Today marks the 60th anniversary of the film debut of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved Oklahoma!
As the daughter of two transplanted Okies, I grew up watching this musical and could sing most of the songs by heart, although the meaning to a couple of the numbers (namely, “All ‘Er Nothing” and “I Can’t Say No”) were completely lost on me as a child.
As an adult, I’ve sometimes wondered whether Ado Annie might have changed her tune had she been cast as an overscheduled soccer mom living in the 21st century instead of a promiscuous pioneer girl living in the early 1900s.
My conclusion? Probably not.
Considering the frantic pace so many of us moms keep these days, I think this Oklahoma! character would still have trouble saying no and would’ve only revised the lyrics a bit.
My guess is, the new words would go a little like the ones below:
I’m Just a Mom Who Can’t Say No
It’s not so much a question of not knowin’ what to do;
It’s just that I’m so busy, I can’t think.
I’m barely treadin’ water, and my family’s drownin’, too.
But if I don’t keep paddlin’, I’ll sink.
My schedule’s overloaded to the max,
And I don’t have a moment to relax.
I’m just a mom who can’t say no,
I’m in a terrible fix.
I usually say, “Alright, we’ll go,”
Just when I oughta say “Nix…”
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