Song Lyric Sunday: Elevator Music – ‘Send In The Clowns’

This week’s Song Lyric challenge is an interesting one: ‘elevator music’. I know what Jim means but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

On first reading this challenge I was reminded of the great Robin Williams film ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. As I remember it, until Robin’s character burst onto the scene the forces radio station was playing bland, anodyne – well, garbage, to put it bluntly.

I think one of the featured ‘artistes’ was the teeth-clenching Ray Conniff – a man with no fear whatsoever of sucking the life and meaning out of any good song in the interests of ‘easy listening’.

Anyway, here is a very fine song: ‘Send In The Clowns’, from the Stephen Sondheim musical ‘A Little Night Music’

Isn’t it rich? Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground and you in mid-air
Send in the clowns

Isn’t it bliss? Don’t you approve?
One who keeps tearing around and one who can’t move
But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns

Just when I stopped opening doors
Finally finding the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair

Sure of my lines
Nobody’s there

Don’t you love a farce? My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want, sorry my dear
But where are the clowns? 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
But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns
Well, maybe next year

Written by Stephen Sondheim

Now, if you must, listen to Ray Conniff reduce it to elevator music. Or, if you prefer (recommended), cut straight to Dame Judi Dench not so much singing as performing it.

Which one would you rather listen to twice? Even in an elevator.

Song Lyric Sunday 16 May 2021

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