***The original closing number to Company was called "Happily Ever After," which was eventually replaced by "Marry Me a Little" and ultimately "Being Alive." It's often said that "Happily" was cut because it was too much of a downer, but Sondheim said it was actually cut because it made the ending too bitter.***
Well -- wasn't "Happily Ever After" thought to be too much of a downer BECAUSE it was so bitter? That's what I've always assumed. They wanted an ending for the show that was at least somewhat more hopeful.