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Brush Up Your Shakespeare [song lyrics]


Song lyrics to Brush Up Your Shakespeare, by Cole Porter, from Kiss Me Kate

In Kiss Me Kate, two gangsters try to cheer up the heart-broken Howard Keel. They improvise a musical number — Brush Up Your Shakespeare — about how it can help you with your love life! In the original play, it’s slightly different. The two gangsters accidentally find themselves on stage, and improvise the number to cover themselves.

The girls today in society go for classical poetry
So to win their hearts one must quote with ease
Aeschylus and Euripides

But the poet of them all
Who will start ’em simply ravin’
Is the poet people call
The Bard of Stratford on Avon

Brush up your Shakespeare
Start quoting him now
Brush up your Shakespeare
And the women you will wow

Just declaim a few lines from Othella
And they’ll think you’re a hell of a fella
If your blond won’t respond when you flatter ‘er
Tell her what Tony told Cleopatterer

If she fights when her clothes you are mussing
What are clothes? Much ado about nussing
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they’ll all kow-tow

With the wife of the British ambessida
Try a crack out of Troilus and Cressida
If she says she won’t buy it or tike it
Make her tike it, what’s more ‘As You Like It’

If she says your behavior is heinous
Kick her right in the Coriolanus
Brush up your Shakespeare
And they’ll all kow-tow, thinkst thou?
And they’ll all kow-tow, odds Bodkins
All kow-tow


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