EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE SONDHEIM
Words and Music by Alan Chapman

Everybody wants to be Sondheim but me.
Everybody wants to be Sondheim but me.

So they try to write a melody
That goes somewhere unexpectedly
'Cause they think that's how you get to be
Like Sondheim.

Listen as they hammer out one chord.
Listen as they hammer it 'til everybody's bored.
That's the way they pray to their lord,
Mr. Sondheim.

And they pack their lyrics 'til they're so damn dense
You could put 'em in your yard and you could use 'em for a fence,
And they honestly believe that they have captured the sense
Of Sondheim.

Well, I want to be Oscar Hammerstein.
I want to be Cole Porter.
What's wrong if a song is prettier
And clearer and shorter?

Everybody wants to be Sondheim but me.
Everybody wants to be Sondheim but me.

And so they offer no relief
From Sturm and Drang and angst and grief,
And all their pain is never brief,
Oh, no.

Listen as they hammer out one chord.
Listen 'til you're ready for a lunatic ward.
No wonder Sweeney Todd went out of his gourd,
Mr. Sondheim.

Where you goin'?
Goin' bananas.
Oh.

I want to be Richard Rodgers.
I want to be Jerry Herman.
So what if I'm writing songs
For the ghost of Ethel Merman.
(She's got rhythm.)

Everybody wants to be Sondheim today.
But I don't want to be Sondheim - no way.
I don't want to write another Sunday in the Park.
I don't want to write the next Into the Woods.
I admire his style,
But his style is his, not mine.

And yet the epidemic can't be curbed.
Even Stephen would be disturbed
To see what he has spawned universally.
'Cause everybody wants to be Sondheim.
Everybody wants to finish the hat.
Everybody wants to be Sondheim but...yours truly.

Everybody wants to assault your ear.
Don't send in the clones - they're already here.
Everybody wants to be Sondheim,
Primed every time to rhyme internally,
Everyone's coming up Sondheim but me.


1992 by Alan Chapman
All Rights Reserved

TO DISCOGRAPHY