10 January 2008

"Epiphany" by Stephen Sondheim

This is one of my favorite Sondheim songs. It is very difficult to portray a man whose mind is breaking and I think Sondheim really succeeds here. This is also one of the angriest songs ever written for Broadway. If you need to vent, sing "Epiphany."

From the musical Sweeney Todd
Why did I wait?
You told me to wait!
Now he'll never come again!

There's a hole in the world
Like a great black pit
And it's filled with people
Who are filled with shit
And the vermin of the world
Inhabit it —
But not for long!
They all deserve to die!
Tell you why, Mrs. Lovett,
Tell you why:
Because in all of the whole human race, Mrs. Lovett,
There are two kinds of men and only two.
There's the one staying put
In his proper place
And the one with his foot
In the other one's face —
Look at me, Mrs. Lovett,
Look at you!
No, we all deserve to die!
Tell you why, Mrs. Lovett,
Tell you why:
Because the lives of the wicked should be —
(Slashes at the air)
Made brief.
For the rest of us, death
Will be a relief—
We all deserve to die!

And I'll never see Johanna,
No, I'll never hug my girl to me —

All right! You, sir,
How about a shave?
(Slashes twice)
Come and visit
Your good friend Sweeney — !
You, sir, too, sir —
Welcome to the grave!
I will have vengeance,
I will have salvation!
Who, sir? You, sir?
No one's in the chair —
Come on, come on,
Sweeney's waiting!
I want you bleeders!
You, sir — anybody!
Gentlemen, now don't be shy!
Not one man, no,
Nor ten men,
Nor a hundred
Can assuage me —
I will have you!

And I will get him back
Even as he gloats.
In the meantime I'll practice
On less honorable throats.

And my Lucy lies in ashes
And I'll never see my girl again,
But the work waits,
I'm alive at last

And I'm full of joy!

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