Words: Grant Clarke
Music: James Hanley
Arr. by: Merv Rowley, 2010
Our selection this month is the well-known Broadway tune from the Ziegfeld
Follies of 1921, Second Hand Rose, with words and music by the relatively
unknown Grant Clarke, lyricist, and James Hanley, composer. The producer of the Follies
was Florenz "Flo" Ziegfeld, who had been producing such musical extravaganzas since
1907, featuring glamorous chorus girls, singing and group dancing in gorgeous
(an idea he had borrowed from the Folies Bergère in
Paris). The song itself is a comical farce, telling the story of a young
girl whose father owns a dealership in used merchandise, and how this fact affects her life.
This unusual kind of song seems incongruous as part of a
glamorous music production, but was chosen by Ziegfeld for good reason. The years 1920 -1921
were a period of economic recession in America, following the end of WWI in
1918. Times were hard and jobs were scarce, Something was needed to add
humor to daily life. The idea of featuring a business dealing in used merchandise
of all kinds occurred to Ziegfeld, and it was successful!
The song was sung by a young actress whose stage name was Fanny Brice, who was
already a budding star. She performed Second hand Rose to perfection, complete
with ethnic accent. She later rose to fame as an actress and singer on stage, in
films and on radio. Eventually, Hollywood made a film called
Funny Girl, a re-enactment of Fanny Brice's performance in 1921. The film starred Barbra
Streisand as Fanny, co-starring Omar Sharif.
About the Music
In many ways, Second Hand Rose represents a transition in American
music as the Tin Pan Alley and Ragtime eras came to a close. "Rose" has elements of both
ragtime and blues as American music was heading into the "jazz" era.
This tune is obviously meant to be sung, preferably solo.
The music itself, with occasional simple chord fills is merely for background,
and should not drown out the lyrics. It is even acceptable for the lyrics to
be recited rather than sung. Here is an opportunity for all you would-be Fanny
Brices to do your thing before an audience. At least today we have powerful
mikes, amps and speaker systems to project from stages...
such was not the case in 1921!
Your 1-3-5 Team
Second Hand Rose.pdf
Second Hand Rose.mid
Second Hand Rose.tef
Fanny Brice sings
"Rose" - search www.YouTube.com
sheet music can be found in a search at: http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/
About Fanny Brice: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Brice
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