Today marks the 113th anniversary of a singularly good thing: the birth of Miss Mabel Mercer, the Queen of Cabaret. I rarely run sound-only videos, but the combination of this roguish snap and her just about perfect go at Cole Porter's "Experiment" seems a lovely way to mark the day. The lyric is one of those deceptively simple things that Porter makes seem so easy, while Miss Mercer turns into it as good a credo to live by as any I can think of:
Be curious, though interfering friends may frown;
Get furious at each attempt to hold you down.
If this advice you only employ
The future can offer you infinite joy
And merriment. Experiment -
And you'll see.
Mabel Mercer, did for 84 years. I was lucky enough to hear her once, and in some ways things never again were the same. For which I am eternally grateful...