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"Meadowlark" from The Baker's Wife

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

This page includes "Meadowlark Lyrics," "Meadowlark" CDs, "Meadowlark" sheet music, "Meadowlark" CD reviews

See also the main The Baker's Wife page

"Meadowlark" - Recordings

Cast Albums

  • The Baker's Wife [Original 1990 London Cast], Jay Records UK, 1999 Buy The Baker's Wife [new browser window]

    Baker's Wife cover with cat
    • Includes: Chanson, If It Wasn't For You, Merci Madame, Scene, Bread, Gifts of Love, Plain and Simple, Proud Lady, Look for the Woman, Serenade, Meadowlark, Buzz-a-Buzz, Opening, Any-Day-Now-Day, Endless Delights, The Luckiest Man in the World, Feminine Companionship, If I have to Live Alone, Romance, Where is the Warmth?, Scene Pompom's Return, Finale
  • The Baker's Wife [Original 1976 Broadway Cast], Take Home Tunes, 1997 The Baker's Wife [Original Soundtrack] [new browser window]
    • Includes: Chanson, Merci Madame, Gifts of Love, Proud Lady, Serenade, Meadowlark, Any-Day-Now-Day, Endless Delights, If I have to Live Alone, Where is the Warmth?, Finale

"Meadowlark" Recordings by solists or others

Read about Liz Callaway and her recording of "Meadowlark" (a Schwartz favorite)

Patti LuPone - Patti LuPone Live - (BMG/RCA Victor, 1993)
Patti Lu Pone Live [new browser window]

Includes Patti's concert version of "Meadowlark" and her comments about performing in "The Baker's Wife"

Compact disc cover: Betty Buckley - Childeren Will Listen.Betty Buckley - Children Will Listen
and The London Concert [Live] - (Sterling - Koch, 1993 and 1995) London Concert [new browser window] include Betty's very story-oriented performance of "Meadowlark"

More "Meadowlark"

"Meadowlark" Sheet Music

The 292-page Stephen Schwartz Songbook includes The Baker's Wife sheet music and others as Stephen plays them. "Meadowlark," "Proud Lady," "Where is the Warmth" "Chanson," Gifts of Love"

"Meadowlark" lyrics

(copyright by Grey Dog Music - All Rights Reserved)

WHAT DOES HE THINK I AM?
WHAT SORT OF A WEAK-WILLED SENTIMENTAL SHEEP
DOES HE THINK I AM?
WELL, I WON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT HIM,
I'LL JUST GO TO SLEEP! ...

WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?
WHO COULD BE AS HANDSOME
WHO COULD BE AS SMART AS HE THINKS HE IS?
HE JUST HAS TO SNAP HIS FINGERS
WOMEN FALL APART!
WHAT DOES HE THINK
THAT I'LL SLINK AWAY WITH HIM?
THAT I'LL FOLLOW HIM RIPE AND DROOLING?
WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS?
AND WHAT DOES HE THINK I AM?
AND WHO DO I THINK ...

(sighs)

I'M FOOLING?

WHEN I WAS A GIRL l I HAD A FAVORITE STORY
OF THE MEADOWLARK WHO LIVED WHERE THE RIVERS WIND
HER VOICE COULD MATCH THE ANGELS' IN ITS GLORY
BUT SHE WAS BLIND, THE LARK WAS BLIND
AN OLD KING CAME AND TOOK HER TO HIS PALACE
WHERE THE WALLS WERE BURNISHED BRONZE AND GOLDEN BRAID
AND HE FED HER FRUIT AND NUTS FROM AN IVORY CHALICE
AND HE PRAYED:

"SING FOR ME, MY MEADOWLARK,
SING FOR ME OF THE SILVER MORNING,
SET ME FREE, MY MEADOWLARK,
AND I'LL BUY YOU A PRICELESS JEWEL
AND CLOTH OF BROCADE AND CREWEL
AND I'LL LOVE YOU FOR LIFE,
IF YOU WILL SING FOR ME."

THEN ONE DAY AS THE LARK SANG BY THE WATER
THE GOD OF THE SUN HEARD HER IN HIS FLIGHT
AND HER SINGING MOVED HIM SO
HE CAME AND BROUGHT HER THE GIFT OF SIGHT
HE GAVE HER SIGHT
AND SHE OPENED HER EYES TO THE SHIMMER AND THE SPLENDOR
OF THIS BEAUTIFUL, YOUNG GOD, SO PROUD AND STRONG
AND HE CALLED TO THE LARK IN A VOICE BOTH ROUGH AND TENDER
"COME ALONG.
FLY WITH ME, MY MEADOWLARK,
FLY WITH ME ON THE SILVER MORNING,
PAST THE SEA WHERE THE DOLPHINS BARK
WE WILL DANCE ON THE CORAL BEACHES,
MAKE A FEAST OF THE PLUMS AND PEACHES
JUST AS FAR AS YOUR VISION REACHES
FLY WITH ME."

BUT THE MEADOWLARK SAID NO
FOR THE OLD KING LOVED HER SO
SHE COULDN'T BEAR TO WOUND HIS PRIDE
SO THE SUN GOD FLEW AWAY
AND WHEN THE KING CAME DOWN THAT DAY
HE FOUND HIS MEADOWLARK HAD DIED
EVERY TIME I HEARD THAT PART I CRIED ...

AND NOW I STAND HERE STARRY-EYED AND STORMY
OH, JUST WHEN I THOUGHT MY HEART WAS FINALLY NUMB
A BEAUTIFUL, YOUNG MAN APPEARS BEFORE ME,
SINGING "COME, OH, WON'T YOU COME?"
AND WHAT CAN I DO IF FINALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME
THE ONE I'M BURNING FOR RETURNS THE GLOW?
IF LOVE HAS COME AT LAST IT'S PICKED THE WORST TIME
STILL I KNOW
I'VE GOT TO GO


FLY AWAY, MEADOWLARK
FLY AWAY IN THE SILVER MORNING,
IF I STAY, I'LL GROW TO CURSE THE DARK
SO IT'S OFF WHERE THE DAYS WON'T BIND ME
I KNOW I LEAVE WOUNDS BEHIND ME
BUT I WON'T LET TOMORROW FIND ME
BACK THIS WAY
BEFORE MY PAST ONCE AGAIN CAN BLIND ME
FLY AWAY ...
AND WE WON'T WAIT
TO SAY GOOD-BYE
MY BEAUTIFUL YOUNG MAN
AND I.

Background info for "Meadowlark"

Background info (for those who haven't seen the show)

In response to a question about Meadowlark, Stephen Schwartz wrote this on his discussion forum at stephenschwartz.com:

"The character who sings the song, Genevieve, is married to an older man. The man is kind to her and she likes him, but she is not in love with him. She has settled for this marriage because of heartbreak in her past. Then, unexpectedly, she has met a handsome young man, a man her age, who seems to have fallen for her. She finds herself increasingly attracted to the young man, though she does her best to hide her attraction from him and herself. On this night, the young man is leaving town forever and asks her to come with him, telling her he loves her. But of course she knows if she does, it will break her husband's heart. The song "Meadowlark" is her struggle with this dilemma. She remembers a story she loved as a little girl, and sees in it now a metaphor for her situation -- in remembering it, she realizes what she thinks she must do, but it is a decision that is not easy for her."

Feature article on "Meadowlark"

'SING FOR ME, MY MEADOWLARK'-- Betty Buckley and Patti LuPone

by Shawn McCarthy

Since its debut in 1976, the irresistible "Meadowlark" from "The Baker's Wife" has become a particular favorite song within the musical theatre community. Among the many performers who sing this piece as part of their repertoire are such notables as Patti LuPone and Betty Buckley.

For both of these divas of the American stage, this song is not just another 'number' in their act but a signature song yet each interpretation is uniquely their own.

Betty Buckley's rendition is very dramatic, showing a range of emotions from great joy and jubilation to heartbreaking sadness. This contrast is particularly evident in the bridge where she slows down the tempo. The bridge itself is interesting in this version, because the lyric is different than on any other recording of the piece as well as the published sheet music. Specifically the line "But the Meadowlark said no, for the old king love her so" is changed in Betty's version to "But the Meadowlark declined, for her King had been so kind." The arrangement of the piece is also unique in that it is 'jazz' oriented with a rhythmic, driving feel to it through the use of percussion and the bass line. (This arrangement can also be heard on her live London recording.)

Betty Buckley has had a long history with this song. In fact, Stephen told a story about her interpretation of the song on Betty's special that aired on the Bravo network. Stephen heard her sing this song a number of years ago where she had changed a note (specifically lowered one little note) near the beginning of the song. He liked what he heard however. So much so that when it came time to publish the sheet music, he changed the original note he had written to her lower note, as he now preferred it to the original.

Patti LuPone's rendition on both the Original Cast recording of the Baker's Wife (she was, after all, the original Genevieve opposite Paul Sorvino in 1976) and on her "Patti LuPone - Live" CD, although not as dramatically conceived as Buckley's, is certainly compelling, displaying her powerful 'chest voice' and beautiful phrasing. Patti's diction in her singing of "Meadowlark" is clear and crisp ensuring that the listener catches every word of Stephen's thoughtful lyric. When singing this song, Patti uses the original arrangement--a gorgeous flowing piano accompaniment, which, on its own, is a wonderful piece of music.

Whether you prefer Patti or Betty (or another performer altogether), "Meadowlark" remains an incredible 'story' song that not only works beautifully within the plot of the Baker's Wife but has become a special song for performers and musical theatre fans around the world.

Patti LuPone: [Original 1976 Broadway Cast], Take Home Tunes, 1997 The Baker's Wife [Original Soundtrack] [new browser window]

Read about Carole Demas and her experience with the song. The Baker's Wife original "Genevieve" - Carole Demas

Sheet Music

Don't miss the new Stephen Schwartz Songbook including The Baker's Wife songs as Stephen plays them.

Selections Selections from the Baker's Wife: A...(Opens new browser window to Amazon.com [new browser window].

Meadowlark (Scored For: Piano/Vocal), If I Have to Live Alone, Where is the Warmth

Review of "The Baker's Wife" score

by Ed Heaberlin - May 17, 2000 11:23

I am a little baffled over the misunderstandings of the wonderful musical. If a person sat in the theatre and only saw someone call a cat a slut or dislikable people singing about bread, they did not see what I invision to be the production of The Baker's Wife. The Baker's Wife is this wonderful musical about finding personal fullfillment by accepting who you are, by accepting love and how it is given to you, and by accepting personal responsibility in relationships. I just think this musical is misunderstood.

The music in the show is some of Schartz's finest. Beautiful harmonies. Some of the most tender ballads ever written for musical theatre and all some people see is a man calling a cat a slut. DUH! The cat is a metaphor for him talking about his relationship with his wife. He addresses the animal because it is easier to handle that way. She even says "She will not leave" - something like that.

I can not wait till I have the oportunity to direct this show. I have had it in my consideration stack for several years. Oh well. The Baker's Wife is a WONDERFUL show! --eheaberlin@victor.cc.ca.us

Comment by John Heaton - May 11, 2000

I've never seen the show; I've only heard the Take Home Tunes soundtrack album. But judging only on that, I rank it as one of my favorite scores. johnheaton@yahoo.com