The Barber And His Wife

Album: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • This very short song is the second number from the Steven Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street; it helps set the stage for what is to come. In this version, Todd had formerly been known as Benjamin Barker; he had been transported 15 years earlier and returns here with a sailor, Anthony Hope to learn that his wife Lucy had poisoned herself with arsenic after being raped by a corrupt judge. Although he doesn't know it, the poison has not killed her but driven her insane, and she appears here as a beggar woman, who goes unrecognised by him. Todd has a teenage daughter who is the ward of the corrupt judge, Turpin, and he has now turned his attentions to her. A sad tale, but of course it gets much sadder for Todd's patrons, many of whom make only the one visit to his Fleet Street shop. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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