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Song Lyrics

Thought I'd start a thread for outstanding song lyrics.  This is by the great Lorenz Hart from 'Babes In Arms' (Rodgers & Hart 1937). This show also includes 'Where or When', 'My Funny Valentine', 'Johnny One-Note' and 'The Lady is a Tramp'.  You'll get more out of it if you know the tune and sing it!  



You don't know that I felt good
When we up and parted.
You don't know I knocked on wood,
Gladly broken-hearted.
Worrying is through,
I sleep all night,
Appetite and health restored.
You don't know how much I'm bored.

The sleepless nights,
The daily fights,
The quick toboggan when you reach the heights -
I miss the kisses and I miss the bites.
I wish I were in love again!
The broken dates,
The endless waits,
The lovely loving and the hateful hates,
The conversation with the flying plates -
I wish I were in love again!
No more pain,
No more strain,
Now I'm sane, but...
I would rather be gaga!
The pulled-out fur
Of cat and cur,
The fine mismating of a him and her -
I've learned my lesson, but I wish I were
In love again!

The furtive sigh,
The blackened eye,
The words 'I'll love you till the day I die',
The self-deception that believes the lie -
I wish I were in love again.
When love congeals
It soon reveals
The faint aroma of performing seals,
The double-crossing of a pair of heels.
I wish I were in love again!
No more care.
No despair.
I'm all there now,
But I'd rather be punch-drunk!
Believe me, sir,
I much prefer
The classic battle of a him and her.
I don't like quiet and I wish I were
In love again!

Blowing in the Wind, Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down,
before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove fly,
before she sleeps in the sand?
And how many times must a cannon ball fly,
before they're forever banned?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist,
before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist,
before they're allowed to be free?
And how many times can a man turn his head,
and pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

How many times must a man look up,
before he sees the sky?
And how many ears must one man have,
before he can hear people cry ?
And how many deaths will it take till we know,
that too many people have died?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind.

One of the most meaningful songs I have ever heard

I forgot this thread. I've always thought the lyrics to The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane are very clever.  It was written by Sid Tepper and Roy C Bennett (not that I knew that till just now).  Sung by the Ames Brothers but it is probably Dean Martin's version I know more.  A whole song based on puns, innuendo and misinterpretations.   Cheers, Caro.

The naughty lady of Shady Lane has hit the town like a bomb
The back fence gossip ain't been this good since Mabel ran off with Tom
Our town was peaceful and quiet before she came on the scene
The lady has started a riot, disturbin' the suburban routine

The naughty lady of Shady Lane has the town in a whirl.
The naughty lady of Shady Lane. Me, oh my, oh what a girl!
You should see how she carries on with her admirers galore
She must be giving them quite a thrill, the way they flock to her door.

She throws those "come hither" glances at every Tom, Dick and Joe
When offered some liquid refreshment, the lady never, never says, "No."
The naughty lady of Shady Lane has the town in a whirl.
The naughty lady of Shady Lane. Me, oh my, oh what a girl!

The things they're trying to pin on her won't hold much water, I'm sure.
Beneath the powder and fancy lace, there beats a heart sweet and pure.
She just needs someone to change her and she'll be nice as can be.
If you're in the neighborhood, stranger, you're welcome to drop in and see

The naughty lady of Shady Lane, so delightful to hold
The naughty lady of Shady Lane. So delectable, quite respectable.

And she's onnn-lyyy nine days old

Thanks for both those which I remember well.

'Brother Can You Spare a Dime?' by Yip Harburg (1931)

I recently saw a superb documentary about 1930s USA in which this song played a part. Still powerful I think. Yip Harburg also wrote the words of 'Over the Rainbow' and 'Its Only a Paper Moon'.

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear, I was always there
                                                                        right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember? I'm your pal. Buddy, can you spare a dime?

'Adelaide's Lament' (from 'Guys and Dolls ) by Frank Loesser

In 'Guys and Dolls' Adelaide, a night-club singer, has this number where she has a cold and puts it down to the fact that Nathan Detroit hasn't yet married her.  Should be read , or sung with a Brooklyn accent. She is reading from a book.

[Spoken] It says here:
[Sung] 'The av'rage unmarried female,
Basically insecure,
Due to some long frustrations , may react
With psychosomatic symptoms,
Difficult to endure,
Affecting the upper respiratory tract.'

In other words, just from waiting around
For that plain little band of gold,
A person can develop a cold.
You can spray her wherever you figure
The streptococci lurk:
You can give her a shot
For whatever she's got,
But it just won't work.
If she's tired of getting the fish eye
From the hotel clerk,
A person can develop a cold.

'The person remaining single,
Just in the legal sense,
Shows a neurotic tendency. See note.'
[Spoken] Note.
[Sung]'Chronic, organic syndromes,
Toxic or hypertense,
Involving the eye,
The ear and the nose and the throat.'

In other words, just from worrying whether
The wedding is on or off,
A person can develop a cough.
You can feed her all day with the Vitamin A
And the Bromo Fizz,
But the medicine never get anwhere near
Where the trouble is,
If she's getting a kind of a name for herself
And the name aint his,
A person can develop a cough.
And furthermore,
Just from stalling and stalling
And stalling the wedding trip,
A person can develop la grippe.

When they get on the train for Niag'ra,
And she can hear church bells chime,
The compartment is air-conditioned
And the mood sublime,
Then they get off at Saratoga*
For the fourteenth time,
A person can develop la grippe [clears throat],
La grippe,
La postnasal drip,
With the wheezes and the sneezes,
And a sinus that's really a pip!
From a lack of community property
And a feeling she's getting too old,
A person, can develop a bad, bad cold......

                                                  *a race-track

Blues in the Night (Johnny Mercer - Harold Arlen)1940.

The lyric of this haunting song maybe loses something without Arlen's music, but I thought I'd post it anyway. I recall when travelling in the Deep South passing through all the places mentioned in the song.


My mama done tol' me, when I was in knee-pants
My mama done tol' me, 'Son, a woman'll sweet talk
And give ya the big-eye, but when the sweet-talkin's done,
A woman's a two-face,
A worrisome thing who'll leave ya to sing the blues in the night.'

Now the rain's a'fallin, hear the trains a callin; 'Whooee!
(My mama done tol' me)
Hear dat lonesome whistle blowin' 'cross the trestle, 'Whooee!'
(My mama done tol' me)
A whooee-ah-whooee,  ol' clickety-clack's a-echoin' back th' blues in the night.

The evenin' breeze'll start the trees to cryin'
And the moon'll hide its light
When you get the blues in the night....
Take my word, the mockin'bird'll sing the saddest kind o' song,
He knows things are wrong, and he's right.

From Natchez to Mobile, from Memphis to St Joe,
Wherever the four winds blow,
I been in some big towns an' heard me some big talk,
But there is one thing I know,
A woman's a two-face, a worrisome thing
Who'll leave ya to sing the blues in the night.

Re Miss Adelaide - I heard Barbara Windsor "sing" this twenty or so years ago. She couldn't sing, Gareth Hunt couldn't dance, but the guy who played Nicely Nicely Johnson was excellent.

Bunthorne's Soliloquy from 'Patience' W.S. Gilbert)

The poet, Bunthorne, reveals that his whole aesthetic pose is false.

Am I alone, and unobserved? I am!
Then let me own I'm an aesthetic sham!
This air severe
Is but a mere
This cynic smile
Is but a wile
Of guile!
This costume chaste
Is but good taste

Let me confess!

A languid love for lilies does not blight me!
Lank limbs and haggard cheeks do not delight me!
I do not care for dirty greens
By any means.
I do not long for all one sees
That's Japanese.
I am not fond of uttering platitudes
In stained-glass attitudes.
In short, my mediaevalism's affectation,
Born of a morbid love of admiration!

If you're anxious for to shine in the high aesthetic line
As a man of culture rare,
You must get up all the terms
Of the transcendental terms,
And plant them everywhere.
You must lie upon the dasies
And discourse in novel phrases
Of your complicated state of mind,
The meaning doesn't matter
If it's only idle chatter
Of a transcendental kind.

And every one will say
As you walk your mystic way,
"If this young man expresses himself in terms too deep for me,
Why, what a very singularly deep young man
This deep young man must be!

Be eloquent in praise
Of the very dull old days
Which have long since passed away,
And convince 'em,if you can, that the reign of Good Queen Anne
Was culture's palmiest day.
Of course you will pooh-pooh,whatever's fresh and new,
And declare it's crude and mean,
For Art stopped short at the cultivated court
Of the Empress Josephine.

And everyone will say
As you walk your mystic way,
"If that's not good enough for him which is good enough for me,
Why,what a very cultivated kind of youth
This kind of youth must be!

Then a sentimental passion
Of a vegetable fashion
Must excite your languid spleen,
An attachment a la Plato for a bashful young potato
Or a not-too-French French bean!
Though the Philistines may jostle, you will rank as an apostle
In the high aesthetic band,
If you walk down Piccadilly with a poppy or a lily
In your medieval hand.

And everyone will say,
As you walk your flowery way,
"If he's content with a vegetable love
Which would certainly not suit me,
Why, what a most particularly pure young man
This pure young man must be!"

                                         (Patience - Gilbert and Sullivan. 1881)

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