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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Can't Give You Anything but Love

By Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields

Some have claimed that this song was actually written by Fats Waller and his collaborator Andy Razaf, but this remains unproven. It was originally written as "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Lindy" in honor of Charles Lindburgh, but was dropped from the show in which it would have served that purpose. It was instead introduced in the all-black show Blackbird Revue. Today, many recall it from its unforgettable usage in the classic Grant/Hepburn screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby.


Gee but it's tough to be broke kid,
It's not a joke kid,
It's a curse.
My luck is changing it's gotten from simply rotten,
To something worse.
Who knows someday I will win too,
I'll begin to reach my pride.
Now that i see what our end is,
All can spend is just my time.

I can't give you anything but love, baby.
That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby.
Dream a while. Scheme a while.
We're sure to find,
Happiness, and I guess
all those things you've always pined for.

Gee I'd like to see you looking swell,
My little baby
Diamond bracelets Woolworth's doesn't sell, baby.
Till that lucky day you know darn well, baby,
I can't give you anything but love.

Recorded By:

Fats Waller
Ella Fitzgerald
Judy Garland
Doris Day
Louis Armstrong


Anonymous said...

In addition to I Can't Give You Anything but Love at Mickey's Birthday Party, I caught a raggy version of The Birthday Song, Darktown Strutter's Ball (tastefully without lyrics, although Mickey's minstrel roots are showing), and There's No Place Like Home. The final xylophone solo is a stumper, though. I thought it sounded a bit like the verse to Tiger Rag, but that's clutching at straws.

Fun fact for the musicians -- I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Pennies From Heaven, and Hoagy Carmichael's Riverboat Shuffle all use the same basic harmonic structure. If you play the three melodies simultaneously in the same key, well . . . I wouldn't exactly call it counterpoint, but it's a rather delightfully logical cacophony.

emma wallace said...

Ha! I do always think of Katherine Hepburn "singing" it!


B-Sol said...

Thanks for the info, Howard. Great stuff, I never realized the connection.
And Emma, Bringing Up Baby is without a doubt one of my favorite movies.

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