Princess Ida


   

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No. 6: SONG (Gama)
"If you give me your attention"

King Gama.
If you give me your attention, I will tell you what I am:
I'm a genuine philanthropist — all other kinds are sham.
Each little fault of temper and each social defect
In my erring fellow-creatures, I endeavour to correct.
To all their little weaknesses I open people's eyes;
And little plans to snub the self-sufficient I devise;
I love my fellow creatures — I do all the good I can —
Yet ev'rybody says I'm such a disagreeable man!
And I can't think why!
Henry Lytton as King Gama, c. 1930
Click to see full picture

To compliments inflated I've a withering reply;
And vanity I always do my best to mortify;
A charitable action I can skillfully dissect;
And interested motives I'm delighted to detect;
I know ev'rybody's income and what ev'rybody earns;
And I carefully compare it with the income-tax returns;
But to benefit humanity however much I plan,
Yet ev'rybody says I'm such a disagreeable man!
And I can't think why!

 
John Reed as King Gama, 1960s
Click to see full picture
I'm sure I'm no ascetic; I'm as pleasant as can be;
You'll always find me ready with a crushing repartee,
I've an irritating chuckle, I've a celebrated sneer,
I've an entertaining snigger, I've a fascinating leer.
To ev'rybody's prejudice I know a thing or two;
I can tell a woman's age in half a minute — and I do.
But although I try to make myself as pleasant as I can,
Yet ev'rybody says I'm such a disagreeable man!
And I can't think why!
Chorus.
He can't think why!
Gama & Chorus.
I/He can't think why!

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