Saturday, May 02, 2009

HART-felt Lyrics

Lorenz (Larry) Hart was born this day, 2 May, in 1895. Lyricist supreme, professional partner of composer Richard Rodgers. Hart was gay, in the days when it wasn't acceptable, even in show-biz to be "different". Perhaps that was what drove him to alcohol, and a demise much, much too soon at age 48. His lyrics were simple yet sassy and clever, his style urban sophisticate rather than All-American - as in Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers' other writing partner.

From a 2002 article in TIME "That Old Feeling: Heart to Hart"

"Edith Meiser, who would star in Rodgers and Hart shows, described Larry as "the American Toulouse-Lautrec {apparently he was under 5 feet tall} ... an enchanting man. He had such appeal.... He had this enormous head and a very heavy beard that had to be shaved twice a day... And he was always rubbing his hands together. That was his great gesture when he was pleased." Meiser makes this exuberant dwarfish lad sound like the Rumplelstiltskin of the Upper West Side.
If Hart's impression was cartoonish, it was surely an animated cartoon. Everyone noticed his energy and felt its force. In Meryle Secrest's book "Somewhere for Me: A Biography of Richard Rodgers",Hammerstein is quoted as saying of Hart, "In all the time I knew him I never saw him walk slowly. I never saw his face in repose. I never heard him chuckle quietly. He laughed loudly and easily at other people's jokes and at his own too. He large eyes danced and his head would wag." A young man of ravenous intelligence, he was well-schooled and smartly self-taught. "

"Larry's wastrel status was a fact of Broadway life; in 1941 TIME described him as "cigar-chewing Hart, the pint-sized genie with a two-quart capacity."

Born 2 May 1895 in Harlem, New York - in the absence of a time of birth, Hart's chart below is set for 12 noon.

There are three importantly close groups of planets: Sun/Mercury in Taurus - ruled by Venus, planet of the arts. Venus/Neptune/Pluto nextdoor in Gemini, ruled by Mercury the writer's planet, Neptune being planet of imagination, Pluto = passion and sex. Nextdoor, again, we find Mars and Jupiter close together in Cancer, representing excess(Jupiter) energy(Mars) and sensitivity (Cancer). the three groups are close enough to be interlinked by sextile or semi-sextile, because almost all fall within the first dozen degrees of their sign. Put that little lot together and it's a recipe for poetry, excess, energy and passion - which more or less describes Lorenz Hart's professional and private life, and reflects much of the description in the excerpt copied above. Moon would have been in Leo whatever Hart's birth time -and here is his pull towards being around the stage the limelight, and "the beautiful people".

Hart wrote the lyrics for many enduringly popular songs:
"My Funny Valentine", "I Could Write a Book", "Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered", "It Never Entered My mind, "Blue Moon".....and many others including this one, performed to perfection here by Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman:
"Where or When"


Shawn Carson said...

Cool story, Twilight
This dude definitely would have been a lot of fun to party with. That Moon/Uranus square pushes the envelope at every opportunity. The soft aspect from Uranus to the Node enabled some of his success,as well as the Jupiter/Saturn trine.

Twilight said...

Shawn ~~~ Yes. A great pity that he had such a sad and early end.