Crocodile Tears, from A is for Anything (Day 71)

When we last left our plucky heroine, Anna had just crash-landed in Africa and was lamenting the loss of her pilot and companion, Amelia Earhart. To her surprise, she meets an alligator named Aloysius (“You can call me Al”), who sings a bluesy song that I slipped into in an earlier Project 194 post. Here it is, along with its lyric.

When you see an alligator,
You only see the teeth.
You never see the pussycat
That’s hiding underneath.
An alligator’s good,
He’s just misunderstood,
And that’s the way it’s been for years,
And that’s why I’m cryin’,
I’m cryin’ crocodile tears.

When you see an alligator,
It really is a drag:
You only see the makings of
An alligator bag!
You only want the hide,
And not the part inside,
The part that seldom appears.
And that’s why I’m cryin’,
I’m cryin’ crocodile tears.

Crocodile tears, crocodile tears,
I’ve cried so many of ’em that they’re getting in my ears!
Crocodile tears! My feelings are hurt!
Hey, what am I doin’?
I’m going to ruin
My alligator shirt!

So when you see a gator,
Don’t scream and run away.
He might just help you find your missing Vitamin A!
I’d like to be your pal.
Hey listen, call me Al,
And just forget about your fears
So I can stop cryin’
Those crocodile tears.
I gots to stop cryin’
Those crocodile tears!

The alligee-tarWhat I remember most about this song was the prop we found for it: the “alligee-tar.” One day, Jeff Murphy brought an odd item to rehearsal, a plaque cut out in the shape of an alligator with a couple of pegs implanted in it to make a clothes rack for a kid’s bedroom. We all agreed it was about the size and shape of an electric guitar, so we removed the pegs, added a guitar strap and voila! The picture on the left is not Jeff, but Bob Rumnock, who inherited the prop and the air guitar moves that went with it. The story of that prop tells you something about why I love the theater so much: it’s a place where you can conjur magic out of the most random, mundane things.

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