Beyond Compare – Music by David Ross Lyrics by Marshall Barer

Cover of Venice Venice

Words by Marshall Barer
Music by David Collin Ross
Published by BING CLAWSBY
Marshall sang this song in the
a song for HENRY JAGLOM‘s film “Venice/Venice” he also appeared in the film with Ross
In the liner notes of  “The Time Has Come!: The Songs of Marshall Barer ” Marshall wrote about this song  that “[DAVID ROSS] wishes I wouldn’t keep referring to the melody as one which might have been written by Jerome Kern. I can’t think why”


How do I love thee
Let my count the ways
One, two, three, four, five millions
This will take me days
and days
and days

Shall I, my love, compare thee to
Baba au rhum or summer’s day?
Handel chorale or Malibu?
Rubens, Ravel or Mel Torme?
Is there a better metaphor
For how I melt
Beholding you?
Or shall the glow I so adore
Only be felt
Enfolding you?
Racking my brain for fitting praise!
Seeking in vain the perfect phrase!
Poring through piles of poems and plays!
Haunting the aisles at Doubleday’s!
I might convey
The state I’m in
If I could play
The mandolin;
Since I cannot, I’ll just declare
You are beyond compare
And leave it right there.

Who could compose
Your valentine?
Not Billy Rose,
Nor Gertrude Stein.
Only a “Hart” like Larry might
Tell you what burns in mine tonight.

That which of which there’s only one
Simply defines comparison
So I repeat in sweet despair
You’re beyond Compare

How do I love thee… This is a quote from “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Shall I, my love, compare thee to
.. another quote. This is, of course, from “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” by William Shakespeare

Haunting the aisles at Doubleday’s! The Doubleday Publishing Group is a publishing company. It was founded as Doubleday & McClure Company in 1897 by Frank Nelson Doubleday, who had formed a partnership with magazine publisher Samuel McClure.
Doubleday also owns several bookstores.

Not Billy Rose not Gertrude Stein a funny fact that I’m not sure Marshall was aware of: several musical historians believe that Lorenz Hart, at the beginning of his carrer, worked for Billy Rose as ghost writer and that most of the lyrics written by Rose were actually by Hart.

Sweet despair
this is what in retoric you can call an oxymoron: figure of speech that combines contradictory terms.


To Keep My Love Alive Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

To Keep My Love Alive
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for the revival of “A Connecticut Yankee”
Introduced by Vivienne Segal

According to a story told by Richard Rodgers Vivienne Segan complained that since the song ended on a low note “‘If I have to sing that low note eight nights a week, I’ll develop balls”” Rodgers replied, ‘If you do you’ll be the only one in the show who has them.”
According to “The Rodgers and Hammerstein encyclopedia” this is the last lyric that Lorenz Hart wrote but this is not totaly true: for the revival of “A Connecticut Yankee” Rodgers asked Hart to write some new material to make the show more apealing (Herbert Fields wrote a new book as well), even if the partnership with Hart was already “broken” (in 1942 Rodgers worte Oklahoma! with Oscar Hammerstein II).

For the show they wrote 9 new songs, two of them (Elaine and I Won’t sing a song were dropped before the New York opening).  to Robert Kimbal (who edited “the Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart) the last song Hart wrote was I Won’t sing a song.

“To Keep My Love Alive,” the most popular song from this 135-performance production, was a new number in which Morgan le Fay (Vivienne Segal) recalls the many husbands she “bumped off.”

I’ve been married, and married, and often I’ve sighed
“I’m never a bridesmaid, I’m always a bride”

I never divorced them, I hadn’t the heart
Yet remember these sweet words, “`till death do us part”

Refrain 1
I married many men, a ton of them
Because I was untrue to none of them
Because I bumped off every one of them
To keep my love alive

Sir Paul was frail, he looked a wreck to me
At night he was a horse’s neck to me
So I performed an appendectomy
To keep my love alive

Sir Thomas had insomnia, he couldn’t sleep at night
I bought a little arsenic, he’s sleeping now all right

Sir Philip played the harp, I cussed the thing
I crowned him with his harp to bust the thing
And now he plays where harps are just the thing
To keep my love alive
To keep my love alive

Refrain 2
I thought Sir George had possibilities
But his flirtations made me ill at ease
And when I’m ill at ease, I kill at ease
To keep my love alive

Sir Charles came from a sanitorium
And yelled for drinks in my emporium
I mixed one drink, he’s in memorium
To keep my love alive

Sir Francis was a singing bird, a nightingale, that’s why
I tossed him off my balcony, to see if he, could fly

Sir Atherton indulged in fratricide,
He killed his dad and that was patricide
One night I stabbed him by my mattress-side
To keep my love alive
To keep my love alive

Verse 3
I caught Sir James with his protectoress,
The rector’s wife, I mean the rectoress.
His heart stood still, angina pectoris.
To keep my love alive.

Sir Frank brought ladies to my palaces
I poured a mickey in their chalices.
While paralyzed they got paralysis.
To keep my love alive.

Sir Alfred worshipped falconry,
He used to hunt at will.
I sent him on a hunting trip;
They’re hunting for him still.

Sir Peter had an incongruity,
Collecting girls with promiscuity.
Now I’m collecting his annuity,
To keep my love alive.

Sir Ethelburg would use profanity,
His language drove me near insanity.
So once again I served humanity,
To keep my love alive.

Sir Curtis made me cook each dish he ate,
And everything his heart would wish he ate.
Until I fiddled with a fish he ate.
To keep my love alive.

Sir Marmaduke was awfully tall,
He didn’t fit in bed.
I solved that problem easily,
I just removed his head.

Sir Marc adored me with formality.
He called a kiss a immorality.
And so I gave him immortality,
To keep my love alive.
To keep my love alive!

“to pour a Mickey” or “to slip a mickey”: Tricking someone into drinking a drugged beverage or sleeping pills

My Funny Valentine – Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for the musicla “Babes in Amrs”
Introduced by Mitzi Green (Billie Smith)
After being recorded by Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis, the song became a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.
In the verse Hart, like in Thou swell, used old English. In this case probably he wanted to emphasize the “comic” intet of the song: Billie is making fun of Val by using an archaic, poetic language. But as the verse goes on it’s clear to the listener that Billie’s love is true and sincere. Val, who is not very attractive, perhaps some sort of geek,
Unlike what Stephen Sondheim recently said, trying to be funny I guess, Val is not a vampire since his looks are “unphotographable”: with that witty lines Hart ment that he’s so peculiar and unique that even a photograph can not “catch”.

Behold the way our fine feathered-friend
his virtue doth parade.
Thou knowest not my dim witted friend,
the picture Thou hast made.
Thy vacant brow and Thy tousled hair
conceal Thy good intent.
Thou noble upright, truthful, sincere
And slightly dopey gent- you are..


My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart

You looks are laughable, unphotographable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art

Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little bit weak
When you open it to speak, are you smart?

Don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay

Each day is valentine’s day

Dancing on the Ceiling (He Dances on My Ceiling) – Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Jessie Matthews

Jassie Matthews Image via Wikipedia

Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for the show Ever Green 1930, the song was also used in “Evergreen” a film adaptation of the musical.
Introduced by Jessie Matthews
At the time of the show the song was banned from the radio in England and in USA because the censors found the lyrics “Underneath my counterpane/But there’s my love” too risqué: they thought that the lyrics could be read as “masturbation”


The world is lyrical
Because a miracle
Has brought my lover to me
Though she’s some other place, her face I see
At night I creep in bed
And never sleep in bed
But look above in the air
And to my greatest joy, my love is there
She dances overhead
On the ceiling near my bed
In my sight
All through the night
I try to hide in vain
Underneath my counterpane
But there’s my love
up there above
I whisper, “Go away, my lover
It’s not fair”
But I’m so grateful to discover
That she’s still there
I love my ceiling more
Since it is a dancing floor
Just for my love

A Day like any other Day – Music by Bruce Scott lyrics by Marshall Barer

Music by Bruce Scott lyrics by Marshall Barer.
First recorder in the album “The Time Has Come!: The Songs of Marshall Barer” in 1990
Marshall called this song “An early effort. Rueful but scarcely Autumnal”

A day like any other day
Will be the day you go away
The dawn I find you’re gone my love
The clouds will hung as light above the sea
The day you’ll go away from me

The birds will not desert the sky
When you have said your last good-bye
The day you take the promise back
The sun won’t burst
The earth won’t crack in two
The day I say good-bye to you

Children in the streets will sound just as sweet when you are not around
Clocks will tick as before
And life will go on
And London bridge will not fall down

Trees and rocks and hills will stay in place
Even when you are not in my embrace
I can’t pretend the world will end
When you have found another friend

The moon will rise
The sun will set
The day I’ll know i’ll have to let you fly

A day like any other day
A day like any other day
Except I’ll die

He Was Too Good To Me – Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Simple Simon (musical)

Image via Wikipedia

Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for the review “Simple Simon” (1930) , but was dropped before the show’s New York opening.
In 1931 Rodgers& Hart were working on a movie called “the Hot Heiress” and they tried to reused the melody of this song with slightly different words. The result was a nice ballad called “He looks So Good To Me” but, once again, the song was removed from the movie.


There goes my young intended,
The thing is ended,
Regrets are vain.
I’ll never find
Another half so sweet
And we’ll never meet again.
I was a good sport
Told him
Eyes dim
But why

He was too good to me,
How can I get along now?
So close he stood to me
Everything seems all wrong now.
He who had brought me the sun
Making me smile,
That was his fun.
When I was mean to him
He’d never say go ‘way now,
I was a queen to him,
Whose gonna make me gay now?
It’s only natural that I’m blue,
He was too good to be true.

Carly Simon recorded this song but changed the last line of the verse.
And we’ll never meet again
I got impatient
Told him goodbye
Sad eyes out in the rain

C’est comme ça – music by Duke Elington lyrics by Marshall Barer

Music by Duke Elington lyrics by Marshall Barer
Introduced by Lilo (Solange) reprised in the second act by Theodore Bikel (Professor George Ritter)
This was the “love song” from the ill fated musical Pousse-Café.

C’est comme ça
C’est comme ça
Please don’t ask me to explain
C’est comme ça
And there’s nothing I can do

Might as well ask the tress
To exist without the rain
Or the Sky to deny that is blue

I could hide how I feel
So it wouldn’t ever show
But it wouldn’t make the feelin’ go away!

It was all sparkling wine
For that moment he was mine
But such moments
Fade swiftly away

If the wine has lost its fizz
C’est comme ça, that’s how it is
C’est comme ça
And there’s nothing more to say

I’ll reveal how I feel
’cause I’m helpless to conceal
That I’ll dance
To any tunes he wants to play

If the need lingers on
To each aching, braking dawn
That’s a price I expected to pay

C’est comme ça, that’s how it is:
(Male: ) I’ am hers, but she is his!
(Famale:) He’s not mine, but I am his
C’est comme ça, and there is nothing more to say