Mack The Knife (Marc Blitzstein/ Bertolt Brecht/ Kurt Weill)

Oh, the shark has pretty teeth, dear
And he shows 'em, pearly white
Just a jack knife has MacHeath, dear
And he keeps it, keeps it way out of sight

When that shark bites with his teeth, dear
Scarlet billows, they begin to spread
Fancy white gloves though has MacHeath, dear
So there's rarely, never one trace of red

On the sidewalk, one Sunday mornin'
Lies a body oozin' life
Someone's sneaking 'round the corner
Could that someone, perhaps, perchance, be Mack the Knife?

From a tugboat on the river goin' slow
A cement bag, it is dropping down
Yeah, the cement is just for the weight, dear
You can make a large bet MacHeath is back in town

My man Louie Miller, he split the scene, babe
After drawin' out all the bread from his stash
Now MacHeath spends just like a pimp, babe
Do you suppose that our boy, he did something rash?

Ah, old Satchmo, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darrin
They did this song nice, Lady Ella too
They all sang it, with so much feeling
That Old Blue Eyes, he ain't gonna add nothing new

But with Quincy's big band, right behind me
Swinging hard, Jack, I know I can't lose
When I tell you, all about Mack the Knife babe
It's an offer, you can never refuse

We got George Benson, we got Newman & Foster
We got the Brecker Brothers, and Hampton's bringing up the rear
All these bad cats, and more, are in the band now
They make the greatest sounds, you ever gonna hear

Hey Sookie Taudry, Jenny Diver, Polly Peachum, Old Miss Lulu Brown
Oh the line forms, on the right dear
Now that MacHeath, I mean that man MacHeath
Yeah he's bad, mercy mercy
Yeah he's badder than old Leroy Brown
You better lock your door, and call the law
Because MacHeath's, that bum,
He's back in town
--- to Japanese page

Yes, it's "Moritat" from Kurt Weill's "Threepenny Opera".
Louis Armstrong sang it with this title and did a big hit.
Bobby Darin also made anther hit, staying at the top chart more than one month.
And to the Jazz freaks, Sonny Rollins made it so famous on the masterpiece, "Saxophone Colossus".
Ella Fitzgerald is very famous with the song too. She forgot the lyric of 2nd chorus and sang it ad-lib on "Ella in Berlin", that is her best album.

Apr. 25 is birthday of Ella Fitzgerald.
She was born in Newport News, VA, 1917.

Ella I saw in Japan was at the Festival Hall in Osaka.
They sold 100 yen tickets for the very last row of the third flour. That was an epoch then. It was circa in 1961.
Ella had looked like this.
Backings are Tommy Flanagan, Jim Hall and Gus Johnson.
Who was on the bass? I wonder no bassist were there?
Does somebody know there?

The last time I saw Ella, she looked like this.
It was at the Osaka Castle Hall, accompanied with Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass. And maybe more?

I have found some nice snap-shots of Ella Fitz;
With Chick Webb Orch., young Ella smiles:
This is a famous photo that Ellington's listening to her singing. Benny Goodman is sitting by his right:
Ella with a mike, by Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson on the right corner:
With Ellington, shot at the airport:
The nice and rare shot of Sarah and Ella:

Here is a shot with Basie and Sinatra:
Ella with Monroe at a night club in LA.

This is a lithograph of Ella, done by Sam Nhlengethwa, a South-African-born artist.
Here is a portrait of Ella, painted by Miss Bruni.
The oil-painted Ella is by Klas Smeby.

She closed the life on Jun. 15, 1996, at her 76.

This site is Ella's official page.

Now, for this song:
1960; that famous Ella in Berlin sings with Paul Smith on piano.
1961; Ella on live in Berlin was recorded again with Peterson, Ray Brown and others.
Ella at Juan-Les-Pins sings in 1964.
Ella sings with Duke in 1966, at the Cote D'azur.
In Budapest, Ella does it in 1970.

This is the "Mac" Satchimo Louis Armstrong plays.

1956; Sonny Rollins blows Moritat. Great with Tommy Flanagan on piano.
Kenny Dorham does it on "Quiet Kenny", with Tommy Flanagan on piano.
Jessica Williams trios here.

Itzhak Perlman performs with Peterson.
Wayne Shorter does it so fine.
Ellington sounds so good.
Eddy Fisher here sings in Germany. It's a rare thing, right?
Caterina Valente also seems singing in Germany.

Ray Brown plays with Chris McBride and John Clayton, both on bass.

Recent one by Dee Dee Bridgewater is reminiscing Ella.

Bobby Darin sings a big hit of 59, arranged by Richard Wess.
* This site of YouTube shares Bobby's full singing.

And one more I've forgotten:
Andre Previn plays with J. J. Johnson in "Touch Of Elegance"(60).(added; 04/25/04)

Sinatra released four times.

04/16/84: Arr, Frank Foster
Only released on LP, "LA IS My Lady".

10/30/86: Arr, Frank Foster
"LA Is My Lady".
Orchestration of 1984 is reused.

04/18-19/85 in Japan

He sings it in the Budokan in Tokyo.
Released on DVD now.

"Duets II".
Sinatra duets with Jimmy Buffett. The words are different a bit from my top.
* Sinatra's vocals taken from a concert in Dec. 93.
(TK, 04/25/04)

Ella in Berlin, 1960, sings the 2nd chorus as following:

Oh, what's the next chorus?
To this song, now
This is the one, now
I don't know
But it was a swinging tune
And it's a hit tune
So we tried to do mack the knife

Ah, Louis Miller
Oh, something about cash
Yeah, Miller, he was spending that trash
And Macheath dear, he spends like a sailor
Tell me, tell me, tell me
Could that boy do, something rash

Oh Bobby Darin, and Louis Armstrong
They made a record, oh but they did
And now Ella, Ella, and her fellas
We're making a wreck, what a wreck
Of mack the knife

{Louis Armstrong imitation}
Oh snookie taudry, bah bah bah nop do bo de do
Bah bah bah nop do bo de do
Just a jack knife has macheath, dear
And do bo bo bah bah bah nop do bo de do

So, you've heard it
Yes, we've swung it
And we tried to
Yes, we sung it

You won't recognize it
It's a surprise hit
This tune, called mack the knife

And so we leave you, in berlin town
Yes, we've swung old mack
We've swung old Mack in town
For the Darin fans,
And for the Louis Armstrong fans, too
We told you look out, look out, look out
Old Macheath's back in town
(pasted from here)

* The front was pictured with Ella Fitzgerald.

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* Any errors, omissions or comments would be greatly appreciated. Please mail any to Taro Kimura ( ).