Wednesday

May 2, 2007

I Wish I Were in Love Again

by Lorenz Hart

WEDNESDAY, 2 MAY, 2007
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Poem: "I Wish I Were in Love Again" by Lorenz Hart. © Chappell Music Ltd. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

I Wish I Were in Love Again

The sleepless nights,
The daily fights,
The quick toboggan when you reach the heights—
I miss the kisses and I miss the bites.
I wish I were in love again!
The broken dates,
The endless waits,
The lovely loving and the hateful hates,
The conversation with the flying plates—
I wish I were in love again!
No more pain,
No more strain,
Now I'm sane, but ...
I would rather be gaga!
The pulled-out fur of cat and cur,
The fine mismating of a him and her—
I've learned my lesson, but I
Wish I were in love again.
The furtive sigh,
The blackened eye,
The words 'I'll love you till the day I die',
The self-deception that believes the lie—
I wish I were in love again.
When love congeals
It soon reveals
The faint aroma of performing seals,
The double-crossing of a pair of heels.
I wish I were in love again!
No more care.
No despair.
I'm all there now,
But I'd rather be punch-drunk!
Believe me, sir,
I much prefer
The classic battle of a him and her.
I don't like quiet and I
Wish I were in love again!

Literary and Historical Notes:

It was on this day in 1611 that the first edition of the King James Bible was published in England. It is one of the greatest and most influential works in the English language, even though it was translated by a committee.

It was produced during a particularly chaotic period for England. An epidemic of the black plague had struck London so severely that the year before work began on the King James Bible, 30,000 Londoners had died of the disease. At the same time, Puritans in the country were beginning to agitate against the monarchy as a form of government. And a group of underground Catholics were plotting to assassinate the king.

King James I thought that a new translation of the Bible might help hold the country together. There had been several English translations of the Bible already, but King James wanted a Bible that would become the definitive version. Previous versions had been translated from Latin. King James wanted his Bible to be more accurate to the original Hebrew and Greek. King James also decided that his Bible should have as few explanatory notes as possible, so that it would appeal to the widest audience.

James assembled a committee of 54 of the best linguists in the country. They believed that the most important quality of the translation would be that it sound right, since it would be read aloud in churches. So when the committee would gather, each man read his verses aloud, to be judged and revised by the other men.

The translators also deliberately used old-fashioned language. At the time they were working on the Bible, words like "thou" and "sayeth" had already gone out of fashion. Some scholars believe that the translators wanted to give the sense that the language in the Bible came from long ago and far away.

The first edition came out on this day in 1611, but for decades, most people preferred the Puritan Geneva Bible, because of its plainer language. It was only after England went through a civil war that the King James Bible came into fashion. It went on to influence the way writers have used the English language for hundreds of years.


It was on this day in 1972 that an era of American law enforcement came to an end when J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington D.C. He had been serving as the head of the FBI since 1924, before it was even called the FBI, and he served in that position right up until the day he died. There have been many rumors and conspiracy theories about Hoover since his death, but few have been proven, in part because, after Hoover died, his secretary followed his order that all his personal papers should be burned.


It's the birthday of lyricist Lorenz Hart, born in New York City (1895). He's famous for writing the lyrics to songs like "Blue Moon" (1934), "My Funny Valentine" (1937), and "The Lady Is a Tramp" (1937). As a young man in his 20s, he was drifting around, writing verse in his spare time, when someone introduced him to Richard Rodgers, a teenage composer who wanted to be a lyricist. They worked on a series of amateur musical comedies together, but their future didn't seem promising. Rodgers was just about to give up on music and go into the underwear business when their show The Garrick Gaieties (1925) became a huge success. They went on to write several successful musicals together, including Connecticut Yankee (1927), The Boys From Syracuse (1938), and Pal Joey (1940).


Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









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