Tuesday

Songwriter Spotlight: Lorenz Hart

LORENZ HART
~Biography

Lorenz "Larry" Hart (May 2, 1895 – November 22, 1943) was the lyricist half of the famed Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. Some of his more famous lyrics include, "Blue Moon", "Isn't It Romantic?", "Mountain Greenery", "The Lady Is a Tramp", "Manhattan", "Where or When", "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered", "Falling in Love with Love", "I'll Tell The Man In The Street" and "My Funny Valentine".
Hart was born in Harlem to Jewish immigrant parents. He attended Columbia University, where a friend introduced him to Richard Rodgers, and the two joined forces to write songs for a series of amateur and student productions.
Lorenz Hart & Richard Rogers
In 1919, the team's song "Any Old Place With You" was included in the Broadway musical comedy A Lonely Romeo. The great success of their score for the 1925 Theatre Guild production, The Garrick Gaieties, brought them great acclaim.
They continued working together until Hart's death in 1943, along the way producing scores for a series of hit shows and making a substantial contribution to the Great American Songbook. Hart also translated plays for the Shubert brothers while continuing to collaborate with Rodgers (who later collaborated with Oscar Hammerstein). As a lyricist, Hart was an advocate of internal rhyme and multi-syllabic rhyming, and his lyrics have often been praised for their wit and technical sophistication.
He struggled with alcoholism, which contributed to his death. Hart also suffered great emotional turmoil towards the end of his life. His personal problems, including his struggle with being homosexual, were often the cause of friction between him and Rodgers; in fact this led to a brief breakup in 1943, at which time Rodgers started working with Oscar Hammerstein II, a school friend of Hart. Hart's life was heavily sanitized and romanticized for the 1948 MGM biopic Words and Music.
Rodgers and Hart teamed a final time in the fall of 1943 for a revival of A Connecticut Yankee. Five days after this show opened, Hart died in New York City of pneumonia from exposure. He is believed to have died alone. He is buried in Mount Zion Cemetery in Queens County, New York.
Selected list of works
1925 The Garrick Gaieties
1927 A Connecticut Yankee, based on the Mark Twain novel
1928 Present Arms
1935 Jumbo
1936 On Your Toes
1937 Babes in Arms
1938 The Boys from Syracuse, based on William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors
1938 I Married an Angel
1938 Too Many Girls
1940 Higher and Higher
1940 Pal Joey, based on John O'Hara's work
1942 By Jupiter

Notable Songs
"Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered"
"Blue Moon"
"Dancing on the Ceiling"
"Falling in Love with Love"
"Glad to Be Unhappy"
"Hallelujah I'm A Bum"
"Have You Met Miss Jones?"
"He Was Too Good to Me"
"I Could Write a Book"
"I Didn't Know What Time It Was"
"I'll Tell The Man In The Street"
"Isn't It Romantic?"
"It Never Entered My Mind"
"It's Easy to Remember"
"I've Got Five Dollars" ~performed by Lee Morse
"I Wish I Were in Love Again"
"Johnny One Note"
"The Lady Is a Tramp"
"Little Girl Blue"
"Lover"
"Manhattan"
"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"
"Mountain Greenery"
"My Funny Valentine"
"My Heart Stood Still"
"My Romance"
"A Ship Without a Sail"
"Sing for Your Supper"
"Spring Is Here"
"Ten Cents a Dance"
"There's a Small Hotel"
"This Can't Be Love"
"To Keep My Love Alive"
"Where or When"
"With a Song in My Heart"
"You Took Advantage of Me"
Further reading
Hart, Dorothy. Thou Swell, Thou Witty: The Life and Lyrics of Lorenz Hart. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.
Nolan, Frederick W. Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Marx, Samuel, and Jan Clayton. Rodgers & Hart: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bedeviled : an Anecdotal Account. New York: Putnam, 1976.
Friends of the USC Libraries. The Hart of the Matter: A Celebration of Lorenz Hart, September 30, 1973. [Los Angeles]: Friends of the USC Libraries, University of Southern California, 1973.
References
Nolan, Frederick. Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway. New York: Oxford University Press (1994). ISBN 0-19-510289-4
External links

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
~Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
~Music by Richard Rodgers

After one whole quart of brandy
Like a daisy, I'm awake
With no Bromo-Seltzer handy
I don't even shake

Men are not a new sensation
I've done pretty well I think
But this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink

I'm wild again, beguiled again
A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I

Couldn't sleep and wouldn't sleep
When love came and told me, I shouldn't sleep
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I

Lost my heart, but what of it
He is cold I agree
He can laugh, but I love it
Although the laugh's on me

I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And long, for the day when I'll cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I

He's a fool and don't I know it
But a fool can have his charms
I'm in love and don't I show it
Like a babe in arms

Love's the same old sad sensation
Lately I've not slept a wink
Since this half-pint imitation
Put me on the blink

I've sinned a lot, I'm mean a lot
But I'm like sweet seventeen a lot
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I

I'll sing to him, each spring to him
And worship the trousers that cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I

When he talks, he is seeking
Words to get, off his chest
Horizontally speaking, he's at his very best

Vexed again, perplexed again
Thank God, I can be oversexed again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - am I

Wise at last, my eyes at last,
Are cutting you down to your size at last
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more

Burned a lot, but learned a lot
And now you are broke, so you earned a lot
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more

Couldn't eat, was dispeptic
Life was so hard to bear
Now my heart's antiseptic
Since you moved out of there

Romance, finis. Your chance, finis.
Those ants that invaded my pants, finis.
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered - no more


Blue Moon
~Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
~Music by Richard Rodgers

Blue moon,
you saw me standing alone
without a dream in my heart
without a love on my own.

Blue moon,
you knew just what I was there for
you heard me saying a prayer for
somebody I really could care for.

And then there suddenly appeared before me,
the only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper, "Please adore me."
and when I looked,
the moon had turned to gold.

Blue moon,
now I'm lo longer alone
without a dream in my heart
without a love on my own.


It Never Entered My Mind
~Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
~Music by Richard Rodgers
From the Show: Higher and Higher, 1940

I don't care if there's powder on my nose
I don't care if my hairdo is in place
I've lost the very meaning of repose
I never put a mudpack on my face

Oh who'd have thought that I'd walk in a daze
Now I never go to shows at night
But just to matinees
Now
I see the show, and home I go.

Once I laughed when I heard you saying
That I'd be playing solitaire
Uneasy in my easy chair
It never entered my mind

Once you told me I was mistaken
That I'd awaken with the sun
And order orange juice for one
It never entered my mind

You had what I lack, myself
And now I even have to scratch my back myself
Once, you warned me, that if you scorned me
I'd sing the maiden's prayer again
And wish that you were there again
To get into my hair again
It never entered my mind

You have what I lack, myself
And now I even have to scratch my back myself
Once, you warned me, that if you scorned me
I'd sing the maiden's prayer again
And wish that you were there again
To get into my hair again
It never entered my mind

Once you warned me that if you scorned me
I'd sing the maiden's prayer again
And wish that you were there again
To get into my hair again
It never entered my mind


It's Easy To Remember
~Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
~Music by Richard Rodgers
From the Film: Mississippi 1935

Your sweet expression, the smile you gave me, the way you looked when we met,
It's easy to remember, but so hard to forget.
I hear you whisper, I'll always love you, I know it's over and yet,
It's easy to remember, but so hard to forget.
So I must dream to have your hands caress me, fingers press me tight,
I'd rather dream than have that lonely feeling stealing through the night.
Each little moment is clear before me, and though it brings me regret,
It's easy to remember but so hard to forget.

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