Song Lyrics From Around The World

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PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ From the film "Puttin' On The Ritz" (1930) (Irving Berlin) Harry Richman (Film Soundtrack) - 1930 Earl Burtnett & His Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel Orch. - 1930 Leo Reisman & His Orch. (vocal: Lew Conrad) - 1930 Fred Astaire - 1930 Jan Garber & His Jazz Band 1930 Ben Selvin & His Orch. - 1930 Clark Gable (feat. in the film "Idiot's Delight") - 1939 Benny Goodman & His Orch. - 1939 Fred Astaire (feat. in the film "Blue Skies") - 1946 Ella Fitzgerald - 1958 Judy Garland - 1960 diana Trask - 1961 Mel Tormé - 1962 Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen - 1962 André Previn Trio - 1963 Gene Wilder & Peter Boyle (feat. in the film "Young Frankenstein") - 1974 Nancy Harrow - 1979 Taco Ockerse - 1983 Neil Diamond - 1998 Patrice Williamson - 2001 Also recorded by: Ray Anthony; Irving Berlin; Bing Crosby; Scooter Lee; Alfredo & His Band; Kenny Baker; The Swingle Singers; Margie Gibson; Johnny Mathis; The Pasadena Roof Orch; Stéphane Grappelli:................. and many others. Have you seen the well-to-do Up and down Park Avenue On that famous thoroughfare With their noses in the air High hats and arrowed collars Wide spats and lots of dollars Spending every dime For a wonderful time If you're blue and you don't know Where to go to, why don't you go Where fashion sits Puttin' on the Ritz Different types, who wear a day coat Pants with stripes, and cut away coat Perfect fits Puttin' on the Ritz Dressed up like a million dollar trooper Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper Super-duper! Come, let's mix where Rockerfellers Walk with sticks, or umber-ellas In their mitts Puttin' on the Ritz Spangled gowns upon a beauty Of hand-me-downs, on clown and cutie All misfits Puttin' on the Ritz Strolling up the avenue so happy All dressed up just like an English chappie Very snappy! You'll declare it's simply topping To be there, and hear them swapping Smart tidbits Puttin' on the Ritz Puttin' on the Ritz Puttin' on the Ritz ****** ALTERNATE VERSE: Tips his hat just like an English chappie To a lady with a wealthy pappy Very Snappy! ****** IRVING BERLIN'S ORIGINAL LYRICS The original version of Berlin's song referred to the then-popular fad of well-to-do white New Yorkers visiting African American jazz music venues in Harlem. Berlin later revised the lyrics because of the racial references and to make it more generally applicable to going out on the town in style: Have you seen the well-to-do Up on Lennox Avenue On that famous thoroughfare With their noses in the air High hats and arrow collars White spats and fifteen dollars Spending ev'ry dime For a wonderful time If you're blue and You don't know where to go to Why don't you go where Harlem sits Puttin' on the Ritz Spangled gowns upon the bevee of high browns From down the levee All misfits Puttin' on the Ritz That's where each and ev'ry Lulu-Belle goes Ev'ry Thursday evening with her swell beaus Rubbing elbows Come with me and we'll attend The jubilee, and see them spend Their last two bits Puttin' on the Ritz ** Some lyric explanations: Lennox Avenue - A main thoroughfare in Harlem. High browns - A variation of the phrase "high yellow", referring to someone of mixed racial background, usually with the inference that they're putting on airs beyond their social station. Lulu-Belle - A generic nickname for a black maid. Ev'ry Thursday evening - Typically, the maid's night off. (Contributed by Debbie Davis - August 2002) ******

    


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