Sunday, July 6, 2008

From Benchley's Wider Circle of Friends

From the Broadway Show "Leave It To Jane" (1917)
(Jerome Kern / P.G. Wodehouse)

Georgia O'Ramey (Broadway Production) - 1917
June Allyson (feat. in the film "Till The Clouds Roll By") - 1946
Dorothy Greener (Off-Broadway Revival) - 1959
Joan Morris - 1983

Verse 1

In days of old beside the Nile
A famous queen there dwelt.
Her clothes were few,
But full of style.
Her figure slim and swelt.

On every man that wandered by
She pulled the Theda Bara eye.
And every one observed with awe,
That her work was swift,
But never raw.

I'd be like Cleopatterer,
If I could have my way.
Each man she met she went and kissed.
And she'd dozens on her waiting list.

I wish that I had lived there.
Beside the pyramid.
For a girl today don't get the scope
That Cleopatterer did.

Verse 2

And when she tired as girls will do,
Of Bill or Jack or Jim,
The time had come, his friends all knew,
To say goodbye to him.

She couldn't stand by any means,
Reproachful, stormy farewell scenes.
To such coarse stuff she would not stoop,
So she just put poison in his soup.

When out with Cleopatterer,
Men always made their wills.
They knew there was no time to waste,
When the gumbo had that funny taste.

They'd take her hand and squeeze it.
They'd murmur "Oh you kid!"
But they never liked to start to feed,
Til Cleopatterer did.

Verse 3

She danced new dances now and then.
The sort that make you blush.
Each time she did them, scores of men
Got injured in the rush.

They'd stand there gaping in a line,
And watch her agitate her spine.
It simply use to knock them flat,
When she went like this and then like that.

At dancing Cleopatterer,
Was always on the spot.
She gave these poor Egyptian ginks,
Something else to watch besides the spinx.

Marc Antony admitted,
That what first made him skid,
Was the wibbly, wobbly, wiggly dance,
That Cleopatterer did.

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