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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shaking the Blues Away

By Irving Berlin 1927

A lively, irresistible dance number that's the epitome of the Roaring '20s. It was written for Ruth Etting, perhaps the era's top female vocalist. She introduced it onstage in the Ziegfeld Follies, and recorded it soon after. It was revived 20 years later by Ann Miller in the movie Easter Parade. The original lyrics, though meant light-heartedly, are a tad racially insensitive by modern standards, and so have been slightly altered in later years.

Lyrics:

There's an old superstition 'way down south
Ev'ry darkie believes that trouble won't stay
If you shake it away
When they hold a revival way down south
Ev'ry darkie with care and trouble that day
Tries to shake it away

Shaking the blues away, unhappy news away
If you are blue, it's easy to
Shake off your cares and troubles

Telling the blues to go, they may refuse to go
But as a rule, they'll go if you'll
Shake them away

Do like the darkies do, list'ning to a preacher way down south
They shake their bodies so, to and fro
With every shake, a lucky break

Proving that there's a way to chase your cares away
If you would lose your weary blues
Shake them away

I gotta blues, you gotta blues
All God's chillun gotta blues
Come and join a rebel and we'll shake off the devil
And we'll shake all over God's Heaven, Heaven, Heaven
Anyone objectin' to shakin' ain't going there, Heaven, Heaven
Gonna shake all over God's Heaven
I gotta shake, you gotta shake
All God's chillun gotta shake, shake, shake
Nothing could be sweeter than to shake with Saint Peter
When we shake all over God's Heaven, Heaven, Heaven
Anyone objectin' to shakin' ain't going there, Heaven, Heaven
Gonna shake all over God's Heaven

Recorded By:

Doris Day
Maude Maggart
Paul Whiteman
Harry Reser's Syncopaters
Irving Berlin

1 comment:

emma wallace said...

This song totally gets caught in my head!

I always find it a shame when a song/film/book has culturally insensitive subject matter but is otherwise great.

iamemmamusic.blogspot.com

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