Saturday 15 March 2014

Words to Music: The Singable Ogden Nash

POST #28
ORIGINAL POEM/SONG: "Trees" Joyce Kilmer 1914, lyrics set to music by O. Rosbach 1922;  performed by Mario Lanza, Nelson Eddy, The Platters, Bob McGrath etc. 
PARODY OF THE POEM "TREES": "Song of the Open Road" - 4 lines by Ogden Nash. There is an extensive list of other poetic parodies of "Trees"; many examples are posted at including "The Spoofs" by Giorgio Coniglio, 2013, as per the post on this blog of December 6.
OTHER POEMS (not previously set to music)  by OGDEN NASH: excerpted from The Best of Ogden Nash, ed. Linell Nash Smith, published by Ivan R. Dee, 2007.
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, 2014. 

KEYWORDS: classicsong, poetry

THE GIRAFFE   poem by Ogden Nash

(to the tune of "Trees")

[C]   I beg you, children, do not [Dm] laugh

[Fm]  When you survey the tall gi[C7]raffe. [C9]

[F]   It's hardly [F#dim7] sporting to at[C]tack

[C7]  A beast that cannot answer [F] back.

Now [Bm7] you and [C] I have shorter [D7] necks

[G7]  But we can [Em] chant of gin and [C] sex.

[C]  He has a trumpet for a [Dm] throat

[Fm]  And cannot blow a single [C7] note

[F]  It isn't [F#dim7] that his voice he  hoards [C]

 [C7]  He hasn't any vocal [F] cords

[Fm] I wish for [C] him, and [F#dim7] for his [D7] wife
 [Bb9]  A volu[Dm7]ble gir[G7] after[C] life.

THE OYSTER, and THE CENTIPEDE poems by O. Nash    
(to the tune of "Trees)

[C] The oyster's a confusing [Dm] suitor

[Fm]  It's masc., and fem., and even [C7] neuter. [C9]

[F]  But whether [F#dim7] husband, pal or [C] wife

[C7] It leads a painless sort of [F] life.

[Bm7] I'd like to [C] be an oyster, [D7] say,

 [G7] In August, [Em] June, July or [C] May.

[C]  I objurgate the centi[Dm]pede, 

[Fm] A bug we do not really [C] need.

[F]  At sleepy-[F#dim7]-time he beats a [C] path

[C7]  Straight to the bedroom or the [F] bath.
[Fm] You always [C] wallop where [F#dim7] he's [D7] not

 [Bb9]  Or if he [Dm7] is, he [G7] makes a [C] spot.

MANTIS   poems by O. Nash    
(to the tune of "Trees)

[C]  Some primal termite knocked on [Dm] wood

[Fm]  And tasted it, and found it [C7] good. [C9]

[F]  And that is [F#dim7] why your Cousin [C] May . 

[C7] Fell through the parlor floor to[F]day. 
God in his [C] wisdom made the [D7] fly

 [G7] And then for[Em]got to tell us [C] why.

 [C]  From whence arrived the praying [Dm] mantis? 
Fm                                            C7 
  From outer space or lost Atlantis?
F                        F#dim7                  C      
  I glimpse the grim green metal mug
C7                                                     F
  That masks this pseudo-saintly bug,
 Fm               C                 F#dim7 D7
Orthopterous, also carnivorous
 Bb9               Dm7        G7        C  
  And faintly whisper, Lord deliver us.

Performing Notes

Lyrics and Uke Chords for "Trees", as per the Platters, 1961.
 C                                            Dm  
   I think that I shall never see
Fm                                    C7   C9 
  A poem  lovely as a tree.
F                         F#dim7                 C
   A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
 C7                                                         F
  Against the Earth's sweet flowing breast.
   Bm7         C                        D7          
A tree that looks at God all day
G7                 Em                  C
  And lifts its leafy arms to pray.
C                                                   Dm 
   A tree  that may in summer wear
Fm                                    C7 
  A nest of robins in her hair.
F                       F#dim7                 C      
  Upon whose bosom snow has lain
C7                                            F
  Who intimately lives with rain.
 Fm              C              F#dim7    G7
Poems are made by fools like me,
 Bb9            Dm7        G7         C   
   But only God can make a tree.

No comments:

Post a Comment