The Saga of Jenny
The music is marked "Allegretto quasi andantino"; Gershwin describes it as "a sort of blues bordello".
It was premiered by Gertrude Lawrence in the role of Liza Elliott, the editor of a fashion magazine. In the context of the show, the song comes in a dream sequence in which Elliott defends her indecision about marriage by telling the tale of "a girl named Jenny/Whose virtues were varied and many—/Excepting that she was inclined/Always to make up her mind", until she "kicked the bucket at 76." Jenny's decisive nature is blamed for multiple disasters, including forcing the necessity of the United States' Good Neighbor Policy. The moral of the song is "don't make up your mind."
It followed the Danny Kaye song "Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians)", and in Kaye's original recording, he sings the passages about Liza Elliot's inability to make up her mind.
- Furia, Philip (1996). Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist (First ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508299-0.
- McClung, Bruce (2007). Lady in the Dark: Biography of a Musical. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512012-4
- Ute Lemper performs "The Saga of Jenny" (public domain)