Thursday, May 26, 2005

Almost Homological Parody

To spike the guns of my adoring public, let me say here and now that the following did not turn out as it was conceived. First of all, the idea is so obvious as to be puerile. Still, I thought I might excuse that failing, if the execution was sufficiently ginchy. Alas, what started as an exercise in the specific and concrete (the second and third lines) soon became a vague, generalized primal scream, lacking in any finesse. And some of the lines, particularly in the second release, come across (if at all) better when read than when sung. Ah, me. Pencil this one in, folks. The tune, incidentally, is Bricusse's and Newley's A Wonderful Day Like Today. A link to 30 seconds of Cyril Ritchard singing it can be found by scrolling down the page here.

On a pestilent day like today,
I expect to contract some contagious disease—
Lock myself out after losing my keys,
On this social-disease-ridden day.

On a scrofulous morning like this,
When the sun is a big melanoma machine,
Nothing can spare us the mujihadeen
Metaphoric’ly bombing our bris.

On a morning like this, I’m so piss-poor in spirit,
I’ll probably end the day dead;
You may argue I won’t, but I don’t want to hear it;
Forget it, guys—I realize
I shoulda stood in bed.

If I seem incoherent, okay—
That’s the price that you pay for a really good grouch.
Deep in my heart is a feeling of ouch,
For the best-laid of plans gang agley
On a pestilent day like today.

* * * *

On a morning like this, the Abyss seems to bait me;
It patiently waits for my fall.
I’d appeal to the gods, but the odds are, they hate me.
The likelihood that I’m in good
Is vanishingly small.

I would fall on my soup-bones and pray,
But the spark in my soul has completely gone out;
Ravenous dingoes are prowling about—
I no longer can keep them at bay,
On a pestilent day like today.

Lyric © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov


Blogger sallie parker said...

Your excellent, in-depth linked page on Roar of the Greasepaint has some variant lyrics I don't remember ever hearing or singing. The opening line of the show, sung by the first urchin (Cindy--that's me), is "Red is the color of a pretty pillar box." Here it becomes "Red is the color of a lot of lollipops." I remember that line distinctly because I had not yet fathomed what a pillar-box was. I have completely forgot the middle part of the song, about the Beautiful Land. No doubt I sang and danced to it. Memory is such a sieve.

Here's another. Cyril Ritchard (and our substitute) sang "You must never shoot grouse in September," not "You must never shoot trout..." Why would you shoot trout? Or not? I may not have known pillar-boxes but I knew grouse season was August.

Now I'm beginning to think there were two or more original cast albums, one with the lyrics I knew, and another one with totally unnecessary "Americanized" lyric changes. Yeah, right, for all those Broadway denizens who go shooting trout in August.

9:44 AM  

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