July 8, 2004

Soup lyrics.

Here are the four lines of "At Long Last Love" that Cole Porter wrote while he was in excruciating pain with his legs crushed, pinned under a horse for hours, waiting to be rescued--according to John Lahr, writing in the New Yorker (link via A&L Daily):
“Is it an earthquake or simply a shock?
Is it the good turtle soup or merely the mock?
Is it a cocktail, this feeling of joy?
Or is what I feel the real McCoy?”

You know soup does not make an appearance in song lyrics all that often, but oddly enough, just the other day, I was sitting in a cafe, eating an almond scone, and I noticed this bizarrely soup-related lyric in a Sam Cooke song:
Shake it like a bowl of soup
And make your body loop de loop
Put your hands on your hips
And kinda let your backbone slip
Move your body like a whip
And just shake!

Now, you just know the original idea was to shake like a bowl of jelly (like Santa Claus in "'Twas the Night Before Christmas") but he switched to soup for the sake of rhyme.

The only other soup lyric I can think of offhand is the Lewis Carroll lyric "Beautiful Soup." I'll try harder later, but I've got to run to class.

UPDATE: Well, I see Bob Dylan did his own version of Sam Cooke's "Shake." It's called "Wiggle, Wiggle." Here's the soup part:
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a bowl of soup,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a rolling hoop,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a ton of lead,
Wiggle - you can raise the dead.

Pretty funny, and a nice salute to Cooke. "Under the Red Sky" is a Dylan album I never paid any attention to.

And here's the text of "Beautiful Soup," set alongside the poem it was parodying. Carroll substitutes the homely image of soup for the lofty image of a star.

ANOTHER UPDATE: You can listen to "Wiggle, Wiggle," and buy "Under the Red Sky"--cheap!--here, on Amazon. The Amazon commenters are pretty brutal, several calling it Dylan's worst album. "Wiggle, Wiggle" wins special contempt. No one seems to get that "Wiggle, Wiggle" is to "Shake" as "Beautiful Soup" is to "Star of the Evening."

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