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re: What are Oscar Hammerstein II's best lyrics? (or... your personal favorites)
Last Edit: Chromolume 06:15 pm EDT 04/17/24
Posted by: Chromolume 06:14 pm EDT 04/17/24
In reply to: re: What are Oscar Hammerstein II's best lyrics? (or... your personal favorites) - StanS 01:46 pm EDT 04/17/24

"Many a new face will please my eye
Many a new love will find me
Never have I once looked back to sigh
Over the romance behind me
Many a new day will dawn before I do!"

I know I've brought this up before, but here's where I think Hammerstein gets perhaps a bit too complex for his own good. If this lyric is going right by you in the moment, it may not really be clear what Laurie claims she won't do. Seems to me that the immediate thought comes out as "many a new day will dawn before I [dawn]," because that line feels like its own phrase. But that makes no sense. Hammerstein was actually trying to reference back a few lines - "many a new day will dawn before I [look back to sigh over the romance behind me]" - but I really tend to wonder if most people receive the lyric in that way. I know that I didn't at first. (This applies to each time she has the "I do" lyric.)

I also know people who have thought that the "I do" refers to a wedding vow. As in, "many a new day will dawn before [I say] 'I do.'" Which also makes no sense in context of the situation, but it does seem to make sense on its own terms, wrong as it is to hear it that way.

And while I'm here being the contrarian (but not too much of one, I hope), I've never been quite convinced that Lt. Cable would really compare his arms growing strong to "a pair of birds that burst with song." Hammerstein may have been aiming at a more sensitive side of Cable, influenced by his feelings for Liat, but it feels like a very sudden change - a bit too sudden perhaps? Oddly, I'm not as bothered by "warmer than winds of June" etc - but somehow the bird reference as it is seems just a little strange. Or maybe that's just me. :-)
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