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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

By Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II
1927

A heartbreaker if ever there was one, this is probably the most well-known song from the immortal musical Showboat, usually cited as the first modern musical. Kern incorporates blues into his melody, and Hammerstein weaves a melancholy lyric about loving someone who may not necessarily deserve it. In the 1920-40s, it was closely associated with Helen Morgan, who originally introduced it. Some controversy has hovered over the lyric, which does allude to negative African American stereotypes.

Lyrics:

Oh listen sister,
I love my mister man,
And I can't tell you' why.
Dere ain't no reason
Why I should love dat man.
It mus' be sumpin dat de angels done plan.

De chimney's smokin'
De roof is leakin' in,
But he don't seem to care.
Dere ain't no reason why I should love dat man.

Fish got to swim, birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die.
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy, (maybe I know).
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

When he goes away,
Dat's a rainy day,
And when he comes back dat day is fine,
De sun will shine!
He kin come home as late as can be,
Home without him ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Lena Horne
Barbra Streisand
Ava Gardner
Maude Maggart

2 comments:

emma wallace said...

Oh, this song is so perfectly tragic. I get a lump in my throat when I hear just the tune.

B-Sol said...

Maude Maggart's live version will absolutely break your heart.

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