Let Me Entertain You: The Top Ten Songs by Jule Styne

By Ben Rimalower
18 Jan 2014

7. "Small World" from Gypsy, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

"Small World" from Gypsy is another song where it's nearly impossible to extricate the music from the lyrics, due in no small part to the premiere craftsmanship of the great Stephen Sondheim. Still, Jule Styne's melody — even all by itself — is pretty perfect for the moment in the musical. The way the tune sort of dips its toes in before hitting full legato ("We have so much in common, it's a phenomenon. We could pool our resources, by joining forces, from now on. Lucky..."). Styne managed to write a piece of music that actually flirts!

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