Friday, February 09, 2007

Paudcah

The one thing that holds The Gang's All Here back from being a perfect Busby Berkeley musical is that the songs are not up to the standard of his WB movies. As at WB, he had one of America's greatest melodists, the inexhaustible Harry Warren. Warren had broken up with his WB lyricist, Al Dubin, but his partner on The Gang's All Here was one of the best lyricists in Hollywood, Leo Robin. But somehow neither man came up with his best work in this movie; there are some good songs, including one hit ("No Love, No Nothin'," a ballad about women on the homefront whose men have gone off to fight).

But the score contains a lot more duds than usual for either of these songwriters; the songs for Carmen Miranda aren't as good as the ones Warren had written for her in previous movies, the "Polka Dot Polka" is kind of dumb, and the two songs for Benny Goodman's band aren't very good, though admittedly they aren't helped any by the fact that Goodman sings them himself. In fact, "Paducah" may be Robin's worst lyric, and for that reason it's often cited as one of the worst songs in any musical (I don't agree, because Warren's tune is pretty catchy).


Paducah, Paducah,
If you wanna, you can rhyme it with bazooka,
Bu you can't pooh-pooh Paducah,
That's another name for Paradise.
Paducah, Paducah,
Kust a pretty little city in Kentucky,
But to me it rhymes with lucky,
When I'm lookin' into two blue eyes.
Tulip time,
They get excited over tulip time,
But I'm delighted over julep time,
Because I happen to love
A resident of
Paducah, Paducah,
If you wanna, you can rhyme it with bazooka,
But you can't pooh-pooh Paducah,
That's another name for Paradise.


1 comment:

Dame Palula Cork said...

I just played Paducah on Community Radio here in Tasmania, and we all loved it, plus The lady With The Tutti Frutti hat, and the New Yorkl Song, Carmen did. I know it is trashy, but hey what fun, and carmen is such an icon, and benny Goodman is great singing Minnies in the Money and paducah. Sorry to disagree, but in these troubled times, like back then, hey what a joy of fun.