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Monday, September 27, 2010

Pretty Baby

By Tony Jackson, Gus Kahn & Egbert Van Alstyne
1916

A gem of a tune from the height of the ragtime era, this song originated in Jackson's stage repertoire as early as 1912. It was rumored to have actually been written as a tribute to a male lover, certainly a rarity for a pop song of the time. Later, when the song was published, Tin Pan Alley stalwarts Kahn and Van Alstyne made some alterations, including a bridge and less risque lyrics. Among American standards, it is one of those most strongly associated with the World War I/Ragtime years...

Lyrics:

You ask me why I'm always teasing you,
You hate to have me call you Pretty Baby;
I really thought that I was pleasing you,
For you're just a baby to me.
Your cunning little dimples and your baby stare,
Your baby talk and baby walk and curly hair;
Your baby smile makes life worth while,
You're just as sweet as you can be.

Your mother says you were the cutest kid;
No wonder, dearie, that I'm wild about you,
And all the cunning things you said and did.
Why, I love to fondly recall,
Ann just like Peter Pan, it seems you'll always be
The same sweet, cunning, Little Baby dear to me.
And that is why I'm sure that I will always love you best of all.

Everybody loves a baby that's why I'm in love with you,
Pretty Baby, Pretty Baby;
And I'd to be your sister, brother, dad and mother too,
Pretty Baby, Pretty Baby.
Won't you come and let me rock you in my cradle of love,
And we'll cuddle all the time.
Oh! I want a Lovin' Baby and it might as well be you,
Pretty Baby of mine.

Recorded By:

Al Jolson
Leon Redbone
Dean Martin
Bing Crosby
Billy Murray

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love finding songs that were recorded in the twenties, forties, and sixties. A nice stong meloday like Pretty Baby sounds great in Traditional Jazz style, Swing, and in the swinging' 60's_style.

B-Sol said...

It really is an irresistible song.

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