Isn’t it rich? Are we a pair? Me here at last on the ground You in mid-air Send in the clowns

Isn’t it rich?

Are we a pair?

Me here at last on the ground

 Send in the clowns

Isn’t it bliss?

Don’t you approve?

One who keeps tearing around

One who can’t move

Where are the clowns?

Send in the clowns

Just when I stopped

Opening doors

Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours

Making my entrance again with my usual flair

Sure of my lines

No one is there

Don’t you love a farce?

My fault, I fear

I thought that you’d want what I want

Sorry my dear

But where are the clowns?

Send in the clowns

Don’t bother

They’re here

Isn’t it rich?

Isn’t it queer?

Losing my timing this late

In my career

Where are the clowns?

There ought to be clowns

Well, maybe next year


Any of us who have passed through a tumultuous relationship has had moments like this. Send in the Clowns, most eloquently captures the true essence of a relationship out of balance. It will probably be the song Stephen will be most remembered for, but I would share that there are many wonderful songs that he wrote that might compete for that crowning achievement, if voted from an audience fully familiar with his work.

Stephen Sondheim was truly one of America’s greatest songwriters ever. He passed away at 91 years old over the holiday and it was important to me to take a moment to acknowledge him in my musing.

A writer believes that with proper thought and inspiration, they can bring anything of quality and value to life. I would agree that that is mostly true, the operational words would be quality or value? Writing is easy, you just put words together that express something you are thinking and that becomes the writing process. But when you are writing libretto for a Broadway musical, it is an entirely different beast. Not only is there music, complete with melody and harmony and rhythm, but there is also a precision to making a concise point in a song with so few words to get that message across. Then there is the cadence and rhyme component.

A couple decades ago, I had an aspiration to write such a libretto and it was the work of Stephen Sondheim that gave me courage to try. I got through about 12 songs before I convinced myself that I needed more tutoring before I could take on such a project. But I learned so much from trying it, and became that much more impressed with how his writing could say so much, with so little. There is truly a magic to brevity.

My favorite Stephen Sondheim musical is Sweeney Todd. It breaks all form and turns the musical into a much more rich form of viewing experience. He was incredibly adept at story, character, and his libretto was nothing short of true genius. I invite you to watch a track from Sweeney Todd…Try the priest. If you understand the story of the opera (Sweeny Todd has become the demon barber of Fleet Street, and is wrestling with what to do with the bodies after he has offed them in his barber’s chair… Mrs. Lovett hatches an idea for what could be done with the bodies using her pie shop, downstairs below Sweeny’s Barber Shop.

Happy Saturday and here’s to you, Stephen Sondheim, thank you for bringing so many moments of true joy to my life!

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share
Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!