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    I’ve been hoping to get my son, Clint, to sing another Weekly Tune since he moved back from Boston. (He sang Time After Time here a long while ago.) Unfortunately the frenzy of graduate school got in the way and we’ve only found time for it now in the comparatively tranquil summer.

     He chose George and Ira Gershwin’s Isn’t It a Pity?, a relatively obscure duet of theirs from a failed 1933 musical Pardon My English.  Apparently the play was to be a vehicle for Jack Buchanan, the English musical hall star, but the reviews were not kind.  The play was reworked and reopened with George Givot who sang Isn’t It a Pity? with Jospehine Huston.  The revised play was not a success either, but Isn’t It a Pity? survived to become something of a standard.

     Clint knows the tune from a Mel Torme recording.  I think I first learned of it from David Stanley, a local piano player who was for a long time a fixture at the old Barclay Hotel.  Anyway, it’s a lovely song, and Clint, like Torme, includes the verse which is not often done.  Click on the title in red to hear it.  The lyrics are below.

Isn't It a Pity?

Verse:

Why did I wander

Here and there and yonder,

Wasting precious time,

For no reason or rhyme?

Isn’t it a pity?

Isn’t it a crime?

My journey’s ended;

Ev’rything is splendid:

Meeting you today

Has given me a wonderful idea,

Here I(‘ll) stay!

Refrain:

It’s a funny thing,

I look at you

I get a thrill

I never knew

Isn’t it a pity

We never met before?

Here we are at last,

It’s like a dream

The two of us

A perfect team,

Isn’t it a pity

We never met before?

Imagine all the lonely years we’ve wasted:

You with the neighbors,

I, at silly labors;

What joys untasted!

You, reading Heine, (You, at the Prado)

I, somewhere in China (I, in Colorado).

Happiest of men,

I’m sure I’ll be,

If only you

Will say to me

It’s an awful pity

We never, never met before

Second Bridge:

Imagine all the lonely years we’ve wasted:

Fishing for salmon,

Losing at backgammon.

What joys untasted!

My nights were sour

Spent with Shopenhauer.

Let's forget the past

Let's both agree

That I'm for you

And you're for me

And it's such a pity,

We never, never met before.

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