A 9-Year-Old Girl’s Thoughts on a Gershwin Classic

Ruby, unlike her father, does not like stuff. She was complaining about it so much today that I put on the song “I’ve Got Plenty O’ Nuttin'” from the Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess. She definitely had some thoughts about it, and she provided a running commentary for the song, which I will now attempt to transcribe for you here.

Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’ And nuttin’s plenty for me

Ruby says: Yeah! Why do people need so much stuff! I’m never going to have any stuff. I’m going to live in the jungle and have a farm.

I got no car, got no mule I got no misery

Ruby says: I am DEFINITELY not having a car. They pollute the whole planet and make everyone miserable! It’s true. Stuff makes you miserable,

De folks wid plenty o’ plenty Got a lock on de door ‘Fraid somebody’s a-goin’ to rob ’em While dey’s out a-makin’ more What for?

Ruby says: If I don’t have any stuff, then what are the robbers going to rob? Food? That’s fine, they can steal my food. Because I live on a farm! DUH! If somebody steals my food, I will just grow more!

I got no lock on de door Dat’s no way to be Dey kin steal de rug from de floor Dat’s okeh wid me

Ruby says: But, I mean, I would have a lock on my door. That’s just common sense. And I would have a lock on each one of my cabinets. And I would have a lock on everything. Because honestly, who would just leave everything unlocked with all those robbers around?

‘Cause de things dat I prize Like de stars in de skies All are free

Ruby says: Free is good. I hope that when I grow up, somebody just gives me a big piece of land for free that I can live on and have my farm, hopefully in the jungle. And all my kids will be little Georges of the Jungles. Watch out for that tree!

Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’ And nuttin’s plenty for me I got a gal, got my song Got Hebben the whole day long

Ruby says: And I will have a cow and a horse, but I will milk the cow by hand, because machines are mean to the cows, and plus they probably cause pollution and use electricity and stuff. I don’t think the cows like the milking machines. On my farm, I will milk all the cows myself.

No use complaining Got my gal, got my Lawd Got my song Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’ And nuttin’s plenty for me I got the sun, got the moon Got the deep blue sea

Ruby says: Well, nobody can really have the sun or the moon. That’s just silly.

De foks wid plenty o’ plenty Got to pray all de day Seems wid plenty you sure got to worry How to keep the debbel away Away I ain’t frettin ’bout hell ‘Till de time arrive Never worry long as I’m well Never one to strive To be good, to be bad What the hell I is glad I’s alive! Oh, I got plenty o’ nuttin’ And nuttin’s plenty for me I got a gal, got my song Got Hebben the whole day long No use complaining Got my gal, got my Lawd Got my song

Ruby says: Can we listen to a different song now? Like on the radio?

 

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Posted in Music, Opera, Ruby, Stuff, Tenor Tuesday.

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