Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Daisy Bell Is Ringing For Me and My Gal

Another blog, another day. Or is it another day, another blog? Either way, I am going to give you all a ghost of a chance to forget about ghosts today and remember an old chestnut instead. My European friends may not get the reference, but here goes.

When I hit college I joined a very impromptu barbershop quartet. First, we were not strict about there being only four of us. Second, we sang whenever and wherever we wanted, often by the Cowell Fountain at the tops of our lungs, just for shits and giggles. One of our favorite songs was "Daisy," also known as "Bicycle Built For Two." Everyone remembers the lyrics:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do/I'm half crazy all for the love of you/It won't be a stylish marriage/I can;t afford a carriage/but you'd look sweet upon the seat/of a bicycle built for two.

But we feminist liberals at UC Santa Cruz loved the second verse more:

Billy, Billy, here is my answer true/I'm NOT crazy all for the love of you/And if you can't afford a carriage/There won't be any marriage/"Cause I'll be daamned if I'll be crammed/On a bicycle built for two.

Years later Diane and I got into a debate as to whether the second verse was real or not -- it was a friendly disagreement we hit upon from time to time over the years of our marriage (which was stylish, by the way, and no bikes in sight). It turns out that she was -- ug, hate to admit it -- RIGHT. The second verse is one version of several so-called :"answer verses" added on for fun. The other key variety substitues damned.crammed with switched/hitched. Further, it turns out the original verse is merely a chorus throughout a muich more elaborate song, the lyrics for which can be found online at Wikepedia -- type in Daisy Bell. The article is interesting and fun for the curious -- which I always encourage you to be!

And remember: you can't stay serious all the time. Bad for the face.

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