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


I Blush – Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

A Connecticut Yankee (musical)

Image via Wikipedia

Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for “A Connecticut Yankee 1927″
Introduced by: Constance Carpenter in Stamford, Connecticut, tryout. Dropped
before the New York opening. Replaced by “Nothing’s Wrong”
Recorded by Charlotte Rae in “Rodgers and Hart Revisited”

All court conversation
To my observation
Is naughty
And woefully pert;
With joy unabating
The ladies-in-waiting
Are waiting
To dish thee the dirt;
Such talk never charms me,
In sooth, it alarms me
When told by a hoyden or a valet.
Mere greetings and glances
Rouse talk of romances;
Each kiss is a study in scarlet.

Refrain 1
Oh dear, when there’s scandal about the court,
I blush!
Oh dear, at the naughtiness they report,
I blush!

Things they say sound very queer to me,
What they mean is never clear to me,
But it can’t be very nice
The way they hush;
I blush!

Such sights are not fit for a maiden’s view.
I blush!
Oh, dear, I know just what I ought to do,
I blush!

But you see,
I can’t condemn a tale
If its end I do not know.
Oh dear, I blush!
But I love it so!

Refrain 2
Oh dear, but the Queen carries on a bit;
I blush!
Oh, dear, though I breathe not a word of it,
I blush!

Launcelot loveth her beauty well;
As a knight, he doth his duty well;
On the throne, they get very warm,
They burn the plush.
I blush!

Arthur is a rather unwary King;
I blush!
The Queen made Launcelot honorary King;
I blush!
To be sure,
It’s none of my concern
If he kissed her once or twice.
Oh dear, I blush!
But it’s rather nice!

Refrain 3
Tristan told his heart to Isolde in song;
I blush!
Oh dear, but the song was six hours long;
I blush!
What they did was wrong beyond a doubt
If it took so long to sing about;
And the thought can make my lily
Cheek to flush.
I blush!
Oh dear, how they yodeled of love and death;
I blush!
They died not from love but from lack of breath;
I blush!
That it was
A proper way to die
It is, silly to pretend.
I blush, but oh dear,
What a lovely end!

“A Study in Scarlet” is a detective mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, first published in 1887. it was the first published story about sherlock Holmes.
In the novel Holmes says “There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.” this speech originates the title. In the context of the song Hart paragons sex to murder with an ironic intend.
Like in “Thou swell” Hart used archaic words such as loveth for loved or doth for did.
Tristan told his heart to Isolde in song/Oh dear, but the song was six hours long: this, of course, refers Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”

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


Zip – Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Written for “Pal Joey”
Introduced by Jean Casto.
For the highly successful revival of the show the song was sung by Elaine Stritch


I’ve interviewed Leslie Howard.*
I’ve interviewed Noel Coward.
I’ve interviewed the great Stravinsky.
But my greatest achievement
Is the interview I had
With a star who worked for Minsky.
I met her at the Yankee Clipper
And she didn’t unzip one zipper.
I said, “Miss Lee, you are such an artist.
Tell me why you never miss.
What do you think of while you work?”
And she said, “While I work
My thoughts go something like this.”


Zip! Walter Lippmann wasn’t brilliant today.
Zip! Will Saroyan ever write a great play?
Zip! I was reading Schopenhauer last night.
Zip! And I think that Schopenhauer was right.
I don’t want to see Zorina.
I don’t want to meet Cobina.
Zip! I’m an intellectual.
I don’t like a deep contralto,
Or a man whose voice is alto.
Zip! I’m a heterosexual.
Zip! It took intelect to master my art.
Zip! Who the hell is Margie Hart?


Zip! I consider Dali’s painting passe.
Zip! Can they make the Metropolitan pay?
Zip! English people don’t say clerk, they say clark.**
Zip! Anybody who says clark is a jark!
I have read the great Kabala
And I simply worship Allah.
Zip! I am just a mystic.
I don’t care for Whistler’s Mother,
Charlie’s Aunt, or Shubert’s brother.
Zip! I’m misogynistic.
Zip! My intelligence is guiding my hand.
Zip! Who the hell is Sally Rand?


Zip! Toscanini leads the greatest of bands.***
Zip! Jergen’s Lotion does the trick for his hands.
Zip! Rip Van Winkle on the screen would be smart.
Zip! Tyrone Power will be cast in the part.
I adore the great Confucius,
And the lines of luscious Lucius.
Zip! I am so ecletic.
I don’t care for either Mickey-
Mouse and Rooney make me sicky!
Zip! I’m a little hectic.
Zip! My artistic taste is classic and dear.****
Zip! Who the hell’s Lili St. Cyr?

*Earlier versions of lines 1-2:
I’ve interviewed Pablo Picasso
And a countess named di Frasso.

**Earlier version of refrain 2, lines 3-4:
Zip! Hearing rhumba bands will drive me to drink.
Zip! Mrs. Perkins isn’t red, she’s just pink.

***Earlier version of refrain 3, line 1:
Zip! That Stokowski leads the greatest of bands.

****Earlier version of refrain 3, lines 11-12:
Zip! My artistic taste is classic and choice.
Zip! Who the hell’s Rosita Royce?

Celebrities quoted in the song:
Leslie Howard actor known for “Gone with the wild”
Noel Coward actor, songwriter, author
Igor Stravinsky russian musician
Minsky the four Minsky brothers: Abe Minsky (1878–1960); Billy Minsky (1887–1932); Herbert Minsky (1892-?); and Morton Minsky (1902–1987) owner of “Minsky’s Burlesque” a brand of burlesque
“star who worked for Minsky” of course this refers to Gypsy Rose Lee
Walter Lippmann columnist, writer
Will Saroyan dramatist and author
Arthur Schopenhauer german philosopher
Vera Zorina ballerina of George Balanchine
Cobina Wright actress who gained later fame as a hostess and a syndicated gossip columnist
Margaret Hart Ferraro stripper
Salvador Dalí spanish painter
Shubert’s brother theatrical managers and producers
Sally Rand stripper and fan dancer
Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor, was one of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century
Jergens® Skincare Products Cincinnati based manufacturer of health and beauty skin care products including lotions, skin cleansers, facial cleansers and moisturizers
“Rip Van Winkle” is a short story by Washington Irving published in June 1819. In the story Rip, a young married Dutch American, alls asleep for twenty years. When he wakes and wanders back to his village, he is astonished by the changes that have taken place.
Tyrone Power famed american actor
Confucius, Chinese thinker and social philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period.
Lucius Beebe was an American author, gourmand, photographer, railroad historian, journalist, and syndicated columnist. Columnist Walter Winchell referred to Beebe and his wardrobe as “Luscious Lucius.” Beebe’s sartorial splendor was recognized when he appeared in full formal day attire on the cover of Life over the title of “Lucius Beebe Sets a Style.”
Mickey Mouse cartoon character created by Walt Disney Studios
Mickey Rooney famed american actor
Lili St. Cyr famed American burlesque stripper. Lili St. Cyr is mentioned also in the musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The final line of the song “Don’t Dream It” is “God bless Lili St. Cyr!”


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Happy Hunting Horn – Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Written for the musical Pal Joey
Also known as “”Happy Little Hunting Horn”
Introduced by Gene Kelly, Jane Fraser, and ensemble.

Don’t worry, girls,
I’m only on vacation,
Not out of circulation;
Don’t worry, girls.

Don’t worry, girls,
While I still have my eyesight
You’re going to be in my sight;
Don’t worry, girls.
You never can erase
The hunter from the chase.

Sound the happy hunting horn,
There’s new game on the trail now;
We’re hunting for quail now,
Happy little hunting horn.

Play the horn but don’t play corn.
The music must be nice now,
We’re hunting for mice now,
Happy little hunting horn.

Danger’s easy to endure when
You’re out to catch a beaut;
Lie in ambush, but be sure when
You see the whites of their eyes-don’t shoot!

Play the horn from night to morn.
Just play, no matter what time,
Play, “There’ll be a hot time!”
Happy little hunt-bang! bang!-ing horn.


beaut: slang for beauty, girl
You see the whites of their eyes-don’t shoot!: this line refers to the famous order “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” was popularized in stories about the battle of Bunker Hill. It might, of course, have a sexual double entendre


A Litle Birdie Told Me So – Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Written for the musical Peggy-Ann (1926)
Published December 1926. Introduced by Helen Ford.
For the London production (1927), the lyric was rewritten by Desmond Carter and called “Country Mouse.”

Mother said, “My darling, if you’re going to New York,
I must tell you of the mysteries of life.
In towns like that, a little friendly visit from the stork
Is rather awkward if you’re not a wife!
Although he’s not invited,
He’ll always be delighted
To fly in at a weekend.
Where will that fellow’s cheek end? ”
But I replied, “I know just what to do, dear,
while I roam
I’ll simply tell the stork I’m not at home.”

How did I come to know
Which way the wind would blow?
A little birdie told me so!
A little word called “yes”
Can make an awful mess.
The answer to “Giddap” is “Whoa”.
Don’t pity mother Eve, her weakness was detestable
And soon she learned forbidden fruit was indigestible!

But how did I find out
What it was all about?
A little birdie told me so!

When a handsome stranger says, I think we’ve met before,
There’s more than conversation on his mind.
When he says, “Our souls should meet,” just show him to the door! .
For the meeting that he means is not refined!
He’ll say his love is mental,
And very transcendental.
His talk will soon get boorish,
And very ostermoorish.
He will use poetic words that no one understands,
And illustrate the meaning with his hands.


How did I come to know
Which way the wind would blow?
A little birdie told me so!
So look before you leap
The narrow path is steep.
One little push and down you go!
Of very pure young girls I wouldn’t say there’s none that’s left
The well-known statue called Miss Liberty’s the one that’ s left!
But purest driven snow
Will sometimes drift, you know.
A little birdie told me so!

ostermoorish: it is not very clear what Larry meant with the word ostermoorish. In “The Californian and overland monthly (AN ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE OF THE WEST – 1920)” Caroline Catherine Franklin used the word ostermoorish in a story called “The Black Opal”:  “Such nice eyes gray, my favorite color. And such stunning hair! Sort of Ostermoorish.” Note that in this case the author user the capital O, so problably some one called Oster Moore was famouse for something at the time.


Billions of Beautiful Boys – Music by Joseph Thalken Lyrics by Marshall Barer

Music by Joseph Thalken
Lyrics by Marshall Barer


There are billions of beautiful boys in the world,
But all I want is…two.

I could float through the air with the greatest of ease
With just one perfect partner on each of my knees.
Picture you and you upon a knee apiece,
Enjoying tea for three,
And three on the aisle,
And three cigarettes in the dark.

In our elegant triplex on Third Avenue,
Floating high above Trinity Park, we’ve a view
Of the Triborough Bridge,
Triple sec in the fridge,
And a loo that is truly divine.
For it’s rub-a-dub-dub
I in a three-corner tub
With the towels marked “his,” “his” and “mine.”

I’d adore to go soaring too high in the sky
In a tri-motor plane with a guy and a guy.
But I ask for no more
Than to gaze into four eyes of blue
In a cottage for three.
Only four eyes of blue
In a one-bedroom cottage for three with you two.
That’s for me!

A funny song about a “ménage à trois“. Since the singer can be either a boy or a girl it might be considered a “gay song” too (after all the towels are marked “his” “his” and “mine”). “Third Avenue” and Triborough Bridge are in NYC but there is no Trinity Park near “Thrd avenue”