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Dan Smith
Missing rhyme puzzle: "You've Got To Be Taught"
Warning: this song is bitter, ironic, and angry. It is not optimistic or pleasant. 

It's from the 1949 musical, "South Pacific," by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Their musicals included serious themes. This song is against hate and prejudice. It was written by U.S. writers for U.S. audiences, and was directly criticizing U.S. race prejudices, but, of course, the message is universal.

It says that people of different races and cultures do not hate each other naturally--they "have to be taught."

When the show was "tried out" in Boston, the audience was cold and silent. A reviewer wrote "About 15 to 20 minutes need to be cut. How about that song 'You've Got to Be Taught" which ...adds nothing to the story-telling?... Why not leave that out?" Rodgers and Hammerstein refused. They thought it was important. They thought it was at the center of what the musical was about.

Each underbar represents one missing letter. In the first stanza, the three missing words all rhyme with "ear." In the second, they rhyme with "afraid." In the third, you must guess the rhyme for yourself.

For an additional clue, you can listen to the song here. The song itself begins at about 0.56. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4ypJhDS19I

I chose this clip because it shows Rodgers and Hammerstein themselves. Hammerstein wrote the words and introduces the song. Rodgers is at the piano. The clip is from 1952, and the song is sung by William Tabbert, who was in the original Broadway show.

You've got to be taught
To hate and _ear,
You've got to be taught
From year to _ear,
It's got to be drummed
In your _ear little ear,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly _ade,
And people whose skin is a different _ _ade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too _ _ _ _,
Before you are six or seven or _ _ _ _ _,
To hate all the people your relatives _ _ _ _,
You've got to be carefully taught!
Aug 27, 2016 2:32 PM
Comments · 5

Nice one but it took me long  to figure out the words.Still, I did my best:)

Here are the words-

--First stanza-

1-Fear

2-Year

3-Dear

--2nd stanza

1-Made

2-Shade

--3rd stanza

1-Late

2-Eight

3-Hate

Thank you @Dan for another nice song:)

August 28, 2016

"By the way 'tried out' means 'tested', right? They launched the show to test it."

Yes. I'm referring to the tradition of "out-of-town tryouts." It was strong in the 1950s. It exists but is fading nowadays.

In the United States, New York is the theater capital of the country, and the theater district is clustered around the street named Broadway. So "Broadway" means "theater," like "Hollywood" means movies.

Because Broadway is the big, prestigious center, it is expensive to produce a play or musical there.

Before opening on Broadway, producers would first "try out" (test) the show in some city that had a strong theater tradition and wasn't too far away from New York. Common cities for tryouts were Philadelphia, New Haven, and Boston.

People living in these cities enjoyed being able to see shows before people in New York did. However, the shows weren't as good, because they were in the process of being developed. During the tryouts, the producers would see what worked and what didn't. They would rewrite parts of the show, sometimes big parts. The story might be changed. In a musical, they would add and take out songs. The actors would still be improving their performance (and might not be working quite as hard, because, after all, it wasn't Broadway). The show that opened on Broadway might be different and better than the show in the tryout city. 


August 27, 2016

Thank you Dan for your clear explanation! To try out - the verb (to test) / tryouts - the noun (show itself but not the final one). I see now! 

August 28, 2016

I could not add anything else in the previous message (a limit of characters, it said). I have not listened to the song so I have tried to guess the words with the clues you gave us and the under bars. I do not think all of them are correct but who knows? Thanks for this amusing activities Dan! :)

By the way "tried out" means "tested", right? They launched the show to test it.

Edited:  I have checked the song and I got most of them wrongly but they made sense to me! :) Thank you!

August 27, 2016
You've got to be taught
To hate and Hear,
You've got to be taught
From year to Year,
It's got to be drummed
In your Bear little ear,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly Made,
And people whose skin is a different BLade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too LATE,
Before you are six or seven or ELEVEN,
To hate all the people your relatives EVEN,
You've got to be carefully taught!
August 27, 2016
Dan Smith
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language
Spanish