Jul. 2, 2007

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

by Lorenz Hart

MONDAY, 2 JULY, 2007
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Poem: "Bewitched, bothered and bewildered" from the musical "Pal Joey, by Lorenz Hart, from The Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart. © Da Capo Press, 1995. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

After one whole quart of brandy, Like a daisy I awake
With no Bromo Seltzer handy, I don't even shake.
Men are not a new sensation; I've done pretty well, I think.
But this half-pint imitation Put me on the blink

I'm wild again! Beguiled again! A simpering, whimpering child again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.
Couldn't sleep And wouldn't sleep Until I could sleep where I shouldn't sleep
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.
Lost my heart but what of it? My mistake I agree.
He's a laugh, but I love it Because the laugh's on me.
A pill he is But still he is All mine and I'll keep him until he is
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered like me.

Seen a lot I mean a lot! But now I'm like sweet seventeen a lot.
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.
I'll sing to him Each spring to him And worship the trousers that cling to him
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.
When he talks He is seeking Words to get off his chest.
Horizontally speaking, He's at his very best.
Vexed again, Perplexed again, Thank God I can be over-sexed again
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.

Sweet again, Petite again, And on my proverbial seat again.
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered am I.
What am I? Half shot am I. To think that he loves me, So hot am I.
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered am I.
Though at first we said, "No, sir." Now we're two little dears.
You might say we are closer Than Roebuck is to Sears
I'm dumb again And numb again, A rich, ready, ripe little plum again.
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I.

Literary and Historical Notes:

It was on this day in 1961 that Ernest Hemingway (books by this author) committed suicide in Ketchum, Idaho. He'd had trouble writing since he'd participated in World War II. After the war was over he said, "[It's] as though you had heard so much loud music you couldn't hear anything played delicately." He'd been struggling to write a long novel called The Sea Book, but it wasn't coming together so he was only able to publish a small part of it called The Old Man and the Sea (1952). It got great reviews, and won the Pulitzer Prize, but he was frustrated that all he'd been able to produce was a small novella.

And then, in 1953, he decided to go on a safari in Africa, and during the safari he got into two separate plane crashes. He fractured his skull, got a concussion, cracked two discs in his spine, and suffered from internal bleeding. He never really recovered from the injuries he sustained in those crashes, and he began to drink more and more as a way to self-medicate. He began to suffer from insomnia, depression, and paranoia. His wife persuaded him to check into the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he was subjected to electroshock therapy. The treatment did not help his depression, and he hated it. He wrote in a letter, "What is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business?"

After being released from the hospital in January 1961, Hemingway was asked to write a tribute to John F. Kennedy for his inauguration. It took him an entire week to write four sentences. After two suicide attempts, his wife got him to go back to the hospital for more shock treatments, which left his mind so blank that he was unable to read for six weeks. It was the longest he'd gone without reading since he was a boy. He told one of his doctors, "If I can't exist on my own terms, then existence is impossible."

He was released from the hospital in June of 1961. He went back to the house where his wife was staying in Ketchum, Idaho. On the morning of July 2, 1961, he got up early, found his favorite shotgun and shot himself in the foyer, before his wife had awakened. She later said that the noise that woke her sounded like a drawer slamming shut.

It's the birthday of the first African-American to serve as a Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, born in Baltimore, Maryland (1908). He applied to the University of Maryland Law School, but he was rejected on the basis of race, so he enrolled at Howard University instead. The first thing he did, upon graduation, was use his law degree to sue the University of Maryland for racial discrimination, and he won.

It's the birthday of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, born in Nottinghamshire, England (1489). In the late 1520s, King Henry VIII was trying to get the Pope's permission to divorce his wife so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. Cranmer suggested that the king didn't need the Pope's permission. After presiding over the divorce trial, Cranmer was made an archbishop. He helped encourage England's break from Rome, which resulted in the Anglican Church.

After the death of King Henry VIII, his daughter Mary by his first marriage became queen. She was Catholic and didn't think much of Thomas Cranmer, who had helped her father divorce her mother. She had him imprisoned for attacking the Catholic Church, and he was eventually burned at the stake.

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




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