Cocktail Music: I’m Just a Girl That Cain’t Say No
Getting inspired by New York Magazine‘s profile on the life and work of Stephen Sondheim called “The Sondheim Puzzle,” we were fascinated by his relationship to Oscar Hammerstein II and his music:
What was most striking to me, however, was his love for Oscar Hammerstein II, the surrogate father he found as a teenager when his mother and the Hammerstein family were neighbors in the summer enclave of Bucks County. I had never quite understood how Sondheim, the most urbane and least sentimental of lyricists, could identify with someone who wrote “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ ” and “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.” Steve explained that it wasn’t Hammerstein’s lyrics that mattered to him so much as his “huge and imaginative and exploratory” vision as a librettist. Two Hammerstein musicals—Show Boat, which opened on Broadway three years before Steve was born, and Oklahoma!, which arrived just as Steve was entering his teens—were among the first major efforts to push a frivolous theatrical form into more serious dramatic territory.
We wanted to highlight one of Hammerstein’s classic songs from Oklahoma the playful “I Cain’t Say No.”
Check out some videos after the jump…