Working on a Song Review

Working on a Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown is a book from Anaïs Mitchell, the writer and lyricist of the Tony award winning Hadestown. This book is all about the process she took to create the music in Hadestown, from it’s beginning in Vermont to winning awards on Broadway. I got the incredible opportunity to read it early and share my thoughts with you.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book shares the stories and insights of how Hadestown came to be, specifically focusing on the music. The lyrics for every song are in the books followed by stories about it’s creation in every phase of this multi-year project. It is fascinating insight into the process of making musicals, and even more interesting from Anaïs Mitchell who is not a traditional musical lyricist.

I adore Hadestown from the moment I listened to the original album prior to it debuting on Broadway. So I new I would love this book and all of the details it would have and make the show even more special. I would listen to the song as I read the lyrics, and would pause to read the stories and notes shared before continuing. I definitely recommend doing that to make the experience of reading even more special.

And even if you haven’t listened to or seen Hadestown, the books is still interesting and shows us some ins and outs of building a Broadway show we wouldn’t have ever known otherwise. This show has been written and rewritten and performed in so many different iterations that learning it’s history through its music is an enjoyable and insightful read.

Overall, I highly recommend Working on a Song to every Hadestown fan and to general Broadway and music fans as well. It’s full of interesting information about the show and music, and is very personal to Anaïs’ experience in Broadway and her love for the show. I enjoyed it so much, I ordered my own copy to keep after only the first few songs.

Working on a Song comes out tomorrow on October 6th!

What musical would you love to have a book about? Share in the comments!


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