I was listening to the extended version of “If I Only Had a Brain” the other day (it's the version that didn't make it into the film, with an extended instrumental bit (while the Scarecrow dances) followed by a final verse), and I was struck by the ending, in which the Scarecrow sings:
And perhaps I'll deserve ya
And be even worthy erve ya
If I only had a brain.
My first thought was (as usual when I hear that verse) that it seemed odd to me that both this song and “If I Only Had the Nerve” would involve Brooklynesque accents, though I'm not clear on whether the latter was written intentionally that way or not, and I suppose that a song that rhymes “nuffin” with “stuffin'” may stretch pronunciation in all sorts of ways for a rhyme.
But that wasn't sufficient reason for a blog entry. The reason I'm posting this is my second thought, which was:
Is he courting Dorothy?
I mean, doesn't “deserve you” and ”worthy of you” sound like he's talking about romance? And there's nobody else around. There's Toto, and a crow—but I just checked the video (the extended number is an extra on the Blu-ray of the movie), and he sings those lines looking directly at Dorothy.
So what's that all about? There's no hint of anything romancey in the presentation of those lines, and I don't think we're meant to assume the Scarecrow is romancing her (Garland was 16, but I think Dorothy was meant to be younger), but I'm having a hard time interpreting the words any other way.