However, I have to be honest, I feel a bit silly at the joy I felt last night when I was reading. I'm reading an autobiography - Tim Rice. It gave me no end of pleasure to read his admiration of Alan J. Lerner and to see My Fair Lady cited as the first musical score that had any influence over him. This is really a product of my own need for hero-worship, rather than it being an exciting thing in itself. Late last year, I had proclaimed Mr Rice the ultimate lyricist and decided that it would be a good thing to aspire to achieve Rice-esque greatness. Then, I went to see My Fair Lady in January and listened to the lyrics... intently! I immediately declared Alan Lerner the true divine-being and made the assumption that Tim Rice had been influenced by him.
In truth, both Lerner and Rice have produced flawed works. In addition, it's unlikely that Tim Rice's mind works in constant emulation of anyone. Some people just have a knack with words and can hear what makes a good lyric. Perhaps one day I'll become one of them. I'm currently listening to Sondheim - there is a wordsmith and a half. Having said that, I can see flaws in his writing too. But why look for flaws. It's so much better to pass over the flaws and jump up in glee at a good rhyme, or a good line in a book.
In time I will come to forgive Jim Steinman for some of the shocking lyrics in Whistle Down The Wind... in fact, when I go to see that again, I will take notes of the dodgy lines and see if we can't fix them.