IS HE THE ONLY MAN IN THE WORLD

Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
Mr. President
From the musical comedy “Mr. President” with Robert Ryan and Nanette Fabray. Nell (the First Lady) sings this to her daughter Leslie who is in love with Youssein Davair, who works in his country’s embassy in Washington. His country and the U.S. are both democracies, he insists, and just as Leslie’s father is president, so is his father the president–for the past twenty-seven years.

The lyrics can be read on two levels: first, an anxious mother doesn’t want her daughter to rush into an affair that she might regret; and second, an American mother doesn’t want her daughter involved with a Middle Eastern man. In the second act the second reading turns out to be determinative: Leslie has dumped Youssein and “at last” discovered that her Secret Service agent, Pat Gregory, is “The Only Man in the World–I’m Gonna Get Him,” “as a true member of her sex.”

[Information and quotes from the LP liner notes on the book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.]

Is he/she the only man/woman in the world
That you will always love and adore?
Look just as good to you in the morning
As he/she did the night before?
Out of a hundred million or two
Is he/she the only one for you?
If he’s/she’s the only man/girl in the world,
Come rain or shine
Then he’s/she’s a man//girl like mine.

IS HE THE ONLY MAN IN THE WORLD