Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FSOTD #24/The Sadder But Wiser Girl (1962)

Broadway aficionados know Meredith Willson's The Music Man debuted in 1957, but the version of "The Sadder But Wiser Girl" running through my head early this morning was undoubtedly Robert Preston from the 1962 movie. It's the only version I know.

The Broadway show opened on December 19, 1957, starring Preston as Harold Hill, ultimately winning 5 Tony Awards (including best cast album). It ran for 1375 performances. There have been two revivals: 1980 with Dick Van Dyke as Hill and - get this - Christian Slater as Winthrop; in 2000, with Craig Bierko taking the male lead and Rebecca Luker as Marian. In 2003, a TV version of The Music Man was produced with Matthew Broderick as the erstwhile music professor. For the very trivia minded, there's this: after Preston left the Broadway cast, he was replaced first by Eddie Albert then Bert Parks.

If FSOTD could have cherry-picked from the show, I would've chosen "Ya Got Trouble" or "Marian The Librarian", but that's not how things work here (at least not yet). "Sadder..." is a very likable song/scene from the show but not quite a show-stopper. So for lack of anything of substance to say about today's song, here are the lyrics:

(Harold Hil singing:)
No wide-eyed, eager,
Wholesome innocent Sunday school teacher for me.
That kinda girl spins webs no spider ever--
Listen, boy--
A girl who trades on all that purity
Merely wants to trade my independence for her security.
The only affirmative she will file
Refers to marching down the aisle.
No golden, glorious, gleaming pristine goddess--
No sir!
For no Diana do I play faun.
I can tell you that right now.
I snarl, I hiss: How can ignorance be compared to bliss?
I spark, I fizz for the lady who knows what time it is.
I cheer, I rave for the virtue I'm too late to save
The sadder-but-wiser girl for me.
No bright-eyed, blushing, breathless baby-doll baby
Not for me.
That kinda child ties knots no sailor ever knew.
I prefer to take a chance on a more adult romance.
No dewy young miss
Who keeps resisting all the time she keeps insisting!
No wide-eyed, wholesome innocent female.
No sir.
Why, she's the fisherman, I'm the fish you see?--PLOP!
I flinch, I shy, when the lass with the delicate air goes by
I smile, I grin, when the gal with a touch of sin walks in.
I hope, and I pray, for a Hester to win just one more "A"
The sadder-but-wiser girl's the girl for me.
The sadder-but-wiser girl for me.

Whatever you might think about it, I hope you'd agree that, at the very least, "The Sadder But Wiser Girl" beats the hell out of "Shi-Poo-Pi". ~Yab

Yabbathanks to and Wikipedia

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