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Question about

lovebwy Profile Photo
lovebwy
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/12
I've been revisiting Elaine Stritch's greatest songs. Something about this has always puzzled me.

The song questions why the wrong people travel. The "wrong people" apparently being (according to the character) people who are provencal and unsophisticated.

"What explains this mass mania to leave Pennsylvania
And clack around like flocks of geese
Demanding dry martinis on the isles of Greece
In the smallest street, where the gourmets meet,
They invariably fetch up
And itís hard to make them accept a steak
that isnít served rare and smeared with ketchup"

Then she sings "when the right people stay at home" but those she describes as "staying at home" also seem to be unsophisticated.

"But why, oh why do the wrong people travel when the right people stay back home
And eat hot doughnuts
when the right people stay back home
with all that lettuce
when the right people stay back home
I sometimes wonder
why the right people stay back home"

What am I missing here?
haterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Question about
Posted: 7/22/14 at 11:22pm
Irony?
g.d.e.l.g.i. Profile Photo
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Question about
Posted: 7/22/14 at 11:23pm
The right people are settling for less while the wrong people are on the move.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
lovebwy Profile Photo
lovebwy
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/12
Question about
Posted: 7/22/14 at 11:38pm
g.d.e.l.g.i. very interesting. Thank you!

I noticed that the "right people stay at home with ____" has changed over the years. In the original recording she says "With Dr. Brothers" and "With all those Kennedys" and in the At Liberty version she says "with Yogi Berra" and "with Debbie Reynolds".
PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Question about
Posted: 7/22/14 at 11:50pm
Why do YOU think the right people stay back home with those things?

You claim not to understand, but I'm sure you have a very cogent explanation.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
lovebwy Profile Photo
lovebwy
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/12
Question about
Posted: 7/22/14 at 11:55pm
Well, for this one I never really did. I couldn't distinguish between people who liked their steak with ketchup and those who liked Cinerama and hot doughnuts.

But I think g.d.e.l.g.i. gave as good as an explanation as I can hope for. The wrong people go abroad and behave in an unsophisticated way, while the right people stay at home and just settle for the banalities of the culture like Debbie Reynolds and Dr Joyce Brothers.
PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Question about
Posted: 7/23/14 at 08:01am
There you go. It wasn't that complicated.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Question about
Posted: 7/23/14 at 09:58am
The character, Mimi Paragon, is a cruise ship hostess. She's venting about her job.

For one thing, her complaints, like most work complaints, aren't always superficially consistent.

For another, she isn't 100% dividing the world between what's sophisticated and whats not. Rather, between things she finds at this particular moment appealing and attractive - which include both sophisticated and down to earth things - and those she, at the moment, does not.

The fact that Mimi's tastes aren't one dimensional makes her an individual rather than a stock snob/effete malcontent.


Updated On: 7/23/14 at 09:58 AM
lovebwy Profile Photo
lovebwy
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/12
Question about
Posted: 7/23/14 at 01:48pm
Interesting. Maybe that comes across more in the context of the play. I'd love to see it some time, but it isn't the kind of thing that gets revived at the drop of a hat.
gangtey
Swing
joined:9/22/13
Question about
Posted: 7/23/14 at 07:57pm
Dining on rare steaks and dry martinis on the isles of Greece sounds like the makings of fairly sophisticated evenings to me. Ketchup, not so much. But anyway, people have to come from somewhere, so why not Omaha? And why not ketchup! Maybe the song is an ironic joke on the cynical (and unsophisticated) snobbery of people who complain about other travelers no matter what they do.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Question about
Posted: 7/23/14 at 08:31pm
"Dining on rare steaks and dry martinis on the isles of Greece sounds like the makings of fairly sophisticated evenings to me"

Sure, but if you want rare steak and dry martinis, why go to Greece? You go to Greece to eat moussaka, meat or game stews, stuffed tomatoes or peppers, ladherŠ, and oven-baked meat and fish. Drink wine and ouzo.

I've always taken that song to mean that if you are traveling but don't immerse yourself in the local culture, seeking instead to find the things you are comfortable and familiar with, why bother traveling at all? If all you want is the television, canasta, lettuce, Coca-Cola and hot doughnuts, then you're "right" to stay home. Why go to foreign lands and "demand" those things from home?

Also, Noel Coward hated tourists
PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Question about
Posted: 7/23/14 at 08:36pm
It's really very simple. It's a comedy song. It's very simple.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
henrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Question about
Posted: 7/23/14 at 09:24pm
I like ghostlight's answer the best.

 
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