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Monday, July 20, 2009

Alexander's Ragtime Band

By Irving Berlin
1911

This was the first hit song for Berlin, and is even cited by some as the official beginning of the era of the Great American Songbook. Although it borrows from the African-American idioms of ragtime, it is not itself a rag tune. It does, however, hold the distinction of charting in five different decades, from the 1910s through the 1950s. It was introduced in Chicago by vaudeville singer Emma Carus.

Lyrics:

Oh, ma hon-ey, oh, ma hon-ey, bet-ter hur-ry and let's me-an-der
Ain't you go-in'? Ain't you go-in'? To the lea-der-man, rag-ged me-ter man?
Oh, ma hon-ey, oh, ma hon-ey, Let me take you to Al-ex-an-der's
Grand stand brass band, ain't you com-in' a-long?

CHORUS:
Come on and hear! Come on and hear! Al-ex-an-der's rag-time band!
Come on and hear! Come on and hear! It's the best band in the land!
They can play a bu-gle call like you nev-er heard be-fore
So nat-u-ral that you want to go to war
That's just the best-est band what am, ma hon-ey lamb
Come on a-long, come on a-long, let me take you by the hand
Up to the man, up to the man, who's the lead-er of the band
And if you care to hear the Swa-nee Riv-er played in rag-time
Come on and hear, come on and hear,
Al-ex-an-der's Rag-Time Band.

VERSE 2:
Come and listen to the wonderful sound, hear the music that is sweapin the town, You'll soon be tappin your feet to a new kind of beat that keeps u happy all day long i love to her that banjo strimmin eith to that bar, ragtime music is the greatest by far, so come and see, you'll soon agree they are best in the land. Come on lets give em a hand

CHORUS:
Come on and hear! Come on and hear! Al-ex-an-der's rag-time band!
Come on and hear! Come on and hear! It's the best band in the land!
They can play a bu-gle call like you nev-er heard be-fore
So nat-u-ral that you want to go to war
That's just the best-est band what am, oh, ma hon-ey lamb
Come on a-long, come on a-long, let me take you by the hand
Up to the man, up to the man, who's the lead-er of the band
And if you care to hear the Swa-nee Riv-er played in rag-time
Come on and hear, come on and hear,
Al-ex-an-der's Rag-Time Band

Recorded By:

Al Jolson
Julie Andrews
Ray Charles
The Andrew Sisters
Bessie Smith

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