The song of the day for Thursday, February 26, 2015 is “Two By Two.”
About This Song
“Two By Two” was written in 1965 by Richard Rodgers (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) for the musical Do I Hear a Waltz?, although the song was cut before the production opened on Broadway. Do I Hear a Waltz? was a difficult experience for both men. Rodgers long-time partner, Oscar Hammerstein II, had just died; Hammerstein’s dying wish was that Stephen Sondheim, whom Hammerstein had mentored for many years, collaborate with Rodgers on this piece. In addition, Mary Rodgers, Richard’s daughter, was a close friend of Sondheim and encouraged her father to use Sondheim as well. Rodgers and Sondheim were not able to form a trusting relationship; nor was Rodgers happy working with Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book. In spite of the issues, the production had a decent run of 220 performances and was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, but did not win.
About This Version
With this recording in early 1965, Tony Bennett’s version of “Two By Two” on If I Ruled The World was probably the first recording of this song. It’s a terrific, up-tempo number that was last song on the album, though a bonus track was added for the CD release later.
“Two By Two,” as well as If I Ruled The World: Songs for the Jet Set, is available from iTunes.