|Song by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth from the album Wicked|
|Released||December 16, 2003|
|Recorded||November 10, 2003|
|Genre||Musical theatre, pop, show tune|
"For Good" is a musical number from the hit musical Wicked. It is sung as a duet between Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Glinda, as a farewell to each other. The song's music and lyrics were written by composer Stephen Schwartz.
The song is performed towards the end of the musical. In it, the two are singing farewell to one another. Just prior to the song, Elphaba gives Glinda the Grimmerie and tells her that it is now up to her to continue Elphaba's cause. After this song, Elphaba leaves and is supposedly melted by Dorothy (it later turns out that this was an elaborate set-up to fool the citizens of Oz into thinking she was dead so they would stop hunting her). In the end, she and Fiyero, turned into "The Scarecrow" by one of Elphaba's spells gone awry, run away together.
It is the climax, and one of the most well-known songs of the show. It is reprised as part of the show's finale.
The song's lyrics concern how both Elphaba and Glinda have been changed by their friendship with each other. Glinda starts out by saying that, while she doesn't know if it is true that people come into each other's lives for a reason, "I know I'm who I am today because I knew you." Similarly, Elphaba tells Glinda that "whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend." Elphaba also asks Glinda to forgive her for anything she might have done wrong, to which Glinda replies that "there's blame to share", but both agree that "none of it seems to matter anymore." Schwartz said after the show premiered that to begin the song, he asked his daughter what she would say if she would never see her best friend again, and her answer became the first verse of "For Good".
The lyrics rely on the play of words, "for good," which are used to signify alternatively "forever" and "as an improvement."
Other versions and usage in media
- Kristin Chenoweth (the original Broadway Glinda) sang a version of the piece at the private funeral for her West Wing co-star John Spencer.
- LeAnn Rimes and Delta Goodrem covered the song for the fifth anniversary soundtrack of the show.
- Lea Salonga and Jennifer Paz, who both played Kim in the musical Miss Saigon also did a cover of the song and ended it with an art from Defying Gravity, another song from the musical Wicked.
- Internet personalities Sam Tsui and Nick Pitera, recorded a cover that has been uploaded to their respective YouTube channels.
- Lea Michele and Chris Colfer recorded a cover of the song (as their characters Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel respectively), which was featured in the second season finale of Glee.
- Kristin Chenoweth sang a version of the piece during one of the Oprah Farewell shows.
- Portions of the original version of the song were used at the ending of the September 4, 2013 repeat episode of the game show Wheel of Fortune, as a tribute to director Mark Corwin, who died on July 20.
- Anna Kendrick and Kristin Chenoweth sang a duet at Trevor live 2012.
- Kristin Chenoweth and Lea Michele performed it live at the Hollywood Bowl June 21, 2014
- Christian/Gospel singer, Sandi Patty included a single version of the song on her 2008 album release, Songs For the Journey.
- Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel did it a reunion past 12 years to honor the musical Wicked on May 6, 2016.