Venice (Elegies) Lyrics. From Musical "Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway"

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Venice (Elegies) Lyrics


by Betty Buckley. From Ah, Men! The Boys of Broadway.


The former lover of my lover
Was a sophisticated Pole named Bolek
Not polite, he’d join Arthur and me for dinner
Looking distracted and thinner
He’d take a bite of his rare delicious lamb chop
And say, “Really Billy this has gotta stop.”
I’d say, “What’s gotta stop?”
He’d say, “You’re being a dick.”
I’d say, “Bolek.”
He’d say, “Billy.”
I’d say, “Bolek.”
He’d say, “What?”
That then was the night I knew that Bolek was sick

He’d say, “We got to go to Venice.
Because in Venice everyday life’s a work of art
And must be seen first hand.
Breathe deep, our destination’s Venice.
Beauty and pleasure is all we can hope to understand.”

So Arthur says, “What’s wrong with Bolek?”
And I think finally he sees what I see
Huh? What’d I see? Well the truth is, it doesn’t matter
All you have to know is he grew thinner, I grew fatter
And later on, as we strolled along down Broadway
Bolek thought he saw a gun and whacked a wacko in the ass
Bolek took off down the street
Chased by this dangerous guy
I yelled, “Bolek.”
He kept fleeing
I yelled, “Bolek!”
He yelled, “What?”
And then he turned around and then he sang to the sky

“My friends, I’m taking you to Venice.
Because in Venice everyday life’s a work of art
And must be seen first hand.
Breathe deep. The world revolves ‘round Venice.
Beauty and pleasure is all we can hope to understand.”

So we went to Venice
Jumped in the canals
Three unlikely pals
In Venice
St. Mark’s Square
That is where
We’d prepare
To be awed
Here in the city where I feel the presence of God

In truth, we never went to Venice
And we said we would, but Bolek died too quickly
Second truth, this, whatever it is, he’d hate it
He would mutter bourgeois shit and, “please incinerate it”
“Oh go to hell Bolek,” I’d yell like a madman
Of guys who liked me least, I liked him best
I see a gondola float, Bolek’s inside and at rest
Then the gondolier starts singing
Bolek joins in strong and deep
And all the world’s in song just as I hum off to sleep

“My friends, I’m taking you to Venice.
Because in Venice everyday life’s a work of art
And must be seen first hand.
Life ends, but nothing ends in Venice.
Beauty and pleasure is all we can hope to understand.
Beauty and pleasure is all we can hope to understand.
In Venice,
Venice.”




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