ain't baroque! :||
Don't Fix It

Who is Handel? Hialeah! Hialeah!

I wish, I wish, I wish there was a way to post a Dr. Horrible video, but try as I might I just can’t swing that around to classical music or even the old-time musicals I sometimes sneak in. So instead I present to you the best of both worlds. But first, a story!

One of the most pleasant nights I ever spent was back in high school, Easter eve. I was staying at my grandmother’s house, and had a room to myself with cable TV (!!!). I tuned to TCM and watched the following: Easter Parade, Brigadoon, Bells are Ringing, and The Pirate. By 6 am it was The Singing Nun, which I figured was a good time to head to sleep.

The point is, it was on this time I was introduced to what I think is an unfairly lesser-known musical, the delightful Bells are Ringing with Judy Holliday. So delightful it is that I actually intended to take a nap while it was on until The Pirate (which I had never seen and has Judy Garland AND Gene Kelly; how is it then that the movie is decidedly eh?), and yet somehow I ended up awake for the whole thing. This explanation is getting really long and we haven’t even gotten to the important bit, so I’m going to say simply GO RENT IT.

Okay! So the reason I’m telling you about Bells Are Ringing is because classical music plays an integral part in the plot. Y’see, apparently back in the day before answering machines, people employed answering services to take phone messages for them. A bookie therefore hatches a clever plan to use an answering service to take bets without them knowing, and the following song ensues. Unfortunately I can’t find a clip from the movie; indeed, this is the ONLY rendition of the song on the entire internet if Google video search is to be believed.

Right! The following is technically a spoiler, but if you’re watching an old school musical for the plot you clearly don’t understand what they’re about; I’m going to tell you anyway. The turning point of the movie? Someone attempts to place a bet by asking for Beethoven’s tenth symphony, but the telephone operator finds out that there isn’t one so she changes it to the ninth! And the wrong bet is placed! Thousands of dollars are incorrectly routed! Ha ha!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the importance of culture in our society. You can’t devise a betting system without it.

Updated: Here’s a version from Broadway! No video, but very clear audio. Enjoy!


About Jenn

Despite being the former digital marketing intern at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jenn German does not like Mozart. Beethoven could've totally beaten him up. Also she has an arts management graduate degree from American University, but this changes nothing.


2 thoughts on “Who is Handel? Hialeah! Hialeah!

  1. Hi Jenn,

    I LOVE that movie!!! Funniest procrastination scene ever at the beginning, then July Holliday’s incredible song delivery. Unforgettable.


    Posted by GretchensPianos | October 11, 2010, 11:17 pm

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