Let's Do It—New Bedford Version

Every July 31, we had an in-office birthday for Milt George, the founder and president of Southeastern Advertising Agency. Somewhere along the way I created the tradition of writing a poem for the occasion. One year, I wrote a song and performed it for Milt and the rest of the SEA crew.

The song is based on Cole Porter's "Let's Do It" but the immediate inspiration was Noel Coward's rewrite, as performed on the "Noel Coward in Las Vegas" album, and the introduction was stolen intact from Coward.

A few notes: Doc Manley was a well-known New Bedford gynecologist who lived in the Wamsutta Club. "Kitty and Duke" is a reference to Mike Dukakis, Massachusetts governor at the time, and his wife Kitty. John Bullard was the mayor of New Bedford and George Rogers was a city councilor. Ed Dinis was the owner of the Skipper Motor Inn in Fairhaven. Gerry Studds was the U.S. congressman representing our district who was censured for having a sexual relationship with a teen-aged congressional page. Eddie Maguire was the director of Your Theater for many years. Bill Saltzman was a city councilor and frequent candidate for mayor who was known for passing out fake currency carrying his picture. Oscar was a friend of Milt's and mine who lived on Cuttyhunk during the summer and at the Wamsutta Club the rest of the year. "UMD" is UMass-Dartmouth.

Irving Berlin wrote some lyrics about sin
In his charming way;
And the Gershwins, we know,
Wrote some melodies to show
Love is here to stay.
Richard Rodgers was much more romantic
About this sly biological urge.
But it really was Cole
Who made the whole thing merge.

He said that birds do it, bees do it,
Even educated fleas do it—
Let's do it, let's fall in love.
Norwegians do it, Greeks do it,
A few young men who sell antiques do it—
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

All those Old Dartmouth Quakers did it,
Every Rodman and Rotch.
New Bedford's movers and shakers did it,
While parked in carriage or coach.
Every stable boy and kitchen wench did it—
I've heard that even Rodney French did it—
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Melville, with his Moby Dick did it,
Shouting "Thar she blows!"
Dan Ricketson, that eccen-tric did it—
Using just his toes.
Ship's chandlers for every firm did it
And candlers, working with sperm, did it—
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Each dentist and physician does it—
Doc Manley'll tell you that.
And each politician does it—
Sometimes through his hat.
Mayor Bullard feels he must do it,
George Rogers can…just…do it—
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Sand dab and fluke do it,
Even on the decks of fishing boats.
In Boston, Kitty and Duke do it,
Cuz he needs his in-laws' votes.
Every guest in a Skipper room does it
And Ed Dinis—I assume—does it—
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Milt George at SEA does it,
And sometimes he gets burned.
Gerry Studds, who is gay, does it,
Leaving no page unturned.
On the beach, horseshoe crabs do it,
UMD students in their labs do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Each patient at St. Luke's does it,
Taking a turn for the nurse.
Ed Maguire at Your Theater does it,
But he has to rehearse.
Popeye, when he wants to get orf, does it.
Even Louie on his wharf does it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Each kid in Weld Square does it
When not popping pills.
Bill Saltzman, who ran for mayor, does it
But he pays with phony bills.
Whales off Cape Cod do it
And folks who come here to get scrod do it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Clam diggers in their bare feet do it
When the weather is warm.
Folks on Rivet Street do it—
Any Port in a storm.
Each Coast Guardsman in his bunk does it.
Oscar, all alone on Cuttyhunk, does it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love.