Here you'll find a series of handwritten lyric sheets from early on in the writing process. My handwriting is...not the best, but this should give you a rough idea of what the lyrics were like before Evan took a crack at them.
For each song, I broke the lyrics down a bit like an episode - what are the big emotional beats that I want to hit? What's the flow of the story? Those concepts are the far left photo in each set, but I've also copied them because, again, my handwriting is not the best. After that, I went into the lyric writing itself and then, eventually, Evan made them actual lyrics and not just scattered ideas.
For the actual, final lyrics, click here.
"Foolish" was the first song that got written, back in June 2017. After having a conversation with a friend about the concept of foolishness, I sat down on my bed and sketched out the first version of this song in my old lyric book. That's what you see here.
Sam's song breakdown is as follows:
- Her life before
- Her life with him
- What scares her about that
Once I realized I was actually going to write a whole musical episode, I transferred those lyrics over to a different notebook and cleaned them up a bit:
To See What I See
This was probably the next song that got finished and was the most complete song that I brought to Evan. The lyrics didn't change all that much and I had the bulk of the melody for the verses, with the chorus and bridge being a bit of a question mark.
Rose's arc was written as follows:
- Through the looking glass (this is a comparison that had been rolling around in my brain for a while)
- Describing the sensation
- What it means to be in someone else's head
- What she wants to do when there
- The reality of dreams, "more real than life"
Against the World
Oof. For whatever reason, this song was tricky to write. There were a couple of directions I could have taken it, which is why there is just a block of ideas on the page where the other songs have a neat progression. This song, as you can see, also had no second verse and was written somewhat disjointedly, with the verses and choruses out of order.
Here was the initial breakdown for what could potentially happen in this song:
- Fitting together - the emotions fit, but do their lives?
- Things would be easier if there weren't other people in the way
- Rose just wants them to be happy - Caleb is having a nightmare that Adam is going to leave and it keeps bleeding through to a happy song - Adam arrives, they actually share a dream (A/N: this clearly isn't exactly what happened but, if you haven't already get, Adam's subconscious was in fact sharing space with Caleb's dream, which is why Adam got that head rush and was humming this song at the end of 49)
- Like a puzzle? painting? Shakespeare play? (A/N: I honestly don't remember if I was asking myself a legitimate question of what metaphor to make or if I had already started writing the lyrics)
This was the one that felt most like an idea of a song, rather than an actual song, when I brought it to Evan. It's the most monologue-ish and Evan took the central ideas and some of the phrasing and gave the song shape.
The breakdown for this song was very vague:
- You can't put me back together again, broken pieces, sitting in the dark
- "Running away, let's do it" - Caleb/Adam? (A/N: I knew I wanted to include a direct Sondheim reference in the episode as Sondheim is my idol, and for whatever reason, this line from "No More" (Into the Woods) stuck out to me. Obviously, it didn't end up being used here but was in fact placed in the Caleb/Adam duet)
- Joan: you think you're steel but you shatter like glass (A/N: no idea if this was going to be a line or a lyric or what)
Agent Green's Reprise
There's not actually any handwritten lyrics for this! I mostly wrote all of the above lyrics before digging into the episode script itself, but both Agent Green's reprise and Dr. Bright's subconscious were sequences added a bit late in the game. Ian has a beautiful voice, as you now know, but I couldn't figure out a way to make him sing that made sense in the context of the episode. Once Evan and I had written the songs fully, I typed up the lyrics to Green's reprise and sent them over, telling Evan to do whatever he wanted but make it a dark version of Rose's song. He sent me back the demo and that was that.