Conrad Birdie was a Lot Smarter Than We Ever Realized

The Curmudgeon likes show tunes.  There, he admitted it.  Ordinarily that’s not a bad thing, but when you’re a guy in your mid-fifties who’s never been married and people learn that you like show tunes, they often look at you a little sideways.

One of The Curmudgeon’s favorite musicals is “Bye Bye Birdie.”  When he’s feeling a little down he’ll often turn to YouTube for a quick hit of “The Telephone Hour” scene, which always leaves him smiling.  You’d think someone’s go-to song from “Bye Bye Birdie” for a quick smile would be “Put on a Happy Face,” but “The Telephone Hour” puts on an even happier face.  See for yourself here.

Lately, though, he’s been getting an even bigger kick out of the big production surrounding “Got a Lot of Living to Do.”  It’s a great song and a great dance number, nearly eight minutes long but definitely worth your while, as you can see here.  It’s also Ann-Margret at her most appealing.  Truth be told, The Curmudgeon has never found Ann-Margret very appealing at all, much to the chagrin of his father, who practically drools at the very mention of the woman’s name.

But after you watch the scene a few times, the lyrics start to sink in a little.

Birdie:
There are chicks just ripe for some kissing’
And I mean to kiss me a few!
Man those chicks don’t know what they’re missin’,
I got a lot of living to do!

Sizzlin’ steaks all ready for tastin’
And there’s Cadillacs all shiny and new!
Got to move, cause time is a-wastin’,
I got a lot of livin’ to do!

There’s music to play
Places to go, people to see!
Everything for you and me!

Life’s a ball
If only you know it
And it’s all just waiting for you
You’re alive,
So come on and show it
Yeah we got a lot of livin’ to do

Kim:
There are men with childhood behind them
Handsome men
From Yale or Purdue
Older men and I’m gonna find them
I got a lot of living to do

I’m a’gonna have fun
Gonna be wild
Have my own way
I may break—a heart today

Drink champagne
As if it were water
Pink champagne
And after a few
Daddy dear, you won’t know your daughter
She’s got a lot of living to do

Hugo:
Think I’ll be a ring a ding drummer
Make each week a thousand or two
Gorgeous girls will beg for my number
Hey I got a lot of living to do

Yes I’m gonna break out
Gonna take off
Gonna be free
This town is awfully square for a guy like me

Or I’ll be a super jet pilot
Fly me high way out in the blue
Then they’ll see
I’m no shrinking violet
Hey I got a lot of living to do

I got a lot of living to do

Birdie, Hugo, and Kim:
There’s music to play
Places to go, people to see!
Everything
For you and me!

Birdie:
Life’s a ball
If only you know it
Yeah it’s all just waiting for you
Ah you’re alive,
So come on and show it
We got a lot of livin’
Such a lot of livin’

Tonight’s the night we’re gonna fly
Let’s kick this hick town in the hide

I want a taste of everything
Let’s live it up and really swing

All:
Got a lot of living living living to do

Birdie:
Live!

The scene may be playful and flirty and even a little sexist – The Curmudgeon suspects that in this day and age, any man who suggests aloud that there may be “chicks just ripe for some kissin’” probably won’t be on the receiving end of any of that kissin’ anytime soon – but the philosophy seems like a good one.

It may surprise some readers to learn that The Curmudgeon can sometimes be an awfully earnest fellow, what with all that serious leftist reading, the no-alcohol policy (the curmudgeonly girlfriend has sweetly suggested that he may be more in need of a drink than anyone she’s ever met), the aversion to dancing, and his rather grim daily calculation of his fiber intake (and even more gruesome description of what he thinks will happen if he fails to meet his daily quota), but when he listens to this song, he thinks Conrad Birdie was definitely onto something:  there’s places to go, people to see, and a lot of (living living) living to do.

So maybe he just needs to take ol’ Conrad’s advice – at least once in a while.

Maybe we all should.

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Comments

  • pastorbeetle  On July 25, 2017 at 10:55 am

    It’s about time someone recognized Conrad’s intellect! Thank you!

    • foureyedcurmudgeon  On July 25, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Wow,you’ve been digging in the archives! I just LOVE that scene.

      • pastorbeetle  On July 26, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        It was my least favorite when taking on the role back in the day!
        There was a link to the archived post when I was looking at a recent one. “Conrad Birdie” always gets my attention!

      • foureyedcurmudgeon  On July 26, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        We love you, Conrad (oh yes we do-oo)!

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