Monday, January 23, 2012

Birds do it, bees do it

Let’s Do It! 2012

 Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.

I’ve long been a fan of Cole Porter’s songs and lyrics. To call them standards sells them short. They’re classics, institutions even. You have to admit the man was gifted. Years ago some people I knew from college created a showcase of Porter called “Red, Hot and Cole.” There was talk that it would make its way to Broadway. But I gather the serendipity of the entertainment world—deals, options, financing, stars, New York, LA, etc.—prevented that from ever happening. Still, it was a great show. 
Since songs like Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) were intended for the stage—Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) was written in 1928 for a musical and used again in another musical and after that a motion picture—and since revivals make up so much of the Broadway musical lineup these days, it doesn’t take much of a leap of faith to envision an updated Cole Porter review back on Broadway.
But something tells me Porter would have never expected to find the line Let’s Do It! on a banner in front of a Southern Baptist church in Portsmouth, Virginia. Given the context, one assumes this is a call to faith. Maybe the person who had this idea didn’t even know about Cole Porter—Southern Baptists being a bit shy around songs suggestive of It—and was instead trying to channel a little of the directness of Nike’s Do It.
All I know is that I had a hard time stifling a giggle when I saw this banner in front of the church. I guess my mind was just trolling in the gutter.
Free Love, 2012

I’ll give it to the folks at this church, tough. They’re a generous lot. The day I took this picture they were having a free yard sale. They were also—and, again, maybe I’m getting this all wrong—pushing free love.  
Let’s let Porter’s lyrics play us out.
And that's why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

Cold Cape Cod clams, 'gainst their wish, do it
Even lazy jellyfish do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

I've heard that lizards and frogs do it
Layin' on a rock
They say that roosters do it
With a doodle and cock

Some Argentines, without means do it
I hear even Boston beans do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

When the little bluebird
Who has never said a word
starts to sing Spring spring spring
When the little bluebell
At the bottom of the dell
Starts to ring Ding ding ding
When the little blue clerk
In the middle of his work
Starts a tune

The most refined lady bugs do it
When a gentleman calls
Moths in your rugs they do it
What's the use of moth balls

The chimpanzees in the zoos do it,
Some courageous kangaroos do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love

I'm sure sometimes on the sly you do it
Maybe even you and I might do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Excerpts from Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love), 1928 by Cole Porter