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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Anything You Can Do

By Irving Berlin
1946

We continue the week-long 125th birthday celebration of Berlin with one of his most enduring hits, a classic number from Annie Get Your Gun (one of many!) Written as an ornery duet between Ethel Merman and Ray Middleton, it has lived on in countless versions over the years, ranging from Barbara Walters and Howard Cosell on SNL to Merman and Miss Piggy on The Muppet Show. Even rapper J. Cole used the famous opening verse in a recent recording. A truly transcendent example of the power of Berlin as a composer. Not just a duet, this is the duet.

Lyrics: 

Anything you can do,
I can do better.
I can do anything
Better than you.

No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can,
Yes, I can!

Anything you can be
I can be greater.
Sooner or later,
I'm greater than you.

No, you're not. Yes, I am.
No, you're not. Yes, I am.
No, you're NOT!. Yes, I am.
Yes, I am!

I can shoot a partridge
With a single cartridge.
I can get a sparrow
With a bow and arrow.
I can live on bread and cheese.
And only on that?
Yes.
So can a rat!
Any note you can reach
I can go higher.
I can sing anything
Higher than you.
No, you can't. (High)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I CAN! (Highest)

Anything you can buy
I can buy cheaper.
I can buy anything
Cheaper than you.

Fifty cents?
Forty cents! Thirty cents?
Twenty cents! No, you can't!
Yes, I can,
Yes, I can!
Anything you can say
I can say softer.
I can say anything
Softer than you.
No, you can't. (Softly)
Yes, I can. (Softer) No, you can't. (Softer)
Yes, I can. (Softer) No, you can't. (Softer)
Yes, I can. (Softer)
YES, I CAN! (Full volume)
I can drink my liquor
Faster than a flicker.
I can drink it quicker
And get even sicker!
I can open any safe.
Without bein' caught?
Sure.
That's what I thought--
you crook!
Any note you can hold
I can hold longer.
I can hold any note
Longer than you.

No, you can't.
Yes, I can No, you can't.
Yes, I can No, you can't.
Yes, I can
Yes, I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I No, you C-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-N'T--
CA-A-A-A-N! (Cough, cough!)
Yes, you ca-a-a-an!

Anything you can wear
I can wear better.
In what you wear
I'd look better than you.
In my coat?
In your vest! In my shoes?
In your hat! No, you can't!
Yes, I can
Yes, I CAN!
Anything you say
I can say faster.
I can say anything
Faster than you.
No, you can't. (Fast)
Yes, I can. (Faster) No, you can't. (Faster)
Yes, I can. (Faster) Noyoucan't. (Faster)
YesIcan! (Fastest)
I can jump a hurdle.
I can wear a girdle.
I can knit a sweater.
I can fill it better!
I can do most anything!
Can you bake a pie? No.
Neither can I.
Anything you can sing
I can sing sweeter.
I can sing anything
Sweeter than you.
No, you can't. (Sweetly)
Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can't. (Sweeter)
Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can't. (Sweeter)
Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can't, can't, can't (sweeter)
Yes, I can, can, can (Sugary)

Yes, I can! No, you can't!

Recorded By:

Doris Day & Robert Goulet
Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney
Bernadette Peters & Tom Wopat
Mary Martin & John Raitt
Judy Garland & Howard Keel

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