Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Clear the Aisle

My family is very close. We all love each other very much, we agree on most things, and we hardly ever fight. However, there is one issue that forms a cavernous rift that is forever tearing us asunder...

The debate in question is over the lyrics of the song "Never Smile at a Crocodile" , the very awesome song that was written for, but never actually used (except for the tune) in Disney's Peter Pan.

The part that we just cannot agree on is at the end. My sister and I hold firmly to the belief that the lyrics at the end of the song are "Clear the aisle and never smile at mister crocodile," while my parents stubbornly insist that the words are "Clearly I will never smile at mister crocodile." My brothers, I'm sure, do not have an opinion one way or the other on this, so they are not included here (Dan... Joel... If you DO have an opinion, I urge you to leave me a comment, and then join your baby sisters in this cause.) Anyway, this argument has arisen many times, and has never been resolved, despite the many instances of playing the song aloud, and looking up official lyrics to find evidence. No matter how many sets of lyrics Laurel and I pull up on Google that proves we are right, my mother and father continue to insist that "clear the aisle" makes no sense, and so the real words must be "clearly I will..." Even despite our arguments that "clear the aisle" makes for a better rhyme, and makes enough sense to at least be justified, they remain firm that "clearly I will" is the more logical phrase.

Try as we might, no conclusion has ever been reached. I fear that we shall never see eye-to-eye on this, and that "Never Smile at a Crocodile" will continue to drive a painful wedge between our family forever.

... Or my parents could just admit that they're TOTALLY WRONG! It's right there in the official sing-along, dudes! "Clear the aisle!" Can't get more proof than that! PWNED!

... can I still come home for Christmas?


Steph-a-Neph said...

I have to agree with your parents that "Clearly I will..." makes more sense, but knowing how Disney works, half the time the lyrics don't make sense. They just rhyme. So I'm on your side with "Clear the aisle". Also, I've listened to the song enough to know that those are the words I hear. Plus, if that's what's in the sing-a-long version, the lyrics are henceforth indisputable. The End.

Doug said...

Your music librarian cousin will save the day:

According to:

Vocal Selections from Walt Disney's Peter Pan, published by Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation copyrighted 1951, renewed 1985 ISBN 0881884146 the lyric is:

"Clear the aisle and never smile at Mister Crocodile"

And because we know that in the mouth of two or more witnesses shall every word be established I offer the second witness:

40 Best of Walt Disney for all Wurlitzer Organs published by Walt Disney Music Company copyrighted 1954 gives the lyric as:

"Clear the aisle and never smile at Mister Crocodile"

There can be no disputing!

The Erin said...

Yessss! Thanks, Doug!
It's great to have a library cousin :D

Beth said...

That was so... religious. 0_O Doug, whoever you are... I salute you.

Beth said...

What I don't understand is why "clear the aisle" doesn't make sense to anyone. I mean... it's just a figure of speech! If you see someone you dislike coming towards you, you "clear the aisle" to avoid them. Goodness...

The Erin said...

See, that's what I said too, but there still seem to be SOOOO many people who think it doesn't make sense.

Jessica Grosland said...

Maybe they're thinking "clear the aisle" as in, someone just puked on the tile of the grocery store, so you'd better get out of the way and let the poor unfortunate custodians clean it.

(*shrugs*) You never can tell with bees.

Word Verification: Wrant (my definition: verb meaning to yank something with enough force to tear. Or a really wonky/wicked/wordy rant.)

Devin said...

This is clearly a situation in which Disney, the copyists, editors and publishers made the WRONG decision.
"Clear the aisle and never smile at...", while you can struggle to show that it "makes sense", is just strained and clumsy writing, not worthy of the talented Sherman brothers.
"Clearly I'll never smile at..." (note that the contraction, which perfectly preserves the internal rhyming scheme and rhythm when sustained over two notes, is not the same as the "Clearly I will..." version that Erin promotes in an attempt to distort our true, and obviously superior, solution.)
Yes, there is a "technically" correct version. But we still don't know whether this was an original transcription error by a tin-eared copyist, and perpetuated through the years by lazy editors. Come on,Sherman brothers, speak to us and right this wrong! I demand the original manuscript!
There is "technically" correct and morally correct! I know where I stand.
Who is p0wned now, huh Erin!?!?
Your father.

The Erin said...

CAN'T YOU SEE THAT THIS IS TEARING US APART?!?! I just want us to be a family again! A family that accepts that "clear the aisle" flows far better than any contraction ever will.

... At any rate, the entire song is posed as a bit of advice, so "clear the aisle" continues with that theme. If it suddenly switches so that the singer is making a statement about himself it is very jarring and uproots the piece. And it makes perfect sense "clear the aisle" is just another way of saying "get out of there!" And I think it's very clever wordplay. Contractions are what poets do when they're trying to force a rhyme. I've done it myself, I know.

Jessica Grosland said...

Wow. I underestimated how vicious this family feud was. (*pulls on army helmet*)

misssrobin said...

I'm sorry this has brought contention to your family. I hope you work through it before funerals start or it could get ugly.

And just FYI, when Jess was little we had several Disney sing-along videos. This song was on one of them. The words were on the screen. And they said, "clear the aisle."

You win. But this might have to be one of those times when it's okay to know that you're right without everyone else agreeing that you're right. A kind of quiet superiority, if you will.

Meg said...

"Clear the aisle" totally makes sense...(I wanted to write this yesterday, but I ran out of time before work and now several others have made the same point. I thought about just not leaving a comment, but the word verification is "twadis" and I couldn't not use that, right?)

The Erin said...

This is true. Word verifications have been the driving factor behind many a comment that I would have not otherwise posted.

Laurel and David Lowe said...

I missed the comment boat on this. But, yes. Clear the aisle.

Deal wit it, pops!!