23 October 2009

Of Mice and Merman

With the death of Vic Mizzy, who wrote the themes songs of "The Addams Family" and "Green Acres" (in my opinion, the best literary depiction of country/city dichotomy since the story of the town mouse and country mouse of Horace's Satire II.vi!), I got to thinking about other famous television theme songs. This train of thought led me to the "Beverly Hillbillies" theme by Flatt and Scruggs:

Come and listen to the story of a man named Jed
a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed
Then one day he was shooting at some food
and up from the ground came a bubbling crude!

Oil, that is, black gold, Texas tea.

Well the next thing you know
old Jed's a millionaire
the kin folk said, "Jed, move away from there"
Said Californy is the place you ought to be
so they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly

Hills that is, swimming pools movie stars.

That theme naturally led me to the wonderful Ethel Merman number in the Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam, the best song ever about striking it rich in the oil business:

I was born on a thousand acres of Oklahoma land
nothing grew on the thousand acres

for it was gravel and sand
One day daddy was digging in the fields
hoping to find some soil
He dug and he dug
and what do you think?
Oil, Oil, OIL!

The money rolled in and I rolled out
with a fortune piled so high.
Washington was my destination
and now who am I?

I'm the chosen party-giver
of the White House clientele
and they know that I deliver
what it takes to make them jell
And in Washington I'm known by one and all
as the Hostess with the Mostes' on the Ball!

This, in turn, leads us to tomorrow's lyric of the day! Tune in tomorrow.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

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