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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man

(Couple in MG, Florence 1952, by Ruth Orkin, 1921-1985,
American photographer)

Mr. Right is never Mr. Perfect, so you learn to make the best of it, like Julie in the 1927 musical Show Boat.


Fish got to swim, birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die,
Can’t help lovin’ dat man of mine.
Tell me he’s lazy, tell me he’s slow,
Tell me I’m crazy (maybe I know),
Can’t help lovin’ dat man of mine.

~ Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960), American lyricist, and Jerome Kern (1885-1945), American composer

Three decades later, Tom Lehrer composed his own version of this ode to true love.


Sharks gotta swim, and bats gotta fly,
I gotta love one woman till I die.
To Ed or Dick or Bob
She may just be a slob,
But to me,
She’s my girl.

In winter the bedroom is one large ice cube,
And she squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube.
Her hairs in the sink
Have driven me to drink,
But she’s my girl, she’s my girl, she’s my girl,
And I love her.

The girl that I lament for,
The girl my money’s spent for,
The girl my back is bent for,
The girl I gave up Lent for,
Is the girl that heaven meant for me.

So though for breakfast she makes coffee that tastes like shampoo,
I come home to dinner and get peanut butter stew,
Or if I’m in luck,
It’s a broiled hockey puck,
But, oh, well, what the hell,
She’s my girl,
And I love her.

~ Tom Lehrer, born 1928, American satirist, pianist and mathematician

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