This song is far too much of a forgotten gem, given that it’s an essential part of virtually every stage production of one of history’s most successful musicals, but because it was left out of the movie, it seems to be largely unknown outside of hardcore theater-buff circles. It’s the principle character song for Oklahoma’s villain, Jud Fry, and reminds us of why he’s one of musical theater’s most fascinating antagonists. The thing about Jud is, he isn’t evil; he’s crazy. He’s genuinely too insane to help any of the thing he does, and is simultaneously a psychotic sexual predator and potential killer and a tragic outcast who just wants to be loved. This song focuses on both sides of this persona, developing his desperate loneliness and his fantasies about Laurie but climaxing in a burst of psychopathic rage. It might have been cut from the film because the filmmakers were uncomfortable with its sheer darkness and ferocity (it is easily the most intense and dramatic number in the score), but since those filmmakers were, essentially, Rodgers and Hammerstein themselves, and since the movie version is so authentic to the stage show’s spirit in every other respect, I’d tend to give them the benefit of the doubt. It probably had more to do with Rob Steiger, the actor playing Jud, who was absolutely perfect for the part in every other way but probably didn’t have the voice for a number as challenging as “Lonely Room”. And given how hard it would have been to find a Hollywood studio ringer with a suitable sound for the character, it may have actually been the lesser of two evils under the circumstances to simply cut the number. Even so, it seems regrettable, since the only songs from Oklahoma that aren’t household-name tunes are the ones that didn’t make it into the movie, and this song certainly does not deserve to be forgotten the way it has.