Thursday, May 13, 2021

“The World Will Always Welcome Plovers”; Environmental and other concerns in lyrics of the ‘Casablanca Poet’


Pondorff has restored the fragmented phrase of the anonymous ‘Casablanca Poet’

T-- Worl- will a(lac.)y- -elcome -overs’


The world will always welcome lovers’. [1]

We must regard this as a somewhat eccentric restoration. Pondorff has not considered that in an overpopulated world of some 8 billion people the world would hardly welcome ‘lovers’.

LeSage, with respect to this lyric, pointed to many instances of economic distress and job loss at that time. For him this requires the reading:

The world will always welcome glovers.’ [2]

This can hardly be correct as this ode is, putatively, a lament for the degraded environment and the alarm over species extinction which were characteristic concerns of that period. The correct restoration is clearly

The world will always welcome plovers.’

This has the virtue of being consistent with the generally agreed restoration of the very next line:

'As slime goes by.'

I trust that this will correct the misapprehensions of those who want to follow the unjustifiably romantic readings of Pondorff.

End Notes

[1] Pondorff[2334], III, 549, 'Bemerkungen zu Fr. 8.'

[2] LeSage [2289], 35.


[1] Pondorf [2334]: Pondorff, Eric. Neue Untersuchungen für lyrische Fragmente der Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts. XIV vols., nchen 2334.

[2] LeSage [2289]: LeSage, Jean-Marie. ‘'Jouez, Sam, encore une fois”; Lyrisme dans 'Le poète de Casablanca'” in Chansons populaires américaines: la période Kardashian, (III: Spring). pp. 34-35. [2289].

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