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Mr Eliot on shuffle; or, the poetry trouvee meme. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Mr Eliot on shuffle; or, the poetry trouvee meme.

You recall the drill: put yr digital moosic on random shuffle (‘random shuffle’: physical attitude adopted by yoofs ’angin’ abaht dahn the High), take the first line of the first twenty songs as yr poem and the first line of the first-and-twentieth as its title. 


Not so easy as it seems when most of one’s music is instrumental, I may add.  And this did not at first look promising.  However, with judicious punctuation, one derives something that, to the nation’s shame, might easily be published, praised, and given prizes, which show how ghastlily low standards have become.


I shall let a few days pass before revealing the more obscure lyric sources.



It Ain’t Necessarily So


And did those feet in ancient time –

(For I’m called Little Buttercup, dear Little Buttercup) –

Sometimes I wonder, just what am I fighting for?

If you ever plan to motor West,

Don’t tell me not to fly.


I lie awake in my bed and I’m thinkin’ of you

(Five thousand light-years from Birdland;

Ella mi fu rapita):

I love you for sentimental reasons.


Missed the Saturday dance,

When France had her assistance lent;

That old black magic has me in its spell:

Iron-clad feather’d-feet pounding the dust:

Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today, madam.


And now, the purple dusk of twilight time,

Far away across the ocean, underneath an Indian star.

When I was seventeen,

Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, anointed Solomon king.

Won’t you come and go with me down that Mississippi?


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5 comments or Leave a comment
17catherines From: 17catherines Date: December 3rd, 2008 01:12 am (UTC) (Link)
It *almost* makes sense. And there are some nice internal rhymes in the third verse...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 12th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Frightening, isn't it.

I shd set it to music....
17catherines From: 17catherines Date: December 13th, 2008 10:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Frightening, isn't it.

Something a bit polyphonic would be nice. Maybe keep the main sections straightforward, with everyone in time at least lyrics-wise, but make the bracketed bits into insane little fugal sections?

(admittedly, this advice probably reflects my weakness for polyphony with insane little fugal sections more than it reflects the lyrics. But I still think it would be good. I, for one, would sing it.)
alliekiwi From: alliekiwi Date: December 12th, 2008 08:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Which version of Miss Otis Regrets do you have?

I only recognise 5 of the songs. However, I do prefer Pirates of Penzance rather that infernal nonsense Pinafore. ;)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 12th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)


Two: Ella's, and Carmen McRAe's. On CD or record, the Mills Brothers and Edith Piaf.

I shall post the answers shortly.
5 comments or Leave a comment