I've just read a couple of articles by P.G.Wodehouse about writing lyrics, in which he tries to explain 'why, when you see a librettist, he is generally lying on his back on the sidewalk with a crowd standing round, saying "Give him air."'
In one of these, he celebrates the rising popularity of Hawaii, 'with its
Now, I can easily imagine - though I never knew - that we've altered the way we pronounce 'Hawaii' in the last century, but how on earth was Plum pronouncing either 'saw' or 'more' so that they didn't rhyme? No matter how much of a strangulated 1920s voice I put on, I can't make them come out differently. Is it somehow related to a Michael Flanders joke I've never understood, in which he announces he's going to sing "an Edwardian -or 'Edwaardian'- song"? Did everyone in the first quarter of the century pronounce all their 'a's long? Does anyone know?