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re: When Hammerstein is for the birds
Posted by: den 06:57 pm EDT 04/18/24
In reply to: When Hammerstein is for the birds - WaymanWong 04:35 pm EDT 04/18/24

Actually, I think this lyric is exquisite. Hammerstein could have written, “Like a lark who is learning to sing,” but where’s the beauty in that? The lark learning to “pray” is finding its voice in song. The lark’s song is a prayer in praise of nature; there is something holy about the bird’s song. And the lyric complements the end of the song: “My heart will be ‘blessed’ with the sound of music/ And I’ll ‘sing’ once more.” (Note ‘blessed’ rather than something like ‘filled’). Remember, Maria is in a convent preparing to enter religious life, so it’s fitting that she’d use religious imagery to evoke her praise of the sounds of the natural world. Sondheim notwithstanding, it’s a lovely lyric.
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