A couple of hayseeds, Homer and Jethro, attend the opera. Spike Jones and his Big Band, 1940s. (Click on the little play button above to hear the song.)

photo: (l-r) Spike Jones, Marilyn Monroe, Ken Murray, 1952.

“Pal-yat-chee” lyrics are below:

When we wuz in the city, we wuz a-wond’rin’ where to go.
A sign spelled out PAL-YAT-CHEE up in lights above a show.
We thought ‘twould be a Western till the stage lit up with lights,
An’ ninety seven people sung without a horse in sight.
We couldn’t understand ‘em ’cause they spoke a foreign tongue,
But we can give you some i-dee of what we think they sung:

Ridi, Pagliaccio, Sul tuo amore’in fronto

All at once there’s a fat guy in a clown suit.
Ain’t Haller-ween, that’s for shore.
Then this here feller, this Punchy Neller,
Begins to beller — Like we all was deef.
“Ha ha ha ha ha!”
That was PAL-YAT-CHEE an’ he sung:

Invest in a tuba an’ somthin’ or other ’bout Cuba,
He sung about a lady who weighed two hundred and eighty.
When she takes a powder, he just starts chirpin’ louder
And he don’t do a gol-durn thing ‘cept to stand up there an’ sing.

When we listen to PAL-YAT-CHEE, we get itchy an’ scratchy.
This shore is top corn, so we go and buy some popcorn.
We hate to go back, but we can’t git our dough back.
There ain’t no use complainin’, ’cause outside it’s a-rainin’.

Seven hours later, we’re still in the dern theater,
Takin’ turns at nappin’, a-waitin’ for somethin’ to happen.
PAL-YAT-CHEE he ain’t hurryin’, but the folks on stage are flurryin’
And it sounds like Kat-chee-tur-ry-in’s Neighbor Dance.

Then ol’ PAL-YAT-CHEE finds the guy he’s seekin’
Cheek-to-cheekin’ with his wife, he grabs a knife
And stabs the louse who stole his spouse,
An’ then he stabs the lady and himself – tain’t very sanitary.
They all collapse, but ol’ PAL-YAT-CHEE sets up,
Then he gets up, sings “I’m dyin’,
I am dyin’, I am dyin’.” We start cryin’
‘Cause to tell the truth, we’re dyin’ too.

As the footlights fade out we see PAL-YAT-CHEE laid out.
But the dagger never caused it. PAL-YAT-CHEE was plumb exhausted.

Ridi, Pagliaccio, Sul tuo amore’in (burp).

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