Wikia

LyricWiki

Stephen Sondheim:Putting It Together Lyrics

Talk0
2,671,769pages on
this wiki
Stephen Sondheim This song is performed by Stephen Sondheim.
Harriet
I mean, I don't understand completely-

Billy
I'm not surprised.

Harriet
But he combines all these different trends.

Billy
I'm not surprised.

Harriet
You can't divide art today
Into categories neatly

Billy
Oh

Harriet
What matters is the means, not the ends

Billy
I'm not surprised

Both
That is the state of the art, my dear,
That is the state of the art.

Greenburg
It's not enough knowing good from rotten

Redmond
You're telling me-

Greenburg
When something new pops up every day

Redmond
You're telling me-

Greenburg
It's only new, though, for now-

Redmond
Nouveau

Greenburg
But yesterday's forgotten

Redmond
And tomorrow is already as passé

Greenburg
There's no surprise

Both
That is the state of the art, my friend,
That is the state of the art

Betty
He's an original

Alex
Was...

Naomi
I like the images

Alex
Some

Betty
Come on
You had your moment,
Now it's George's turn-

-------Voice Over Voice-------
Alex, Betty, Naomi
It's George's turn?
I wasn't talking turns,
Don't you think he's original?
Well, yes...
I'm talking art.
You're talking crap.
But is it really new?
Well, no...
His own collaborator-!
It's more than novelty.
Well, yes...
It's all promotion, but then-
It's just impersonal, but-
That is the state of the art,
Isn't it? Well...
------End Voice Over Voice------

Billy
Art isn't easy-

Harriet
Even when you've amassed it-

Betty
Fighting for prizes-

Greenburg
No one can be an oracle

Redmond
Art isn't easy

Alex
Suddenly-
You're past it

Naomi
All compromises-

Harriet
And then when it's allegorical-

All
Art isn't easy-
Any way you look at it.

George
All right, George
As long as it's your night, George...
You know what's in the room, George.
Another Chromolume, George.
It's time to get to work...

Greenburg (spoken)
George, I want you to meet one of our board members.
This is Harriet Pawling.

Harriet (spoken)
What a pleasure.
And this is my friend, Billy Webster.

Billy (spoken)
How do you do.

Greenburg (spoken)
Well, I'll just leave you three to chat.

Harriet (spoken)
This is the third piece of yours I've seen.
They are getting so large!

George
Say "cheese;' George,
And put them et their ease George.
You're up on the trapeze, George.
Machines don't grow on trees, George.
Start putting it together...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

George
Art isn't easy-
Even when You're hot.

Billy (spoken)
Are these inventions of yours one of a kind?

George
Advancing art is easy-
Yes.
Financing it is not.
A vision's just a vision
If it's only in your head.
If no one gets to see it,
It's as good as dead.
If has to come to light!
(spoken) I put the names of my contributors on the side of each machine.

Harriet (spoken)
How clever.

George
Bit by bit,
Putting it together...
Piece by Piece-
Only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just a vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution:
Putting it together-
That's what counts!

Harriet (spoken)
The Board of the Foundation is meeting next week...

George
Ounce by ounce,
Putting it together...

Harriet (spoken)
You'll come to lunch.

George
Small amounts,
Adding up to make a work of art.
First of all you need a good foundation,
Otherwise it's risky from the start.
Takes a little cocktail conversation,
But without the proper preparation,
Having just a vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution.
The art of making art
Is putting it together
Bit by bit...

Redmond (spoken)
We haven't met. Charles Redmond, County Museum of Texas. Wanted you to know we're in the process of giving out some sizable commissions-I hope you don't mind my bringing up business during a social occasion...

George
Link by link,
Making the connections...
Drink by drink
Fixing and perfecting the design.
Adding just a dab of politician
Knowing where to draw the line.
Lining up the funds but in addition
Lining up a prominent commission,
Otherwise your perfect composition
Isn't going to get much exhibition.
Art isn't easy.
Every minor detail
Is a major decision,
Have to keep things in scale,
Have to hold to your vision-
Every time I start to feel defensive,
I remember lasers are expensive.
What's a little cocktail conversation
If it gets the funds for your foundation,
Leading to a prominent commission,
And an exhibition in addition?

All
Art isn't easy-

Alex and Betty
Trying to make connections-

All
Who understands it-?

Harriet and Billy
Difficult to evaluate-

All
Art isn't easy-

Greenburg and Redmond
Trying to form collections-

All
Always in transit-

Naomi
And then when you have to collaborate!

All
Art isn't easy,
Any way you look at it...

Randolph (spoken)
George, hello. Lee Randolph. I handle the public relations for the museum. There's a lot of opportunity for some nice press here...

George
Dot by dot,
Building up the image.
Shot by shot,
Keeping at a distance doesn't pay.
Still, if you remember your objective,
Not give all your privacy away,
A little bit of hype can be effective,
Long as you can keep it in perspective.
After all, without some recognition
No one's going to give you a commission,
Which will cause a crack in your foundation,
And you'll have wasted all of that conversation.
Art isn't easy.
Even if you're smart.
You think it's all put together,
But then something falls apart
Art isn't easy.
Overnight you're a trend,
You're the right combination-
Then the trend's at an end,
You're suddenly last year's sensation.
So you should support the competition,
Try to set aside your own ambition,
Even when you jockey for position.
If you feel a sense of coalition,
Then you never really stand alone.
If you want your work to reach fruition,
What you need's a link with your tradition,
And of course a prominent commission,
Plus a little formal recognition,
So that you can go on exhibit-
So that your work can go on exhibition-

Blair (spoken)
There's the man of the hour.

George (spoken)
Blair! Hello. I read your piece on Neo-Expressionism-

Blair (spoken)
Good for you.

George (spoken)
Well, what did you think?

Blair (spoken)
George. Chromolume number 7?

Blair (spoken)
I was hoping it would be a series of three - four at the most.

-------Voice Over Voice-------
George
Be nice, George...
You have to pay a price, George...
They like to give advice, George
Don't think about it twice George...
(spoken) I disagree

Blair (spoken)
I have touted your work from
the beginning, you know that.
You were really on to something
with these light machine-once.
Now they're just becoming more
and more about less and less.
------End Voice Over Voice------

Blair (spoken)
Now don't get me wrong. You're a talented guy. But I think you are capable of far more. Not that you couldn't succeed by doing Chromolume after Chromolume - but there are new discoveries to be made, George.

George
Be new, George.
They tell you till they're blue, George:
You're new or else you're through, George,
And even if it's true, George-
You do what you can do...
Bit by bit,
Putting it together.
Piece by piece.
Working out the vision night and day.
All it takes is time and perseverance,
With a little luck along the way,
Putting in a personal appearance,
Gathering supporters and adherents...

Harriet
But he combines all these different trends...

George
Mapping out the right configuration,
Starting with a suitable foundation...

Betty
He's an original...

Alex
Was...

George
Lining up a prominent commission-
And an exhibition in addition-
Here a little dab of politician-
There a little touch of publication-
Till you have a balanced composition-
Everything depends on preparation-
Even if you do have the suspicion
That it's taking all your concentration-

-------Voice Over Voice-------
Betty and Alex
I like those images.
Some
They're just his personal response.
To what?
The painting!
Bullshit. Anyway, the painting's
overrated...
Overrated? It's a masterpiece!
A masterpiece? Historically
important maybe-
Oh, now you're judging Seurat,
are you?
All it is is pleasant, just like
George's work:
It's just your jealousy of
George's work:
No nuance, no response, no relevance-
There's nuance, and there's response,
there's relevance-
There's not much point in arguing.
Besides, it's all promotion, but then-
There's not much point in arguing.
You say it's all promotion, but then-

Greenburg
It's only new, though. for now,
And yesterday's forgotten.
Today it's all a matter of promotion,
But then-

Redmond
Nouveau.
And yesterday's forgotten.
Today it's all a matter of promotion,
But then-

Harriet
You can't divide art today.
Go with it.
What will they think of next?

Billy
I'm not surprised.
What will they think of next?

Others
Most art today
Is a matter of promotion, but then-

All
That is the state of the art,
And art isn't easy...

George
The art of making art
Is putting it together-
Bit by bit-
Link by link-
Drink by drink-
Mink by mink-
-------End Voice Over Voice-------

All
And that
Is the state
Of the
Art!

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki