George M. Cohan (1878-1942) racked up an amazing number of accomplishments in his lifetime. As a spectacularly-successful singer, dancer, actor, playwright, composer, lyricist, and theatrical producer, he rightfully earned his reputation as “the man who owned Broadway.” His 8-foot bronze statue in Times Square is the only statue of an actor on Broadway. In 1940, he became the first entertainer to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. His amazing life was dramatized in the musical biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Despite the success of this actor who lived in the public eye, he remained quite comfortable in his own skin. This fact is evidenced in one of his lesser-known works, the poem “Myself and Me.”
I’m the best pal that I ever had.
I like to be with me.
I like to sit and tell myself
I often sit and ask me
If I shouldn’t or I should
And I find that my advice to me
Is always pretty good.
I never got acquainted with myself
Till here of late.
And I find myself a bully chum,
I treat me simply great.
I talk with me and walk with me
And show me right and wrong.
I never knew how well myself
And me could get along.
I never try to cheat me.
I’m as truthful as can be.
No matter what may come or go
I’m on the square with me.
It’s great to know yourself
And have a pal that’s all your own,
To be such company for yourself
You’re never left alone.
You’ll try to dodge the masses
And you’ll find a crowd’s a joke.
If you only treat yourself
As well as you treat other folk.
I’ve made a study of myself
Compared with me the lot,
And I’ve finally concluded
I’m the best friend that I’ve got.
Just get together with yourself
And trust yourself with you,
And you’ll be surprised how well
Yourself will like you if you do.
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