Just Leave Everything to Me


Another Openin’


“Just Leave Everything to Me” from Hello, Dolly! (the 1969 film, music and lyrics by jerry herman)

Hello, Dolly! was my first introduction to Barbra Streisand. I remember sitting on the living room carpet as I watched the movie for the first time. To my twelve-year-old gay self, nothing could be more fabulous than the combination of Dolly Levi and the firestorm that is Barbra Streisand. As my heart soared through the opening number, I thought: Yes gawd, please leave everything to her! I don’t need any other characters in this movie! I may not need any other characters, ever!

In my own lyricism, I avoid writing what people critically refer to as “list songs”—songs that list items related to the topic, rather than tell a forward-moving story. That’s a legitimate trap I’ve fallen into, but some situations do call for a list.

One could fairly call this a “list song.” Hearing it now, I can’t make a strong argument that Dolly’s list builds or evolves. The services she mentions are completely random from beginning to end, but that’s part of why I love this number. Dolly Levi is so utterly confident, the insane things she says sound logical. “If you want your liver tested, eyebrows tweezed, cash invested, just leave everything to me!” Sure, I’d hire Dolly for those things. She clearly knows what she’s doing. It isn’t at all weird that those unrelated services (and dozens more) are printed on her business cards.

I’m sad “Just Leave Everything to Me” isn’t the song that usually opens Hello, Dolly! I much prefer it to “I Put My Hand In,” which takes its place in the musical. Meh.

The film’s “Just Leave Everything to Me” isn’t on YouTube, but I wanted to post some Barbra/Dolly fabulousness, so here’s “So Long Dearie.” This is my other favorite song in the movie. Gawd, do I love this character.