Hard Cover. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1949. 1st Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket.
Preface by Richard Rogers. First edition, first printing. Publisher's burgundy cloth, lettered in black; in the original white pictorial dust jacket designed by H. Lawrence Hoffman, with color illustrations to the front panel of the characters from Hammerstein's musicals, lettered in yellow and black. Near fine or better book, with dimming to the spine gilt, else fine; unclipped dust jacket, with light toning to the spine, some wear and minor chips to the extremities, some creasing and a short closed tear to the top edge of the front panel, minor soiling to the rear panel, otherwise bright panels. Overall, a very good copy. Lyrics is a collection of seventy-one song lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein II's musical collaborations with Richard Rogers, Jerome Kearn, Georges Bizet, and Sigmund Romberg. Specifically, it includes verses from Oklahoma!, State Fair, Carousel, Allegro, South Pacific, Showboat, Music in the Ari, and Carmen Jones, among others. In his preface, composer Richard Rogers praises Hammerstein's lyrics, writing: "The work of my collaborator and friend has been called poetry; it has been called light verse; it has even been called song-writing," and, while he admits that there may be better poetry and light verse, "there is not to be found anywhere else such a perfect collection of examples of the lyric-writer's art." In addition to the lyrics, this volume contains Hammerstein's essay "Notes on Lyrics," in which he describes some of his musical inspirations and his creative processes.