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The Broadway Anthology

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ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN He was a burly Dutch tenor,And I patiently trailed him in his waking and sleeping hoursThat I might not lose a story,—But his life was commonplace and unimaginative—Air raids and abdications kept his activities,(A game of bridge yesterday, a ride to Tarrytown),Out of the papers.I watchfully waited,Yearning a coup that would place him on theMusical map.A coup, such as kissing a Marshal Joffre,Aeroplaning over the bay,Diving with Annette Kellerman.Then for three days I quit the cityTo get a simple contralto into the western papers.Returning I entered my office; the phone jangled.The burly tenor was tearfully sobbing and moaning over the wire;Tremor and emotion choked his throat.This was his ominous message:A taxicab accident almost had killed him two and one half days ago;He had escaped with his body and orchid-lined voice—And not a line in the mornings or evenings!What could I do about it?Accidents will happen.

THE BARITONE He was a wonderful Metropolitan singer.His name had been blazoned over these United States,And in Europe it was as well known.Records of him could be bought in the smallest hamlet;Nothing but praise had been shed upon the glory of his name.In May he was scheduled to sing in ChicagoAt a festival where thousands were to foregatherTo do praise to him and his voice.Two days before he left, he came to his manager's officeWith a sickly expression all over his rotund faceAnd a deathly gasp in his voice.One thought he needed a doctor,Or the first aid of some Red Cross nurses.He was ushered into the private officeTo find out his trouble.This was his lament in short;A friend, in the hurry of the moment,Had procured tickets for him on the Twentieth CenturyWhich demanded an extra fare of six dollars,—And he wanted to ride on the cheapest train.So we got him tickets on another roadWhich takes thirty six hours to Chicago and perhaps more,And the great singer, whose name has been blazoned over these United StatesAnd was as well known in Europe,Walked out contented and smiling like a young boy.

PATRIOTISM The patriotic orchestra of eighty five menWas keyed to an extraordinary patriotic pitchFor these were patriotic concerts,Supported by the leading patriots of the town,(Including a Bulgarian merchant, an Austrian physician and a German lawyer),And all the musicians were getting union wages—and in the summer at that.So they were patriotic too.The Welsh conductor was also patriotic,For his name on the program was larger than that of the date or the hall,But when the manager asked him to play a numberDesignated as "Dixie,"He disposed of it shortly with the words:"It is too trivial—that music."And, instead, he played a lullaby by an unknown Welsh composer,—(Because he was a Welshman)....The audience left after the concert was overAnd complimented itself individually and collectively on "doing its bit"By attending and listening to these patriotic concerts....