I’m going to share snippets of what I consider fine opening stanzas from songs in my repertoire. Only opening lines (or the verse that precedes the opening line) because these set up the entire number and are the best clue to the skill of the writer.
Here is my first selection:
Before Lord God made the Sea and the land,
He held all the stars in the palm of His hand,
And they ran through His fingers like grains of sand,
But one little star fell alone…
Lyricist: Maxwell Anderson
From the 1948 show, Lost in the Stars, based on Alan Paton’s novel, “Cry, the Beloved Country.”
In the show, this song is sung as an adult’s explanation of Life to a child. But, of course, it is really the exposition of the character’s heart, sung to the audience.
There are many fine recorded versions of this song by all the great singers of the 20th c.