“Sheridan Square”, lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken
Not written for any particular show or film, but rather documenting the feeling that was pervading the gay community in NYC at the start of the AIDS crisis.
Sheridan Square, for those that don’t know, is the area in the West Village where Stonewall is located.
I’m not sure the exact date of the song, but I believe it’s from the time when the disease was known as GRID (gay-related immune deficiancy, changed for obvious reasons).
Howard Ashman would, of course, go on to write the lyrics for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin before dying of AIDS himself in 1991.
“Sheridan Square,” composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman,
performed at Howard’s funeral
“Sometime in the early ‘80’s, Howard and Alan wrote a song called ‘Sheridan Square.’ Sheridan Square is in Greenwich Village, not far from the Stonewall Bar–the emotional center of the Gay Rights movement. It was where men–I’m not sure about women–who were gay and different could go to be gay and not-different-at-all.
"Howard was funny about the song 'Sheridan Square,’ a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t his favorite song. I think the emotions and concerns were maybe a little too raw and certainly too personal. I think maybe he didn’t want to make art out of what was happening. But it’s a good song and, given all that happened then and has happened since, one worth listening to.”
New York: The Sheridan Square commercial building in the West Village, occupied by Sheridan Square Painters and Decorators and Havana Plantation (a cigar shop). It was located at the corner of West 4th and Sheridan Square. 1920s.