Irving Berlin Was Baline

Tune: Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine"

Irving Berlin was "Baline,"
Till somebody's typographical error.
But did Irving gripe? Or tremble in terror?
Or write to The Times? Or erupt in spleen?

He said, "When in Rome, go with the flow,"
And then he went home and started composing;
And, when he was done, signed it, in closing,
Irving Berlin—not Baline.

The fortunes of war reward the deserving,
Especially when something's at stake.
A misspelled name we might have found unnerving;
Berlin was unswerving—Irving was jake.

The moral's as clear as aquamarine:
When someone drives up in a hearse, make certain you're busy,
And don't make a snag any worse by having a tizzy
Or causing one hell of a scene.

Is it Irving Berlin–or Baline?
Is his handle the former name, or still the latter?
If his music remains the same, then what does it matter
Whether Berlin is Baline?

By becoming Berlin, this Baline showed the way:
Always dare to drink deep, and scorn delirium tremens.
So if Life, some delightful morn, offers you lemons,
Simply make lemonade—and mix it with gin;
Make a Berlin from Baline.
Make like Berlin-slash-Baline!