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U P S I D E     d o w n s t a i r s    a cambridge comedy of manners
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"Work For It"     Music and lyric by Cass von Braun


S E T T I N G

Miranda, the "sub-genius" daughter who is working to save her friend Nick's grant from the greater powers of entitlement, both resents and appreciates being in the position to benefit from "helicopter parents" assuring her success at every pass despite the fact that she has done no work that she considers to be at the level of someone like Nick or others in her own family -- people she considers more intellectually gifted than herself. Of course, those who intercede on her behalf insist she is worthy, yet while grateful for their encouragement and the strings they pull on her behalf, Miranda knows herself well enough -- and she doesn't discount what it means that academic success doesn't come easily to her. As she says, "I gotta work for it."


Here's a new version of the song sketches for "Work For It.

Listen to the main song sketch



Listen to the reprise sketch


L Y R I C

Oh, pardon me. Who said that? Ah, I forget!
Won't someone out there on the internet
Before a victim roars, please help me find the source
'Cause I accidentally stole it or somehow purloined an edit

Recovered at random from memory
When at last it presented itself to be quoted (by me) yet
I still haven't found an author who deserves the credit
It sounds like Ezra Pound but my roommate swears it's Eliot

[refrain]
Oh, do not be so surprised
Did you think all such charming replies could rip
Like lightning from the tip of just any old lip?
Could I deliver flip as clever as any old hen's quip?
If it mattered, I'd be flattered if you consider me
In that category
Fear not -- not one little bit
You know, I know -- I gotta work, hard! I gotta work, baby,

I gotta work, work for it

If there isn't any winner 'til it has been announced at dinner
We yet may sup from the cup of brass tenaci-tea
And so we keep on breezing, as all our teasing
Just may fatten up the livestock, like the flock before the fleecing

[refrain]
Oh, do not be so surprised
Did you think all such elegant sighs could rise
Like perfume, from the tip of just any old lip?
Could I deliver fillip as clever as any old hen's quip?
If it mattered, I'd be flattered if you'd consider me
In that company
Fear not -- not one little bit
You know, I know -- I gotta work, hard! I gotta work, baby,

I gotta work, work for it

[reprise]

If I'm to escape obscurity's plight I will need a copyright or
A sudden insight, thrillingly bright, to kill this appetite for
Parental favors clearly rendered sans request
Ere I dare to hope any effort I have tendered will pass the test

Each night I think the next could easily break my head
Oh, I don't know -- then, when I am spent, I lay me down upon a lonely bed
It's sobering, sn't it? how among all such towering lights I must tiptoe and creep
Then, when that plays out, let a mockingbird sing me to sleep

[reprise refrain vamp]
Fear not! Not one little bit
You know, I know I gotta work -- hard!
I gotta work, Mama, I gotta work, work for it
I gotta work, Daddy, I gotta work, work for it













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