Makin’ Whoopee

24 Jan

29-41

Played a show in Manhattan — a place called Ella’s Lounge / Studio A. The most important lesson learned is that parking doesn’t necessarily cost $40 in the Lower East Side if one has confidence.

I’ve always been uncomfortable with the lyric “the judge said budge right into jail” from the song “Makin’ Whoopee” — I always assumed it’s a Cole Porter tune, but it isn’t. Let’s look at it:

[He says ‘now,]
judge, suppose I
fail?’ The judge says
budge, right into
jail. You’d better
keep her. I think it’s
cheaper than makin’
whoopee.

Masterful rhyming, that’s for sure; I’ve divided it up by measure. But…it’s that word ‘budge’ that annoys me. There’s no definition in the OED that makes sense in this context, though we all understand what it means. Let’s look at the opening stanza, which I’ve always particularly liked:

[Another]
bride, another
June, another
sunny honey-
moon, another
season, another
reason, for makin’
whoopee.

And there you have it. The pattern of rhyme is different, and it doesn’t feel forced. The first and third lines (brackets indicate the pickup) have no rhyme in this stanza, and they don’t need to. So the ‘udge’ is not only used unnecessarily (the second judge could have been a pronoun), but the incorrect use of budge could have been avoided altogether by replacing it with any of a million other possibilities. Ugh!


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