"Sympathy for Gatsby"

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I own a house in old West Egg
Upon the east shore, where the waves break


And I was ‘round when nations fought
Had their moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that a generation
Would never become lost again


Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, old sport
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game


I spent some time in North Dakota
Dug for clams, in my younger day
At night I slept and dreamt of change
I found it on Tuolomee


I fell in love
But never had enough
When The Great War raged
I was called away


Pleased to meet you, Mr. Carraway
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah


Now I watch and see
All you kings and queens
Dance for endless nights
Under my house lights


I shouted out,
“Is this the dream American?”
When after all
Love’s escaped from me


Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I stand at night, arms outstretched
Towards a light that shines across the bay


Pleased to meet you, Carraway
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby


Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game


Just as every man is a bootlegger
And high society a shame
As heads is tails
Just call me Jay Gatsby
’Cause I believe she’ll feel the same


So if you have her meet me
Nick Carraway, have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
So I can relive the past


Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down
Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
Tell me Daisy, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, I’m to blame
Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah
What’s my name
Tell me, Daisy, what’s my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah

Explanation

The purpose of the genre piece "Sympathy For Gatsby" was to illustrate part of the relationship between the characters Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway from the novel The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Arranged in the format of lyrics to a song, the words written above are meant to depict a hypothetical conversation that takes place between the two characters.  In this dialogue, Gatsby reveals information about his past to Nick, as well as asks Nick to arrange a meeting between him and his ex-lover, Daisy.  As a result, the work posted contains numerous references to the novel, as well as some that that relate to the author of the novel.  A select few of these references are explained below.

The second verse of the genre piece reads as follows:

And I was 'round when the nations fought
Had their moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that a generation
Would never become lost again


This relates to the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald in regards to his relationship with another author of his time, Ernest Hemingway.  The words are meant to make a reference to the term "lost generation," a phrase created by Hemingway that describes the generation of people that fought in World War I.  Fitzgerald was also responsible for creating a term associated with the era: "The Jazz Age."

There are many specific references in this genre piece that refer to the life of the fictional character Jay Gatsby.  A stanza in which this is done so is posted below.

I spent some time in North Dakota
Dug for clams in my early days
At night I slept and dreamt of change
It came on Tuolomee


These words describe much of the early life of the character Gatsby including when he developed his dream for success.  The son to a typical, most likely middle-class family in North Dakota, Gatsby spent much of the time during his youth earning money through digging for clams and fishing for salmon along the coast of Lake Superior.  It was during this time that he developed his dream, met the wealthy Dan Cody on the yacht "Tuolomee," and changed his name from James Gatz, to Jay Gatsby.

References to the other characters of the novel are made throughout the work above as well, one of which reads:

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I stand at night with arms outstretched
Towards a light that shines across the bay


As suggested in other parts of the words posted above, the character Gatsby is interested in meeting his lost love, Daisy.  In the novel, the character and also narrator Carraway describes a scene in which he witnessed Gatsby standing outside one night with his arms outstretched towards a green light that was shining across the bay near his house, a light which belongs to Daisy.  This part of the hypothetical dialogue makes reference to that scene.

The genre piece "Sympathy For Gatsby" is meant to represent in a unique way part of the relationship between the two characters Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway of the novel
The Great Gatsby.


Quick References

The Lost Generation: http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/departments/hpolscrv/jbolhofer.html

The Jazz Age: http://reading.cornell.edu/reading_project_06/gatsby/jazz_age.htm

Life in the Middle West: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/umhtml/umhome.html

By: Pat Clare

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