Working with lyricist Dorothy Fields was a major joy and surprise
for me. When I met her, she was in her sixties and reminded me a
little of Lillian Hellman. She was tough, all business, and could
meet a crisis with the best of them. She was the exception to the
rule I mentioned before about lyricists. It was easier for her to
rewrite a song than to fight for one. And took less time. What I
didnt know about her was that she was fond of a drink at dinner.
She was even fonder of two or three drinks even without dinner.
When she appeared at the theater every night for the evening performance,
she was dressed in her Park Avenue best, always looking elegant.
She didnt stand too well, however, as a result of a martini
or two, and often leaned on a friendly arm or a bannister to give
her balance, although she never lost her dignity. Be that as it
may, at nine oclock in the morning she was fresh, alert, and
had already written a new set of lyrics that would knock your socks
off. Whether it was a ballad or a comedy song, she always delivered
overnight and first-class. I'm sorry I only had one opportunity
to work with her.