Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"It Ain't Over Till the Fat Lady Sings"

An expression in sports that "It ain't over till the fat lady sings," has been variously ascribed to Mike Ditka, Yogi Berra, or other sports raconteurs like Paul Finebaum. Anyway, this is a well-accepted axiom that only when the final score is tallied will the outcome be assured. It's like the old adage, "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."

What is referred to by this? Apparently, it's an operatic reference to the fourth part of  Der Ring des Neibelungen, called Götterdämmerung, which ends with a twenty minute aria by Brunnhilde. 

Brunnhilde is typically cast as a full-figured woman carrying a spear and shield, and wearing a DD- or larger-sized breastplate or sports bra and horned helmet. Because Der Ring des Neibelung seems to go on forever, it truly ain't over until the fat lady sings!

It's nice there is this unexpected link of sports with Germanic opera!



An air from another Wagnerian opera from the Ring cycle also made its appearance in an old war movie, Apocalypse Now:



Will horned helmets come back in style someday? This would be perfect for wear in Washington or Minneapolis. Or perhaps Spring Break attire for guys!

9 comments:

Cloudia said...

Vikings are hot right now. So yes to the horns (That pink P hat in demonstrations a variant?)
Thanks for the ACTUAL reference I never knew - and I am trivia maven as you know. Good one Angel

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

My buddy, Based Stick Man, and I will be wearing one of those helmets to the next Trump rally, looking for nice Antifa people to engage with.

~ D-FensDogG
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(Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

Birgit said...

Poor Brunnhilde will always be remembered as some fat babe singing:) I dressed like her for Halloween once and I read the epic saga. To me, this film is new since it was made post 1960:) My favourite operatic treatment of this is the one with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Mike said...

I don't think I've ever owned a horned helmet. So if you're looking to get me something for my birthday...

John Hill said...

I'm pretty sure that "Fat lady" is no longer an acceptable thing to say.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

John Hill, a lot of sports talk seems to be that way! I don't know how to put it in p.c. language.

Mariette said...

Now that's a long aria.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Brunnhilde herself could have been a sportswoman - maybe a wrestler. A little victory ditty after the bout would be preferable to a 20 minute aria.

Arlee Bird said...

There are a number of sayings like this one that I've heard all my life but never thought about the origin. I did know this had to do with opera though. I would have guessed it to have been something Groucho Marx would have said.

Apocalypse Now is one of my favorite movies and because of scenes like the one you referenced.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out