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Lyr Add: A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody (I. Berlin

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Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Aug 13 - 03:30 PM
Joe_F 04 Aug 13 - 05:59 PM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 13 - 09:00 PM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 13 - 10:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Aug 13 - 11:58 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Aug 13 - 03:30 PM

A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY
Irving Berlin, 1919

I have an ear for music
And I have an eye for a maid
I link a pretty girlie
With each pretty tune that's played
They go together like sunny weather
Goes with the month of May
I've studied girls and music
So I'm qualified to say:

REFRAIN
A pretty girl is like a melody
That haunts you night and day
Just like the strain of a haunting refrain
She'll start upon a marathon
And run around your brain.
You can't escape, she's in your memory
By morning, night and noon
She will leave you and then come back again
A pretty girl is just like a pretty tune.

PATTER
"The Humoresque"
While a string orchestra played
This lovely tune I met a maid
And from the start she set my brain a-whirl
But alas we parted soon
And now I love to hear this tune
For it reminds me of that certain girl.

"Mendelssohn's Spring Song"
Once I met a girlie at the close of spring
I began to woo her and she answered "Yes" that summer
But when I went out to buy the wedding ring
She left me flat and ran off with a drummer.

Messina's Elegy"
While the cello moaned tenderly this melody
She said to me "I love you"
When the cello fellow was through he said "Adieu"
She said "Me too" and flew.

"Offenbach's Barcarolle from "Tales of Hoffman""
At the opera she said "My dear,
I love you with all my soul"
While the singers filled up my ear
With Offenbach's "Barcarolle"
When the music died away her love for me grew cold
And I found she told better tales
Than old Hoffman told.

"Schubert's Serenade"
Once to a maid, this sweet serenade
I sang with feeling and grace
I vocalized just how much I prized
Her form and beautiful face
Sad to say the maiden's husband
Came with a spade and ruined my serenade.

"Schumann's Traumerei"
We met one evening at a dance
The band was playing, I was saying
Give me just a chance
She told me of a boy in France
And then she vanished, and it
Banished my romance.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 Aug 13 - 05:59 PM

The wonderful spoonerism, "A gritty pearl is just like a titty prune", is due to one Robert Morse.


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Subject: RE: ADD: A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody (I. Berlin)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 13 - 09:00 PM

songfacts.com has information about this and other Irving Berlin songs.

This song was written for the musical revue, Ziegfield Follies of 1919. It also appeared in a number of musical films:
  • The Great Ziegfield, starring William Powell, Frank Morgan*, and Virginia Bruce
  • Alexander's Ragtime Band, starring Don Ameche and Ethel Merman
  • Blue Skies, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire
  • There's No Business Like Show Business, starring Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe
*Frank Morgan also appeared in the Dragnet and M*A*S*H television shows

It's my understanding that the Ziegfield shows used songs like this when they had displays of women in various stages of undress (i.e., somewhat more clothing than people wear on the beach nowadays). If the women moved, that was grounds for arrest. I haven't found a recording of the verses shown above. Anybody know of one? I picture a "sweet young thing" reciting the "patter" verses as the display changed, but they were originally sung in Atlantic City by Ziegfield performer John Steel.


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Subject: RE: ADD: A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody (I. Berlin)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 13 - 10:11 PM

A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY
(Irving Berlin, 1919)

VERSE 1
I have an ear for music,
And I have an eye for a maid;
I link a pretty girlie
With each pretty tune that's played.
They go together like sunny weather
Goes with the month of May;
I've studied girls and music,
So I'm qualified to say:

CHORUS:
A pretty girl is like a melody
That haunts you night and day;
Just like the strain of a haunting refrain,
She'll start upon a marathon
And run around your brain.
You can't escape, she's in your memory
By morning, night and noon;
She will leave you and then
Come back again;
A pretty girl is just like a pretty tune.

VERSE 2
Most every year we're haunted
By some little popular tune;
Then someone writes another -
The old one's forgotten soon.
A pretty maiden with beauty laden
Is like that kind of song:
Just when you think you love her,
Another one comes along.
CHORUS

Notes: In 1934 on the Good Gulf program, Berlin said, "One of my best songs was written because the late Flo Ziegfield needed a song to show off five of his most beautiful showgirls....one day Mr. Ziegfield called me into his office and showed me designs for costumes to be worn by five of his famous showgirls...Then he said, 'All I need is an idea to introduce them.' Well, I finally hit on the notion of having each girl represent one of the old melody classics, such as Mendelssohn's "Spring Song," Schubert's "Serenade," etc. The last thing that was thought of was an original song to introduce the old melodies. But I finally wrote one."
The song became the theme song of the Ziegfield Follies. Irving Berlin later acknowledged (1954) that the song became a melody for stripteasers to disrobe to.



    Source: The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, edited by Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet, Knopf, 2001. This book says that that "the lyrics Irving Berlin wrote for the 'classical' interludes do not survive" - but it appears that Q has posted them above.

    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: ADD: A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody (I. Berlin)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Aug 13 - 11:58 AM

I forgot to post the source for the "Patter" to "A Pretty Girl....."

www.oldielyrics.com.


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