22 December 2012

Have Yourself A Hard-Boiled Christmas


"Give me your love, on this Christmas Day.
Give me your thoughts when the chimes are ringing.
Send me the happier along the way,
Deep in my soul let your words be singing.

Give me your wishes, as bells sound clear,
Charming the air with their golden measure.
Give me your hopes for the unborn year,
Fill my heart with a secret treasure.

Give me the things that you long to say,
All of your tenderest dreams unfetter.
Give me your love, on this Christmas Day -
But, come across, please, when times get better."

 - from Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker, edited by Stuart Y. Silverstein, New York, Scribner: 1996

Antontio Petrucelli - cover for House Beautiful, December 1928.


willc said...

There must have been something going around about gold diggers in 1928. First National Pictures' "All-Singing" talkie "Show Girl," starring Alice White as the comic strip character Dixie Dugan, was released on September 28. Alice may have looked the part, but she couldn't sing, and the baby-voiced Helen Kane imitator Belle Mann was hired to dub her songs. One of these was the cheerfully hard-boiled "Buy, Buy For Baby," recorded by Belle Mann with Ben Pollak and his Park Central Orchestra on October 15, 1928. The young Benny Goodman nailed the clarinet solos on this recording, by the way.

Rouchswalwe said...

This must have been one of her earlier poems. Me? I'll boil my christmas for 9 minutes, like my eggs.
Happy festivities to you, dear Jane! And a goood slide into the New Year (as the Germans say, "einen guten Rutsch!")

Jane said...

Very interesting, Willc. If you recall, there was a lot of silliness just before the banking bubble burst in 2008. too. The song "We're In The Money" from the musical "42nd Street" was alternatively titled "The Gold Diggers Song."
Anyone who's read Thorstein Veblen's "Theory of the Leisure Class" realizes how much (male) projection there is this epithet. Pecuniary emulation, anyone?

Jane Librizzi said...

As a former sales clerk at Bonwit Teller I take a jaundiced view of competitive holiday spending, decorating, cooking, and complaining. I was delighted to find this cover image from "House Beautiful", one of the early magazines devoted to 'decorator porn.'
You are right about this being one of Parker's earlier poems. My guess is that she purged it from her collected poems because it retained too much sweetness and light.
One of my favorite Parker morsels is her comment on a best-forgotten novel by Benito Mussolini: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly; it should be thrown with great force."
Merry Christmas, Rouchswalwe!

Anonymous said...

I don't like Christmas much,but I do enjoy sending Christmas Cards to people which seem to be a lost art these days, and family can be very cruel also. It's all about the money now.

Jane said...

Barbara, please consider this my Christmas card to you. I spend little on Christmas but cards and notes seem an important part of the holiday to me as they reach out to others. It is unmannerly to refuse to respond to other people, be it cards, phone calls, emails, etc. I'm with you. You got what this post was about.