Barbra Streisand, who has performed more than 50 songs with lyrics penned by Marilyn and Alan Bergman including “The Way We Were,” expressed her sorrow over the death of Marilyn on Saturday, describing the couple as “like family.”
“Their songs are timeless, and so is our love,” the superstar tweeted.
Marilyn and Alan Bergman were like family, as well as brilliant lyricists.
We met over 60 years ago backstage at a little night club, and never stopped loving each other and working together.
Their songs are timeless, and so is our love.
May she rest in peace.
— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) January 8, 2022
The Bergmans met Streisand when she was an 18-year-old opening act for Phyllis Diller… and the rest is musical history, as they say.
In addition to writing the lyrics to the songs from “Yentl” (music composed by Michael Legrand) and “The Way We Were,” they wrote for her “One Voice” concert, and won an Emmy for their work on her 1994 concert tour and subsequent HBO special, which included the song “Ordinary Miracles.” They also won an Emmy for the song “On the Way to Becoming Me,” from the AFI tribute to Streisand’s career.
In 2011, Streisand released an album of all Bergman songs called “What Matters Most – Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, which included more than a dozen of their songs that she had not previously performed.
While promoting its release, Streisand, who has always called the Bergmans her favorite songwriters, said, “They have the most profound way of expressing affairs of the heart.”
But it was the “Way We Were” collaboration that cemented the relationship between the Bergmans and Streisand in the minds of the public. The Gold Record soundtrack album hit the Top 20 on the Billboard 200, and its title song became a gold single, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and selling more than two million copies. Billboard named “The Way We Were” the No. 1 pop hit of 1974.
As recounted in a 2016 article in the Jewish Journal, the relationship of Streisand and the Bergmans began decades ago when the pair saw the then-relatively unknown singer Streisand perform at a gig in New York’s Greenwich Village. Streisand has since performed more than 50 songs for which the couple penned the lyrics.
“Their spectacular marriage gives the lyrics an authenticity, making them both deeply personal and, at the same time, completely universal,” Streisand told the Journal.