ASTAIRE
by Jack Foley

 
a
  Audio performance
by Jack Foley and
his wife, Adelle.

After listening to ASTAIRE by clicking once on the play button above, listen to it again by double clicking on the play button. The result is what Jack Foley calls a magical "quartet" version.
The thin, white

The thin, white

man dances

man dances

in a whirl

in a whirl

of taps that sound

of taps that sound

like “rat a tat”

like “rat a tat”

and “run around”

and “run around”

and “rattle rattle rattle”

and “rattle rattle rattle”

and he wears

and he wears

the elegance of evening

the elegance of evening

as his thin, white

as his thin, white

hands extend and flutter

hands extend and flutter

 

and he catches

and he catches

 

at a whirling cane

at a whirling cane

and twirls it

and twirls it

and shoots

and shoots

the troop of men who come

the troop of men who come

 

dancing

 

and they fall (what dancers fear!)

and they fall (what dancers fear!)

 

as this man                 who wears the symbol of the rich

 

whirls away erect

whirls away erect

 

and dancing


DUET

 

rat a tat rat a tat

rat a tat rat a tat

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

roodle de do roodle de do

roodle de do roodle de do

whiff bam roodle de do rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

whiff bam roodle de do rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

rat a tat rat a tat

rat a tat rat a tat

biddle biddle biddle biddle

biddle biddle biddle biddle

biddle de do biddle de do hohdy hohdy hohdy rrrrrrr

biddle de do biddle de do hohdy hohdy hohdy rrrrrrr

wham!

wham!

with a quick with a quack

with a quick with a quack

rat a tat rat a tat

rat a tat rat a tat

roodle de do roodle de do

roodle de do roodle de do

roodeldy roodledy roodledy roodledy

roodeldy  roodledy roodledy  roodledy

roodeldy  roodledy roodledy  roodledy

roodeldy  roodledy roodledy  roodledy

rat a tat rat a tat

rat a tat rat a tat

roodle de do roodle de do

roodle de do roodle de do

take a LOOK take a LOOK rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

take a LOOK take a LOOK rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

take another kind of look

take another kind of look

take a look take a rat

take a look take a rat

take a riddle raddle rat

take a riddle raddle rat

take a look take a cat

take a look take a cat

take a reel make a take

take a reel make a take

take a tale make a rattle

take a tale make a rattle

take another kind of look!

take another kind of look!

 

hominy hominy hominy

hominy hominy hominy

rat a tat rat a tat

rat a tat rat a tat

roodle de do roodle de do

roodle de do roodle de do

rat a tat rat a tat

rat a tat rat a tat

roodle de do

roodle de do

do

do

do

do

rrr

rrr




Copyright © 2008 Jack Foley



About the hands in the above poem, Jack Foley says, "Astaire's fluttering of his hands is something he does a great deal. He felt that his hands were too large--and were ugly as a result--so he moves them in order to draw your attention away from what they look like in stasis. The production number I'm referring to--in which he shoots his chorus line--is the title number in Top Hat.

About the duet above, Jack says, "The 'duet' is meant to suggest the sound of tap dancing. My wife Adelle and I have a number of such choruses. (And the word "chorus" has a number of meanings for me: musical comedy, ancient Greek, etc.)"

Jack Foley is a widely-published San Francisco poet known for his "spoken-word performances" which involve choruses. His Cover to Cover radio show, can be heard online at Berkley Radio KPFA www.kpfa.org

To see/hear an animated version of Adelle and Jack Foley reciting a poem, go to