One of the first women who was successful as a songwriter and lyricist in Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood was Dorothy Fields. She wrote the words to over 400 songs of the most iconic American hits from the heyday of classic Broadway and Hollywood. Some of her best-known works are from films and shows, such as “The Way You Look Tonight” or “A Fine Romance” or “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” She partnered with the top figures in American musical theater, including Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Cy Coleman. Come have some fun, as we learn about her life and listen to and examine the best songs with the clever lyrics of Dorothy Fields. No prerequisites are needed. There will be a lot of listening to songs in this class and lyrics will be provided where needed.

The class will be presentation and discussion format. Members of the class may be asked to contribute by talking about a favorite song, which can be chosen with help from me, if needed. Some musical samples and links will be given by email before each class, with a little light reading about her work and the contexts she worked in. Where we examine particular songs, lyrics will be provided. About an hour a week outside of class may be needed.