Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones | "My Cup Runneth Over" I Do I Do from "My Favorite Musical Theater Songs by Douglas Messerli

“My Cup Runneth Over”
Composers: Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones
Singers: Mary Martin and Robert Preson, 1966 (original cast recording)
Composers: Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones
Singer: Ed Ames, 1967
Composers: Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones
Singer: Perry Cuomo
Composers: Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones
Singers: Robert Goulet and Julie Andrews

I have to say that Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones 1966 musical, I Do, I Do! seemed even old-fashioned and fustian in 1966; but with the cast of Mary Martin and Robert Preston, under the direction of Gower Champion and the production of the masterful David Merrick what could go wrong. The musical went on to become a long-running hit, with many of its best songs such as “I Love My Wife,” wonderfully sung by Preston and, my favorite, “My Cup Runneth Over,” sung also by dozens of other interpreters such as Ed Ames, Perry Cuomo, and even Anita Bryant, making it a quite popular standard.
      Jan de Hartog’s play, The Fourposter, upon which it was based, was even a nostalgic and sentimental thing back in 1951. And Schmidt and Jones, noted for their minimalist productions with highly romantic music and lyrics were probably perfect for its transformation into musical history, but hardly lightened up the marital tearjerker.
     You’ll have to chalk it up to old age and the fact that Howard and I have been “married” for 47 years that “My Cup Runneth Over” still chokes me up every time I hear it. I can hardly bear with its corny use of Elizabethan-like language such as the word “runneth”; every time I hear it I also think of the time when a glass, sliding across our glass dining table due to a bit of water underneath, brought the quip from Howard: “my glass runneth over….there and there!” So there is laughter always just underneath my flowing tears. I believe it’s the final stanza that finally does it for me:

In only a moment we both will be old
We won't even notice the world turning cold
And so, in these moments with sunlight above
My cup runneth over with love
My cup runneth over with love
With love

     Howard and I now are old, and despite our countless difficulties, I guess we are still in love. So you’ll have to forgive this choice as simply a very personal one.

Los Angeles, September 27, 2017

No comments:

Post a Comment