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Friday, August 1, 2014

"A Hymn to Him": Why can't David Ortiz be more like Derek Jeter?

My Fair Lady is a 1956 Broadway play later made as movie in 1964.  One of its songs is "A Hymn to Him" ("Why can't a woman be more like a man?")  sung primarily by Professor Higgins to his male friend Pickering.  In both the play and movie Higgins is played by Rex Harrison.  Below the lyrics are adapted for Derek Jeter to be Higgins (men), Mariano Rivera Pickering and David Ortiz to be women.  In some cases women are replaced by Red Sox and men by Yankees.

HIGGINS (Jeter)
What in all of heaven could've promted Ortiz to go,
After such a triumph as the ball?
What could've depressed him;
What could've possessed him?
I cannot understand the wretch at all.

Ortiz is so irrational, that's all there is to that!
His head is full of cotton, hay, and rag!
He's nothing but exasperating, irritating,
vacillating, calculating, agitating,
Maddening and infuriating hag!
[To Pickering] (Rivera)
Rivera, why can't Ortiz be more like Jeter?
PICKERING (Rivera)
Hmm?
HIGGINS (Jeter)
Yes...
Why can't a Ortiz be more like Jeter?
Jeter's so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historic'ly fair;
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
Well, why can't a Ortiz be like that?
Why does every Red Sox do what the others do?
Can't a Ortiz learn to use his head?
Why do Red Sox do ev'rything their mothers do?
Why don't they grow up- well, like their father instead?
Why can't Ortiz  take after Jeter?
Jeter's so pleasant, so easy to please;
Whenever you are with him, you're always at ease.
Would you be slighted if I didn't speak for hours?
PICKERING (Rivera)
Of course not!
HIGGINS (Jeter)
Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?
PICKERING (Rivera)
Nonsense.
HIGGINS (Jeter)
Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?
PICKERING (Rivera)
Never.
HIGGINS (Jeter)
Well, why can't Ortiz be like you?
One Yankee in a million may shout a bit.
Now and then there's one with slight defects;
One, perhaps, whose truthfulness you doubt a bit.
But by and large we are a marvelous sect!
Why can't Ortiz take after Jeter?
Cause Jeter's so friendly, good natured and kind.
A better companion you never will find.
If I were hours late for dinner, would you bellow?
PICKERING (Rivera)
Of course not!
HIGGINS (Jeter)
If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?
PICKERING (Rivera)
Nonsense.
HIGGINS (Jeter)
Would you complain if I took out another fellow?
PICKERING (Rivera)
Never.
HIGGINS (Jeter)
Well, why can't Ortiz be like us?

Yankees are so decent, such regular chaps.
Ready to help you through any mishaps.
Ready to buck you up whenever you are glum.
Why can't Ortiz be a chum?
Why is thinking something Ortiz never would do?
Why is logic never even tried?
Straight'ning up their hair is all Red Sox ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside?
Why can't Ortiz behave like Jeter?
If I was Ortiz who'd been to a ball,
Been hailed as a prince by one and by all;
Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing?
And carry on as if my home were in a tree?
Would I run off and never tell me where I'm going?
Why can't Ortiz be like me?

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