Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why I will never be more than a chorus girl.

We saw a very good local performance of Oklahoma last night at the Thanksgiving Point Barn. I was a member of the chorus in my high school production of Oklahoma, so all through the show I sang along in my head, pretty much word for word, until Act II, scene i, when I realized, in a blinding flash of prairie lightning, that the line I had belted out exuberantly practice after practice, performance after performance, was supposed to be

"Cowman dance with the farmer's daughter, farmer dance with the rancher's gal!"

and NOT

"Cowman dance with the farmer's daughter, farmer dance with the rancher's cow!"

The real lyrics make a lot more sense, but a lot less humor. I like my version better. Now that I think about it, I really did give Rodgers and Hammerstein way too much credit -- I mean, anyone capable of writing an icky stand-by-your-man battered wife aria is of course incapable of appreciating the entertainment value of interspecies dating.


wynne said...


I like your version better. (And how did they teach you the lyrics? By memory I'm assuming--they didn't get sheet music for you all, right?)

Now I'm going to see if there's a clip on You Tube somewhere of Fred Astaire waltzing with a cow... (if only)

wynne said...

There--this is the best I could do. Not a movie clip, though...too bad.

Trish said...

You know that song we talked about on the way there in the car, "La Isla Bonita"? Well, I used to think the line that says "Young girls with eyes like the desert" said "Young girls with eyes like potatoes!"

So yeah.. I guess I understand what you are saying!

Carvel said...

Wynne, thanks for the photo of Fred and the cow. I will be a happier, less uptight person as soon as I learn to dance as enthusiastically as they do.

Carvel said...

Damn! I typed a perfectly splendid comment and sent it, and then typed another one, and apparently the earlier comment was erased by the later one. Why can't this blog service be as perfect as I am?

wynne said...

Marie, your dad said "damn."

I'm telling your mom.

wynne said...

...and speaking of you remember the Enya song "Sail Away"? With the surprising chorus:
sail away, sail away, sail away?

Jeff's mom thought that she was singing "save a whale, save a whale, save a whale."

Anonymous said...

Trish, as for la Isla Bonita. The line "last night I dreamt of San Pedro" my sister thought said, "last night I dreamt of a begger". ho ho ho, we have NEVER let her forget that folly. -Rachel

D'Arcy said...

I grew up thinking "Stop! In the NAME OF LOVE..."

was "STOP! In my neighborhood....."

and countless, countless others... I am horrible at lyric interpretation.

And "You make me feel like a natural woman...."

was always

"You make me feel like a man sure of a woman"
and I didn't get how that made any sense either.

Trish said...

Rachel.. here's another: Macy Gray's song that says "My world crumbles when you are not here" translated in my words as "I wear goggles when you are not here." Hilarious. I knew it was wrong but I kept singing it anyway!

lenalou said...

Yeah, your version is better.

I used to think James' "Unbelievable" lyrics were "You say to me I don't smoke enough," instead of "talk enough." Until I was at a club singing along and a friend said "WHAT did you say?"

Marie said...

Wynne -- Have I ever told you how much I love you? Thank you for Fred and the Cow. I will cherish them forever. As for your question, they did give out sheet music, but I only looked at it when it was a song that involved harmony (I was familiar enough with the movie version of Oklahoma that I knew all the melodies, and I THOUGHT I knew all the words :)

Trish -- I guess there are worse things than being told your eyes are like potatoes. For instance, being told your eyes are like the desert.

Rachel -- Well, if he was a hot beggar...? I'd rather dream of a hot beggar than of San Pedro. What's so great about San Pedro, anyway?

D'Arcy -- I'm hard of hearing and slow of wit and have had many such misinterpretations that I cannot recall at the moment because I have blocked them out. Too painful.

Lena -- Your valiant anti-tobacco crusade may have addled your brain. I prescribe one cigar; then listen to the song again and everything will be clear...