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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Isn't It a Pity?

By George & Ira Gershwin
1933

If you ever need proof that popular songs were once written for sophisticated grown-ups, ask yourself when was the last time you heard one that referenced German poetry and philosophy. This brilliant melody and lyric was composed by the Gershwins for the obscure Broadway production Pardon My English, which ran for all of 43 performances. The tune was introduced in the show by George Givot and Josephine Huston.

Lyrics:

Why did I wander,
Here and there and yonder,
Wasting precious time
For no reason or rhyme?
Isn't it a pity? Isn't it a crime?
My journey's ended,
Everything is splendid;
Meeting you today
Has given me a wonderful idea--
Here I stay.
It's a funny thing--
I look at you,
I get a thrill
I never knew.
Isn't it a pity
We never met before?

Here we are at last--
It's like a dream,
The two of us
A perfect team.
Isn't it a pity
We never met before?

Imagine all the lonely years we've wasted.
You with the neighbors,
I at silly labors.
What joys untasted,
You reading Heine,
Me somewhere in China.

Let's forget the past;
Let's both agree
That I'm for you,
And you're for me.
And it's such a pity
We never, never met before.

Imagine all the lonely year's we've wasted,
Fishing for salmon,
Losing at backgammon.
What joys untasted,
My nights were sour,
Spent with Schopenhauer.

Let's forget the past;
Let's both agree
That I'm for you,
And you're for me.
And it's such a pity
We never, never met before.
Recorded By:

Mel Torme

Stacy Kent
Ella Fitzgerald
Cleo Laine
Barbra Streisand

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