Friday, February 03, 2006

Lyrics: "Shopping Around" from Wish You Were Here

Some more good classic Broadway lyrics: from the score of Wish You Were Here (1952) by the ever-underrated Harold Rome (Pins and Needles, Fanny, Call Me Mister, I Can Get It For You Wholesale) comes a song for a secondary female character, "Shopping Around." Most songs about looking for Mr. Right are about saving oneself for Mr. Right; this is a bit different -- and expresses what is probably a healthier attitude. It's another nice example of Rome's ability to write lyrics that have the rhythms and inflections of everyday speech.

If you wanna know why I've a roving eye
When another cute guy passes there,
I just wanna try before I buy
The bargains and husbands ready-to-wear.
'Cause a man isn't like an expensive sweater
Or department-store dress on the rack.
If you pick him up and take him home, and then find something better,
Nobody, but nobody, will take him back.

I'm shopping around,
Just looking,
Where men are concerned,
I'm just shopping around.
A girl must compare
Men for wear and for tear
Before she buys.
If she wants the best,
Then she just has to test
All kinds of merchandise.
So while I'm still young,
I'm testing,
Don't wanna get stung,
No, sir, not little me.
There's no guarantee
On a bridegroom-to-be,
So if you want the best to be found,
You gotta keep shopping,
Leisurely shopping,
Not buying,
Just shopping around.

You don't buy the first pair of shoes from the clerk,
You don't buy perfume till you spray it.
You don't buy a clock till you're sure it will work,
You don't buy a piano till you play it.
A new vacuum cleaner may be a sensation,
But ladies, always get a free trial demonstration.

So while there's a chance,
I'm sampling,
I'm taking romance
In the smorgasbord way.
From the last organ note,
Love is all table d'hote,
So you must choose the best to be found.
That's why I keep shopping,
Leisurely shopping,
Not buying,
Just shopping around.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The song has just now been used for an audience of dance observers at the Ohio ballroom (2007) and aired on PBS television (feb 2008). The lovely couple Andrei Gavriline and Elena Kryuchkova dance to its beat and lyrics, even while trying on a jacket. One and then the other and then both wear the jacket. It ends up, where it started on the original dancer. Very nice interpretation and won 4th place in the international dance competition.