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Mack The Knife
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I've loved this song since I was 8 years old. I figured "WTH, why not give it a shot?" And it has a fascinating story.... This song was originally from "The Threepenny Opera", a German opera first staged in 1928. It was co-written by Bertolt Brech
Free
Jazz - Cover Songs
Charts #15 in subgenre today (peak #2)
Previous peak charts position #17
Brecht/Weil
January 08, 2020
MP3 7.9 MB
320 kbps bitrate
FLAC 26.2 MB
3:27 minutes
Story behind the song
I've loved this song since I was 8 years old. I figured "WTH, why not give it a shot?" And it has a fascinating story.... This song was originally from "The Threepenny Opera", a German opera first staged in 1928. It was co-written by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weil. The lyrics were revised and Americanized in 1954 by Marc Bliztstein. When Louis Armstrong recorded the song he added the name of Lotte Lenya, who was a German actress (Colonel Klebb in From Russia With Love) married to Weil and who happened to be in the studio that day representing his interests. During the recording Armstrong forgot one of the names he was supposed to sing (Polly Peacham) so he inserted Lotte Lenya, whom he had just met. The song then became a #1 hit for Bobby Darin in 1959, who recorded it against the wishes of his record company. He was that kind of guy... Another interesting note: the engineer on Darrin's recording was Tom Dowd, one of the most innovative and influential recording engineers and producers in history. And if you listen to the original recording (which this arrangement pretty much duplicates), you can hear all the influences, from the oompah of the 20s German opera to the Jazz and Swing of the 30s (when the song first became popular in America) to Big Band, Blues, and beyond. It's really pretty amazing.
Lyrics
Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear And it shows them pearly white Just a jackknife has MacHeath, babe And it keeps it way out of sight When that shark bites with his teeth, dear Scarlet billows begin to spread Fancy gloves, wears old MacHeath, babe So there's never, never a trace of red On the sidewalk, one Sunday mornin Lies a body oozin' life Someone's sneakin' round that corner Could that someone be Mack the Knife? Oh there's a tugboat down, down by the river dontcha know Where a cement bag's just a'drooppin' on down That cement's there, it's there for the weight, dear Five'll get ya ten old Macky's back in town Now d'ja hear 'bout Louie Miller? He disappeared, babe After drawin' out all his hard-earned cash Now MacHeath spends, he spends like a sailor Could that boy have done somethin' rash? Ahhhh Jenny Diver, ho, Sukey Tawdry Ooh, Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown Oh, the line forms on the right, babe Now that Macky's back in town I said Jenny Diver, whoa, Sukey Tawdry Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown Oh, the line forms on the right, babe Now that Macky's back in town Look out, old Macky is back!
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