Daily Archives: Agost 26, 2018

Puttin’ On The Ritz – Música

“Puttin’ On the Ritz” is a song written by Irving Berlin. He wrote it in May 1927 and first published it on December 2, 1929. It was registered as an unpublished song August 24, 1927 and again on July 27, 1928. It was introduced by Harry Richman and chorus in the musical film Puttin’ On the Ritz (1930). According to The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, this was the first song in film to be sung by an interracial ensemble. The title derives from the slang expression “to put on the Ritz”, meaning to dress very fashionably. The expression was inspired by the opulent Ritz Hotel.
Hit phonograph records of the tune in its original period of popularity of 1929–1930 were recorded by Harry Richman and by Fred Astaire, with whom the song is particularly associated. Every other record label had their own version of this popular song (Columbia, Brunswick, Victor, and all of the dime store labels). Richman’s Brunswick version of the song became the number-one selling record in America.

1930 HITS ARCHIVE: Puttin’ On The Ritz – Harry Richman

Fred Astaire – Puttin On the Ritz

Puttin’ On The Ritz [Song by Irving Berlin] 1930

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.

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