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Origins: Bluebeard (by Guy Wetmore Carryl)

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BLUEBEARD


Stewart 09 Jun 11 - 07:20 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jun 11 - 02:17 AM
Stewart 10 Jun 11 - 12:17 PM
Haruo 17 Aug 17 - 07:12 PM
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Subject: BLUEBEARD by Guy Wetmore Carryl
From: Stewart
Date: 09 Jun 11 - 07:20 PM

I included BLUEBEARD in my collection of Newman Levy songs since it sounds like something Newman would have written (from DT - Note: I don't know who wrote this, but it sounds like Newman Levy. Anybody know? RG). But I just found out Bluebeard was written by Guy Wetmore Carryl. It is from his book Grimm Tales Made Gay, and the full title of the poem is "How the Helpmate of Blue-Beard Made Free with a Door".

I never could find any mention of Bluebeard in any of Newman Levy's writing. This solves the mystery. It looks like there are some great poems and puns by Guy Carryl. I think he merits some review.

"You are only absurd when you get in the curd,
But you're rude when you get in the whey."
from "The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet," by Guy Wetmore Carryl.

see also Newman Levy Songs in the MC Forum.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: DT Correction: BLUEBEARD by Guy Wetmore Carryl
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 02:17 AM

As Wikipedia says, Guy Wetmore Carryl (March 4, 1873 – April 1, 1904) was an American humorist and poet. The full name of "Bluebeard" is How the Helpmate of Blue-Beard Made Free with a Door. It can be found in Carryl's 1902 masterpiece, Grimm Tales Made Gay. There's an illustrated copy of Grimm Tales at www.gutenberg.org - this is great stuff.

"Bluebeard" is also in Song Fest.

How the Helpmate of Blue-Beard
Made Free with a Door

(Guy Wetmore Carryl)

A maiden from the Bosphorus,
With eyes as bright as phosphorus,
Once wed the wealthy bailiff
Of the caliph
Of Kelat.
Though diligent and zealous, he
Became a slave to jealousy.
(Considering her beauty,
'Twas his duty
To be that!)

When business would necessitate
A journey, he would hesitate,
But, fearing to disgust her,
He would trust her
With his keys,
Remarking to her prayerfully:
"I beg you'll use them carefully.
Don't look what I deposit
In that closet,
If you please."

It may be mentioned, casually,
That blue as lapis lazuli
He dyed his hair, his lashes,
His mustaches,
And his beard.
And, just because he did it, he
Aroused his wife 's timidity:
Her terror she dissembled,
But she trembled
When he neared.

This feeling insalubrious
Soon made her most lugubrious,
And bitterly she missed her
Elder sister
Marie Anne:
She asked if she might write her to
Come down and spend a night or two,
Her husband answered rightly
And politely:
"Yes, you can!"

Blue-Beard, the Monday following,
His jealous feeling swallowing,
Packed all his clothes together
In a leather-
Bound valise,
And, feigning reprehensibly,
He started out, ostensibly
By traveling to learn a
Bit of Smyrna
And of Greece.

His wife made but a cursory
Inspection of the nursery;
The kitchen and the airy
Little dairy
Were a bore,
As well as big or scanty rooms,
And billiard, bath, and ante-rooms,
But not that interdicted
And restricted
Little door!

For, all her curiosity
Awakened by the closet he
So carefully had hidden,
And forbidden
Her to see,
This damsel disobedient
Did something inexpedient,
And in the keyhole tiny
Turned the shiny
Little key:

Then started back impulsively,
And shrieked aloud convulsively --
Three heads of girls he'd wedded
And beheaded
Met her eye!
And turning round, much terrified,
Her darkest fears were verified,
For Blue-Beard stood behind her,
Come to find her
On the sly!

Perceiving she was fated to
Be soon decapitated, too,
She telegraphed her brothers
And some others
What she feared.
And Sister Anne looked out for them,
In readiness to shout for them
Whenever in the distance
With assistance
They appeared.

But only from her battlement
She saw some dust that cattle meant.
The ordinary story
Isn't gory,
But a jest.
But here's the truth unqualified.
The husband wasn't mollified
Her head is in his bloody
Little study
With the rest!

The Moral: Wives, we must allow,
Who to their husbands will not bow,
A stern and dreadful lesson learn
When, as you've read, they're cut in turn.

Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904), Grimm Tales Made Gay.
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1902.

Here's the version from the Digital Tradition, with a few corrections.

BLUEBEARD
(by Guy Wetmore Carryl, modified for singing)

A maiden from the Bosporus,
with eyes as bright as phosphorus,
Once wed the mighty bailiff
of the caliph of Kelat.
Though diligent and zealous, he
was somewhat prone to jealousy,
(Considering her beauty,
'twas his duty to be that!)

CHORUS: Yuazuram, oh yuazuram,
Glory hallelujah, yuazuram.

It might be mentioned, casually,
that blue as lapis lazuli,
He dyed his lips, his lashes,
his mustaches, and his beard.
And, just because he did it, he
aroused his wife's timidity;
Her terror she dissembled,
yet she trembled when he neared.

This feeling insalubrious
soon made her most lugubrious,
And bitterly she missed her
elder sister, Marie Anne;
She asked if she might write her to
come down and spend a night or two,
And Bluebeard answered rightly
and politely, "yes, you can!"

When business would necessitate
a journey, he would hesitate,
But, fearing to mistrust her,
he would trust her with the keys,
Bidding her most prayerfully,
"I beg you'll use them carefully.
Don't look what I deposit
in the closet, if you please."

Bluebeard, the Monday following,
his jealous feeling swallowing,
Packed all his clothes together
in a leather-bound valise,
And, feigning reprehensibly,*
he started out, ostensibly
By traveling to learn a
bit of Smyrna and of Greece.

His wife made but a cursory
inspection of the nursery,
The kitchen and the airy
little dairy were a bore,
Likewise the large and scanty rooms,
the billiard, bath, and ante-rooms,
But not that interdicted
and restricted little door!

At last, her curiosity
awakened by the closet he
So carefully had hidden,
and forbidden her to see,
This damsel disobedient
did something inexpedient,
And in the keyhole tiny
turned the shiny little key.

She shrieked aloud convulsively
and started back repulsively
Ten heads of girls he'd wedded
and beheaded met her eye!
And turning 'round, most terrified,
her darkest fears were verified,
For Bluebeard stood behind her,
come to find her on the sly!

Perceiving she was fated to
be soon decapitated, too,
She telegraphed her brothers
and some others what she feared.
And Sister Anne looked out for them,
in readiness to shout for them
Whenever in the distance
with assistance they appeared.

But only from the battlement
she saw some dust that cattle meant.
The ordinary story
isn't gory, it's a jest!
For here's the truth unqualified,
her husband wasn't mollified
Her head is in his bloody
little study with the rest!

Source: Song Fest, 1948 edition, by Dick and Sue Best, pages 15-16

*"Song Fest" has it "And, feigning reprehensibility...."
The original 1902 poem has "feigning reprehensibly," which scans better and makes more sense.
The original Digital Tradition lyrics had "And, feigning business, sensibly,"

@murder @marriage
filename[ BLUBEARD
TUNE FILE: BLUBEARD
CLICK TO PLAY
RG


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bluebeard (by Guy Wetmore Carryl)
From: Stewart
Date: 10 Jun 11 - 12:17 PM

Thanks Joe for those side-by-side comparisons.

Bluebeard, and Thais (by Newman Levy) were two songs we enjoyed singing in college in the late '50s, and they stuck in our memories. Of course they came out of "Song Fest," which was a popular song book of the time. Unfortunately, no attributions were made for the songs in that book.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Origins: Bluebeard (by Guy Wetmore Carryl)
From: Haruo
Date: 17 Aug 17 - 07:12 PM

I may sing this tonight at the Pub Sing at T. S. McHugh's, 21 Mercer Street, Seattle, 8 to 10 pm.


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