What does the word “tinpantithesis” mean in Cole Porter’s song “It’s Delovely”?

I am wondering what the definition of "tinpantithesis" is…I’m doing the musical "Anything Goes" and my character sings the Cole Porter song "It’s Delovely". It is killing me that I don’t know what this means..I mean I can kind of figure it out in the context that it is in but I don’t think it’s a real word and am wondering where it originated from. I can’t find it in the dictionary.

I feel the sudden urge to sing

The kind of ditty that envokes the spring

So control your desire to curse

While I crucify the verse

This verse I’ve started seems to be

The tinpantithesis of melody

So to spare you all that pain

I’ll skip the darn thing

And sing the refrain

4 Answers

  • Hi.. it’s a made up word.. just like ‘delovely!’ It’s got to be from ‘Tin Pan Alley.’ Once you’ve read the history of Tin Pan Alley below, you’ll understand the play on the word "antithesis."

    No shortcuts here.. it’s part of the texture of American music… read:)

    And this is from a course reference in American music at Brown University:

    Furia, Philip, Poets of Tin Pan Alley:

    Ch. 1: Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah Love: Alley Standards

    Ch. 2: After the Ball: Early Alley

    Ch. 3: Ragged Meter Man: Irving Berlin

    Ch. 4: Ragged and Funny: Lyricists of the 1920s

    Ch. 5: Funny Valentine: Lorenz Hart

    Ch. 6: ‘S Wonderful: Ira Gershwin

    Ch. 7: The Tinpantithesis of Poetry: Cole Porter

    http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/University_Library…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tin_Pan_Alley

    http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/era_overview….

    http://www.parlorsongs.com/insearch/tinpanalley/ti…

    I hope that this helps and good luck with the play!

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  • Define Tin Pan Alley

  • I have no idea, but when I typed it into Google, a bunch of stuff came up. It wasn’t listed in a dictionary, or a musical dictionary. Whatever it is, you can buy it off of ebay.

    http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeed…

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