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Selected Lyrics by Cole Porter
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's review
Aug 17, 09

bookshelves: poetry
Read in August, 2009


Porter, Cole. SELECTED LYRICS. (2006). *****. George Burns used to have a club act where he would sing the verse of a song and then stop. Everyone in the audience would wonder: “What song is he singing?” Then he would jump into the chorus/refrain, and everyone immediately knew the song. So many of Porter’s songs are like that. Take the following:

Verse:
My story is much too sad to be told,
But practically ev’rything leaves me totally cold.
The only exception I know is the case
Where I’m out on a quiet spree
Fighting vainly the old ennue
And I suddenly turn and see
Your fabulous face.

Refrain:
I get no kick from champagne,
Mere alcohol doesn’t thrill me at all,
So tell me why should it be true
That I get a kick out of you? etc.

Some of his songs (he wrote both the lyrics and the music) became so popular that there were knock-offs and parodies. Here’s a parody written by Irving Berlin for “Your the Top,”

You’re the top!
You’re Miss Pinkham’s tonic.
You’re the top!
You’re a high colonic.
You’re the burning heat of a bridal suite in use,
You’re the breasts of Venus,
You’re King Kong’s penis,
You’re self abuse. etc, etc.

This marvelous volume edited by Porter expert Robert Kimball presents about 90 of Porter’s 800 known songs, and provides an introduction that gives you a flavor of his life. This is one of the latest in the series, “American Poets Project” from The Library of America. Go out and buy it. Highly recommended.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Alan (new)

Alan CP is my favorite composer. I sit and play his songs on the piano for hours. Did you see the movie "De-Lovely"?


Tony I did. Great entertainment.


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