(riffing on Beauty and the Beast—new lyrics by CB and MWS)
NARRATION: … In our case, we’ve swapped the beautiful heroine, Belle, for a scholar-ful hero named D. Michael—or “D,” as he is known at the tiny Texas college where he teaches, yet yearns for more…
“D” (after “Belle”—new lyrics by C. Berry)
TN-as-D: Little school,
It’s a quiet campus,
Here at Rice
In the heart of Texas!
Where the people say:
TN: There goes a student with his pistol holster’d,
Down here it’s part of his degree…
But the thing I just don’t get:
Why he needs it for French Lit?
In the lone-star state of mind—
CB: Well, howdy, D!
TN-as-D: Oh, hello, Professor Longhorn.
CB: Where are y’all off to today?
TN-as-D: To the mailroom! I’m expecting a letter any day now from CarterBaldwin! Gordon College wants to make me the new president—
CB: Well, that’s nice. Clint!—y’all better keep those dogies in line!
RICE FOLK: Look, thar he goes, that feller’s strange, no question!
He’s really an anomaly…
KD: There are times it makes ya thank,
That he’s kinda like a Yank!
ALL: He’s a mystery around these parts, that D!
OK: How are yer cattle?
RC: I brand ‘em twice!
DH: That truck — is big!
RJ: My truck is bigger!
TN-as-D: There must be more than this provincial Rice!
DH: Howdy there, Mr. Lindsay.
TN-as-D: Hello, mailroom lady. Any mail for me today?
DH: Yer darn tootin’! I think it might be the big one.
TN-as-D: Really? You think?
DH: Look here: “Gor-dón College.” Here you go! It’s all yers!
TN-as-D: Wow! Thanks, “pardner”!
RC: Look there he goes, that guy is awful differ’nt,
Our prof. of socio-molology…
RJ: Doesn’t wear a hat or boots.
OK: Doesn’t ride—
RC: And never shoots!
ALL: Ain’t a good old Texas boy like us, that D…
TN-as-D: Oh, isn’t it exciting!
It’s Gordón inviting me to see
If all of my credentials
Mean the president’ll
Be named “President Lindsay!”
CB: Now he’s a cowpoke with some brains, no question;
He looks just like a Kennedy!
OK: With a fancy three-part name
And a stylish looking dame,
ALL: What a wonder to the rest of us
He may just be the best of us
So different from the rest of us that D!
RJ: Gee, Gordón, you didn’t miss a single prospective student! You’re the best school in the world!
GORDÓN: I know.
RC: No high schooler stands a chance against you!
RJ: No applicant of any kind, for that matter!
GORDÓN: True. And I’ve got my sights set on that one!
RJ: Who, you mean the Socio-molologist?
GORDÓN: He’s the one! The lucky man I’m going to make my prez!
RC: But he’s—
GORDÓN: The smartest, coolest, most stylish guy in the CCCU. That makes him the best, and don’t I deserve the best?
RJ: Well of course, I mean, you do, I mean—
GORDÓN: Right from the moment that I interviewed him,
I knew for sure that he’s the one!
In the world, there’s only D
Who is scholarly as me!
He’s the lucky future prez of Me, Gordón!
WOMEN: Oh look! Gordón! Isn’t it stately!
My gosh! Gordón!
My first-choice school!
MEN: I think, I heard, a rumor lately:
ALL: They’re looking for a prez, I hope he’s cool!
OK: The stars
OK: At night
OK: Are big in Tex(as)!
CB: Did you talk French?
DH: Do you
CB: That’s gross.
RJ: Yes, ma’am!
RC: The Alamo?
RY: A barbeque!
KD: It’s big!
CB: D Mike?
OK: It’s hot!
TN-as-D: That’s me!
ALL: The heaven’s blessed us!
TN-as-D: There must be something better fit for me!
GORDÓN: Come be our president, Michaél Lindsáy!
ALL: Look there he goes, off to the great wide yonder!
I wonder where he’s going to be?
TN-as-D: Now it’s time to head up North!
ALL: Saddle up and sally forth!
He really is a president,
A varmint, but a president,
A future Grapevine resident—
NARRATION: A presidential proposal! But who is this sudden suitor, this “Gordón”—so anxious to bring the capable D out of the deep South and up to the deep East?
Gordón (after “Gaston”—new lyrics by MWS)
It must be tough to be facing, Gordón
Life without President Jud
Hé left you wíthout replacing, Gordón
All of your dorms that are HUD
But though they’re not swanky as Dexter or Chase
Still they fill up every year
There’s a real je ne sais quoi to this place
And that sais quoi is why we’re all here
Nowhere’s green as Gordón
Nowhere’s clean as Gordón
Nowhere’s half as concerned with cuisine as Gordón
There is nowhere as choice or as choosey
The food here is finer than fine
Queue just after daybreak for sushi
Or grow old as you stand in the om-e-let line
Nowhere’s fond as Gordón
Of a pond at Gordón
And the biologists that it’s spawned at Gordón
We use Dorothy in all of our publicating
Dorothy Boorse at Gordón
Give five “Oh, yeahs!”
Give ten “All rights!”
Gordón is the best
And the rest is not quite
YELLS like Gordón
Or rappels like Gordón
On La Vida trips nothing quite smells like Gordón
You can ask any dean—
Russ or Barry
Each evening the students have gone
To the newly face-lifted library
To read Hebrews in Greek with the fireplace on
You’ll be awed at Gordón
No one’s flawed at Gordón
Well—except for goose poop on the quad at Gordón
We support any species that’s still migrating
[clap] Eco-points for Gordón
When we were still young we left Fenway for Wenham
To help our enrollment to grow
Now our next move is to occupy Salzburg
And take over Or-vi-e-to
No one’s rude at Gordón
Or tattooed at Gordón
Every freshman is freshly shampooed at Gordón
All our students grow wise from Great Conversating
My, what a place
NARRATION: Well, D forsook his provincial life, journeyed with his family to the deep East, and got to work publicating Gordón’s praises. And everyone agreed he was the Belle of the inaugural ball.
Our tale draws now to its close just as D’s and Gordón’s begins. It’s a tale abounding in beauty, but lacking a beast: rather, it’s Lindsay and the East, and it all began with three little words…
Be Our Prez (after “Be Our Guest”—new lyrics by MWS)
Be – our – prez, be our prez.–
It’s what every genius says,
Wear that honkin’ huge medallion
And your academic fez:
Oh, your face gives us thrills—
Hand it out on dollar bills:
Though the letters down in print say
Your last name is spoken “Lind – SAY”…
Still, your staff and your veep
Say it “Lind-Z”—so we’ll keep
Pronouncing “S’s” and “es’s” “ezz”—
And folks from Ezzex – to Quinzy
Cheer for Michael Lindzee:
Be our prez, be our prez, be our prez!
He’s our prez –
Please, our Prez –
Teach us language to profezz
How the pride of Mezzachuzetts
Now resides at our addrezz;
Brilliant kids take out loans
When you call them on their phones—
All those boys-and-girls go mimsy
For a TEXT from Dr. Lindsay—
And we’ll all be in debt
To the zillionaires you’ve met—
You’ve probably interviewed Nebuchadnezz:
Let’s hope that helps you seek fer
A commencement speaker – who’s a prez—
With your rez you can get a U.S. prez—
Get a prez – a U.S. prez – get a prez!
Life is so discouraging
When you’re presidential searching,
You’re a chicken who’s about to lose its head:
Running ’round the academic barnyard
Wishing you could lose some weight instead
Eight months we were seeking
In committees who were freaking
With expressions like a jack-o-lantern makes:
Just as we became a Headless Horseman—
Guess who got appointed
You walked in and got anointed!
TN-as-D: I’m your prez! I, your prez,
Lead our campus Simon-Sez,
Help you conquer Academe with
More compassion than Cortez:
ALL: He’s so wise
He’s so young—
He’s a Gentile Solomon:
Give a Gordon rebel YIPPEE
For this Yank from Mississippi!
He’ll be nice – he’ll be neat,
I expect he’ll wash our feet—
So sing in Español and en Ingles:
From here to Machu Picchu
Mucho gus-to greet you – Presidente—
TN-as-D: El Lindsay—
ALL: Our prez!—
TN-as-D: I’m your prez!
ALL: [staccato] We confess – we’re all blessed –
And impressed by the success
And the precedents our president
Perfected in Texas:
He wrote books –
He got grants—
And he learned to ballroom dance!
[slowing] But it’s time to stop our crowing
And to help him to get going…
Course by course, class by class,
Till the trustees shout, “You’ll pass”—
And grant each employee a whopping raize:
Then when we stand to thank you,
Still we can’t outrank you
As our prez – yes, our prez – be our prez—
Lindsay our PREZ.
Celebrating the Inauguration of D. Michael Lindsay, September 16, 2011.