The Other Generation

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The Other Generation

Lyrics By Oscar Hammerstein II  Music By Richard Rodgers

Part of the original score of Flower Drum Song, “The Other Generation” was not included in the 2002 Broadway revival version. In this charming number lampooning the generation gap, Liang and Wang complain about their younger family members.

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“The Other Generation” LYRICS

Wang:
I am puzzled by the attitude
Of children over here.
They are often disobedient,
They seem to have no fear
Of the father.

Madam Liang:
They come home when they are tired out
Or when they want to eat.
And they act as if their coming home
Were quite a special treat
For the father.

Wang:
My older son, at twenty-one,
Has just discovered love,
A complicated subject
He knows very little of.

Madam Liang:
Your younger son confuses me,
The way he uses words,
He tells me I am “cukey”
And “something for the birds!”

Wang:
What are we going to do about
The other generation?

Madam Liang:
How will we ever communicate
Without communication?

Wang:
You don’t know where they go or what they do—

Madam Liang:
And what peculiar thoughts they think,
They never reveal to you.

Wang:
A very discouraging problem is
The other generation.
They want to lead a life that’s all their own.

Madam Liang:
Perhaps we ought to let them,
Forsake them and forget them!
But then we’d only find ourselves alone

Both:
With one another!
I don’t believe we’d like to be alone!

Wang:
When you speak from your experience,
You meet with cool disdain.
Every child is born with knowledge
Beyond the puny brain
Of the father.

Madam Liang:
Every child is born with confidence
A parent can’t achieve
And the kind of intuition
That compels him to believe
What he’d rather.

Wang:
My older son has chosen a daughter-in-law for me,
A dancer in a nightclub is my daughter-in-law to be!

Madam Liang:
She dances and undresses till she’s naked as a flea,
And everyone can look at—

Both:
What he alone should see!

What are we going to do about
The other generation?
How will we ever communicate
Without communication?

Madam Liang:
They never take the blame for one mistake—

Wang:
Oh, no!
Their parents are responsible
For every mistake they make!

Both:
A very discouraging problem is
The other generation—
And soon there’ll be another one as well!

Madam Liang:
And when our out-of-hand sons
Are bringing up our grandsons,
I hope our grandsons give their fathers hell!

Wang:
Can’t wait to see it!

Both:
I hope our grandsons give their fathers hell!