ADDoration Ministries
Friday, July 30, 2021
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

Richard Rodger's 2 lyricists


A number of artistic type persons show evidence of ADD; however it cannot be proven with those of the past.

A classic example is Lorenz Hart, who was Richard Rodgers's lyricist partner for approximately twenty years (before Rodgers teamed up with Oscar Hammerstein II).

Hart's lyrics were a genius. Here are three examples:

"I'm wild again, beguiled again, a simpering whimpering child again. Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I."

"My funny valentine, sweet comic valentine, you make me smile with my heart. Your looks are laughable, unphotographable, yet you're my favorite work of art."
"Don't change your hair for me, not if you care for me, stay little valentine, stay. Each day is Valentine's Day."

"Falling in love with love is falling for make believe. Falling in love with love is playing the fool. Caring too much is such a juvenile fancy. Learning to trust is just for children in school. I fell in love with love one night when the moon was full. I was unwise with eyes unable to see."

Other songs that Hart wrote the lyrics for include, "Manhattan," "I Could Write a Book," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," "I Married An Angel," "Johnny One Note," "Lover," "Spring Is Here," "That's Why The Lady Is a Tramp," "Where Or When," and "With A Song In My Heart."

For decades, Rodgers and Hart were a team. For a while, they were averaging one hit show a year.

However Lorenz Hart's idiosyncrasies strained the relationship. He was distractible and unreliable, plus he had an alcohol abuse problem. Foremost was his habit of disappearing. Frequently, Richard Rodgers couldn't find Lorenz Hart. The promise to have lyrics on Tuesday often turned out to be the following Friday. Hart often disappeared for days at a time, when he was supposed to be working on a show. His habit of disappearing meant that he was distractible and poorly focused. Why didn't Rodgers fire Hart -- because the two men produced such excellent shows and songs together.

During the 1940's, Hart's idiosyncrasies worsened, which made it nearly impossible for Rodgers to work with him. In the year 1941, Rodgers consulted another lyricist friend, named Oscar Hammerstein II. Hammerstein responded that he would never get between Rodgers and Hart. However Hammerstein also said to Rodgers, "Give me a call, if the day ever comes when you just can't work with Hart."

In early 1942, Hart worried himself into a state of nerves, plus he was drinking heavily. At a time when they were supposed to be producing the show By Jupiter, Rodgers encouraged Hart to be admitted to an alcohol rehabilitation hospital. Rodgers checked into a nearby hospital room, and he arranged for a piano to be moved into the room. Somehow, the songs for By Jupiter did get written in the hospital.


In early 1943, Richard Rodgers was requested to write a musical, based on "Green Grow The Lilacs." But Lorenz Hart disappeared to Mexico for a rest, at the worst time. Then the timing was right for Rodgers to approach Hammerstein about that show. On the first day that Rodgers and Hammerstein got together, Hammerstein wrote on paper lyrics beginning with, "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow -- the corn is as high as an elephant's eye." Rodgers was overjoyed at the lyrics, hence the song "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" was the first song produced by Rodgers and Hammerstein. And hence, Rodgers and Hammerstein immediately produced a record breaking hit show, named Oklahoma.

Lo and behold, at the opening night of Oklahoma, Lorenz Hart was there in the audience. Immediately after the show, Hart got through to crowd and spoke to Rodgers to express much gratitude for Oklahoma. Hart said to Rodgers that Oklahoma is going to be a huge success.


Later in 1943, Rodgers gave Hart another chance, after Oklahoma. An opportunity came up to do a remake of an old show called, Connecticut Yankee. But Rodgers imposed the condition that Hart must stay sober. For about a month, Hart did abstain from alcohol, while they were working onConnecticut Yankee. However, during rehearsals, Hart began to drink again. At the opening night of Connecticut Yankee, Lorenz Hart arrived at the theater drunk. Hart got on to the stage, obviously intoxicated, and sang with the actors and actresses. Rodgers had Hart escorted out of the theater.

Within a week after the Connecticut Yankee opening fiasco, Lorenz Hart became disorientated and wandered around New York City on a rainy, dank, inclement evening. And that evening he came down with pneumonia and was taken to a hospital. Two days later, Hart died of pneumonia. His life was snuffed out at age 48.


After Hart's passing on to eternity, Rodgers and Hammerstein functioned together as a perfect team, with excellent chemistry in working together. After Oklahoma, they went on to produce the huge hit shows, CarouselSouth PacificThe King And I, and Sound of Music. This included such smash hit songs as "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning," "People Will Say We're In Love," "Surrey With The Fringe On Top," "Poor Jud Is Dead," "Oklahoma" "If I Loved You," "June Is Busting Out All Over" "You'll Never Walk Alone," "There Is Nothing Like A Dame," "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger Than Springtime," "Bali Hai," "I'm Going To Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair," "Hello Young Lovers," "I Whistle A Happy Tune," "Getting To Know You," "I Have Dreamed" "Shall We Dance," "Sound of Music," "Climb Every Mountain," "My Favorite Things," and "Edelweiss."

Oscar Hammerstein II was the opposite of Lorenz Hart. Hammerstein was an illustration that the artistic type isn't necessarily ADD. Although he likewise was the artistic type, he was very much focused and a so-called normal person. Unlike the flighty Hart, Hammerstein was as punctual and efficient as a Wall Street executive. When Hammerstein promised to be there at a certain time, he really was there at the promised time. This helped him to work extremely well with Rodgers, and this contributed to their harmonious partnership.

By the way, during the 1920's Hammerstein created the lyrics for such big hit shows as Showboat,RosemarieDesert Song, and New Moon. This included such songs as "Old Man River," "Indian Love Call," "One Alone," and "Stout Hearted Men." But it had been over ten years since Hammerstein last produced a hit show -- as of when Rodgers asked Hammerstein to do "Oklahoma."

Because of the harmonious relationship between Rodgers and Hammerstein, they quickly discovered a plan of attack that works best for them. That is Hammerstein first wrote the lyrics, and then Rodgers wrote the music, in most cases. An exception was that Rodgers first wrote the music to establish the springlike love affair between Lieutenant Cable and a Polynesian girl, with the song "Younger Than Springtime."

After Rodgers and Hammerstein produced Sound of Music, Hammerstein died (in August 1960). The last song they did together was "Edelweis."

So Lorenz Hart was a classic example of an artistic person with evidence of ADD; however Oscar Hammerstein II was not that way.

Richard Rodgers composed his next show solo -- wrote both music and lyrics. The show was No Strings. However he decided never again after then. Rodgers worked better teamed with a lyricist (whether ADD or not).


Maria Von Trapp's ADD tendencies were loosely portrayed in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical,Sound of Music; however that show is an inaccurate portayal of the Von Trapp family. For instance, the captain wasn't as stern as portrayed in the musical. And neither did the captain take up music to play the guitar and sing "Edelweis."

Hammerstein's lyrics in the song "How do you solve a problem like Maria" (sung by the nuns) described Maria as flighty and impulsive, disappearing to enjoy nature in the mountains, making them laugh, and singing in the abby. These flighty tendencies were true about the real Maria. True -- the mother superior found for Maria a job to be the nanny for the children of a widower, Captain Gaylord Von Trapp. Maria's positive ADD characteristics were a perfect match to bring joy and music to the Van Trapp children. Also true -- Maria impulsively escaped back to the abby when feared that she was in love with the captain. The mother superior then convinced Maria that love between a man and woman is also holy, such that it was also God's will for her to serve the Van Trapp family (about like Hammerstein's lyrics in the song, "Climb Every Mountain"). Also true is their passionate hatred for Hitler's Nazi regime.


Lorenz Hart probably was the most evident of ADD characteristics, among the 20th century writers of musicals. As I said earlier, that a person is artistic type, that doesn't necessarily mean he is ADD. I have not seen anything to suggest ADD for some of the other top musical writers, such as Lerner and Lowe, Jerome Kern, Sigmund Romberg, Irving Berlin, Jerry Herman, or Meredith Wilson. They were not known for ADD. Everybody, including those men, sometimes gets absent minded or forgetful.

Classical music composers were generally more known for ADD tendencies, compared to composers of Broadway musicals.

Cole Porter had some ADD tendencies, along with brilliant music and lyrics. Examples of Cole Porter lyrics include "In olden days a glimpse of STOCKING was looked on as something SHOCKING, now heaven KNOWS, Anything GOES." and "I love Paris in the summer when it SIZZLES, I love Paris in the winter when it FRIZZLES." Cole Porter music genius, that is evident in the Artie Shaw recording of "Begin The Beguine." By the way, another thing I have in common with Cole Porter is a birthday of June 9.

George Gershwin went into a deep depression when Porgy and Bess flopped at first, but that was because he is human. I detect a moodiness about some Porgy and Bess songs, such as "Summertime," "Bess, You Is My Woman," and "I'm On My Way;" however there is a happy-go-lucky mood with "I Got Plenty of Nothing." Sadly, George Gershwin died before Porgy and Bess finally succeeded. And it eventually succeeded, big time.

Leonard Bernstein sometimes displayed angry temper, by grimace facial expressions, during the rehearsals for West Side Story. If the singer sang improperly, that caused the wrath of perfectionist Bernstein. He wrote the music for West Side Story, which has it's moods in such songs as "Maria," "I Feel Pretty," "Gee Officer Krupke," and "Somewhere There's a Place For Us."

Although Lerner and Lowe are not considered to be among the ADD, the real originator of the story of My Fair LadyGeorge Bernard Shaw, was ADD. In 1912, George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion, which was about a phonetics professor changing an ignorant Cockney flower girl into a counterfeit aristocrat, by changing her speech. In 1956, Lerner and Lowe adapted Pygmalion into the musical My Fair Lady. George Bernard Shaw was a renegade, mischievous, and original thinker, and he often got on his soap box to speak out on social issues. Pygmalion had a social issues message that class distinctions are absurd. Alan Lerner's lyrics certainly confirm George Bernard Shaw's message in Pygmalion ("With a little bit of luck, he will run amuck"). Some of his other literary works spoke out on social issues.

Georges Bizet, the opera composer of Carmen, was an impulsive man. He started many works but completed only a few. Certainly a brilliant piece was "The Toreador Song" from Carmen.

Stephen Collins Foster wrote some show music during the 19th century. He is known for such familiar songs as "My Old Kentucky Home," "Swanee River," "Oh Susanna," and "Camptown Races." His deep sentimental mood especially shows in his song "Beautiful Dreamer." However he was a poor businessman, because of his ADD. He sold some of his famous songs for little money, perhaps because of low self-esteem. He perennially struggled with alcoholism and poverty.

Classical music composers were more known for ADD tendencies.

Benny Goodman, great band leader, was known for his glassy eye stare, whenever one of his musicians failed to attain Benny's perfectionist standards. Benny would even stare above his clarinet, while playing his clarinet.

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries