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Lucas Sanders
Lucas Sanders

I Ve Got The

I've Got the Tune is an American radio opera with words and music by Marc Blitzstein. Dedicated to Orson Welles, it was commissioned by CBS Radio for its experimental series, the Columbia Workshop. Its first performance was broadcast October 24, 1937, with a cast that included the composer, Shirley Booth, Lotte Lenya and Norman Lloyd. The performance was conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

I Ve Got The

Along with The Cradle Will Rock and his subsequent work, No For an Answer, I've Got the Tune represents a kind of lyric theatre that grew out of European and American traditions of the 1920s and came into its own by the mid-1930s. The resulting works were "unique amalgams of [Blitzstein's] own twentieth-century idiom with the adopted techniques clearly within the strict proletarian precepts he had formulated under the guidance of social concepts taught and practiced by Hanns Eisler, along with Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill."[5]

Walking up Broadway.[6] Mr. Musiker introduces himself as a composer with a tune lacking a text. He is in search of a secretary to help find a text. He interviews Beetzie, a stenographer, while they both walk up Broadway ("Beetzie is my name"). Musiker explains his task of trying to find the right words to fit the tune, singing it to Beetzie ("Every measure note for note"). Although Beetzie finds Musiker's tune "screwy" she takes the job.

Madame Arbutus's apartment. Musiker and Beetzie visit Madame Arbutus from Stuttgart, a "priestess of the new music, the new poetry, the new art." She describes her creative process ("On scotch and art"). Musiker tries to play his melody for he but she interrupts, extemporizing her version of the tune ("The moon is a happy cheese tonight"). Upon exclaiming ""Ah! it is so grand to be so bored! You can afford the kind of music you cannot stand," Beetzie says to Musiker "Let's get out of here!"

An apartment building. While relaxing on a building's roof, Musiker prevents a Suicide from killing herself ("And so, the last thing too"). She sings her own version of Musiker's tune ("There is a girl I know") before fleeing Musiker's grasp as she leaps off the roof.

In I've Got the Tune Blitzstein explores the composer's role in society.[2] The message he apparently wanted to convey was that an artist can overcome isolation by serving the people.[7] It also dealt with a serious socially-relevant theme that Blitzstein considered to be necessary for a significant twentieth-century work.[8]

Blitzstein originally thought of a tango for the salon scene led by "Mrs. Plush." This was to be a parody of Josephine Porter Boardman Crane, for whom Blitzstein once performed "The Rich" from The Cradle Will Rock, only to be met with incomprehension by Crane.[9] Captain Bristlepunkt and the Purple Shirties are an amalgam of the Nazi brown shirts and the Italian fascist black shirts. Bristlepunkt is clearly a mixture of Hitler and Mussolini.[7] The sketches are more explicit in articulating Antisemitism by references (later deleted) to the "Lewish race."[9]

At one point he considered a male part for The Suicide, not wanting to draw attention to his wife's death from anorexia the previous year.[7] In early drafts Blitzstein had planned an additional scene in Tin Pan Alley, at the office of Finaigler, Kibitz and McGuire, who would have already adapted the tune. ("The Hangover Blues" is a vestige of this discarded scene.)[9] Rather than a "Field Day," Blitzstein had intended the final scene to take place on May Day with the high school children assembling at Union Square in Manhattan, a known location for political activism and communist rallies.[7]

As reported, the live broadcast was in danger of going over-time. Despite signaling from the broadcast crew, conductor Bernard Herrmann didn't see any of the signalling but finished the work on time.[10]

Richard Gilbert of Scribner's Magazine praised the work over recent CBS commissions, remarking on the work's idiomatic use of radio as well as its "substance," "vitality" and "comparative simplicity."[12] On the other hand, Aaron Copland noted the work's "hectic, nervous mood" and found "a synthetic quality about it that no amount of ingenuity and talent can hide."[12]

Despite the staged performance, Variety criticized the performance as a rendition of what was done on air, noting that the work's "present construction defeats its intentions." Declaring it being created for uncritical left leaning audiences, Variety said that the main problem was that it had several episodes which lack integration with each other. The unnamed critic found the tune of the title had an "evasive quality" that prevents the audience from remembering it and distances them from the story.[13][16]

The work's Boston premiere took place December 5, 1970, at Harvard's Lowell House, in an adaptation by (and starring) Leonard Lehrman, attended by Blitzstein's nephew Christopher Davis and Leonard Bernstein. Musiker himself was beaten as "the mongrel", "Field Day" became "May Day," as in Blitzstein's original plan, the "Hangover Blues" scene was reinstated, and the final chorus became appropriately militant. Press response was very positive. This was probably the most successful performance the work ever had. Most recent were three performances honoring the 2005 Blitzstein Centennial. A recording on Original Cast Records incorporated the Suicide Scene from the 1970 production, recorded by WHRB.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage says "Have will do perfectly well in writing that avoids the natural rhythms of speech. But in speech, or prose that resembles speech, you will probably want have got."

The answer to your question is yes and no. There are instances where "I have" and I have got" mean the same thing. For example: I have/got to go. In other cases there is a slight distinction: I have a rash versus I have got a rash. There is a slight change in tense, but not an exact one.

First, I suggest you do a little experiment. Say 'I have a car' and then 'I've got a car', and notice how your mouth moves. The second is more efficient (we don't have to open wide for the 'a' sound in have, everything goes smoothly forward). I suspect, but have no scientific evidence to back this up, that very often when we have a choice, between 'which' or 'that' for example, we go for the one which involves the least mouth movement. I imagine that this was the origin of many irregular forms.

Second, I confess I cannot understand this current obsession with redundancy. Why can't people simply enjoy using the language we all speak, and the choices we have in formulating it, without constantly looking for so-called errors. Most of us use redundancy the whole time in spoken language. So what!

@Sharm - not in BrE at least, where 'I've got a car' means 'I possess a car', whereas 'I've just got a car' means 'I've just obtained a car'. Both Oxford and Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionaries list 'have got' under 'have', not 'get'. They also say that this use for possession is mainly in BrE.

Jim: I'm not sure about your logic.What about "I have a car" (present) and "I bought a car" (past)? You can certainly say "I have bought a car". As cnelsonrepublic says, "have" is an auxiliary verb.

"He's very lucky really. He's got a wonderful family and they've got a lovely old house in the country, which his family have had for centuries. The house has also got a huge garden, which needs a lot of attention."

"Luckily he's got a good job to pay for all the upkeep. But sometimes the pressure can be a bit much. His company's got an important contract which has to be finalised this week, so they've got a lot of work on. This afternoon alone he's got three client meetings. He also had three yesterday and will probably have a couple more tomorrow. But at least he's got the weekend free"

It's not rocket science. My EFL students can handle it easily enough. 'have got' = alternative present tense of 'have' for possession - no more, no less. (Notice past, future and perfect forms all use simple 'have') This usage for possession is probably more common in the UK than simple 'have'. It's natural Standard English - just check a dictionary (BrE are likely to have more about it. See comment above), but @Jim, please look under 'have got', not 'got', which is something completely different. 'I got a car' (get) is a red herring; it has nothing to do with 'I've got a car' (have got), full stop.

You really have to put emphasis on the contraction (when speaking) to make it sound correct to the listener. In fact, I wonder if American English speakers would hear this as anything other than someone trying to be pretentious.

About the meaning difference between "have" and "have got", Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage notes that for many Americans, "have got" denotes mere possession, but "have" denotes obtaining.

@Jackbox - my 'full stop' was meant to be an ironic reply to @Jim's 'period'. Well yes, I am relatively sure of myself because I've been teaching English for ten years, and I also checked out my facts fairly carefully before commenting, see references above. (swa.randomidea).

I agree with the gist of your argument, but would just add that for us Brits, the ' have got' is the more usual construction. As for whether it's redundant or not, is of supreme indifference to me (as you could see just then), it's the way most of us speak. Unless of course I was writing for the New Yorker, but that's not going to happen.

@Jim - I've sent 4 dictionary references as well as some grammar website references, but they're being held over for approval (too many URLs). In the meantime if you google 'have got', the first two entries are and GrammarGirl - they will give you an American perspective while the other references are being approved.

You are all pulling at hairs. The simple answer is that "I have" is more commonly used in written English and "I've got" is more commonly used in spoken English. Both are acceptable forms and there is no grammatical explanation for a preference in either usage. Get a grip all of you. 041b061a72


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