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Vaughans Vocabulary Inspired by a song featuring Laura Nyro

November 23, 2010

I am interested in knowing your opinion of an excerpt from the script of the play I am writing in which a song by Laura Nyro is featured. The protagonist and her mother do a dance routine as the midday personality plays it on Radio 990, owned by the daughter and mother. I would also like for you to google “Lu by Nyro” and listen to the song on YouTube to get an even better feel of the scene.
The story takes place in the spring of 1968, when Nyro, then 20 years of age, released her second album “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.”
While writing this week’s column, I was listening to December’s Boudoir from the album “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.” Words No. 1, 2 and 3 are from DB.

1. boudoir (BOO-dwahr)
A. a salon
B. a saloon
C. a woman’s bedroom or private sitting room
D. a setting where men gather for poker

The noun boudoir came from a verb in French meaning to pout. Adjacent to her bedchamber, it formed part of the private suite of rooms of a lady. C is the answer.

2. marzipan (MAR-zuh-pan)
A. a confection of crushed almonds or almond paste, sugar and egg whites often shaped into various forms
B. a circle around the moon
C. a lustful look
D. one who is unfaithful in a relationship

Laura sings, “Oh, mainstream marzipan sweet, baking out in December’s heat.” A is the answer. The first syllable in marzipan can be pronounced either MAR or MART.

3. chivalry (SHI-vul-ree)
A. the teasing or the annoyance of persistent petty attacks
B. the qualities of the ideal knight
C. a subtle distinction or variation
D. implying extreme delicateness

The first line in DB is “Kisses from you in the flames of December’s Boudoir, they fill me like melons, touch me with chivalry.” B is the answer.
4. Which one was not written by Laura Nyro?
A. Stoned Soul Picnic, made popular by the 5th Dimension
B. Stoney End, made popular by Barbra Streisand
C. Stoned Love, made popular by the Supremes
D. Eli’s Coming, made popular by Three Dog Night

The song was originally written and recorded as “Stone Love” but it got labeled incorrectly as “Stoned Love.” C is the answer.
Last week’s mystery word has the first three letters as the first three letters in the name of the author of “The Echo of Greece.” You can use this adjective to describe someone who overacts, especially in theatricality. Edith Hamilton is the author of The Echo of Greece; the mystery word was “hammy.”
This week’s mystery word means to tease or annoy with petty verbal attacks. Its first three letters are the first three letters in the first name of the woman who sung “Thunder and Lightning.”

Contact Don Vaughan at dvaughan@eastms.edu

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