A tongue-in-cheek musical tribute to MARIO BUATTA written and performed by CHRISTOPHER MASON at a dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where the Prince of Chintz was honored with the Centurion Award for Lifetime Achievement by Parsons The New School of Design, November 17, 2008.

(As a child Mario Buatta grew up in a sleek Art Deco-style house on Staten Island and astonished his parents by declaring his fondness for chintz. This song is addressed to adolescent Mario by an imaginary friend, advising the budding decorator to renounce his chintz fetish, not knowing that it would bring him fame and fortune . . .)

(to the tune of Noel Coward’s “Don’t Put Your Daughter On the Stage, Mrs. Worthington)


The truth is plain, dear little Mario,

We’re quite alarmed for your career;

Although you’re burning, yearning, mad to decorate,

We think you better wait,

‘cause everything you do we hate!

You’ve odd ideas, dear little Mario,

Although we all think you’re a prince,

Your chosen future

Plainly doesn’t suit ’ya,

Although we are charmed,

We’re very alarmed

With your obsession with chintz!


Don’t put your chintz upon the chair, little Mario,

Don’t put your chintz upon the bed;

The post-modern look is coming soon,

With steel and glass and chrome;

Your chintzy rags and cotton swags

Aren’t wanted in the home; 

You have high style,

With colors that can quite amaze,

But are you sure that aubergine

On walls is cause for praise?

I repeat little Mario, 

Sweet little Mario,

Don’t put your chintz upon the chaise!

Don't put your doggies on the wall, little Mario,

Don’t tie your ribbons on their frames;

When you speak phony Italian 

It could make your mother weep,

That chintz you make is hard to take,

You’ll have to sell it cheap;

For a young man

Who loves design, you must confess,

Your own apartment is a mess,

You need to hire a maid!

You’re a clutz little Mario, 

Nuts! Little Mario,

It’s time to make your bed and hire a maid!

Don’t put your chintzes on the pouf, little Mario,

Don’t put your chintzes on the drapes,

Though your sheets and lamps and furniture

Are fine to a degree,

You’ll make people sneeze and start to wheeze

With all your pot-pourri,

You’re a slim chap,

But a failed career could really hurt,

Perhaps you’d eat too much dessert

Complain of feeling fat?

On my knees, little Mario,

Please, little Mario,

Don’t mention chintzes when you chat!

Don’t put your chintzes on your lamps, little Mario,

Don’t put your chintzes on the scrim;

God forbid they’d make you famous,

Public life would not agree,

For a boy who’s shy like you

Is bound to loathe publicity;

You might turn wild,

Have trouble keeping office help

And make your poor accountant yelp

And start a riot, we fear,

Perhaps enlist, little Mario?

We insist, little Mario,

Decorating isn’t your career!

Don't bring your chintz into my house, little Mario,

Don't let it ruin my cachet;

I'm a terrible social climber

If the truth be really known,

So instead I’ll hire Mark Hampton, dear, 

To decorate my home;

You’re a nice guy 

But seems to me you’re slightly wild,

A hyperactive naughty child,

Who loves to yank our chain,

And so please little Mario,

Break down the barrio,

Don’t use that dreadful chintz again!

Don't wear your heart upon on your sleeve, little Mario,

Don’t mind a word of what I’ve said;

Though we’re part of a dwindling number,

We are nevertheless sincere,

The Mario group, a loyal troupe

Of those who hold you dear;

You’ve a big heart 

And though your wigs and corny jokes

Would horrify most normal folks,

We’ll try hard not to wince;

Can we convince, little Mario?

You’re a prince, Little Mario

Just make us proud and throw away the chintz!

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by Christopher Mason, click here

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