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Song Discussion: "The Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me" 
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Post Song Discussion: "The Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me"
It's not often that a show includes a male "I want" song, but "Wiser" is quite satisfying in that angle. Up to this point in the show, Harold Hill has been moot as to what he looks for, not just in a woman, but in life in general. Albeit, IMO, he seems to be degrading women in this song, but at least he's got it all planned out as to what he looks for. Music wise, "Wiser" is also satisfying. The one consistent thing that I love about this score is that Wilson stays true to the folksy, early 1900's world he created, but delightfully he strays from that just a bit in "Wiser", by adding a few burlesque chords. A truly underrated song. Thoughts?

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Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:35 pm
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One of my favorite songs in the entire show!

I love when he says "How can ignorance be compared to bliss?"

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Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:11 pm
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Willson wrote "Sadder But Wiser Girl" to work in counterpoint with "My White Knight", but finally went against this usage (there is plenty of counterpoint elsewhere in the show).

Barbara Cook does a version of "My White Knight" in her Carnegie Hall Concert CD that includes an interlude much like "SBWG" but describing the type of guy she is definitely not looking for. Other than the Tommy-Zanetta duet, this is the only bit of unused material from the show that I am aware has been recorded.

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Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:01 am
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Obviously he's referring to a woman who's "been around the block" before, but I think the main emphasis of the song is about a woman who has had her heart broken before, so she has a much more realistic, down-to-earth view of romance. I wouldn't say he's necessarily degrading women. Aside from stating the obvious I suppose, I do love this song and I agree it is rather underrated. I used to kind of wish it had been more of a Harold/Marcellus duet instead of Marcellus only harmonizing a little at the end, but it's great the way it is. Marcellus DOES like the wide-eyed wholesome innocent Sunday school teacher type anyways.

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Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:37 pm
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I've always seen it less as his list of things he wants, and more as him wanting a girl who is much like him. I think he's had his heart broken before. It's not just that he wants a certain type of girl, he wants someone he can relate to, who can "take the heat" as it were, who won't expect too much out of life.


Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:34 am
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The Guard wrote:
I think he's had his heart broken before. It's not just that he wants a certain type of girl, he wants someone he can relate to


Yes! I agree with that too! Harold has indeed had his heart broken before - that's the way I've always viewed him. There was a woman he loved in the past who, when he finally told her about his real identity, rejected him. That's why Harold is reluctant to tell Marian the truth on the footbridge, because he doesn't want to hurt her and lose her the same way. At least I like that interpretation.

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Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm
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