"Rose's Turn" from Gypsy

  1. Here she is, boys!
  2. Here she is, world!
  3. Here's Rose!
  4. Curtain up!
  5. Light the lights!
  6. Play it, boys!
  7. Ya either got it, or ya ain't.
  8. And, boys, I got it!
  9. Ya like it?
  10. Well, I got it!
  11. Some people got it and make it pay.
  12. Some people can't even give it away.
  13. This people's got it
  14. and this people's spreadin' it around!
  15. You either have it
  16. or you've had it!
  17. Hello, everybody! My name is Rose! What's yours?
  18. How do you like them eggrolls, Mr. Goldstone?
  19. Hold your hats and hallelujah.
  20. Mama's gonna show it to you.
  21. Ready or not, shhh, here comes Mama.
  22. Mama's talkin' loud.
  23. Mama's doin' fine.
  24. Mama's gettin' hot.
  25. Mama's goin' strong.
  26. Mama's movin' on.
  27. Mama's all alone.
  28. Mama doesn't care.
  29. Mama's lettin' loose.
  30. Mama's got the stuff.
  31. Mama's lettin' go.
  32. Mama?
  33. Mama's got the stuff.
  34. Mama's gotta move.
  35. Mama's gotta go.
  36. Mama? Mama?
  37. Mama's gotta let go.
  38. Why did I do it?
  39. What did it get me?
  40. Scrapbooks full of me in the background.
  41. Give 'em love and what does it get ya?
  42. What does it get ya?
  43. One quick look as each of 'em leaves you.
  44. All your life and what does it get ya?
  45. Thanks a lot and out with the garbage,
  46. They take bows and you're battin' zero.
  47. I had a dream.
  48. I dreamed it for you, June.
  49. It wasn't for me, Herbie.
  50. And if it wasn't for me
  51. then where would you be,
  52. Miss Gypsy Rose Lee?
  53. Well, someone tell me, when is it my turn?
  54. Don't I get a dream for myself?
  55. Starting now it's gonna be my turn.
  56. Gangway, world, get off of my runway!
  57. Starting now I bat a thousand!
  58. This time, boys, I'm taking the bows and
  59. Everything's coming up Rose!
  60. Everything's coming up roses!
  61. Everything's coming up roses
  62. this time for me!
  63. For me! For me! For me! For me! For me!
  64. For me! Yeah!

This song comes from Sondheim's musical, Gypsy, about an overbearing stage mother who wastes away her entire life trying to force her children into show business. It is based off of the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque dancer, but there is more of a focus on her mother. Here, Rose has just seen the person Gypsy has become, snotty and arrogant, and wishes for her own chance in the spotlight which she never received. She sees how her ambition has driven away her children, June and Gypsy, and also her long time lover, Herbie, but she can't seem to come to terms that their leaving and resentment of her is her own doing. The title of the song implies that it is finally Rose's turn in the spotlight and she begins the song addressing various necessities for performing like an audience (the "boys" and "world"), the lights, and the curtain. She shouts these words to set the stage for her fantasy and unfulfilled dream. She's presenting herself to the audience instead of her children for the first time after years and years of forcing her children into the spotlight. Throughout the show, Rose talks about her daughter June "having it" as in the tools and talent it takes to become a star; Louise who later becomes Gypsy Rose Lee never "had it" as Rose repeatedly told her, but here Rose lets the audience know in lines 8, 10, and 13 that she's "got it." This repitition shows her desire to reassure herself that she had (and thinks her that she has) what it takes to be her own star. Lines 17 and 18 repeat lyrics from previous songs from the shows; this repitition from previous scenes shows her desire to have the attention she worked so hard to make her children get. Line 17 repeats from a song that she once made June sing to make herself be the cute little star that everyone wanted even in her late teens; Mr Goldstone mentioned in line 18 was the man that Rose believed would give her children the fame they deserved. She sang about how she would ask "how do you like them eggrolls Mr. Goldstone?" to butter him up and notice her June. The repitition of these two lines implies a mocking tone in her previous actions in trying to "help" her children when she was really the one who deserved the spotlight because she's "got it." Lines 22-37 use repeated syntax and meter to represent Rose reminding himself that she's got it all together, but at the same time this repeated syntax provides a contrast because despite "doin' fine," she questions herself with "Mama? Mama?" Here, Sondheim uses words with hard consonants like k and t in talkin', gettin', gotta, etc. to show the aggression of Rose at this point. With the meter, the first, third, and fifth syllables are stressed. She's attacking the words like she wants to lash out at her children for not giving her the respect she believes that she deserves. Finally, in line 40, Rose reveals what she's really angry about-her children abandoning her. It's not so much about the fame she never got, but at this point she's honest about her anger at everyone for leaving her. Again, Sondheim uses hard consonants like K and T to reflect her aggression at this moment. She spits the words out like she wants to spit angry words out to the people who have left her. She refuses to acknowledge her own fault and thinks that she was doing right by her children; as the entire song has progressed, Rose gets more and more specific about what has led to her anger. First, she spoke to an audience about how she deserved the spotlight but never addressed anyone in particular then she refers to "'em" and "they" in lines 41, 43, and 46, and then finally she gets specific and blames June, Herbie, and Gypsy for her problems. The increased specificity in the song somewhat reflects Rose's character-when the audience first sees her in the play, all one sees is the overbearing stage mother, but as the show progresses, the play reveals the inner layers to her character which Sondheim does in this song. This song reveals the inner workings of the mind of Rose and how her own unnoticed talent led her to become the selfish, ambitious mother she was. The final part of the song reveals her ultimate selfishness because of the continous use of me and my. She believes she was helping her children when all along she just wanted to help herself. The use of the baseball terminology helps to provide a contrast to the performing terms like bows to further emphasize how well Rose thinks she can do now that her children are basically gone. Her name, Rose, in the last few lines serves as a symbolic irony because she says everything is coming her way and will be "up roses" as in life will be good for her now when actually her life is falling apart right in front of her. Finally, the repitition of "for me" in the last three lines emphasizes Rose's need for attention and failure to realize her own narcissism and failings. Despite everything she has been through with the abandonment of her children and Herbie, she still can not recognize that all along she's been doing things "for me" and not for them because of her own desire for fame which she never had. There is a shift in tone behind every "for me" though which is illustrated in the link below because it shows that somehow things "for me" no matter how much she repeats it and hopes to have things her way, things done in selfishness will not result in her favor.

Here Bernadette Peters who played Rose talks about her role and then performs "Rose's Turn" at the Tony's. song starts at 1:45

Sunday in the Park with George: "Sunday"

Sunday, by the blue purple yellow red water
On the green purple yellow red grass
Let us pass through our perfect park
Pausing on a Sunday

By the cool blue triangular water
On the soft green elliptical grass
As we pass through arrangements of shadow
Toward the verticals of trees

By the blue purple yellow red water
On the green orange violet mass of the grass
In our perfect park

Made of flecks of light
And dark
And parasols
Bum bum bum bum bum bum
Bum bum bum

People strolling through the trees
Of a small suburban park
On an island in the river
On an ordinary Sunday

Sunday in the Park with George is a musical formed based on Georges' Seurat's painting "A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte." The musical uses only fictional aspects in Georges' life, but it is really about how he made the painting. This song at the end of Act I shows the actors actually making the tableau that the actors use to resemble Seurat's Post-Impressionist painting. The diction of this song is all about Seurat's techniques in how he made this painting. Seurat is a Post-Impressionist artist that paints with an emphasis on structure--he follow's Michel-Eugene Chevreul's law of simultaneous contrast of color in which he uses dots and shapes to contrast warm and cool colors together. Because of that Sondheim chooses words that combine these contrasting colors that make the different subjects of the painting from the water to the grass to the park itself. While the actors are making the tableau, they sing about every aspect of the painting and every color Seurat uses to create his color contrast that makes his painting. Interestingly enough, the actors have all just been in terrible arguments and the character Georges sees the chaos and harmonizes it into a painting that the entire first Act has led to. To reflect Seurat's emphasis on structure, Sondheim uses shapes like triangular and elliptical to describe the painting Seurat is arranging the actors into. All of the actors singing the first three stanzas and the last sing in harmony which uses music to show a contrast in notes creating a beautiful sound in the same way Seurat's contrast of color and shape creates a beautiful painting. Georges' solo in the middle shows the artist at work in creating this tableau of actors which forms his painting. "Made of flecks of light and dark" shows the repeated contrasting imagery that reflects how Seurat uses contrasting pockets of light and dark to make his painting. The repeated bums show Georges' calmness despite the chaos he just witnessed and how despite alienating himself because of his life as an artist to all the people around him, his art calms him and allows him to create beauty. Just as he has the only solo in the song, he isolates himself in order to create art in the things around him that he can't seem to participate in. In typical Sondheim fashion, this song has no regular meter but maintains a complex rhythm in each of the verses.

Cast of Sunday in the Park with George performing Sunday--the Act I finale--at the 1984 Tony's Awards

Georges Seurat's painting: A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte
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A Little Night Music: "Send in the Clowns"

Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.

Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.

Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

Don't you love farce?
My fault I fear.
I thought that you'd want what I want.
Sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Quick, send in the clowns.
Don't bother, they're here.

Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer,
Losing my timing this late
In my career?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns.
Well, maybe next year.

This song from Sondheim's A Little Night Music shows a woman, Desiree, full of anger and regret after receiving rejection from her long ago lover. The tone of this song is bitter and resentful but also questioning. It is full of questions that are used in a bitter and sarcastic tone. The song is arranged in four verses and a bridge. There is rhyming but appears to be no exact rhyme scheme. The bridge between the first two verses and last two verses is the only part where the word clowns is not used. This seems to suggest that the clowns are also Desiree and her old lover Fredrick. The word clowns in this song actually means fools; here, Sondheim is using theatrical imagery because it's a theater reference that basically means if the show isn't going well, send in the clowns AKA do the jokes. Desiree's bitter tone suggests that she has realized that she is a fool. In fact, "don't bother they're here" flat out states that she's just made a fool of herself. All of the phrases in the song are very short because here is a woman that is too angry to speak but knows she needs to say something. She just proposed to her old lover Fredrick (and the father of her child even though he didn't know for years), but he rejects her proposal for his 18 year old wife who he thought he loved. In the first verse the use of "isn't it rich" shows the sarcastic tone because she seems to be saying "wow isn't this just great," but the repetition of this phrase in the final verse immediately followed by "isn't it queer" shows how shocked she is that Fredrick refused her. She's bitter because she's just been embarrassed.

Desiree was a great actress and seemed to be quite the diva, so the contrast in imagery of her "at last on the ground" combined with him "in midair" shows his rejection has grounded her, and she did not get what she wanted for the first time. For the first time in their relationship, Fredrick has the upper hand. In the second verse, the third and fourth line also provide a contrast between Fredrick and Desiree but also maybe Desiree herself. She once spent her life traveling around going with all different sorts of men until she realized she wanted Fredrick. These lines could imply the difference between her former life and her new realization of her feelings for Fredrick and his inability to accept her shocks her into stillness. The bridge again shows her willingness to stop moving around for Fredrick, but by the time she realized what she wanted, he had moved on. Being "sure of her lines" is again theatrical imagery to show Desiree's life as an actress. The third verse shows her embarrassment at Fredrick not "wanting what she wanted" and also self loathing so she says "quick send in the clowns" to take away the focus from her. The final verse has her asking where are the clowns or send in the clowns, and this repetition in all these verses reinforces Desiree's desire to start the jokes to hide her regret and anger in rejection. "Well, maybe next year" suggests that maybe with time things will be better for her. "Well" unlike words like "quick" is held out to show pensive thinking and a real wish for her regret to abate with time. Her tone of bitterness also comes across when she hisses out words with hard consonants like the K sound in clowns, the ch in rich, and the repeated t's everytime she says "Isn't it..." The song also has a complex meter where Sondheim breaks away from typical music in 4/4 time and continuously switches the time signature which also seems to reflex Desiree's complex emotional state.

Bernadette Peters singing this during A Little Night Music performance