NABOKV-L post 0017799, Mon, 2 Mar 2009 12:25:56 -0800

Subject
response to Barry Warren's query re von Echternach Ode
Date
Body


On Mar 1, 2009, at 6:29 PM, Barry Warren wrote:

Carolyn Kunin, I'm not sure what you're up with the the so-called
famous Ode to Roman Jakobson that you quote. This is obviously a
parodic alteration of the final stanza of "The Saga of Jenny," words
by Ira Gershwin, music by Kurt Weill, from the 1941 musical "Lady in
the Dark." Below is the final stanza of that song's clever lyrics.

Submitted by list member Barry Warren

Dear Barry,

What a coincidence! Or perhaps von Echternach deserves to remain in
his obscurity?

Carolyn






"Saga of Jenny" (final stanza):

Jenny made her mind up at seventy-five
She would live to be the oldest woman alive
But gin and rum and destiny play funny tricks,
And poor Jenny kicked the bucket at seventy-six
Jenny points a moral with which you cannot quarrel,
Makes a lot of common sense--
Jenny and her saga prove that you're gaga
If you don't keep sitting on the fence

Jenny and her story point the way to glory
To all man and womankind
Anyone with vision comes to this decision--
Don't make up your mind


--- On Sun, 3/1/09, Carolyn Kunin <chaiselongue@EARTHLINK.NET> wrote:
From: Carolyn Kunin <chaiselongue@EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: [NABOKV-L] perils of learning Russian
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Date: Sunday, March 1, 2009, 7:16 AM

Yesterday Jansy wrote: You may weep for me - for all you care

So I won't cry for you, dear Nabokovian, the truth is I never should
have.

But all seriousness aside, undertaking the learning of Russian is
definitely not for everyone. There is even a famous Ode to Roman
Jakobson that makes that very point. It ends thus:

Roman made his mind up at seventy-five
That he would live to be the oldest Slavist alive.
But analyzing grammar can play awfully mean tricks
And poor Roman gave up Russian at seventy-six.

Roman and his story
point the way to glory
for all man and womankind:
If you study Russian
It might lead to concussion
And you're bound to lose your mind.

Carolyn

* I believe the less famous poet's name is Richard von Echternach.

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