Something Wonderful: Top Ten Songs by Rodgers & Hammerstein

By Ben Rimalower
01 Feb 2014

 

 

5. "What's the Use of Wond'rin" from Carousel

"What's the Use of Wond'rin" is a somewhat eclectic choice, given the other, more famous, songs from Carousel, but I'm in good company as it was included by no less than Stephen Sondheim on his list of songs he wishes he'd written. A lot of responsibility falls on this little ode, particularly in contemporary revivals of Carousel, as Julie must justify for the audience why she still loves the man who hit her. Rodgers' folky, plaintive tune and Hammerstein's conversational introspection perfectly capture not only the character of Julie, but a real kernel of humanity, as demonstrated beautifully in recordings by such diverse artists as Bernadette Peters and even punk cabaret superstar Amanda Palmer.

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