Friday, November 15, 2019

When You Love, Love, Love

This song for the Tin Woodman, "When You Love, Love, Love," was one of the first songs written by L. Frank Baum and Paul Tietjens for The Wizard of Oz. The melody came effortlessly to Tietjens, who said it was written "in less than an hour."

The song was probably the most popular of the Baum and Tietjens numbers. It is the most common of the song sheets published by M. Witmark and Sons, and it was the only Baum/Tietjens song to be recorded as a stand-alone single, by Zonophone Records in 1903. You can listen to that recording on the Grammy Award-nominated 2-CD set Vintage Recordings from the 1903 Wizard of Oz.

In Baum's earliest version of the song it is a solo for the Tin Woodman and features a second verse that didn't make it into the produced show.
'Tis vain, indeed, to intercede
When love is onward rushing.
Though each gallant may rave and rant
And ev'ry maid be blushing.
Disaster might the world affright
Or earthquakes quite overthrow it, —
We all might go to Jericho
And not a lover know it!
There's little need to intercede
When love is onward rushing.
For each gallant will rave and rant
And maids be coyly blushing!
For the Chicago and all later performances the song became a trio. The Tin Woodman still sang the first verse and chorus, but Dorothy was given a new comically cynical verse to sing, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman joining in the chorus to finish the the song as a trio.

Vintage Broadway has published its own recording of "When You Love, Love, Love" on our YouTube channel. Please check it out.

The orchestration for the YouTube video shared above was created by James Patrick Doyle and David Maxine for their reconstruction of the score circa 1999-2000, before the original Witmark orchestra parts were discovered.

The Doyle/Maxine orchestration is in some ways closer to the performance version than the Witmark "stock" parts, as it includes the Tin Woodman's "Reuben and Cynthia" introduction to the song.
Cynthia, Cynthia, I've been thinking,
What an awful thing it was,
To be without a heart, but now
I'll get it from the Wizard of Oz!
"Reuben and Cynthia" was a hit song from the 1891 musical A Trip to Chinatown featuring music by Percy Gaunt and lyrics by Charles H. Hoyt.

The Tin Woodman's four line intro is a topical jest by Glen Macdonough, the popular musical theatre librettist brought in to punch up Baum's script. Macdonough's musical joke plays on several levels. The Tin Woodman's former fiancee is named Cynthia Cynch. So the Tin Woodman's little jingle instantly moves the plot forward as the audience learns that Nick Chopper (the Tin Woodman) is Cynthia's long-lost lover.

But "Reuben and Cynthia" is also one of a vast array of musical theatre references, jokes, and send-ups that Macdonough sprinkled throughout The Wizard of Oz. There is  a subtler inside-joke, too, in that A Trip to Chinatown, was directed by Julian Mitchell.

A Trip to Chinatown was one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history, and the song is still well remembered today—though few probably know that it is from a stage show.

You might like to listen to a full-length performance of "Reuben and Cynthia" from the wonderful album I Wants to Be a Actor Lady (1978).

Copyright © 2019 David Maxine. All rights reserved.

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