I was recently reminded of this 1995 recording by Mandy Patinkin of “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” paired with “Children Will Listen” from Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods.
At the time of the album release, some folks decried what they felt were Mandy’s vocal “histrionics” in his take on the Rodgers & Hammerstein song.
But I always liked it; I found his yelling the line, “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, before you are six or seven or eight, to hate all the people your relatives HATE!” compelling and evocative.
Pairing the song with a very tender, sensitive rendition of “Children Will Listen” (from the brilliant Into the Woods) brought home the same lesson Hammerstein was going for but in Sondheimian manner.
Careful the things you say, children will listen…
Careful the things you do, children will see – and learn…
Looking at the divisive political landscape today, I think it’s pretty spot on.
I worry about what children might be learning in the coarse, brash, crass world of this Trump presidency.