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Lyr Req: For the Man of Extinction (Mitchell Trio)

13 Jan 04 - 01:25 PM (#1091969)
Subject: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
From: GUEST,BEK

Hey All, it's been a while....Grad school will do that.

Anyone know about a poem that begins---Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter...

Also, what LP was this on--and who wrote it?

Thanks!


13 Jan 04 - 01:59 PM (#1092012)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
From: Sorcha

I didn't find it, but Rapaire/Mike Doellman posted about it in another thread about twisted songs....maybe he knows more.


13 Jan 04 - 05:06 PM (#1092162)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
From: GUEST,Tinker in Chicago

Working solely form an aging memory, I can offer at least part of it. It's by E.Y. Harburg (the lyricist from "The Wizard of Oz" and "Finian's Rainbow" and "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?") and is included on an old Mitchell Trio album whose name escapes me (it was their first as The Mitchell Trio instead of The Chad Mitchell Trio but Chad was still in the group).
The reference to "shelter" means a fall-out shelter, and what I remember is this:

Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter worth of Kubla Khan's Xanadu dome,
plushy and swanky with (hot?) hanky-panky that affluent Yankees can really call home.
Hammacher Schleemer is selling a shelter, all chromium kitchens and rubber-tiled (floors?),
Electric devices for facing a crisis with frozen fruit ices and cinema shows.
What a great come-to-glory emporium, to enjoy a deluxe moratorium,
where nuclear heat can beguile the elite in a
creme-de-la-creme crematorium!


13 Jan 04 - 06:30 PM (#1092225)
Subject: Lyr Add: FOR THE MAN OF EXTINCTION (Yip Harburg)
From: ray bucknell

That was really close, Tinker! The album is The Slightly Irreverent Mitchell Trio, and it indeed was the first album on which they dropped the "Chad" from their name. Yip Harburg's poem, entitled "For the Man of Extinction," goes as follows:

    Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter,
          worthy of Kubla Khan's Xanadu dome;
    Plushy and swanky, with posh hanky panky
          that affluent Yankees can really call home.

    Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter,
          a push-button palace, fluorescent repose;
    Electric devices for facing a crisis
          with frozen fruit ices and cinema shows.

    Hammacher Schlemmer is selling a shelter
          all chromium kitchens and rubber-tiled dorms;
    With waterproof portals to echo the chortles
          of weatherproof mortals in hydrogen storms.

    What a great come-to-glory emporium!
    To enjoy a deluxe moratorium,
    Where nuclear heat can beguile the elite
          in a creme-de-la-creme crematorium.

                                       'Ray


13 Jan 04 - 10:27 PM (#1092382)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
From: GUEST,Bek

Yes!!!! That's IT!!!! It was the MITCHELL TRIO album....Whew!!!!! Thank you!


14 Jan 04 - 02:09 AM (#1092458)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
From: Joe Offer

I knew the name Hammacher Schlemmer sounded familiar. I thought he was some sort of metaphysical New Age guru or something. Nope. It's a gadget merchandiser, and of course it has a website: http://www.hammacher.com.

According to the Company Blurb:
Stores are located on East 57th, between Lexington Ave and Third Ave, in New York City; and in the Chicago Tribune Tower. Hammacher Schlemmer opened for business in New York City, in 1848, thirteen years before the Civil War began.

...and there's more:
Since 1848, Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced leading edge technology to the consumer. Many of these products that were initially intriguing are now found in almost every home in America.
Here are just a few of our product introductions:
  • The Pop-Up Toaster, 1930
  • The Electric Dry Shaver, 1934
  • The Steam Iron, 1948
  • The Microwave Oven, 1968
  • The Telephone Answering Machine, 1968
  • The First Flat Panel Television, 1997

  • -Joe Offer-


    27 Jul 08 - 02:51 PM (#2398846)
    Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
    From: GUEST,beanturenr

    At about the same time there was another short poem from a similar album, maybe the same one, that went something like:

    Should I Write a Letter to My Congressman?

    A congressman has two ends,
    A thinking end and a sitting end,
    And since his job depends upon his seat,
    Why bother friend!

    Does anyone know if there is more of this?!?, and the actual source?


    27 Jul 08 - 08:13 PM (#2399048)
    Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
    From: GUEST,Gerry

    I'm pretty sure the Congressman verse comes from the same source, Yip Harburg via The Mitchell Trio. They did a few more of his pieces. There was one about Pentagonorrhea, one about whether African colonies were ready for independence.... I recall that at the time I was able to track down the Harburg book that had these and many other little poems.


    27 Jul 08 - 08:48 PM (#2399067)
    Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
    From: Rapparee

    Something like:

    The question is: Are the Africans in Africa prepared for indepence?
    Do they have enough delinquents among their juvenile descendants?
    Do they fill their air with smog enough, their rivers with pollution?
    Are there societies advanced enough for mental institutions?

    Can't remember the rest of it....

    They are all from the "Irreverent Mitchell Trio" album, which is still available on CD from Dick Greenhaus's Camsco Music.


    28 Jul 08 - 06:27 AM (#2399278)
    Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hammacher Schlemmer Poem
    From: GUEST,Gerry

    Here are the titles of the Harburg poems on the Mitchell Trio album, Slightly Irreverent:

    On That Great Civilized Morning
    Pentagonorreah
    In The Merry Month of Mayhem
    Yevtushenko?
    Less Majeste
    For The Man Of Extinction
    Achtung!
    Red, White And Blue Cross
    Shall I Write A Letter To My Congressman?
    Back To The Drawing Board

    I believe that these and many more were later published in book form by Harburg.