AI, AI, PAISANO!

 

    Frank Loesser was one of Steinbeck's better buddies, a notoriously fine, and, considering the vast number of standards he wrote, notoriously underrated, songwriter.  You can, as they say,  look it up.  This particular song was featured in the film, Tortilla FlatTortilla Flat Poster.jpg (18800 bytes)What he did with this tune, in which the Paisanos swap verses at one of their parties, tickles me good.  I have no doubt at all that Frank attended many just such a singalong on his frequent visits with John in Monterey.

 

    It struck me a little hilarious to perceive John Garfield, Spencer Tracy, Sheldon Leonard, Akim Tamiroff, et al as Paisanos, but no more incongruous, I suppose, than dishing up our show's version of this song with a kickin' fiddle.

 

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AI, AI, PAISANO!

Frank Loesser

 

I love Torelli, he's a friend of mine,

I love Torelli, I love him for his wine,

He's got my watch, his wine is in my belly,

If it was not for the wine, I would not love Torelli.

Ai, Ai, Paisano!  La vida es asi.

 

You love Torelli, now that's a funny joke,

If Torelli was on fire he wouldn't give you smoke,

Not that I'm so handsome, but my eyes they have a shine,

If it was not for his wife, we would not get much wine.

Ai, Ai, Paisano!  La vida es asi.

 

Listen amigos, I will ask you this,

Why is a glass just like a woman's kiss?

When it's full of wine it makes you blind a little bit,

When the wine is gone, you can see through it!

Ai, Ai, Paisano!  La vida es asi.

 

I know a lady named Arabella Gross,

You know her, and you know her, but I know her the most.

When I drink a little drink, I make a little toast,

To your friend and my friend, Arabella Gross.

Ai, Ai, Paisano!  La vida es asi.

 

Mrs. Morales got chickens in her yard,

If you'd like to get one it isn't very hard,

Smile for the senora, you'll get one for free,

If Danny feels like smiling nice, he'll get two or three.

Ai, Ai, Paisano!  La vida es asi.

 

Danny is a lucky boy, I'm a friend of his,

I'm the one who saved him from a wife, and goats and cheese,

I give him all my good advice for only half his wine,

Danny is a lucky boy, he's a friend of mine.

Ai, Ai, Paisano!  La vida es asi.

 

Oh you little squid, you ugly little squid,

I promised I would go to work, and that is what I did,

Oh you little squid, you homely little squid,

I bet your Mama thinks that you're a pretty kid.

Ai, Ai, Paisano!  La vida es asi.

 

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