Top Ten Revisited: Songs by Stephen Sondheim

By Ben Rimalower
22 Mar 2014

7. "Anyone Can Whistle"

 



 

Did I say "You Could Drive A Person Crazy" was the quintessential Sondheim song? I take it back! "Anyone Can Whistle" is the quintessential Sondheim song, and another one that bucks bogus generalizations once erroneously lobbed at his work — that his songs are hard, cold, urbane and lacking in feeling. On the contrary, it's difficult to listen to "Anyone Can Whistle" without hearing nakedly personal confession from the (then) young songwriter struggling to reach out beyond his limitations. It's a perfect metaphor and its rich poetry is set to a yearning tune. You hear it once and you understand it completely. Listen to it a hundred times and there's still more to ponder.

 Continued...