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No Good Deed

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Rachel Tucker

Rachel Tucker as Elphaba in the West End; 2010 - 2012.

"No Good Deed" is a musical number from the hit Broadway musical Wicked.

InformationEdit

No Good Deed has also been seen as Gutes Tun in the German production, Wicked Die Hexen Von Oz, having a translated title of Doing Good. It is also known as Yami Ni Ikiru in Wicked in Tokyo with a translated title of Living in Darkness. In the Dutch production, this song is known as 't is Nooit Goed which has a translated title of It's never good. It appears in the Mexican production, Wicked México, as No Hay Bien.

It is widely regarded as the most powerful piece of the musical; and the most emotional. Sung by Elphaba Thropp, the so-called "Wicked Witch of the West", it is a song springing from Elphaba's rage over her continuously thwarted efforts to do good and her inner turmoil about her intention for doing so. It explores the ideas of goodness and wickedness, which is central to the musical's theme. In the song she lists what she perceives as her failures at goodness, including anger with herself over Fiyero, her lover, who is being tortured by the Wizard's guards over her whereabouts. Along with the death of her sister, and the capture and de-humanization of her teacher, Dr. Dillamond, she feels she has failed in all her attempts at being good like she once imagined ("The Wizard and I"). It occurs while Elphaba believes that Glinda has used her sister's death to lure her into being captured by the Wizard's Guard. She is distraught at being villified by the Wizard's propaganda and the hatred of the citizens of Oz. She concurs,

"Let all Oz be agreed
I'm wicked through and through
Since I cannot succeed
Fiyero, saving you
I promise no good deed
Will I attempt to do
Again"

The song begins with Elphaba screaming "Fiyero" but instead of being an unpitched scream, she actually sings a high note that is a minor second above the tonal center of the song. (A minor second is an interval basically the same as a minor ninth, only the two notes are right next to each other instead of an octave removed.) This creates the effect of a scream, as the note is very high and dissonant, but it is much more controlled and musical than an actual scream. [1] It then moves into a chant of magical words making it the most chilling and foreboding of all the musical's numbers.

Schwartz is quoted as likening No Good Deed to an opera aria. He says,

"It’s just written for a different voice type, and it’s not written to be sung unamplified. So those are the two big differences. I mean, “No Good Deed” is written for a belter—I suppose a mezzo soprano could sing it. But the orchestra is so busy and obstreperous throughout that you have to have an amplified voice to carry over it, if you want to hear the words at all. But for instance there’s a moment in “No Good Deed” where she belts a big note and then there’s a place where it suddenly gets pianissimo — she has to hit the note very loud and hold it, and then get very soft — and that’s absolutely like something one would write in classical singing or an opera aria. Or the moment where she does “Nessa, Doctor Dillamond,” and then sort of shouts out “Fiyero” while the orchestra is sawing away at one of the motifs. I think it’s structured very much like an aria but it’s built to get a great big hand at the end with a big belted last note. So it’s still very much musical theatre.

180px-MTS2 sunken-woglinde 623691 broadwayIdinaNoGoodDeed

Idina Menzel as the Original Broadway Elphaba

Originally it was sung by Tony Award Winning actress Idina Menzel, who is known for, as Ben Brantley of the New York Times describes it, her "iron strong larynx". Stephen Schwartz composed it specifically to showcase Menzel's belting talent, in addition to giving her a second-act solo song. Idina Menzel, herself, has been quoted as saying that this song was her favourite to sing in the show as it 'reminded her of her Bat Mitzvah.'

There are deleted lyrics from the San Francisco run which has the Unlimited theme which runs between Generous supply? and No good deed goes unpunished, No act of charity goes unresented.

LyricsEdit

Elphaba
Fiyero!

Eleka nahmen nahmen

Ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen

Eleka nahmen nahmen

Ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen...


Let his flesh not be torn

Let his blood leave no stain

Though they beat him

Let him feel no pain

Let his bones never break

And however they try

To destroy him

Let him never die

Let him never die


Eleka nahmen nahmen

Ah tum ah tum eleka nahmen

Eleka nahmen nahmen

Ah tum ah tum eleka... eleka...


What good is this chanting?

I don't even know what I'm reading

I don't even know what trick I ought to try

Fiyero, where are you? Already dead or bleeding?

One more disaster I can add to my

Generous supply?


(San Francisco run deleted lyrics-

Unlimited,

The damage is,

Unlimited

To everyone I've tried to help or love,

And lucky Fiyero, you're the latest victim of my long long list of harm my fray of distress

When I tried making good, all I made was a mess

Destructiveness

Alright, YES! You can call it limitless)


No good deed goes unpunished

No act of charity goes unresented

No good deed goes unpunished

That's my new creed

My road of good intentions

Led where such roads always lead

No good deed

Goes unpunished...


Nessa...

Doctor Dillamond...

Fiyero...

Fiyero...!!


One question haunts and hurts

Too much, too much to mention:

Was I really seeking good

Or just seeking attention?

Is that all good deeds are

When looked at with an ice-cold eye?

If that's all good deeds are

Maybe that's the reason why...


No good deed goes unpunished

All helpful urges should be circumvented

No good deed goes unpunished

Sure, I meant well ~~

Well, look at what well-meant did...

All right, enough~~ So be it

So be it then:

Let all Oz be agreed

I'm wicked through and through

Since I can not succeed

Fiyero, saving you

I promise no good deed

Will I attempt to do

Again

Ever again

No good deed

Will I do

Again!


Videos Edit

No Good Deed-103:38

No Good Deed-1

thumb|300px|right|The Finnish version: Ei Koskaan Enää Hyvää

thumb|300px|left|The Danish version: Intet godt kan man gøre

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