A Birthday Gift

Today's Howard's birthday.  Let's celebrate. Last week,  my good friend, as well as Howard’s good friend and trusty assistant, Nancy Parent, called me with a discovery she’d made while cleaning her office.

It’s a sketch for lyrics – not meant to be a finished song, of Be Our Guest as originally conceived to be sung to Maurice.  It’s indicative of the way Howard wrote – he’d throw tons of ideas out and then cull for the best.

Nan read it to me over the phone and we both broke up when she got to:

Singing Pork

Dancing Veal

Okay, so it’s not the most inspired of Howard’s lyrics by a long (a very long) shot.  But it’s so totally Howard.  It reminded me of the sorts of things he used to read to us when talking about his latest projects.  We’d hear it all, knowing that half would never make the cut.  So last week, it was almost like he was there, giggling at his own cleverness (yes, he did).

Remember, this is a sketch and these are ideas that got left aside for a reason.  But it’s fun reading today’s a good day for celebrating.  So enjoy.

Not so long ago, sir, this was our career!
Light the chandelier! Ah, what atmosphere!
Serving you, we can recapture yesteryear!
Raise the lid, let's see what we have here?
Oh, my dear!

This is fish, this is not
But you'll like it quite a lot
Slice it thickly, eat it quickly
It's much better when it's hot
Try the bread, try  the soup
When the croutons loop de loop
It's a treat for any diner!
Don't believe me? Ask the china!
Singing pork! Dancing veal!
What an entertaining meal!
How could anyone be gloomy or depressed?
We'll make you shout encore
And send us out for more
So be our guest, be our guest, be our guest

Be our guest, be our guest!
Get your worries off your chest
Let us say, for your entrée
We've an array, may we suggest
Breast of grouse, several quail?
Or the Goose? It's never-fail!
What a treat our vinaigrette is
Why it's much too good for lettuce!
Chicken leg? Ready? Pull!
We won't quit until you're full
We delight in every bit that you ingest

We've got a rare supply
So don't you dare be shy, no
Be our guest, oui our guest, be our guest!

If you're interested, here's a link to a post I wrote last year on Howard's birthday.