Sunday, February 13, 2005

The French Are Glad To Die For Love

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was on the other night. It's a great example of how a movie can be a complete travesty of the source material (in this case both the book and the stage show) and still turn out great. In this case, Anita Loos' portrayal of '20s flapperdom is thrown out, replaced with a '50s setting -- though some anachronistically '20s elements remain in the story -- and turned into a great big spoof of movie sex roles, movie sex symbols, and movie musicals.

The big number, of course, is "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," and I thought I'd take the opportunity to post some Leo Robin lyrics for this number that aren't on the Broadway cast album or in the movie; I believe they were written to be performed as encores.

By the way, the well-known opening line of the song -- "The French are glad to die for love / They delight in fighting duels" -- was something of an obsession with Robin, who returned again and again to the theme of fighting duels whenever he needed an image that would demonstrate the lengths to which people will go for love. ("This is a girl for whom they die in duels"; "Ah, but in Paree they die for love...")

The extra lyrics, consisting of one extra verse and two extra refrains:

Verse 2
A well conducted rendezvous
Makes a maiden's heart beat quicker.
But when the rendezvous is through,
These stones still keep their flicker.

Refrain 4

Romance is divine,
And I'm not one to knock it,
But diamonds are a girl's best friend.
Romance is divine,
Yes, but where can you hock it?
When the flame is gone,
Just try and pawn
A tired Don Juan.
Some men buy
And some just sigh
That to make you their bride they intend.
But buyers or sighers
They're such goddamn liars!
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Refrain 5

At Yale there's a lad
Whose appeal I acknowledge,
But diamonds are a gir's best friend.
I might like his dad
But when I meet a college boy,
The thing to say
Is 'ray, 'ray, 'ray
For Cartier!
Some girls find
Some piece of mind
In a trust fund that banks recommend.
But if you are busty
Your trustee gets lusty!
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Stash those rocks in your strongbox
For on them you can always depend.
It's not compensation,
It's self-preservation!
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

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