Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ira GershwinThe Art of the Lyricist$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philip Furia

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195115703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 November 2020

Boy Wanted: 1918–1924

Boy Wanted: 1918–1924

(p.23) 2 Boy Wanted: 1918–1924
Ira Gershwin

Philip Fuma

Oxford University Press

“Boy Wanted”, featuring in the musical A Dangerous Maid, was a catalogue song in the mold of Gilbert and Sullivan patter numbers, where four girls “list” the qualities they are looking for in a boy, as if each were placing a newspaper ad. Ira's development as a lyricist is clear from the very opening of the verse, where he concocts a triple rhyme on “advertisement”: “no half-hearted Romeo or flirt is meant.” Although A Dangerous Maid closed out of town (in Pittsburgh) in the spring of 1921, Ira and George salvaged “Boy Wanted,” kept it in their “trunk” (songwriters' slang for their unused material), and in 1924 retailored it for a British musical, Primrose. By comparing the revised with the original lyric, one can trace Ira's development from apprentice to journeyman lyricist. Between 1921 and 1924, Ira worked primarily with composers other than his brother. George's music, during this period, was in volatile flux.

Keywords:   Ira Gershwin, lyricist, A Dangerous Maid, Boy Wanted, Primrose

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .