Monday, December 19, 2011

A matter of great national importance

I want to set the record straight.

The rumor (or rumour, if you’re in a British Commonwealth country) is untrue.

Contrary to popular and even unpopular opinion, I am not moonlighting over at dictionary.com, which thought may have crossed your mind if you happen to have read the article “Why are people from the Netherlands called Dutch?” there. Now you know, Carolina.

But that is not the matter of great national importance, except, perhaps, to the Dutch.

An even more important question than “Why are people from the Netherlands called Dutch?” (sorry, Carolina) is this one from the motion picture My Fair Lady in which Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins asks “Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?” (4:54).

The music is by Frederick Loewe and the lyrics are by Alan Jay Lerner. For those of you who never click on video links, here is a transcript:


PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historically fair.
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
Why can’t a woman be like that?

Why does every one do what the others do?
Can’t a woman learn to use her head?
Why do they do everything their mothers do?
Why don’t they grow up, well, like their father instead?

Why can’t a woman take after a man?
Men are so pleasant, so easy to please.
Whenever you're with them, you’re always at ease.

Would you be slighted if I didn’'t speak for hours?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Of course not.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Nonsense.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Never.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Well, why can’t a woman be like you?

One man in a million may shout a bit.
Now and then, there’s one with slight defects.
One perhaps whose truthfulness you doubt a bit,
But by and large we are a marvelous sex!

Why can’t a woman take after a man?
’Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind.
A better companion you never will find.

If I were hours late for dinner would you bellow?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Of course not.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Nonsense.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Would you complain if I took out another fellow?

COLONEL PICKERING:
Never.

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can’t a woman be like us?

[dialog]

PROFESSOR HIGGINS:
Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
Men are so decent, such regular chaps;
Ready to help you through any mishaps;
Ready to buck you up whenever you’re glum.
Why can’t a woman be a chum?

Why is thinking something women never do?
And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that’s inside?

Why can’t a woman behave like a man?
If I was a woman who’d been to a ball,
Been hailed as a princess by one and by all;
Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing,
Or carry on as if my home were in a tree?
Would I run off and never tell me where I’m going?
Why can’t a woman be like me?

[end of transcript]

Poor old Professor Higgins.

He’s clueless.

I say “Vive la différence!

6 comments:

Shooting Parrots said...

I did read that entry on The Hot Word about Netherlands/Holland/Dutch and very interesting it was too.

I can see what Rex Harrison, but there is one fundamental flaw in his argument that I suspect all men who think about it for more than a second or two will have spot.

rhymeswithplague said...

Shooting Parrots, indeed.

Daphne said...

Ahhh poor Higgins. As we know, he had it ALL wrong. Interesting to see the words written out, though!

rhymeswithplague said...

Daphne, I'm sure Alan Jaye Lerner had a blast writing this, even as his tongue was buried deep in his cheek.

Putz said...

the older you get the THING THANG that shooting parrots speaks of, suddenly diminishes in importance, so why can't a woman be more like a man and bob, indeed?????????

Putz said...

the mayans or lamnities had the end times all figured out