Author Topic: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece  (Read 53458 times)

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2019, 01:24:00 pm »
Here's an early version, from 1929.  Tom Barrett, directed by Nat Star.  Totally different lyrics in London then. 


[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT8bl9uUQhs[/youtube]

This is my (not very good) transcript, based on what I can make out.  Fun tempo!

The nightingales in the dark do it,
Larks crazy for a lark do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

(_____) in the house do it,
When they're out of season grouse do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

The most sedate barnyard fowls do it,
When a chanticleer cries,
High-browed old owls do it,
They're supposed to be wise.

(_______) flocks on the rocks do it,
Even little cuckoos in their clocks do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

After all these years, I found a source for the English/British lyrics! 

Here they are:

(bird verse)
The nightingales, in the dark, do it,
Larks, k-razy for a lark, do it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Canaries, caged in the house, do it,
When they're out of season, grouse do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

The most sedate barnyard fowls do it,
When a chanticleer cries.
High-browed old owls do it,
They're supposed to be wise.

Penguins in flocks, on the rocks, do it,
Even little cuckoos, in their clocks, do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

(marine verse)
Young whelks and winkles in pubs do it,
Little sponges, in their tubs, do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Cold salmon, quite 'gainst their wish, do it,
Even lazy jellyfish do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.
 
The most select schools of cod do it,
Though it shocks 'em, I fear. 
Sturgeon, thank God, do it,
Have some caviar, dear.

In shady shoals, English soles do it,
Goldfish in the privacy of bowls, do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2019, 02:46:56 pm »
"Let's Do It" was Porter's first so-called "list" song.  One other famous one is "You're the Top", from "Anything Goes", 1934.

The original lyrics contain some rather obscure references to things/people popular in the 1930s.  Here are the lyrics, with a glossary.

You're The Top

(verse 1)
At words poetic, I’m so pathetic
That I always have found it best,
Instead of getting ‘em off my chest,
To let ‘em rest unexpressed.
I hate parading my serenading
As I’ll probably miss a bar,
But if this ditty is not so pretty
At least it’ll tell you
How great you are.

(refrain 1)
You’re the top!
You’re the Coliseum,
You’re the top!
You’re the Louvre Museum.
You’re a melody from a symphony by Strauss.
You’re a Bendel bonnet, (Bendel's, the famous store on 5th Avenue, recently closed)
A Shakespeare’s sonnet,
You’re Mickey Mouse.
You’re the Nile,
You’re the Tower of Pisa,
You’re the smile on the Mona Lisa
I’m a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I’m the bottom you’re the top!

(verse 2)
Your words poetic are not pathetic.
On the other hand, babe, you shine,
And I can feel after every line
A thrill divine
Down my spine.
Now gifted humans like Vincent Youmans (American musical-comedy composer (1898-1946), best known today for the songs “Tea For Two” and “More Than You Know.”)
Might think that your song is bad,
But I got a notion
I’ll second the motion
And this is what I’m going to add:
(alternatively: 
But for a person
Who's just rehearsin',
Well, I gotta say this, my lad:
)


(refrain 2)
You’re the top!
You’re Mahatma Gandhi.
You’re the top!
You’re Napoleon Brandy.
You’re the purple light
Of a summer night in Spain,
You’re the National Gallery
You’re Garbo’s salary, (After the success of Flesh and the Devil (1927), Greta Garbo demanded that MGM raise her salary from $600 per week to $5,000 per week. Louis B. Mayer hemmed and hawed, so Garbo sailed to Sweden. Eventually Mayer gave in and Garbo sailed back. $5,000 per week comes to $260,000 per year, or the equivalent in today’s dollars of $4.6 million per year.)
You’re cellophane. (Invented by Jacques E. Brandenberger, a Swiss textile engineer, in 1908; licensed to DuPont for North American distribution in 1923; rendered moisture-proof, and therefore suitable for packaging food, in 1927.)
You’re sublime,
You’re a turkey dinner,
You’re the time of the Derby winner.
I’m a toy balloon that is fated soon to pop
But if, baby, I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

(refrain 3)
You’re the top!
You’re a Ritz hot toddy. (Hot water, brandy, sugar, lemon, and cinnamon sticks.)
You’re the top!
You’re a Brewster body. (Starting about 1900, Brewster & Co., a carriage-maker located on Long Island, began building exteriors (“bodies”) for luxury automobiles.)
You’re the boats that glide
On the sleepy Zuider Zee, (An inlet of the North Sea in the Netherlands. Created by a flood in 1287, it was sealed off from the North Sea (thereby rendered “sleepy”?) in 1932.)
You’re a Nathan panning, (George Jean Nathan (1882-1958) was a famously severe theater critic for the New York Herald and Journal-American.)
You’re Bishop Manning, (William Thomas Manning (1866-1949) was the Episcopal bishop of New York state from 1921 to 1946.)
You’re broccoli!
You’re a prize,
You’re a night at Coney,
You’re the eyes of Irene Bordoni. (A seductive French-born musical-comedy actress. In Porter’s 1928 musical, Paris, she sang “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love),” which was Porter’s first hit song.)
I’m a broken doll,
A fol-de-rol, a blop,
But if, Baby, I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

(refrain 4)
You’re the top!
You’re an Arrow collar. (A line of detachable men’s collars best remembered for the fantastically successful advertising campaign used to market them. The “Arrow Collar man” represented a new and rapidly growing urbanized middle class.)
You’re the top!
You’re a Coolidge dollar. (Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the U.S. (1923-1929). The Coolidge dollar was sound and strong before the stock market crash.)
You’re the nimble tread
Of the feet of Fred Astaire,
You’re an O’Neill drama,
You’re Whistler’s mama,
You’re Camembert.
You’re a rose,
You’re Inferno’s Dante.
You’re the nose
On the great Durante.
I’m just in the way,
As the French would say, “de trop.”
But if, baby, I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

(refrain 5)
You're the top!
You’re a Waldorf salad. (A popular salad created in 1896 by the maitre d’hotel at the Waldorf-Astoria. Its principal ingredients were apples, celery, lettuce, and mayonnaise. Walnuts were added a few years later.)
You’re the top!
You’re a Berlin ballad.
You’re a baby grand
Of a lady and a gent.
You’re an old Dutch master, (A painting, not a cigar.)
You’re Mrs. Astor, (The Viscountess Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor (1879-1964), who became the first woman to serve in Parliament. An American, she married the great-great grandson of John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) America’s first millionaire. (Astor’s great-grandson had emigrated to Britain and essentially bought himself a peerage that he passed onto his son.) Mrs. Astor is said to have famously matched wits with Winston Churchill. She: “Winston, if I were your wife I’d put poison in your coffee.” Churchill replied, “Madam, if I were your husband I’d drink it.”)
You’re Pepsodent!
You’re romance,
You’re the steppes of Russia,
You’re the pants
On a Roxy usher. (The famous Roxy Theatre "the Cathedral of motion pictures" on Seventh Ave, at 50th Street in Manhattan had a squad of ushers who were trained like an army platoon. They wore very tight pants.)
I’m a lazy lout that’s just about to stop,
But if, baby, I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

(refrain 6)
You’re the top!
You’re a dance in Bali.
You’re the top!
You’re a hot tamale.
You’re an angel, you,
Simply too, too, too diveen,
You’re a Boticcelli,
You’re Keats,
You’re Shelley,
You’re Ovaltine.
You’re a boon,
You’re the dam at Boulder. (An engineering marvel of the 1930s, located outside Las Vegas. In 1930, President Herbert Hoover had his interior secretary rename it “Hoover Dam” in order to boost his re-election chances in 1932; Hoover wanted to be associated with the 5,000 jobs created by the dam’s construction. This crude political ploy didn’t work, and in 1933 Hoover’s successor, Franklin Roosevelt, had his interior secretary change the name back to Boulder Dam. In 1947, a briefly Republican Congress changed the name one last time, back to Hoover Dam.)
You’re the moon,
Over Mae West’s shoulder.
I’m the nominee of the G.O.P. (Porter here shows amazing prescience. Franklin Roosevelt, voted in two years earlier, would be elected to three additional terms, and the Democrats would dominate presidential politics through the late 1960s. (The only Republican elected president during these years was Dwight Eisenhower, whose warnings about the “military-industrial complex” would today make him too left-wing to win the Democratic nomination, let alone the Republican.))
Or GOP!
But if, baby, I’m the bottom,
You’re the top!

(refrain 7)
You’re the top!
You’re the Towel of Babel,
You’re the top
You’re the Whitney stable.  (The Whitney family had a thoroughbred stable that produced a remarkable string of winning racehorses.)
By the river Rhine you’re a sturdy stein of beer.
You’re a dress from Saks’s,
You’re next year’s taxes, (Faint praise, it seems to me. Presumably, next year’s taxes are preferable to this year’s taxes because you don’t have to pay them until … next year.)
You’re stratosphere!
You’re my fuyst,
You’re a drumstick lipstick. (A brand of makeup manufactured by Charbert, a French cosmetics firm.)
You’re da foist
In da Irish svipstick. (The Irish Sweepstakes (formally the Irish Hospitals’ Sweepstakes) began in 1930 and continues to this day, though in 1988 it was renamed the Irish Lottery.)
I’m a frightened frog that can find no log to hop,
But if baby I’m the bottom
You’re the top!

(refrain 8, very rare)
You're the top!
You're my Swanee River.
You're the top!
You're a goose's liver.
You're the boy who dares challenge Mrs. Baer's son, Max. (Max Baer, World Heavyweight Champion in the 1930s.)
You're a Russian ballet.
You're Rudy Vallée.
You're Phenolax. (A 1930s laxative.)
You're much more.
You're a field of clover.
I'm the floor when the ball is over.
I'm a eunuch who has just been through an op, (!)
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top!


(sources:
http://www.playbill.com/article/a-users-guide-to-cole-porters-youre-the-top-com-101070
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2005/06/a-skeleton-key-to-you-re-the-top.html)

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2019, 03:30:54 pm »
My other favorite Porter "list" song is "Brush Up Your Shakespeare", from "Kiss Me Kate", 1948.

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

The girls today in society go for classical poetry
So to win their hearts one must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides
One must know Homer, and believe me, Bo
Sophocles, also Sappho-ho
Unless you know Shelley and Keats and Pope
Dainty debbies (i.e. debutantes)will call you a dope

But the poet of them all
Who will start 'em simply ravin'
Is the poet people call
The Bard of Stratford on Avon

{Refrain}
Brush up your Shakespeare
Start quoting him now
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow

Just declaim a few lines from "Othella"
And they'll think you're a hell of a fella
If your blonde won't respond when you flatter 'er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopatterer

If she fights when her clothes you are mussing
What are clothes?  "Much Ado About Nussing"
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow

{Refrain}

With the wife of the British ambassida
Try a crack out of "Troilus and Cressida"
If she says she won't buy it or tike it
Make her tike it, what's more "As You Like It"

If she says your behavior is heinous
Kick her right in the "Coriolanus"
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow

{Refrain}

If you can't be a ham and do "Hamlet"
They will not give a damn or a damlet
Just recite an occasional sonnet
And your lap'll have honey upon it

When your baby is pleading for pleasure
Let her sample your "Measure for Measure"
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow - Forsooth
And they'll all kow-tow
And they'll all kow-tow

{Refrain}

Better mention "The Merchant Of Venice"
When her sweet pound o' flesh you would menace
If her virtue, at first, she defends---well
Just remind her that "All's Well That Ends Well"

And if still she won't give you a bonus
You know what Venus got from Adonis
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow - Thinkst thou?
And they'll all kow-tow - Odds bodkins
And they'll all kow-tow

{Refrain}

If your goil is a Washington Heights dream
Treat the kid to "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
If she then wants an all-by-herself night
Let her rest ev'ry 'leventh or "Twelfth Night"

If because of your heat she gets huffy
Simply play on and "Lay on, Macduffy!"
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they'll all kow-tow - Forsooth
And they'll all kow-tow - Thinkst thou?
And they'll all kow-tow - We trou'
And they'll all kow-tow

(reprise)
Brush up your Shakespeare,
Start quoting him now.
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow.
So tonight just recite to your matey,
“Kiss me, Kate. Kiss me, Kate. Kiss me, Katey.”
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they’ll all kow-tow.

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2019, 07:20:56 pm »
He really was a genius, the likes of which we just do not see today.  :'(

I spent some delightful time brushing up on Cole Porter's life. Thanks for the lovely lyrics, and thanks for the hint!!
When you see the smiley face in the sky, the pandemic will be over!