"For Good"
Song by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth
from the album Wicked
ReleasedDecember 16, 2003
RecordedNovember 10, 2003
GenreMusical theatre, pop, show tune
LabelDecca Broadway
Songwriter(s)Stephen Schwartz

"For Good" is a musical number from the hit musical Wicked. It is sung as a duet between Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda (the Good Witch of the South) as a farewell. The song's score and lyrics were written by composer Stephen Schwartz.

Context

The song is performed near the end of the musical, as the two are bidding each other farewell. Immediately prior to the song, Elphaba gives Glinda the Grimmerie and tells her that it is now up to her to continue Elphaba's cause. After this song, Elphaba leaves and is supposedly melted by Dorothy (this is later revealed to be an elaborate scheme to fool the citizens of Oz into thinking she was dead so they would stop hunting her). At the song's conclusion, Fiyero, turned into "The Scarecrow" by one of Elphaba's spells gone awry, discovers Elphaba and they run away together.

It is the climax and one of the most well-known songs of the show and is reprised as part of the show's finale.

Lyrics

The song's lyrics concern how both Elphaba and Glinda have been changed by their friendship with each other. Glinda begins by saying that, while she doesn't know if it is true that people come into each other's lives for a reason, "I know I'm who I am today because I knew you." Similarly, Elphaba tells Glinda that "whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend." Elphaba also asks Glinda to forgive her for anything she might have done wrong, to which Glinda replies that "there's blame to share", but both agree that "none of it seems to matter anymore". Schwartz commented after the show premiered that for the opening of the song, he asked his daughter what she would say if she would never see her best friend again, and her answer became the first verse of "For Good".[1]

The lyrics rely on a play of words of the phrase "for good," which is used both to mean "forever" and "for the better."

Critical reception

Vulture ranked the song as the third-best from the Wicked score, describing it as "not particularly inventive", "comically heavy-handed", and almost overtaken by "flowery schmaltz", while ultimately concluding that the earned emotion that the show has built through the duo's relationship can "excuse all manner of lyrical sins".[2] Playbill ranked it the seventh-best Stephen Schwartz song, deeming it less flashy that other Wicked songs, unique, powerful, meaningful, and an insight into how relationships make people grow.[3]

Other versions and usage in media

References

  1. ^ ""For Good" from Wicked the Musical". MusicalSchwartz.com. Scene 1 Arts LLC. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
  2. ^ "Wicked at 10: Ranking the Broadway Hit's Songs". Vulture. 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  3. ^ "'You're Gonna Be Popular': The Top 14 Songs by Stephen Schwartz | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ Wheel of Fortune - Mark Corwin Tribute (Sept. 4, 2013) on YouTube