The Tale of the Oyster

by Cole Porter

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This song was recorded live in The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St Hilda’s College as part of the Oxford Lieder Festival in 2006.
Click here to listen to this song performed by Sophie Daneman and Julius Drake.


The Tale of the Oyster
English source: Cole Porter

Down by the sea lived a lonesome oyster
Every day getting sadder and moister
He found his home life awf'lly wet
And longed to travel with the upper set
Poor little oyster

Fate was kind to that oyster we know
When one day the chef from the Park Casino
Saw that oyster lying there
And said "I'll put you on my bill of fare."
Lucky little oyster

See him on his silver platter
Watching the queens of fashion chatter
Hearing the wives of millionaires
Discuss their marriages and their love affairs
Thrilled little oyster

See that bivalve social climber
Feeding the rich Mrs. Hoggenheimer
Think of his joy as he gaily glides
Down to the middle of her gilded insides
Proud little oyster

After lunch Mrs. H. complains
And says to her hostess, "I've got such pains
I came to town on my yacht today
But I think I'd better hurry back to Oyster Bay."
Scared little oyster

Off they go through the troubled tide
The yacht rolling madly from side to side
They're tossed about till that fine young oyster
Finds that it's time he should quit his cloister
Up comes the oyster

Back once more where he started from
He murmured, "I haven't a single qualm
For I've had a taste of society
And society has had a taste of me."
Wise little oyster


Cole Porter

Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter, best know for his witty lyrics and work in Broadway and film.

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