Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
- There are a total of 10 general entries.
Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
London Pride. London pride (Saxifraga umbrosa), like all saxifrages, can grow on stony ground. However, if you see it in London nowadays, it will probably be carefully cultivated in a window-box and not (as in Coward's song) "growing in the crevices by some London railing."
|In which Coward song do a society woman, a streetwalker, a schoolgirl and a Cockney maid sing of their infatuation with a movie star?||The Lyrics of Noel Coward
Mad About The Boy. The song appeared in the 1932 revue "Words and Music." It is rarely performed in full: most recordings include, at the most, only the society woman's and streetwalker's verses.
It's difficult to be sure whether Coward had any particular star in mind when he wrote about "the boy," but claims have been made for Clark Gable, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks Junior and James Cagney.
|In Coward's play "Private Lives," Amanda and Elyot, a divorced couple, meet again when they're on honeymoon with their second spouses. As they chat on a hotel balcony, they hear the strains of "Some Day I'll Find You." What is Amanda's comment?||The Lyrics of Noel Coward
Strange how potent cheap music is!. Some texts of the play have "Extraordinary how potent ....", but (as Nigel Rees points out in "Cassell's Companion to Quotations") "strange" is the word used in the 1930 recording with Coward and Gertrude Lawrence. The song being played is of course one of Coward's own.
|Lord Elderley, Lord Borrowmere, Lord Sickert and Lord Camp sing the praises of which of the pleasures of English upper-class life?||The Lyrics of Noel Coward
the stately homes of England. Like "mad dogs and Englishmen," "the stately homes of England" is a phrase that is indissolubly associated with Coward but which goes back much further. Mrs Felicia Dorothea Hemans, who died in 1835, praised the stately homes of England in one of her poems ("How beautiful they stand, amidst their tall ancestral trees o'er all the pleasant land!"). But all we remember today is Coward's parody ("How beautiful they stand, to prove the upper classes have still the upper hand!").
Nina from Argentina. Nina was a strong-minded young lady who saw no attraction in the dances of her native Latin America and therefore:
"She refused to begin the beguine
When they besought her to.
In language profane and obscene
She cursed the man who taught her to.
She cursed Cole Porter too!"
In a dance-mad culture, her aversion naturally cut her off from prospective suitors, but eventually
"She met a sailor
Who had acquired a wooden leg in Venezuela,
And she married him because he couldn't dance!"
put her daughter on the stage. The song is a letter from an impresario to a "stage mother," pointing out with increasing bluntness the defects in the daughter's appearance and ability which disqualify her for a career in acting. The last verse is usually omitted, probably because there the impresario abandons all pretence of politeness and uses expressions like "bloody" and "Christ!"
A Room With A View. The song comes from the 1928 revue "This Year of Grace," which also includes "Dance, Little Lady."
|"Past Forgetting" was the title of a memoir by a lady called Kay Morgan (née Summersby), telling of an alleged affair with Dwight D Eisenhower. From which musical work by Coward did she borrow her title?||The Lyrics of Noel Coward
Bitter Sweet. "I'll see you again, whenever spring breaks through again. Time may lie heavy between, but what has been is past forgetting ." Complete and utter kitsch, perhaps, but memorable all the same.
in a bar on the Piccola Marina. According to Coward, the song was inspired by his observations in Capri in 1954. In a spoken introduction to a recording, he says: "Each evening I used to sit on the piazza and watch these hordes of middle-aged ladies arriving by every boat, obviously all set to have themselves a ball. So startled was I by this rather macabre spectacle that I wrote this song about a respectable British matron, who discovered in the nick of time that life was for living."
Englishmen. The satirical wit and virtuoso rhyming have made this one of the most popular of Coward's songs.
Many of us think of the saying about "mad dogs and Englishmen" as Coward's own, but it seems to be much older. The musicologist Charles Burney, in an account of a European journey in 1770, comments on the death of an English traveller with the words "He certainly overheated himself at Venice by walking at a season when it is said that only dogs and Englishmen are seen out of doors at noon."