made his songs of hope and strength job-related within the context of these musicals is that they are anchored by the kinds of songs that I simply mentioned. Something is constantly at stake in a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, a journey or life-transforming decision that have to be made and also the music tells that story. This is why these mirrors job-related.
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What civilization tfinish to foracquire is that Hammerstein was an old pro by the moment he acquired roughly to functioning via Mr. Rodgers. Certainly, many kind of of his earlier lyrics are much more biting, cynical, and also dark. They are oftentimes exceptionally funny. Humor did not evade Hammerstein, yet he did usage it exceptionally judiciously. One of the finest examples of Hammerstein using humor and also cynicism in a musical is "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" in the 1927 musical classic Sjust how Boat. The musical is a sprawling epic, a story of love as is it unfolds over two decades. It chronicles the story of the Cotton Blossom, a traveling theatre riverwatercraft, and the world that inhalittle bit it. Though the story primarily focuses on the Captain"s daughter Magnolia and also her romance via riverboat gambler Gaylord Ravenal, we learn about the dark underbelly of theatre life on the road (or the river, If you will) with many type of of the secondary personalities. What makes "Life Upon the Wicked Stage" so brilliant within the context of this hefty display is that it brings a nice dose of tension-breaking sardonic humor in the guise of a comedic number that paints a bluntly hocolony image of the people in which they all live. The song is sung by one of the Cotton Blossom"s performers, Ellie, who bemoans her career and also the absence of glamour that it supposed to go through it. She reminds us that theatre is all artifice and fantasy, and that it isn"t the life that civilization suppose. Self-depricating, occasionally desperate, and also simply a bit disillusioned, Ellie, via this song, foreshadows the tough life Magnolia will certainly inevitably discover as a perprevious. This is a complicated Hammerstein at job-related.