John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

  • Music:

Poets Corner: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Things have come to a pretty pass
Our romance is growing flat,
For you like this and the other
While I go for this and that,

Goodness knows what the end will be
Oh I don't know where I'm at
It looks as if we two will never make one
Something must be done:

You say eether and I say either,
You say neether and I say neither
Eether, either
Neether, neither
Let's call the whole thing off.

You like potayto and I like potahto
You like tomayto and I like tomahto
Potayto, potahto,
Tomayto, tomahto.
Let's call the whole thing off

But oh, if we call the whole thing off
Then we must part
and oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart

So if you like pajamas
and I like pajahmas,
I'll wear pajamas
and give up pajahmas
for we know we need each other so
we better call the calling off off
let's call the whole thing off.

You say laughter and I say laufter
You say after and I say aufter
Laughter, laufter
after, aufter
Let's call the whole thing off

I say Havana and I get Havahnah
I like bananas and you like banahnahs
Havana, Havahnah
Bananas, banahnahs
Let's call the whole thing off

but oh if we call the whole thing of
then we must part
and oh, if we ever part,
then that might break my heart
So if you like oysters
and I like ersters
I'll take oysters
and give up ersters
for we know we need each other so
we better call the calling off off,
let's call the whole thing off.

Ira Gerhswin (1896–1983)

That dialect quiz reminded me of this song. The version I posted above is the one sung by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1937 movie Shall We Dance. Other versions have additional lyrics, and in a somewhat different order, but the Astaire and Rogers version is the one I know best so that's the one I used.

Incidentally, if you download and listen to that version without having seen the movie, you will probably want to watch the scene. Despite what it may sound like, they're not wearing tap shoes.

Tags: movies, music, poet's corner
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