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Monday, December 8, 2014

On Musical Lyrics

Musicals are often lampooned for not minding their language at all. Detractors highlight how irritating it is when characters burst into song arbitrarily. Then, they claim, the lyrics they belt are cursory, cheesy and slapdash. Rhyme swallows meaning; melodrama gulps away feeling. Lyn Gardner made the point on the Guardian’s theatre blog that musical theatre haters are often snobs, like the Evening Standard’s David Sexton, who dismissed musicals as repellent, embarrassing and stupid – even Sondheim’s work: “The cleverer such an innately idiotic form tries to be, the more annoying it is.” Musicals are often lampooned for not minding their language at all. Detractors highlight how irritating it is when characters burst into song arbitrarily. Then, they claim, the lyrics they belt are cursory, cheesy and slapdash. Rhyme swallows meaning; melodrama gulps away feeling. Lyn Gardner made the point on the Guardian’s theatre blog that musical theatre haters are often snobs, like the Evening Standard’s David Sexton, who dismissed musicals as repellent, embarrassing and stupid – even Sondheim’s work: “The cleverer such an innately idiotic form tries to be, the more annoying it is.” (Gary Nunn, The Guardian)

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