Cole Porter

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In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking
But now, Heaven knows,
Anything goes.

Cole Albert Porter (9 June 189115 October 1964) was an American composer and songwriter noted for his sophisticated (sometimes ribald) lyrics, clever rhymes, and complex forms.

Sourced[edit]

What is this thing called love?
This funny thing called love?
  • What is this thing called love?
    This funny thing called love?

    Just who can solve this mystery?
    Why should it make a fool of me?
    • "What Is This Thing Called Love?" from Wake Up and Dream (1929)
  • If you want to buy my wares
    Follow me and climb the stairs ...
    Love for sale.
    • "Love For Sale" in The New Yorkers (1930)
  • There's an, oh such a hungry yearning burning inside of me.
    • "Night and Day" in Gay Divorce (1932)
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above.
Don't fence me in.
  • Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above.
    Don't fence me in.
    Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
    Don't fence me in

    Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
    And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
    Send me off forever but I ask you please
    Don't fence me in

    • "Don't Fence Me In" (1934) written for a never-released film Adios, Argentina, later used in the film Hollywood Canteen (1944).
  • I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
    And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
    I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
    Don't fence me in
    • "Don't Fence Me In" (1934)
  • What moments divine, what rapture serene.
    • "Begin the Beguine" in Jubilee (1935)

Paris (1928)[edit]

Let's do it, let's fall in love.
If you want a future, darling,
Why don't you get a past?
Lets misbehave.
  • Some Argentines, without means, do it,
    People say, in Boston, even beans do it.
    Let's do it, let's fall in love.
  • The chimpanzees in the zoos do it,
    Some courageous kangaroos do it
    Let's do it, let's fall in love.

    I'm sure giraffes on the sly do it,
    Even eagles as they fly do it,
    Let's do it, let's fall in love.

    • "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love"; an earlier variant, rather than "Even eagles...": "Heavy hippopotami do it..."
  • In shallow shoals, English soles do it
    Goldfish in the privacy of bowls do it.
    • "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love"
  • Electric eels I might add do it,
    Though it shocks 'em I know...
    • "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love"
  • The world admits bears in pits do it,
    Even Pekingeses at the Ritz do it,
    Let's do it, let's fall in love.
    • "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love"
  • If you want a future, darling,
    Why don't you get a past?
    • "Let's Misbehave"
  • They say that spring
    Means just one thing
    To little lovebirds.
    We're not above birds,
    Lets misbehave.
    • "Lets Misbehave"
  • They say that bears
    Have love affairs
    And even camels,
    We're merely mammals
    Let's misbehave.
    • "Let's Misbehave"

Anything Goes (1934)[edit]

I get no kick from champagne.
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all,
So tell me why it should be true
That I get a kick out of you?
These are just a few samples, for more lyrics from this play see Anything Goes
  • I get no kick from champagne.
    Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all,
    So tell me why it should be true
    That I get a kick out of you?
    • "I Get a Kick Out of You"
  • Some get a kick from cocaine.
    I'm sure that if
    I took even one sniff
    That would bore me terrifically, too,
    Yet, I get a kick out of you.
    • "I Get a Kick Out of You"
  • You're the smile
    On the Mona Lisa.
    • "You're the Top"
  • In olden days a glimpse of stocking
    Was looked on as something shocking
    But now, Heaven knows,
    Anything goes.
    • "Anything Goes"; there are also variants on this line which read "But now, God knows,
      Anything goes", but the most common renditions are done with "Heaven knows"
  • Good authors, too, who once knew better words
    Now only use four-letter words
    Writing prose —
    Anything goes.
    • "Anything Goes"

Let's Face It (1941)[edit]

You are my fav'rite star,
My haven in heaven above,
You are ev'rything I love.
Always try to arrive at
Having an ace some place private.
Always have an ace in the hole.
  • Too bad, I'm no poet,
    I happen to know it, But anyway
    Here's a roundelay
    I wrote last night about you...
    • "Ev'rything I Love" (1941)
  • You are my fav'rite star,
    My haven in heaven above,
    You are ev'rything I love.
    • "Ev'rything I Love" (1941)
  • Sad times
    May follow your tracks
    ,
    Bad times
    May bar you from Saks,
    Add times
    When Satan in slacks
    Breaks down your self control...
    • "Ace in the Hole"
  • This rule I propose,
    Always have an ace in the hole.

    Always try to arrive at
    Having an ace some place private.

    Always have an ace in the hole.

    • "Ace in the Hole"
  • You're the pain in my —
    The hurricane in my —
    Supersensitive heart, dear.
    Still I love you, I know,
    And the reason is merely because
    You irritate me so!
    • "You Irritate Me So"
  • Relax for a moment my Jerry
    Come out of your dark monastery
    While Venus is beaming above.
    Darling, let's talk about love.
    • "Let's Not Talk About Love"

Something To Shout About (1943)[edit]

  • You'd be so nice to come home to
    You'd be so nice by the fire...
    • "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To"
  • You'd be so nice,
    You'd be paradise
    To come home to and love.
    • "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To"

Mexican Hayride (1944)[edit]

  • It must be fun to be you
    And play with love as you do

    To treat each new romance
    As merely one more dance
    Or just another book to glance through
    It must be fun to acquire
    Whatever heart you desire,
    And when you're bored with it
    To tear it in two,
    It must be fun to be you.
    • "It Must Be Fun To Be You"
Be a clown, be a clown,
All the world loves a clown.
Act the fool, play the calf,
And you'll always have the last laugh.
Wear the cap and the bells
And you'll rate all the great swells.

The Pirate (1948)[edit]

  • Be a clown, be a clown,
    All the world loves a clown.
    Act the fool, play the calf,
    And you'll always have the last laugh.
    • "Be A Clown" (written in 1946)
  • Wear the cap and the bells
    And you'll rate all the great swells.

    If you become a doctor, folks'll face you with dread.
    If you become a dentist, they'll be glad when you're dead.
    You get a bigger hand if you can stand on your head.
    Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown.
    • "Be A Clown"
  • Be the poor silly ass
    And you'll always travel first class.

    Give 'em quips, give 'em fun,
    And they'll pay to say you're A–1.
    If you become a farmer, you've the weather to buck.
    If become a gambler you'll be struck with your luck.
    But jack you'll never lack if you can quack like a duck.
    Be a clown, be a clown, be a clown.
    • "Be A Clown"

Kiss Me, Kate (1948)[edit]

  • So kiss me Kate,
    Thou lovely loon,
    E'er we start on our honeymoon.
    Oh, kiss me, Kate, Darling devil divine,
    For now thou shall ever be mine.
    • "Kiss Me Kate"

Quotes about Porter[edit]

  • In a way no other songs of the period quite did, Porter's created a world. It was a between–the–wars realm of drop–dead chic and careless name–dropping insouciance. And it was a sexy place to be invited.
    • Walter Clemons, in Vanity Fair, as quoted in The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter (1992)
  • The wit of his words depended on his ability to raise the audience immediately to his own level — and keep it there. The instant happiness that Porter gave his audience is the kind that becomes history.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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