29 February 2008

Song of the day: "Children and Art" by Stephen Sondheim

Another poignant song which reinforces the idea that children and art are the only things that really last in life. The song is especially poignant because the actress performing it has to do it in the fragile, tired voice of a 80+ year old person.

From Sunday in the Park with George
You would have liked him,
Mama, you would.
Mama, he makes things-
Mama, they're good.
Just as you said from the start:
Children and art...
Children and art...

He should be happy-
Mama, he's blue.
What do I do?

You should have seen it,
It was a sight?
Mama, I mean it-
All color and light-!
I don't understand what it was,
But, Mama, the things that he does-
They twinkle and shimmer and buzz-
You would have liked them...

Henry... Henry?... Henry...

It's George, Grandmother.

Of course it is. I thought you were your father for a moment.
Did I tell you who that was?

Of course. That is your mother.

Isn't she beautiful?
There she is-
There she is, there she is, there she is-
Mama is everywhere,
He must have loved her so much...

Is she really in all those places, Marie?

This is our family-
This is the lot.
After I go, this is
All that you've got, honey-
Wasn't she beautiful, though?

You would have liked her.
Mama did things
No one had done.
Mama was funny,
Mama was fun,
Mama spent money
When she had none.

Mama said, "Honey,
Mustn't be blue.
It's not so much do what you like
As it is that you like what you do:"
Mama said, "Darling,
Don't make such a drama,
A little less thinking,
A little more feeling-"
I'm just quoting Mama...
The child is so sweet...
And the girls are so rapturous...
Isn't it lovely how artists can capture us?

Yes, it is, Marie.

You would have liked her-
Honey, I'm wrong,
You would have loved her.

Mama enjoyed things.
Mama was smart.
See how she shimmers
I mean from the heart.

I know, honey, you don't agree,
But this is our family tree.
Just wait till we're there, and you'll see-
Listen to me...
Mama was smart...
Listen to Mama...
Children and art...
Children and art...
Goodbye, Mama.

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