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Wicked Lyrics - "Thank Goodness" with Comments by Stephen Schwartz


Lyrics from the Broadway Musical Wicked

See Lyrics below, after commentary about the origins of the song "Thank Goodness."

About "Thank Goodness"

"Thank Goodness" started out as "Happy Healing Day," an earlier take on a second act opening number. The citizens were healing from the stress of always having to be on the lookout for the Wicked Witch. Here's composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz's explanation of his process:

From issue 2 of The Schwartz Scene newsletter COPYRIGHT PROTECTED

From Stephen Schwartz
December 30th, 2000

I am sitting here watching what looks as if it is going to be a record amount of snowfall white-out the sky and make a bleak but beautiful monochromatic wilderness of my yard. Since my house is warm enough and I have a fire going and enough food for a couple of days, this gives me a feeling of coziness and, yes, smugness. But I what I like best about it is that, forced to be a shut-in, I have no choice but to do the work I have assigned myself on WICKED.

I am just finishing the opening number for the second act. All of the lyrics for the number are done, and I have just a little more music to solve in the middle of the number to complete it, or at least this first draft of it. I am determined to have it finished by the end of the year, tomorrow -- an arbitrary deadline, true, but one which I feel intensely enough to be sure I meet.

Uncharacteristically, I have found I am often writing lyrics before music on this project. Perhaps that is because the story of WICKED is so intricate and complex, I have to be sure each song is telling not just a story, but the exact right story. Sometimes this is challenging. This opening for Act Two is a case in point. Act One ends with the transformation of the leading character into the Wicked Witch of the West we have come to know (and love), and Act Two opens some months later. We want to find out how her fame, or rather infamy, has spread throughout Oz.

I spent several weeks compiling material for a chorus number in which various rumors and exaggerations about her would be exchanged. I had pages and pages of lyric ideas and musical sketches. Yet every time I tried to write the actual number, something stopped me. The tone felt wrong. It kept feeling as if I had suddenly slipped into the world of children's theatre, and it lacked the subtextual richness and satiric bite that we think we have found for the first act. Finally, after a long discussion with Winnie Holzman, my collaborator who is writing the book for WICKED, we discovered that it was the wrong event for the number. There was no story context, and thus the number was quickly telling us something we more or less already knew and then was simply marking time.

We decided to have the people of Emerald City gathering not simply to gossip about the Wicked Witch, but for a specific purpose -- to watch the celebrities arrive for the fabulous engagement party of Glinda, who has recently been named Good Witch of the North. Since we also know the character she is becoming engaged to and have feelings about him, it gives a strong forward push to the story. Within this context, the people can still worry about the Wicked Witch arriving to spoil the celebration, and they can gossip and exchange misinformation about her, but there is immediately a more sardonically comic tone to the scene.

Once this discovery was made, I have been able to write the number relatively quickly. I have no doubt that there are other writers who could have made the original idea work, but I couldn't do it. Likewise, I'm sure there are writers who would not have liked the context we chose, but it worked for me. This is one of the things that is endlessly fascinating to me about the writing process: how individual each writer's response to material is.

The goal for Winnie and me is to have a draft of the second act -- book and at least the most important numbers, plus re-writes of the first act -- completed in time for a reading in Los Angeles at the end of February. Is this another arbitrary deadline? Absolutely. But it is those deadlines that, at least for me, make it possible for me to get the work done. Otherwise, I would procrastinate forever. For the next Quarterly, I should be able to report on how the reading went and what our next goal for WICKED is.

The snow is still falling heavily and swirling enough to discourage anyone with any sense from venturing out. So I am going to close now and march myself off to the piano and get that damn number finished!

Best to all of you for the new year, Stephen

---- copyright by Carol de Giere, editor, The Schwartz Scene (Do not reproduce without permission)

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"Thank Goodness"

by Stephen Schwartz (copyrighted)

Ev'ry day, more wicked!
Ev'ry day, the terror grows!
All of Oz is ever on alert!
That's the way with Wicked -
Spreading fear where e'er she goes
Seeking out new victims she can hurt!

Like some terrible green blizzard
Throughout the land she flies:

Defaming our poor Wizard
With her calumnies and lies!

She lies!
Save us from the Wicked!
Shield us so we won't be hexed!
Give us warning:
Where will she strike next?
Where will she strike next?
Where will she strike next!?

(spoken) Fellow Ozians - as terrifying as terror is, let us put
aside our panic for this one day: and celebrate!
(sung) Oh what a celebration
We'll have today

Thank Goodness!

Let's have a celebration
The Glinda way!

Thank Goodness!

Fin'lly a day that's
Totally Wicked-Witch free!

We couldn't be happier
Thank Goodness!

(Yes) -
We couldn't be happier,
Right, dear?
Couldn't be happier
Right here
Look what we've got
A fairy-tale plot
Our very own happy ending
Where we couldn't be happier -
True, dear?
Couldn't be happier
And we're happy to share
Our ending vicariously
With all of you
He couldn't look handsomer
I couldn't feel humbler
We couldn't be happier
Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true!

MORRIBLE(spoken) And Glinda dear, we're happy for you! As Press
Secretary, I have striven to ensure that all of Oz
knows the story of your braverism:

(sung) The day you were first summoned
To an audience with OzAnd although he would not tell you why initially
When you bowed before his throne
He decreed you'd hence be known
As Glinda the Good - officially!

Then with a jealous squeal
The Wicked Witch burst from concealment
Where she had been lurking -surrpetitially!

I hear she has an extra eye
That always remains awake
I hear that she can shed her skin
As easily as a snake!
I hear some rebel Animals
Are giving her food and shelter!
I hear her soul is so unclean
Pure water can melt her!


Melt her!?
Please - somebody go and melt her!

(spoken) Do you hear that - water will melt her?! People
are so empty-headed, they'll believe anything!

(spoken) Fiyero! Oh - yes, thanks plenty, dearest! He's gone to
fetch me a refreshment. He's so thoughtful that way!

(sung) That's why I couldn't be happier
No, I couldn't be happier
Though it is, I admit
The tiniest bit
Unlike I anticipated
But I couldn't be happier
Simply couldn't be happier
(spoken) Well - not "simply":
(sung) 'Cause getting your dreams
It's strange, but it seems
A little - well - complicated
There's a kind of a sort of : cost
There's a couple of things get: lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn't know you crossed
Until you've crossed...

And if that joy, that thrill
Doesn't thrill you like you think it will
Still -
With this perfect finale
The cheers and ballyhoo
Wouldn't be happier?
So I couldn't be happier
Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true
Well, isn't it?
Happy is what happens
When your dreams come true!

We love you, Glinda, if we may be so frank

Thank Goodness!

For all this joy, we know who we've got to thank:
Thank Goodness!
That means the Wizard, Glinda:

And fiance!

They couldn't be goodlier
She couldn't be lovelier
We couldn't be luckier

I couldn't be happier
CROWDThank Goodness:

(Thank Goodness for today!)


See details about the sheet music: Wicked Sheet music for "Thank Goodness" and all Wicked songs

Back to Wicked lyrics index

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