Monday, September 26, 2005

Lyrics of the Week: "What Takes My Fancy"

Here I go again, posting some old song lyrics I like. This is a song from the musical Wildcat, starring Lucille Ball (who absolutely, positively couldn't sing, but thought she could, as witness the movie version of Mame), with a score by composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Carolyn Leigh. The only hit from the score was "Hey, Look Me Over!" But probably the most fun song in the score -- and a great showcase for Leigh's unique phraseology and rhyming skill -- was the duet for Ball and Don Tomkins, "What Takes My Fancy."

Leigh loved to come up with phrases that no one had ever heard before in a song, or maybe that was just the way she naturally talked; a person who knew Leigh recalled that her everyday conversation was filled with unusual phrases and syntax. In this song, I particularly like "I'll be piped and peddled for coal-oil," "Them what treats me girly," and "Unravel your undies."



Verse 1

SOOKIE
Well, I'll be swacked and pickled in moonshine,
You ain't such an ornery cuss.

WILDCAT
Well, I'll be piped and peddled for coal-oil,
You ain't such a gloomy old Gus.

SOOKIE
Well, I don't wanna give you no idys,
But you might not make a bad wife.
Cookin' grub and pinnin' up didys --

WILDCAT
Hold on, Grandpa, not on your life!
Them what treats me girly
Has to find out early,
In my mama's litter
I'm the independent critter.

Refrain 1

I likes to do what takes my fancy,
What takes my fancy
I likes to do.
And when it comes to things romancy,
What takes my fancy
Ain't the likes of you.

SOOKIE
I likes to do what takes my fancy,
What takes my fancy,
That ain't no crime.
That there's what keeps me young and prancy,
What takes my fancy
I do all the time.

Verse 2

WILDCAT
Well, bless my boots and paddle my britches,
If you ain't the sociable type.

SOOKIE
Well, hootin' owls and sufferin' polecats,
If we ain't a similar stripe.

WILDCAT
Well, don't let this unravel your undies,
But you might not make a bad groom.
All cleaned up for company Sundays --

SOOKIE
Hold on, sis, you're sealin' your doom!
Here's a tip I'll give you,
Half the ship I'll give you,
But you ain't promotin'
Me from my protective coatin'.

Refrain 2

I likes to do what takes my fancy,
What takes my fancy
I likes to do.
And folks what gives me half a mind to
I'm the kind to
Put a bullet through.

WILDCAT
I likes to do what takes my fancy,
What takes my fancy
I likes to do.
And if it makes my pockets fatter,
It doesn't matter
Who I do it to.

WILDCAT & SOOKIE
Ah!

SOOKIE
You're a dirty rat.

WILDCAT & SOOKIE
Ah!

WILDCAT
I'll agree to that.

WILDCAT & SOOKIE
Ah!
We're a dirty pair.
Ah!
It's a love affair.

Refrain 3

We likes to do what takes our fancy,
What takes our fancy,
That ain't no yarn.
If folks objects to how we acts up,
What gets their backs up
Ain't no skin off our'n.
We likes to do what takes our fancy,
What takes our fancy,
That ain't no crime.
That there's what keeps us young and prancy,
What takes our fancy
We do all the, we do all the,
Summer, winter, spring or fall, the
Whole darn tootin' time!
We do it all the time!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"What Takes My Fancy" -
Perfect that I found your Blog. My eldest daughter is having a bit of a mid-life crisis so when I decided to learn MovieMaker and make a photo montage, I chose the subject to be her life. I've been choosing and scanning photos for weeks and am now bunching them into groups. The song I chose for one segment is "What Takes My Fancy" from Wildcat which I saw on Broadway before she was born.
A friend copied it onto a CD from an old LP and there you were with the lyrics. Thanks-a-muchness! Carol

Anonymous said...

"What Takes My Fancy" - Thanks for posting the lyrics! Your blog is the *only* place on Web to have them. All I could remember about it from my childhood was a couple of phrases and Lucille Ball on the album cover. Couldn't even remember the show (thought it was "Cat Ballou" - o well). Loved the tune, though, and wanted to find the lyrics. Thanks so much! -Lou

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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