Saturday, March 04, 2006

Harburg Lyric of the Day: "I Like the Likes of You"

A simple but nutty lyric, this one, and a fairly early Harburg song -- 1934 -- with music by Vernon Duke (whose most famous collaboration with Harburg was on "April in Paris"). The gimmick, simply enough, is that it's a love song sung by someone who is tongue-tied and unable to express himself clearly, with the result that he stumbles over typical phrases, gets confused, and ends the song with a brilliantly confused bit of tongue-twisting ("Your looks are pure deluxe...").


Lady, last Saturday --
Or was it yesterday?
I was rehearsing a speech,
Really, I think it's a peach,
Hope you don't think it a breach
Of recognized etiquette,
I'm from Connecticut --
You see the state that I'm in.
I mean, I'm a mess --
What was that speech? Oh, yes...


I like the likes of you,
I like the things you do,
I mean, I like the likes of you.
I like your eyes of blue,
I think they're blue, don't you?
I mean, I like your eyes of blue.
Oh, dear, if I could only say what I mean...
I mean, if I could mean what I say...
That is, I mean to say that I mean to say that:
I like the likes of you,
Your looks are pure deluxe,
Looks like I like the likes of you.

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