The Laws of My Administration

Groucho Marx
Language: English

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Testo di Bert Kalmar (1884-1947), liricista
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Dal film “Duck Soup” (“La guerra lampo dei fratelli Marx”), diretto da Leo McCarey (1898-1969) e interpretato dai Marx Brothers, con Groucho nella parte del protagonista, Rufus T. Firefly, il folle dittatore dello Stato di Freedonia.

Duck Soup

Un apologo antiautoritario e antimilitarista che ovviamente valse al film il bando in Germania e in Italia. Ma l'ironia e la satira dei Marx era troppo avanti per i tempi anche negli USA, tant'è che “Duck Soup” fu un mezzo flop commerciale. Venne invece rivalutato in seguito, nell'ambito del movimento di protesta contro la guerra in Vietnam.

“La prima cosa a sparire quando un paese viene trasformato in uno stato totalitario è la commedia e i comici. Poiché le persone ridono di noi, non credo che capiscano davvero quanto siamo essenziali per la loro salute mentale.” (Groucho Marx, Citato in Movie icons: Marx Bros., a cura di Paul Duncan e Douglas Keesey, traduzione di Emanuela Rossato, Taschen, 2007)
[Mrs. Teasdale]
If it's not asking too much
For our information
Just for our illustration
Tell us how you intend to run the nation

These are the laws of my administration:
No one's allowed to smoke
Or tell a dirty joke
And whistling is forbidden

We're not allowed to tell a dirty joke

If chewing gum is chewed
The chewer is pursued
And in the hoosegow hidden (1)

If we choose to chew we'll be pursued

If any form of pleasure is exhibited
Report to me, and it will be prohibited
I'll put my foot down, so shall it be
This is the land of the free

The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn't know what to do with it
If you think this country's bad off now
Just wait till I get through with it

The treasury is low on dough;
The last man went and flew with it.
If you think we're short of money now
Just wait 'till I get through with it.

The country's taxes must be fixed
And I know what to do with it
If you think you're paying too much now
Just wait till I get through with it

In our midst you stand The ruler of this land,
A man who'll govern with an iron hand.

If anyone gets fresh with me,
I'll show him who's the boss;
I'll stand upon my dignity,
and toss him for a loss.
And this will be the penalty,
For those who doublecross,
We'll stand 'em up against the wall,
and Pop goes the Weasel! (2)

If you should make him cross,
He'll toss you for a loss.
If anyone gets fresh with him,
He'll show him who's the boss.

I will not stand for anything that's crooked or unfair
I'm simply on the up and up, so everyone beware
If anyone's caught taking graft and I don't get my share
We stand him up against the wall and Pop goes the Weasel!


So everyone beware
Who's crooked or unfair
If anyone's caught taking graft
Unless he gets his share

If any man should come between a husband and his bride
We find our which one she prefers by letting her decide
If she prefers the other man, the husband steps outside
We stand him up against the wall and Pop goes the Weasel!


The husband steps outside
Relinquishes his bride
They stand him up against the wall
And take him for a ride

The population must increase,
With great rapidity.
We give a couple seven years,
To raise a family.
If, by that time, there is
No branch upon the family tree,
We stand 'em up against the wall,
and Pop goes the Weasel!
(1) Termine obsoleto per 'prigione', dallo spagnolo 'juzgado'

(2) “Pop! Goes the Weasel!”, espressione nonsense con cui si chiude ogni strofa di una celebre filastrocca inglese ottocentesca. In gergo l'espressione potrebbe essere simile alle nostre “sparare sull'ambulanza” o “uccidere un uomo morto”, nel significato di infierire crudelmente e senza necessità alcuna su chi non può difendersi o è già vinto e fuori combattimento.

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2017/11/16 - 20:09

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