The House on Sunset Lyrics. From Musical "Sunset Boulevard"

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The House on Sunset Lyrics

by . From Sunset Boulevard.

In the blackout, the orchestra plays NORMA's "LULABY," and soon the lights come up on the cold dawn of the opening scene. There's been a semi-revolve so that the garden is now visible, bathed by ae eerie glow, disruped by patrol cars. JOE's body floats, face down, in the pool. The entrance hall of the house is crowded with REPORTERS, POLICE, NEWSREEL CREWS with their cameras, ALL fired with eager anticipation. MAX moves around the various groups, consulting with POLICEMEN and CAMERAMAN.

And as dawn breaks over the murder house, Norma Desmond, famed star of yesteryear, is in a state of complete mental shock.

(Suddenly, all movement stops and all heads rise. NORMA has emerged from her room on to the landing. SHE's dressed in some strange approximation of a Salome costume and SHE's still holding the revolver. There is an atmosphere of extreme apprehension below. One of the uniformed PLOICEMEN has brought out his gun; MAX leans over to talk to the head of homicide, a PLAINCLOTHES POLICEMAN.

SHE's clearly disoriented, in a world of her own, moving, lost and bewildered, around the landing, letting out, unaccompanied by the orchestra, odd broken phrases of song.)

This was dawn.
I don't know why I'm frightened.
Silent music starts to play.
Happy New Year, darling.
If you're with me, next year will be…
Next year will be...
They bring in his head on a silver tray,
She kisses his mouth...
She kisses his mouth...
Mad about the boy!
They'll say Norma's back at last!

(A POLICEMAN starts to move towards NORMA on the stairs. MAX stops HIM.)

MAX (Turning to NORMA on the stairs)
Madame, the cameras have arrived.

Max, where am I?

This is the staircase of the palace
And they're waiting for your dance.

Of course,
Now I remember:
I was so frightened I might fall...

You are the greatest star of all!

(SHE starts down the stairs. MAX cups a hand to his mouth and springs into action.)


(The portable lights flare up. In addition, there is the flash of countless flashbulbs. NORMA reacts, her eyes widen, SHE drapes the scarf around her shoulders.)


(The whirr and grind of the old-fashioned Movietone cameras.)


(And, as the music swells, NORMA descends the staircase, wooing her arms in some strange rendition of Salome'sapproach to the throne. However, halfway down, she suddenly comes to a halt and begins to sing.)

When he scorned me I
Knew he'd have to die,
Let me kiss his severed head.
Compromise or death,
He fought to his last breath,
He never had it in him to surrender.
Just like me he never could surrender.

I can't go on with the scene; I'm too happy. May I say a few words, Mr DeMille? I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be back in the studio making a picture. I promise you I'll never desert you again. This is my life. It always will be. There is nothing else. Just us and the cameras and all the wonderful people out there in the dark. And now, Mr DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

(She continues down the staircase as 'WITH ONE LOOK' swells to a climax.)

This time I'm staying,
I'm staying for good,
I'II be back,
Where I was born to be,
With one look
I'll be me.


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