The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2335   Message #2981929
Posted By: Jim Dixon
07-Sep-10 - 07:57 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Foolish Questions (W Lee/A B Sloane)
Subject: Lyr Add: FOOLISH QUESTIONS (W Lee/A B Sloane)
From the sheet music at the UCLA Archive of Popular American Music:

Words, William Lee. Music, A. Baldwin Sloane.
New York: Chas. K. Harris, 1909.
"As sung by Jefferson De Angelis in DeKoven & Herbert's great success The Beauty Spot"

1. You've heard of foolish questions, and no doubt you've wondered why
A person who will ask them can expect a sane reply.
Did you ever bring a girl a box of candy after tea,
And notice how she grabs it, then says, "Is this for me?"
Foolish question! You should answer when you can:
"No! the candy's for your father or your mother or for John, the hired man!
I just wanted you to see it. Now I'll take it all away."
Now there's a question that you'll hear 'most ev'ry day.

2. Or if you've been away from town for sev'ral days or weeks,
What is it that a friend will ask the first time that he speaks?
He'll rush along to meet you and your shoulder he will whack,
And almost knock you silly as he hollers, "Are you back?"
Foolish question! and to answer in that line,
You should say, "Oh no, I haven't yet got back. Why, I'm at Bingen-on-the-Rhine!
I am traveling in Europe, and I won't be back till May!
Now there's a question that you'll hear 'most ev'ry day.

3. And then most ev'ry morning, there is someone 'round the place
Who sees you take a shaving brush and lather up your face,
And as you give the razor a preliminary wave,
This fool will always ask you, "Are you going to take a shave?"
Foolish question! And your answer is, I hope:
"No! I'm really not at all prepared for shaving, but I like the taste of soap!
I just like to take the shaving brush and paint myself this way."
Now there's a question that you'll hear 'most ev'ry day.

4. And then you all have met the man who stops you on your way.
He asks you where you're going, and then listens while you say
You are going to the funeral of poor old Brother Ned,
Then, as soon as you have told him, he will say, "Why, is he dead?"
Foolish question! And you might as well reply:
"No! He always thought that first he'd have the funeral. Then after while he'd die.
Brother Ned was so original, he wanted it that way."
Now there's a question that you'll hear 'most ev'ry day.

5. Or, if you should have a caller, say, some afternoon at five,
And, as you sit conversing, if the doctor should arrive,
Would your visitor be silent? Do you think that she'd be still?
Or, when she saw the doctor, would she say, "Is someone ill?"
Foolish question! And you answer with a shrug,
"No! There's no one ill; we simply have the doctor come to beat the parlor rug!
Sometimes, too, he tunes the grand piano when we want to play."
Now there's a question that you'll hear 'most ev'ry day.

6. Suppose an elevator boy forgets to close his doors,
And you should tumble down the shaft past twenty-seven floors,
And as you've reached the bottom and are lying there inert,
The first one who approaches will exclaim, "Why, are you hurt?"
Foolish question! And your dying words are, "No!
I was in an awful hurry and this elevator runs too blooming slow!
I have found I save a lot of time by coming down this way."
Now there's a question that you'll hear 'most ev'ry day.