Thursday, February 7, 2008

“Get Me to the Church on Time” (From ‘Bye, Fair Ladies)


Many years ago (in about 1964), my mother wrote this song for her friend and fellow real estate agent, Harvey, a Catholic who decided to become a monk and hoped also to be ordained. His co-workers all sang it at his farewell party. He took this joshing with good humor and gave the monastery and seminary six months of his life before deciding “They were trying to make me into someone I’m not.” You may remember the original, sung in the Broadway play and movie by Eliza Doolittle's father, Alfred; it began, "I'm gettin' married in the morning."

There’s just a few more hours, that’s all the time there is,
A few more hours, for one more farewell kiss –

I’m getting cloistered in September,
Oh, how the girls are gonna cry!
Bring out the hanky,
But no hanky-panky,
So I’ll be holy when I die.

I’m getting cloistered in September,
A monk and maybe priest is what I’ll be.
My new profession
Is list’ning to confession,
No more real estate for me.

This life is treach’rous,
A Vale of Sin.
If I get lech’rous,
Pour me one more gin!

I’m getting cloistered in September,
The contemplative life will seem sublime,
The women may go spastic,
Because I’ll stay monastic,
If I get off to school in time.

I’m getting cloistered in September,
Away from rents and women I’ll be fine.
Send me to the cellars,
To work with other fellers,
Making Brother Harvey’s wine.

So lift your glasses,
So long for now.
If I make passes,
Remind me of my vow!

‘Cause I’m getting cloistered in September
Seminary’s just the place to be.
Sittin’ on my hassock,
Starin’ at my cassock,
Glad that I’m no longer free!