DIVA TALK: "Lost" Tim Rice Lyric for "Memory

DIVA TALK: "Lost" Tim Rice Lyric for "Memory Hi all! Following are some lyrics I thought all the Betty and Elaine fans might be interested in.

Hi all! Following are some lyrics I thought all the Betty and Elaine fans might be interested in.

When Andrew Lloyd Webber was planning to embark on the musicalization of T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, he asked his Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar,/i> and Joseph . . . collaborator, Tim Rice, if he would be interested in working with him on the project.

Rice initially declined, and Webber went to Trevor Nunn to see if he would be interested in writing the one new set of lyrics for the Grizabella character. Nunn accepted, unbeknownst to Rice, who had changed his mind, and written his own version of "Memory."

So, now there were two versions of this song, one of which would be sung by Elaine Paige in the original London production (and Tony winner Betty Buckley in the Broadway cast). Paige learned both sets of lyrics, and then Webber decided to go with Nunn's version. However, on opening night, it is reported that Paige ended up singing bits from each lyric.

I had a read a piece of Rice's lyrics a few years back in a book about Andrew Lloyd Webber, and last week I finally got a copy of Tim Rice's complete version, which I think are wonderful. They're a bit darker, but quite beautiful. Mr. Rice has asked that if I post them, to also include this quote from him: "I now see why they were rejected!" And, here they are:

"Memory" by Tim Rice

Street lights
And the darkness between them
Like the good and the bad sides
Of a life almost done.
Shake the memory
All my passions returning to me
None forgotten
No, not one.

One life
Is there only the one life
That we lose in the living
In an endless decline?
No complaining
For no one else has seen what I've seen
One existence
Only mine

Don't look back no don't look back
So hard to heed that warning
Such temptation but the past is past
And the night makes way for morning

Daylight
I won't care if it finds me
With no breath in my body
With no beat in my heart
For I'm certain
That now I know what happiness is
Wish I'd known that
From the start

Touch me
Is there no one to touch me
It was easy to love me
In my glamorous past
As I leave you
A shadow of the light I once was
May my memory
Sleep at last

Let me know what you think. Well, that's all for now. Happy diva-watching!

-- By Andrew Gans
(My e-mail address is andrew_gans@playbill.com.)