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Robert E Stewart <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Mar 2013 19:40:49 -0400
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Another thought on the 150th anniversary of the "Yours, Dreamily, Mark  
Twain" article:
In the article, Twain does not name the ladies who sang, nor does he name  
their songs, but Twain does list, by name, the men who  sang. and he names 
the songs each sang.
Then he spears his friend and foil, C.T. Rice, The Unreliable,"  who played 
the piano and sang. Twain does not name the tune, a church hymn,  but 
references the name by telling us Rice "shouted something about he  'would not 
live alway'. . . .  He must have made up that song as he went  along." That 
allows Twain to twist the line "The few lurid mornings that dawn on  us here" 
into "The few lucid moments that dawn on us here." ("Lurid  mornings" is an 
archaic use of the word, which comes from Latin for light  yellow, as in a 
light yellow sky at dawn.)
Meanwhile, a friend who wrote a biography of Warren Wasson questions  
Twain's assertion that "Wasson has a cultivated voice, and a refined musical  
taste. . . ." He reports this is the only known reference to Wasson as a  
singer, and wonders if the tunes of all the men were Twain barbs. But I submit  
these were church-going men, comfortable singing hymns there. The lyrics of  
all are online, and several of the tunes listed were hymns, including  that 
sung by The Unreliable. I think the men did sing, and their  singing became 
Twain's set-up for the verbal spear he hurls at The  Unreliable.
Bob Stewart