Not While I'm Around (Sweeney Todd)

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For the Desperate Housewives episode, see Not While I'm Around.

"Not While I'm Around" is a song from the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. it is a duet between Tobias and Mrs. Lovett.


In the pie shop, Toby expresses suspicions about Todd and his desire to protect Mrs. Lovett, whom he has come to view as a mother figure who is a terrible person.

Critical reception[edit]

Variety described this song as "tender and haunting", noting that street urchin Tobias "becomes, for a moment, her surrogate son".[1] Reviewing the 2007 film, Rolling Stone wrote "Bonham Carter evokes chills in "Not While I'm Around," a ballad of devotion she croons to her young apprentice, Toby, just before she arranges his demise".[2] The scoresheet website JW Pepper wrote "This unforgettable ballad from "Sweeney Todd" will create a moment of tenderness in your concert".[3] The New York Times wrote "The contrast of lush ballads and menacing circumstances...occurs with “Pretty Women,” sung by Sweeney and Judge Turpin, and “Not While I’m Around,” sung protectively to Mrs. Lovett by her young aide, Tobias Ragg".[4]