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Rich or poor, it’s good/nice to have money
Posted: 09 February 2012 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This phrase, “Rich or poor, it’s good/nice to have money” appears in either version in a number of places, but no origin or source seems to be quoted.

Anyone have a substantive clue?

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Posted: 09 February 2012 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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aldiboronti will probably come up with something, from Horace, or Pope, or Oscar Wilde.

Welcome to this forum, dnardi.

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Posted: 09 February 2012 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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From p. 13 of This Is the Indian American by Louisa Rossiter Shotwell (Friendship Press, 1955): “the motto on the living room wall of Li’l Abner Yokum’s home has it, ‘Whether you’re rich or poor, it’s nice to have money.’”

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Posted: 09 February 2012 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Horace, or Pope, or Oscar Wilde.

Or Al Capp, one of that crowd. ;) (Assuming Shotwell’s attribution is correct.)

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Posted: 09 February 2012 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I know, it’s only a snippet view, but in Off-Mike: Radio Writing by the Nation’s Top Radio Writers by Jerome Lawrence (Editor and contributor), & others, 1944, on page 17, the following words appear:

And now, ladies and gentlemen, may I leave you with this thought for the day. Whether you’re rich, or whether you’re poor ... it’s always good to have money.

[ellipsis is in the original]

This appears to be from a radio show, sometime before ~1944.

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Posted: 09 February 2012 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Interesting.  At the risk of making a self evident (and perhaps not interesting) observation, it seems plausible either that the radio show host was borrowing a line from li’l abner (which I believe began publication in 1934) or li’l Abner borrowed it from the radio show.  Or the li’l Abner attribution could simply be false.

Speaking of false attributions, I found a reference to the quote in Connecticut libraries, volume 21-22, which attributes it to WC Fields, without a specific citation.  (google books lists he publication date as 1979, but that is probably just for volume one, and I can’t tell if it is a monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. publication).  But a quick poke around google suggests that what wc fields actually said was “a rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.”.

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Posted: 09 February 2012 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Bravo, languagehat. I’m sure dnardi will be surprised and delighted. I hope such a prompt response doesn’t awaken over-optimistic expectations with regard to this site.
And I don’t see why Al Capp shouldn’t indeed be bracketed with people like Horace and Pope --- he was a great and witty commentator on human frailty, whose good humor (unlike that of some humorists) was never poisoned by excess acid.

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Posted: 10 February 2012 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Or, as Mammy Yokum said, “Good is better than evil ‘cause it’s nicer.”

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Posted: 10 February 2012 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Or the li’l Abner attribution could simply be false.

It could be, of course, but the specificity of the phrase “the motto on the living room wall of Li’l Abner Yokum’s home” (as opposed to, say, “as Li’l Abner used to say") is reasonably convincing to me.  Needless to say, I’d like to see an actual strip for confirmation.

And I don’t see why Al Capp shouldn’t indeed be bracketed with people like Horace and Pope—he was a great and witty commentator on human frailty, whose good humor (unlike that of some humorists) was never poisoned by excess acid.

I’ll drink to that!

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Posted: 10 February 2012 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Pass ‘round the jug of Kickapoo Joy Juice!

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Posted: 10 February 2012 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Ah cain’t resisk!!!

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Posted: 10 February 2012 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m positive that Horace himself would put his Falernian wine to one side and raise a bumper of Kickapoo to a fellow spirit! (Anyone recall Fearless Fosdick? Funniest strip ever!)

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Posted: 11 February 2012 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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"Fosdick! We thought you were dead!”
“I was—but it didn’t prove fatal. Only a mild case.”

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Posted: 11 February 2012 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Off topic, I remember a Bette Midler film in which she said something like ‘We’ll be farting through silk soon’ probably an old saying but new to me at the time. And ‘I’m as happy as Beulah the cow’ in a film in which she played hick and city twins, maybe the same film. (Swift googling says Beulah is part of an American cartoon cow family devised to promote a dairy company’s products). Great expressions.
Reminds me of ‘My country, right or wrong’ but not too much.

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Posted: 11 February 2012 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The first one is reminiscent of the better-known “shitting in high cotton.”

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Posted: 11 February 2012 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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A previous discussion of “farting through silk”.

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