Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Infrequently,

you look something up you think is going to be pretty simple, and what you find is rather astonishing.  The viral video of the guy dancing on the walking machine in the gym to Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife" caused me to wonder about the history of the song. The lyrics have always seemed a little - poetically mysterious? - to me, for a Rat Pack song about a mafia hit man, which was what I thought it was. Hoo boy, was I wrong...

Culture...it's what you're soaked in and don't even know it.

Lyrics:

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
      And it shows them pearly white
      Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe
      And he keeps it … ah … out of sight.

      Ya know when that shark bites, with his teeth, babe
      Scarlet billows start to spread
      Fancy gloves, though, wears old MacHeath, babe
      So there’s nevah, nevah a trace of red.

      Now on the sidewalk … uuh, huh … whoo … sunny mornin’ … uuh, huh
      Lies a body just oozin' life … eeek!
      And someone’s sneakin' ‘round the corner
      Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

      A-there's a tugboat … huh, huh, huh … down by the river don’tcha know
      Where a cement bag’s just a'droopin' on down
      Oh, that cement is just, 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
      And now MacHeath spends just like a sailor
      Could it be our boy's done somethin' rash?

      Now … Jenny Diver … ho, ho … yeah … 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.

      Aah … I said Jenny Diver … whoa … Sukey Tawdry
      Look out to Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown
      Yes, that line forms on the right, babe
      Now that Macky’s back in town …

      Look out … old Macky is back!!

1 comment:

sueo2 said...

It's me SueO2 ... I always thought this song was about Jack the Ripper. Aren't the women he mentions the ones killed?

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