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Lyr Req: The Sloth (Flanders & Swann)

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Wordwitch 27 Dec 99 - 10:54 AM
Pete Peterson 27 Dec 99 - 11:04 AM
sophocleese 27 Dec 99 - 01:01 PM
Wordwitch 27 Dec 99 - 01:19 PM
eggman 27 Dec 99 - 03:08 PM
Micca 27 Dec 99 - 03:58 PM
Micca 27 Dec 99 - 04:24 PM
Pete Peterson 27 Dec 99 - 05:20 PM
Micca 27 Dec 99 - 08:14 PM
Pete Peterson 27 Dec 99 - 10:21 PM
sophocleese 29 Dec 99 - 03:38 PM
Wordwitch 31 Dec 99 - 11:04 AM
raredance 01 Jan 00 - 11:44 AM
Lyda 05 Jan 00 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Sloth lover 07 Sep 04 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,David Ingerson 08 Sep 04 - 02:21 AM
Liz the Squeak 08 Sep 04 - 03:20 AM
KateG 08 Sep 04 - 01:19 PM
Stewart 08 Sep 04 - 05:18 PM
mack/misophist 08 Sep 04 - 08:19 PM
Joybell 09 Sep 04 - 08:22 PM
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Subject: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Wordwitch
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 10:54 AM

Back in the days of 8-track tapes, on a car trip we hearkened to the Brothers Four singing a variety of tunes including several I have since found. (Sakura, for example.) But there was one I loved, to which I have never since found referral. It was about a three-toed sloth. Some of the words are ...

I have three toes on either foot, or half a doz on both. ....

While eager beavers overhead rush through the undergrowth I watch the clouds beneath my feet How sweet to be a sloth.

O I could climb the very highest himalayas Be among the greatest ever tennis players Or be a crook Or learn to cook Win a war, then write a book about it. I could paint a Mona Lisa I could be another Caesar Compose an oratorio that was sublime Oh, the door's not shut on my genius But I just don't have the time (No he just don't have the time) No, I just don't have ... (He's nothing but a blooming sloth!)

Given that the last time I heard this was in the early 70s, you can see how much of an impact it had on me. Anyone have ALL the lyrics, so I can sing it to my disbelieving child?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 11:04 AM

The song is by Flanders and Swann and should be in "The Bestiary of Flanders and Swann"; sadly, I lack a copy. If all else fails I will post what I remember after a Decent Interval has elapsed & nobody else has stepped forward. It starts out
A Bradypus, or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease
Contented not to do or die, but idle, as I please
I have three toes on either foot, or half a doz' on both
with leaves and nuts and fruit to eat, how sweet to be a Sloth

BTW, the part I most lack is the fast part, which you seem to have nailed! Between the two of us we can reconstruct it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: sophocleese
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 01:01 PM

From the dark recesses of my husband's memory comes this tune. First verse as Pete wrote it. Then comes..

The world is such a cheerful place when viewed from upside down./ It makes a rise of every fall, a smile of every frown./ While eager beavers overhead rush through the undergrowth,/ I think of all the things I'd try if I were not a sloth.

O I could climb the very highest himalayas, Be among the greatest ever tennis players, Win at chess or marry a princess, Or study hard and be an eminent professor, I could be a millionaire, play the clarinet, travel everywhere, catch a crook or learn to cook, win a war then write a book about it, I could paint a Mona Lisa I could be another Caesar, Compose an oratorio that was sublime,....(you've got the rest above)

For ............ I sleep and dream and doze, ............suspended by my toes, .................butterfly or moth, watch the clouds beneath my feet how sweet to be a sloth.

The last verse we're having difficulty with but it's on a record at my inlaws and we're heading over there today. I'll fill in the rest when I get back if nobody else has yet done so.

Sophocleese.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Wordwitch
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 01:19 PM

Oh, this is going well! Pete, thanks! Sophocleese, when you've filled in that last verse, I'll post the whole thing!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: eggman
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 03:08 PM

I learned the line as "always win at chess"

And I recall it was " I watch the fleeting flutterby of butterfly or moth, and think of all the things I'd try if I were not a sloth." That doesn't square with sophocleese, whose wisdom is legend, so I am probably muddling (or perhaps that should by muddying) verses.

I have it on a record of the King Singers Sing Flanders and Swann, which I high recommend. I will post in its entirety tonight unless beaten to it.

Never mind, my mum has come through with it, from The Songs of Michael Flanders & Donald Swann, St. Martin's Press, 1977:

A Bradypus or sloth am I I live a life of ease contented not to do or die But idle as I please;

I have threee toes on either foot Or half-a-doz on both With leaves and fruits and shoots to eat how sweet to be a sloth.

The world is such a cheerful place When viewed from upside down; It makes a rise of every fall, A smile of every frown;

I watch the fleeting flutterby of butterfly or moth And think of all the things I'd try If I were not a sloth.

I could climb the very highest Himalalyas Be mong the greatest ever tennins players, Always win at chess or marry a princess or study hard and be an eminent professor, I could be a millionaire, play the clarinet, Travel everywhere, Learn to cook, catch a crook, win a war then write a book about it I could paint a Mona Lisa I could be another Caesar Compose an oratorio that was sublime: The door's not shut on my genius but I just don't have the time!

For days and days among the trees I sleep and dream and doze just gently swaying in the breeze; suspended by my toes While eager beavers overhead rush through the undergrowth, I watch the sky beneath my feet-- how sweet to be a sloth.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Micca
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 03:58 PM

That first verse should be
" with leaves and fruit and shoots to eat
How sweet to be a Sloth"
2nd verse
The world is such a cheerful place
when viewed from upside down.
It makes a rise of every fall,
a smile of every frown.
I watch the fleeting flutter by
of Butterfly or Moth
and think of all the things I'd try
if I was not a sloth I could climb the very highest Himalays etc (as above)

For days and days I sleep
and Dream and doze
just gently swaying in the breeze
Suspended by my toes
While eager beavers overhead
rush through the undergrowth,
I watch the clouds beneath my feet
How sweet to be a sloth
I have checked this against the CD the "Bestiary of Flanders and Swann" for accuracy. Micca


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SLOTH (Michael Flanders)
From: Micca
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 04:24 PM

THE SLOTH
Words and Music by Michael Flanders

A Bradypus or sloth am I.
I live a life of ease.
Contented not to do or die,
But idle, as I please.
I have three toes on either foot,
Or half a doz' on both.
With leaves and fruit and shoots to eat,
How sweet to be a sloth!

The world is such a cheerful place
When viewed from upside down,
It makes a rise of every fall,
A smile of every frown.
I watch the fleeting flutter by
Of butterfly or moth,
And think of all the things I’d try
If I were not a sloth.

I could climb the very highest Himalayas,
Be among the greatest ever tennis players,
Win at chess, or marry a princess, or
Study hard and be an eminent professor.
I could be a millionaire,
Play the clarinet, travel everywhere,
Learn to cook, catch a crook
Win a war then write a book about it;
I could paint a Mona Lisa.
I could be another Caesar,
Compose an oratorio that was sublime.
The door's not shut
On my genius, but
I just don't have the time.

For days and days among the trees,
I sleep and dream and doze,
Just gently swaying in the breeze,
Suspended by my toes.
While eager beavers overhead
Rush through the undergrowth,
I watch the clouds beneath my feet.
How sweet to be a sloth!


Sorry for the mistake above this is complete and definitive Micca.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 05:20 PM

thanks for letting me off the hook. Procrastination wins again! well, that's what the song is about too


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Micca
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 08:14 PM

Procrastination? your not from the Western usles of scotland are you? Someone from there told me once that there is nothing so urgent (to an Isles man) that the Spanish word "Manana" would cover it. Hope the Lyric helps,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 27 Dec 99 - 10:21 PM

I was once (at work) fed about the greatest straight line that I have ever gotten. A is complaining to B (with me listening) that B hasn't done something on time and B says I'll get to it as soon as I can." A says, angrily "and what does THAT mean" and I turned to him and sweetly said "it means manana, but without the urgency." I don't have that job any more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: sophocleese
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 03:38 PM

eggman, yes my wisdom is legendary, it also almost entirely mythical so don't worry. I'm glad others have kicked in with all of the correct words because I'm ashamed to admit that while at my inlaws I totally and utterly forgot to listen to that record. OOPS. But hey my ass is covered and the words are out there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Wordwitch
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 11:04 AM

Thank you all so very much! Now to memorize it ....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: raredance
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 11:44 AM

The Brothers Four rendition of "The Sloth" can be found on the CD "The Brothers Four - Silver Anniversary Concert". I don't know if it was also on an earlier LP other than it is not on 10 I have access to.

rich r


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Subject: The Three-toed Sloth
From: Lyda
Date: 05 Jan 00 - 12:01 PM

Hi There,

I'm looking for a song called "The Sloth" or "The Three-toed Sloth" which I first heard in the late sixties. I believe it's a song the Chad Mitchell Trio sang, although maybe it was the Kinston Trio, but the piece really fits the more satirical-whimsical style of the Chad Mitchell Trio.

Does anyone know who recorded this song? Or what album it was on? Does anyone know the lyrics or chords? I've searched Amazon.com and can't find the song on the few Chad Mitchell CD's they have there.

Help.

Thanks

lyda@pacbell.net


I moved this message here from another thread on the same topic.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: WOW! Thank you all
From: GUEST,Sloth lover
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 03:19 PM

Many years ago, I heard this song on the radio.
Loved it, but didn't remember the info on it.
Since connecting to the internet, seven years ago, been Searching for this song. Always searched for something like "I'd love to be a sloth" never found it.
Almost thought I imagined the song. But tonight, I realized that it's "how sweet to be a sloth" and bingo!
Such a good feeling + a huge smile.

Thank you all, you're great!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: GUEST,David Ingerson
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 02:21 AM

Interesting to note that the authors have set up the rhyme scheme to include both pronunciations of that slow and decidedly unGothic creature.

David


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 03:20 AM

That's the sort of authors Flanders and Swann were. Their wordplay was legendary and still has different nuances every time I listen.

The major problem with their music now is that you have to a) listen to the lyrics and b) have a pretty good vocabulary to get the jokes. Even after 40 years, the political references (nil combustibus Profumo) are funny, but just wouldn't work with any other name. It requires a little bit more history than they appear to be teaching at school these days (Oh ye Gods, I'm turning into my father!).

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: KateG
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 01:19 PM

Flanders and Swann weren't the only ones to revel in wordplay. Noel Coward, Rogers & Hart, early Lerner & Lowe, and others who fail to leap into the front of my memory. Oh, and let's not forget Tom Leherer. There was a whole genre of songs in the mid 20th century that relished wordplay, puns, topical references and unusual internal and external rhymes. Unfortunately the phase passed, leaving us with "I wanna hold your hand" and worse.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Stewart
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 05:18 PM

And Newman Levy also.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 08:19 PM

Great song. It's now part of my collection. Does anybody have a midi?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: How Sweet to Be a Sloth?
From: Joybell
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 08:22 PM

That sort of word-play was common, in songs, in the 19th Century too. It's just that topical references and humour date quickly and don't get remembered. Joy


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