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  • mistermuse 12:00 am on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , H.G. Wells, , I Could Have Danced All Night, , , , Pygmalion, , , socialism   


    I could have….that is, if I were fifty years younger. But why bemoan it if Mother Nature no longer shores up the animal in me? Still, she’s no spring chicken herself, so you’d think she’d cut old geezers like me some slack.

    Moving on from my love life of fond memory: Wouldn’t it be loverly if I instead celebrated the 164th birthday of my near-contemporary George Bernard Shaw with a selection of songs from MY FAIR LADY (based on his play PYGMALION), followed by a bit of biography, a serving of Shaw quotes, and a nightcap of Shavian brew-haha.

    From “Wouldn’t It Be” to “I Could Have”….

    In this scene, Stanley Holloway is seen lifting his spirits on his last night of ‘freedom’:

    Next in line, the bit of bio:


    Now sink your teeth into the quotes:

    I was a freethinker before I knew how to think.

    Lack of money is the root of all evil.

    Beware of the man whose god is in the skies.

    The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity.

    You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

    There is only one sort of genuine Socialism, the democratic sort, by which I mean the organization of society for the benefit of the whole people.

    We should have had socialism already, but for the socialists.

    ….which leads us to the brew-haha / brouhaha between Shaw and fellow socialist H.G. Wells (click on the title below the cartoon caricature):

    ….which takes us at a social difference to


    • calmkate 3:43 am on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      those quotes have incredible insight, thanks for the share!

      Could play those songs as they ring in my head just hearing the name MFL … was traumatised by my parents torturing us with constant replays until we finally left home!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:53 am on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Obviously, your parents had better taste in music than you and your siblings, Kate! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 4:35 pm on July 26, 2020 Permalink

          hey a few times would have been enjoyable but an overdose of anything = torture 😉

          Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 7:47 am on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      We just watched My Fair Lady the other day. I believe it rained in Spain…

      Liked by 2 people

    • magickmermaid 10:29 am on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      My parents also played the My Fair Lady LP frequently so I knew many of the songs before I saw the film.
      I wonder what Shaw and Wells would think of the current world situations.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:19 am on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I think both Shaw and Wells would be even more appalled than they were in their lifetimes. If socialism was a dirty word to conservatives then, it’s no less so now. As the old saying goes: The more things change, the more they remain the same.

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 11:50 am on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      So true!

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:20 pm on July 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m down with the socialist hellhole, Sr. Muse. Sign me up.

      Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 9:04 am on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’m more of a George Orwell socialist…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 2:47 pm on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I’m probably a ‘practical socialist,’ in that I want what Bernie Sanders wants, but not in a “my way or the highway” sense. I believe in take what you can get now and live to fight another day, rather than all or nothing at all. When the other side has the power and the votes, half a loaf is better than none (if that doesn’t work, then screw everything I just said).

        Liked by 1 person

    • waywardsparkles 3:53 pm on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I love all of the references to movies and their quotes. I’m making a list of movies I’ve never seen that you’ve showcased on your site so that when I have the time, I can look them up on Netflix and catch up. My Fair Lady is one. Finnigan’s Rainbow, another. 🙂 Mona

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:05 pm on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Mona. I expect that I’ll be adding more movies (especially musicals) to your list in upcoming posts. Enjoy!


    • Rosaliene Bacchus 7:37 pm on July 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      My Fair Lady is one of my favorite musicals. Amazing the way the capitalists have demonized the word ‘socialism.’

      Liked by 3 people

    • thewanderingempath 10:10 pm on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      This was so much fun to read. It was like a meander through someone’s brain. Loved it. Thanks!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:24 pm on July 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I hope your comment which appreciates someone’s brainpower doesn’t go to my head….if, by “someone’s,” you mean mine. In any case, I thank you very much! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kally 1:10 pm on July 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Oh this is so fun for me to read. Cheer me up tremendously !

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 10:02 pm on August 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Bahaha! Your “near contemporary” George Bernard Shaw!

      I’m not a huge fan of My Fair Lady, but I do love the music, and it was lovely to listen to these pieces again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:24 am on August 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I especially enjoyed the rendition of I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT from Lincoln Center, which I’d not heard before. The vocalist has a lovely voice and put a lot of emotion into her performance without overdoing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Book of Kells, , , , Importance of Being Earnest, , , , , , , Pygmalion, satiric masterpieces, St. Patrick, ,   


    I contemplated concluding this four-part series with thoughts and reminisences on my tour of the Emerald Isle some thirty years ago, but I have so many fond memories that I lack the time, and perhaps the words, to do them justice. Besides, recounting personal vacation trips is a dubious proposition of boring potential at best, so I’ll spare you (and me) the task, and go instead with a few swigs of St. Patrick’s Day trivia and a wee bit of Irish Lit, writ and wit.

    Let’s start with St. Patrick himself. One might assume that St. Patricks Day is celebrated on March 17 because that’s his birthday, but in fact, his exact birth date is unknown. March 17 is the day he died (in the year 461).

    The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in NYC on March 17, 1762. For more on this and other things Irish, click on these short video clips:


    As for Irish Lit, one of the earliest surviving manuscripts is the painstakingly crafted and astonishingly beautiful Book of Kells (circa 800), which I had the pleasure of viewing at Dublin’s Trinity College Library. See for yourself at:


    Ireland, of course, has produced some of the greatest satirists and masterpieces of wit in history, including Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion, on which My Fair Lady is based), and John Millington Synge (The Playboy of the Western World). Excellent movies (and some not-so-excellent re-makes) have been made of all, and I close with a quote or a clip from each:

    The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his God, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.  –Gulliver’s Travels (1939)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eymdx4xomM  –The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADz07k_wXU  –Pygmalion (1938)

    …if it’s a poor thing to be lonesome, it’s worse maybe to go mixing with the fools of earth.  –The Playboy of the Western World (1962)

    May this St. Patrick’s Day find you neither lonesome nor with the fools of earth.

    • arekhill1 1:45 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Been years since I read the Playboy of the Western World. thanks for reminding me of it.


    • mistermuse 4:07 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I own a two-record (33 1/3 rpm) box set of the play recorded by Cyril Cusack (who played the playboy) Productions of Dublin in 1955. The accompanying booklet relates how the play’s first performance in Dublin in 1907 caused a riot because, as the Irish Times wrote, “the majority of theatregoers are not accustomed to remoreless truth.” The 1911 American premiere caused “one of the noisiest rows ever seen in a New York theatre.”

      I find it extremely interesting that one of the play’s champions was none other than ex-President Teddy Roosevelt, who wrote that “The little crowd of denaturalized Irishmen who tried to prevent the performance of The Playboy of the Western World by the Irish players in New York City have succeeded in doing precisely what was needed to bring the play to public attention.”

      How much, and yet how little, people and times have changed since then.

      Liked by 1 person

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