In Reply to: It aint over till the fat lady sings posted by Brian from Shawnee on May 07, 2010 at 16:00:
: : A phrase used all the time now is 'it aint over till the fat lady sings.'
: : This makes no sense in operatic terms since the fat lady usually sang in the first act. I heard the phrase originally as: it 'aint over till the fat lady dies'. This is more usual in opera and makes sense. Does anyone else remember the original?
: I can picture Moe waking Curly up with a sharp elbow to the ribs, saying "All right, the fat lady's dead; let's scram" but I'm having a hard time picturing a scenario where someone would teach a budding opera buff that the way you know when it's over is when the fat lady dies. Then again I don't know any opera buffs and maybe they're more earthy than I thought.
[It doesn't have to make sense to a wise opera-goer, but it makes perfect sense to the boyfriend or husband dragged along and just willing to put up with a couple of hours of such entetainment. Picture it through his eyes: curtain up, the whole company marches onto the stage, outlandishly costumed; he marks one, a fat lady in a white bathrobe with a gold rope around the equator; he doesn't know the word "supernumerary"; she's wearing a horned helmet and carrying a spear: she looks important; moreover she fits his image of an opera star. Everyone on stage is singing; he waits for her to step forward and go into her solo - but instead, the chorus ending, another cast of characters enter and start batting tunes back and forth. The chorus springs back to life, but only for a moment; then the fat lady scoots off and her pals with her. These other characters make eyes at each other; they have a lot to sing about, supposedly; sometimes they wave swords or pose on the picturesque rocks. The poor gentleman in the audience settles in for the duration; a blurry lifetime later, girlfriend or wife elbows him into alertness: he focuses on the stage. Is it over yet? No. "It ain't over till the fat lady sings." - Bac.]