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Friday, July 17, 2009

Mack the Knife

By Kurt Weill & Marc Blitzstein
1928/1954

German composer Weill originally wrote this song for the 1928 Bertolt Brecht musical drama Die Dreigroschenoper, known in English as The Threepenny Opera. In fact, it was Brecht himself who provided the original German lyrics. Some 25 years later, an English translation by Blitzstein would be introduced as a jazz standard by Louis Armstrong. To this day, the most famous rendition of this swinging pop masterpiece is that of Bobby Darrin.

Lyrics:

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear,
And it shows them pearly white.
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe,
And he keeps it out of sight.

Ya know when that shark bites with his teeth, babe,
Scarlet billows start to spread.
Fancy gloves, oh, wears old MacHeath, babe,
So there's never a trace of red.

Now on the sidewalk, sunny mornin',
Lies a body just oozin' life.
And someone's sneakin' 'round the corner.
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

There's a tugboat, down by the river don'tcha know,
Where a cement bag just a'droopin' on down
Oh, that cement is just, it's there for the weight, dear.
Five'll get ya ten old Macky's back in town.

Now d'ja hear 'bout Louie Miller? He disappeared, babe,
After drawin' out all his hard-earned cash.
And now MacHeath spends just like a sailor.
Could it be our boy's done somethin' rash?

Now Jenny Diver, Sukey Tawdry.
Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown.
Oh, the line forms on the right, babe,
Now that Macky's back in town!

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Frank Sinatra
Michael Buble
The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Wayne Newton

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