Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?
Lyrics By Oscar Hammerstein II Music By Richard Rodgers
Frustrated after a quarrel with the King, Anna vents to an absent adversary.
“Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?” LYRICS
Your servant! Your servant!
Indeed I’m not your servant
(Although you give me less than servant’s pay)
I’m a free and independent employé –
Because I’m a woman,
You think, like every woman,
I have to be a slave or concubine –
You conceited, self-indulgent libertine –
How I wish I’d called him that!
Right to his face! Libertine!
And while we’re on the subject, sire,
There are certain goings-on around this place
That I wish to tell you I do not admire:
I do not like polygamy
Or even moderate bigamy
That in your eyes
That clearly makes a prig o’ me!)
But I am from a civilized land called Wales,
Where men like you are kept in county jails.
In your pursuit of pleasure, you
Have mistresses who treasure you.
(They have no ken
Of other men
Beside whom they can measure you.)
A flock of sheep, and you are the only ram—
No wonder you’re the wonder of Siam!
I’m rather glad I didn’t say that.
Not with the women right there… and the children.
The children, the children,
I’ll not forget the children,
No matter where I go I’ll always see
Those little faces looking up at me…
At first, when I started to teach,
They were shy and remained out of reach,
But lately I’ve thought
One or two have been caught
By a word I have said
Or a sentence I’ve read,
And I’ve heard an occasional question
That implied, at the least, a suggestion
That the work I was trying to do
Was beginning to show with a few!
That Prince Chulalongkorn
Is very like his father,
He’s stubborn—but inquisitive and smart…
I must leave this place before they break my heart,
I must leave this place before they break my heart!
Goodness! I had no idea it was so late.
Shall I tell you what I think of you?
You’re a conscientious worker
But you’re spoiled.
Giving credit where it’s due,
There is much I like in you,
But it’s also very true
That you’re spoiled!
Everybody’s always bowing
To the King.
Everybody has to grovel
To the King.
By your Buddha you are blessed,
By your ladies you’re caressed,
But the one who loves you best
Is the King!
All that bowing and kowtowing
To remind you of your royalty
I find a most disgusting exhibition.
I wouldn’t ask a Siamese cat
To demonstrate his loyalty
But taking that ridiculous position!
How would you like it if you were a man
Playing the part of a toad?
Crawling around on your elbows and knees,
Eating the dust in the road!
All of your people are toads!
Yes, Your Majesty! No, Your Majesty!
Tell us how low to go, Your Majesty!
Make some more decrees, Your Majesty!
Don’t let us up off our knees, Your Majesty!
Give us a kick, if it please Your Majesty!
Give us a kick, if you would, Your Majesty!
Oh! That was good, Your Majesty!
“Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?” (Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II)
© 1951, Copyright Renewed, Williamson Music Company (ASCAP) c/o Concord Music Publishing.
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.