Thursday, December 3, 2009

"We're Despicable": From Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol


We're despicable.

We make ourselves

Plain sickable.

Berate ourselves,

Hate ourselves


Still none us of wishes he

Would change.

We're slick and shifty birds,

With fingers quick

As fifty birds.

While stealing your purse

Or your ticky-tock

Just for a kick we knock

You flat!




We're just blankety-blank-blank

No good!

We're not tea party blokes,

No chitty-chat

Or artichokes.

We're twice as blood-thirsty

As cannibules,

And wilder than animules

Are we!

We're reprehensible.

We'll steal your pen

And pencible!

Then sneer at you,

Leer at you


And really we ought to be

In jail!




We're just blankety-blank-blank

All bad!

Ah, the bragging song. The point in any musical when some less than totally admirable character (or his supporters) explains with verve and gusto just who he is and what he does. Snow Miser and Heat Miser in The Year Without a Santa Claus. Richard Henry Lee in 1776. Jubilation T. Cornpone in Li'l Abner. Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. These are the humming, toe-tapping tunes that people bring away even from less than memorable productions. And in Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol it is this song sung by the laundress, housekeeper, undertaker, and pawn shop owner as they divvy up Scrooge's belongings. After one viewing my nephew went tromping around humming the tune and any lyrics he could remember for an hour afterward.

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol has the honor of being the first animated Christmas special, premiering in 1962. The lyrics to this song are by Bob Merrill and the music by Jule Styne; it is sung by Royal Dano, Joan Gardner, Laura Olsher, and the great Paul Frees.


Brer said...

I have to say, I couldn't find these lyrics written down anywhere, and so had to transcribe them as I heard them. What I put down as "artichokes" could very well be "hearty jokes" in a Cockney accent, but after listening to it four times, I hear "artichokes", though "-'earty jokes" would seem to make more sense.

Babel said...

i laughed out loud at artichokes, though! Much better!