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  #1  
Unread 01-23-2020, 05:50 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Default That Shakespeherian Rag

"The Shakespearian Rag", first published by Joseph W. Stern & Company in 1912. Lyrics by Gene Buck and Herman Ruby, music by David Stamper. As follows::

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen,
I come not here to praise,"
But lend an ear and you will hear
a rag, yes, a rag that is grand, and
Bill Shakespeare never knew
Of ragtime in his days
But the high browed rhymes,
Of his syncopated lines,
You'll admit, surely fit,
any song that's now a hit,
So this rag I submit.

Chorus:

That Shakesperian rag--
Most intelligent, very elegant,
That old classical drag
Has the proper stuff
The line, "Lay on MacDuff"
Desdemona was the pampered pet
Romeo loves his Juliet
And they were some lovers
You can bet, and yet
I know if they were here today
They'd Grizzly Bear in a different way
And you'd hear old Hamlet say
"To be or not to be"
That Shakesperian rag...

"My Kingdom for a horse,
Was what they used to say;"
It's different now, you will allow,
A tune, play a tune, start to croon, soon,
"As you like it" Brutus,
We'll play a rag today.
Then old Shylock danced,
And the Moor, Othello pranced.
Feeling gay, he would say,
as he started in to sway,
"Bring the rag, right away."

[Chorus]
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Unread 01-23-2020, 06:51 PM
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Default

And 10 years later:

Lines 128-130:

O O O O that Shakespeherian rag—
It's so elegant
So intelligent
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Ralph
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Unread 01-24-2020, 05:09 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I never knew exactly what those lines referred to. I think I'd always assumed it was a piece of instrumental ragtime jazz. Thanks Sam, that's fahascinating.
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Unread 01-25-2020, 01:17 PM
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Eliot liked the music halls, but most critics have thought he made up the lines as parody. Eliot met his first wife at a dance, and the lines in this section are said to refer to her. In the manuscript she wrote "Marvelous" beside them.

But
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—
It’s so elegant
So intelligent
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”
“I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
“With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
“What shall we ever do?”
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