21 March 2006

I Post Song Lyrics Sometimes: Give a Little More

Duller than dishwater and twice as exciting....

This horrible song got Neely O'Hara fired from her first big break on Broadway! Early on in the ineffable film classic, "Valley of the Dolls" (1967), we observe a rehearsal for a new Helen Lawson musical; Miss Lawson coils in her dressing room, spitting invective at anyone who comes within reach; suddenly she is distracted by Neely singing "Give a Little More" (even the title is dismaying) from a rehearsal room and Miss Lawson decides right there to get the talented Neely fired, because, as I'm sure you know, say it with me: "The only hit that comes out of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson. And that's me, baby, remembuh?"

The other thing you should know about this song, and Patty Duke sings part of it twice, is that the first time we meet Neely, she's sitting in rehearsal singing this song to the cast, who are surprisingly transfixed--everything is "supposed" to scream that THIS GIRL HAS TALENT! But note the awful, smug sneer Neely has plastered on her mug the whole time (it's supposed to be a smile). She's just so cocky and gross and inappropriate, and I don't know if Patty just didn't know what she was doing or if she really thought Neely was supposed to be that full of herself in the scene where she's introduced to the audience. All I know, is it makes me hate Neely O'Hara from the get-go every time.

And now for the song....

Give a Little More

Try, my friend, to face yourself
with all you have in store.
But if you can't,
then brace yourself
and give a little more.

So, you wait
and find yourself
with blues you can't ignore.
Well, then, my friend,
remind yourself
to give a little more.

Make tomorrow dance for you,
strike a brand new pose.
There's always one more chance for you
before the curtains close.

Sure, that old inspired heart
ain't all it was before.
But then, my friend,
that tired heart
should try it's best to soar.

Dry those tears,
forget those fears,
and smile the smile you wore.

Come on, my firend, and give a little,
come on, my friend, and live a little.
Give a little more, more, and more.

Lyrics by Dory Previn, Music by Andre Previn.


e.v.jose said...

I love this song: It's heart-felt, go-get-'em lyrics are very similar to the tracks that I cue on the 'ol itunes when life is really gettin' my goat.

But you're right about that Neely O'Hara. You see her on the screen chirping away with that smug look on her face like she has this whole Broadway thing in the bag.

By the time she wins her Grammy and plugs herself on the air, you're seething with contempt with her. I t should be different, but that's where Patty Duke betrayed the role.

Good call, though. Good call.

e.v.jose said...

Re.: Make tomorrow dance for you, strike a brand new pose.
Like, have you ever tried that? Does it work? Does making a day dance preclude the striking of new poses? Like, if I get fired from my job on Wednesday, if I strike a new pose before I step out the door on Thursday, will tomorrow dance for me?
Sometimes I have to wonder if we give to much.

GayProf said...

With a song like that, now wonder she turned to the dolls.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am taking the blue ones.

Rex said...

I love Neely singing this song (especially her innocent little face, like a bird swinging with the music naturally, entrancing people around her), and I think the venemous witch that had her taken from the show only made her more determined to 'make it', which therefore turned her to the dolls, as it was all about being thin, etc.

I think she'd probably have turned to pills anyways. As 'gayprof' said, I'm about to take some 'dolls' of my own...

But to begin with, she wasn't what she ended up as - the drugs did that. that's the point of the movie in my opinion, but thank you for the lyrics