Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Reader's Digest" - a song containing volumes...

I've had a window open on my computer for days now with this snippet from Terry Teachout's blog "About Last Night. I really want to find and learn this song, but if he can't find it, who can?
Did Betty Comden and Adolph Green really write a song whose lyrics succinctly summarized famous books? Yes, indeed. It’s a revue number called "Reader's Digest." Nobody came up with the complete lyrics, but here are some pertinent excerpts:

Les Misérables:
Jean Valjean, no evildoer,
Stole some bread 'cause he was poor.
A detective chased him through a sewer.
The end.

Henrik Willem Van Loon’s Story of Mankind:
The rule was eat or you'll get ate.
Man came along and stood up straight.
The end.

Gone With the Wind:
Scarlett O'Hara's a spoiled pet,
She wants everything that she can get.
The one thing she can't get is Rhett.
The end.

For the record, the other books "digested" in the song are Romeo and Juliet, War and Peace, Mein Kampf, Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, and the complete works of Sigmund Freud.

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