“THE PRINCE OF CHINTZ SONG”


Written and Performed by Christopher Mason

To Celebrate the Establishment of the

Mario Buatta Atelier

At The New York School of Interior Design.

Metropolitan Club, New York

March 9, 2011





















to the tune of “America the Beautiful” 

Oh Buatta-ful for swags and swirls,

Chinoiserie and chintz;

For lime-green walls

And topiary balls, 

Styled as befits a prince; 

Terrific and prolific, 

He’s a legend in our time;

Too bad he’s kind of crazy,

But his work is quite sublime.


to “Il Sole Mio”

As a bambino he seemed to know,

While still in diapers he hated Art Deco!

His family’s house was white and chrome

He cried, “If this décor stays, I’m-a leaving home!”


His dear Aunt Mary, his Auntie Mame,

She praised his talent, his path to fame;

He loved strong colors, Mama was nonplussed,

Her son loved chintz and welcomed dust! 


to “The Stately Homes of England” 

The English Country Style look

Was frankly dull and bleak

’Til this guy from Staten Island

Came along and made it chic!

His ruffles, bows and potpourris

Inspired thriving industries

As millions watched, entranced,

Tried to copy him, 

But even landed dukes

Can’t match his grand deluxe.


His famous doggy pictures

With ribbons on their frames

Became the rage on Park and Fifth

And even in St. James;

Four-poster beds were torn to shreds

To match Buatta’s style:

The Cotswolds by way of Staten Island! 


to “Il Sole Mio” 

The happy reason we’re here to dine:

The New York School of Interior Design

Is renaming its design studio, as of today

The Mario Buatta Atelier. 


Aspiring students can match their whim

With materials in a studio named for him,

Textiles and swatches, inspired, you bet, 

By the Mario Buatta style alphabet: 


to “The Christmas Alphabet”

M is for the gilded mirror’s soft reflective glow,

A is for antiques, which cost his clients lots of dough,

R is for the rope and ribbons, matching all the drapes,

I is for Italian chutzpah, landing him in endless scrapes,

O is for the ornamental sconces, hung with glee,

B is for his Blair House work, the White House B&B,

U is for the ugliness he finds in Art Deco,

A is for the Aubusson, he says your carpet’s gotta go,

T is for the tassels, in bright colors, and we know 

That A is for Atelier, which is named for Mario.


But then again . . .

M is for that Mario mischief, laugh until you weep, 

A is for assistants, which we’ve heard he cannot keep!

R is for his ranting when upholsters are late,

I is for impossible—he’ll yell like hell, don’t make him wait;

O is for the ottoman he says is way too big,

Also for occasions where he wears that ghastly wig!

Put them all together, and what do you a get?

Pearls of inspiration from the Buatta alphabet! 


to “Il Sole Mio” 

Beloved and famous, though it appears

It takes him decades to finish jobs, not merely years;

Clients are dazzled, it’s not sour grapes,

But they wonder if he’ll ever design the drapes! 


to “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” 

When you’re worried that he’ll spring again

His cockroach on a string—again—

Or tell some corny joke best left unsaid;

When you fear that he’ll unsheathe

A set of wind-up plastic teeth,

Or that damned toupee is falling off his head . . . 


     How do you solve a problem like Mario?

     The loveable kid who simply won’t grow up,

     How do you solve a problem like Mario?

     How do you scold a naughty, playful pup? 


to “He’s Just My Bill” 

His talent’s great

But his bills are always late,

A year goes by, and not a single charge from him;

With passing time, 

The zeros climb,

He’s fiercely resistant—

Won’t hire an assistant;

When at last it comes,

With stratospheric sums,

Some reach for pills!

Clients love him, but he’s impossible,

He hates to send out bills! 


to “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” 

Still in demand, piled with receipts,

Rock stars and moguls snuggle up in Mario’s sheets,

’Cause he delivers style with flourishes galore,

They keep coming back for more!


He sure gets ink, press clips galore,

His jealous rivals claim that he’s a media whore!

But he’s a superstar and still knows how to jive,

Looking good at seventy-five! 


to “Il Sole Mio”

So Mr. Mario, what’s left to say?

Congratulations on your new Atelier;

The jury’s out–are you insane?

But you’re the Prince of Chintz

And Long May You Reign!


Christopher Mason 212-777-8334


For coverage of Christopher’s song, with great

pictures of the evening honoring Mario Buatta, visit www.newyorksocialdiary.com