Cole Porter and a Vanished Culture: Brewster and Mussolini
Downloading a Cole Porter classic, “You’re the Top,” to Spotify, I realized how much the lyrics have changed. Some verses were altered, others just dropped, because they’d only baffle people. Take for example my favorite—a verse now extinct, because it’s well-nigh unrecognizable:
You’re the top! You’re a Ritz hot toddy.
You ‘re the top! You’re a Brewster body.
You’re the boats that glide on the sleepy Zuider Zee,
You ‘re a Nathan Panning, You’re Bishop Manning, You’re broccoli!
Brewster and Company was a carriage maker founded by James Brewster in New Haven, Connecticut in 1810.…