by Christopher Mason

(Performed at a gala in honor of Liz Smith, the famous syndicated gossipeuse, to benefit The Writing Center. Doubles, New York, April 2007.)

Click to listen:

(To the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”)

She’s the good old gal of gossip,

With her daily dose of dish,

Allegedly she’s eighty-three

But her scoops are still delish;

The power she wields is awesome

But she ain’t no Mack the Knife,

She’s a living New York legend,

What a woman! What a life!

She’s a rootin’ tootin’ Texan,

Southern-born and raised, you bet;

She’s now, of course, a Natural Blonde

But she started out brunette!

She idolized the movie stars,

And dreamed perhaps, perhaps,

One day she’d be a cowboy

But she’s given up the chaps!

(To the tune of “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun”)

In a sweet, overawed way

As a kid she dreamed of Broadway,

So she hopped on a train in ’49,

It was just a one-way ticket,

She had no choice but to stick it,

Overnight she nailed her dream:

Writing prose for Modern Screen,

While climbing stairs for wild affairs.

Well her ride to blazing glory

Is a doosy of a story

That’s required two books to tell the tale;            

When completely at a loss

She was a typist for Blue Cross

But things looked up when radio used her

As Mike Wallace’s producer;

She was also a flack – now they’re on her back!

Liz Smith! Liz Smith!

She was also Cholly Knickerbocker’s ghost;

In her days at El Morocco,

Liz would look around, take stock of

All the movie stars and gigolos who preened;

Porfirio Rubirosa

Had a lot of amorosa,

And Liz knew of Ruby’s clinches,

He earned many column inches;

He liked to boast to Cholly’s ghost.

(To the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”)

As a fearless young reporter

She would rise to every bait,

Spent Christmas with Joan Crawford,

Or Rock Hudson was her date;

She thought that Rock was dreamy,

Twas love beyond a doubt

But as you may have heard,

That romance didn’t quite work out!

(To the tune of “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun”)

Frank Sinatra was her idol

But ol’ Blue Eyes used to bridle

At the merest mention of her name;

But he ended his vendetta

When at last he finally met her

And surrendered to her charm,

She explained she meant no harm,

She worshiped Ava Gardner – he decided to pardon her.

Now by some curious quirk,

Although she’s eaten at Le Cirque,

Liz just prefers food that’s simple, down-home:

Campbell’s soup, collared greens,

Black-eyed peas and re-fried beans;

She even swallows snobbish pride

And eats anything that’s fried:

She sure is quirky – loves deep-fried turkey!

Fried food! Fried food!

This sophisticated lady loves fried food,

Like a dish that Elvis planned, which

Is a fried potato sandwich

But some think she goes too far

When she fries a Snickers bar.

It just won’t cease – her love of grease!

She has one glaring vice:

She’s accused of being “too nice,”

I suspect she’s guilty as charged;

But with wit and lively humor

She dispenses idle rumor

And she’s on a winning streak

Delivers seven days a week!

From old Tom Hanks – to  Tyra Banks!

(To the tune of “That’s Entertainment”)

All the dirt on Liz Taylor’s divorce –

Number seven, from the plumber of course,

Gossip heaven, leaked to Liz from the source,

That’s Liz Smith’s column!

Front page scoops when the Trumps had their split

And brave Liz proved the rumors legit,

Mad as hell, Donald Trump had a snit

At Liz Smith’s column!

Every move that Madonna might make,

Every time Barbara Walters eats cake,

Any news Tom Cruise’ love may be fake,

That’s Liz Smith’s column!

Every time Arnold Scaasi exhales,

Any hint Anne Heche may date males,

Every time Dick Cheney fails to shoot quails,

That’s Liz Smith’s column!

Every time Elaine Stritch performs,

Every time Robert Downey reforms,

Every time Brad Pitt changes dorms,

In sharp gleaming prose, no dees dems and dose,

That’s Liz Smith’s column!