This week’s column, which first appeared on Broadsheet on Monday November 29th marks a change of pace for me… no politics at all, be it Irish, european, US or UK. Instead I opted to write about the late Stephen Sondheim, whose death was announced on Friday Nov 26th. I have also created a Spotify Playlist to accompany this column. It includes songs mentioned here, plus a few other personal favourites.
As you can tell from the title, this week’s column will differ from my usual offering. No politics this week.
This is not the column I was planning on Friday afternoon. That one, which will likely resurface next week, dealt with my usual flair, Irish politics.
The news on Friday night that Stephen Sondheim had died, aged 91, changed that.
This is not an obituary, potted biography, mawkish tribute, or amateur analysis of Sondheim’s towering contribution. How could I compete the many great tributes that have appeared in recent days, including this excellent 2013 article by Frank Rich which the New York magazine re-ran on Friday?
What I offer instead is a personal reflection, an explanation of why Sondheim’s music and words has made me laugh and cry more easily and more frequently than almost any other writer, never mind composer.