Marni Nixon 1930-2016
“I Feel Pretty”. She owned that song!
Natalie’s soprano simply entranced
Sparkling voice supple yet strong
Was the recording, by chance, enhanced?
Deborah Kerr stood up to The King
And made a surprising suggestion:
“Shall we dance?” but now here’s the thing:
Who really asked that question?
And Eliza could have danced all night
And still have begged for more
Audrey’s voice delightful and light
Doing things never done before
Pay close attention to those lips
Artful artifice slips in
She received no mention, no one would admit
The voice was Marni Nixon’s
Kerr was nominated for an Oscar
she captured Cockney squalor
As for Marni (it’s not like they forgot her),
She made four hundred twenty dollars
If you could hit your mark but not the note
The studio had a solution:
The vocal part came from a ghost
And with no attribution
Before and after her Hollywood lives
She sang to wide acclaim
Sang Stravinsky, Copland, Gershwin and Ives
Staked a claim with her own name
She accepted that she’d be remembered
For scenes where she wasn’t there
Lifting voices where they never ventured
Everyone should have a ghost
To lift us from these rainy plains
We would ascend where we dare not go
Way beyond our normal range.
Wouldn’t it be loverly?