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Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)

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Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Aug 13 - 09:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Aug 13 - 09:58 PM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 13 - 04:50 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Aug 13 - 12:15 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Aug 13 - 11:16 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Aug 13 - 12:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Aug 13 - 02:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 13 - 03:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Aug 13 - 06:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Aug 13 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,Gerry 15 Aug 13 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Aug 13 - 02:02 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 13 - 02:19 AM
Seamus Kennedy 16 Aug 13 - 03:07 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Aug 13 - 05:30 AM
Will Fly 16 Aug 13 - 06:31 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Aug 13 - 09:44 PM

PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ
(Irving Berlin, 1929)

Have you seen the well-to-do
Upon Lennox Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare
With their noses in the air.

High hats and narrow collars
White spats and fifteen dollars
Spending every dime
For a wonderful time.

If you're blue
And you don't know where to go
Why don't you go where Harlem flits
Puttin' on the Ritz.
Spangled gowns upon the bevy of high browns from down the levy
All misfits
Puttin' on the Ritz.

That's where each and every lulu-belle goes
every Thursday evening with her swell beaus
Rubbin' elbows.

Come with me and we'll attend the jubilee
And see them spend
Their last two-bits
Puttin' on the Ritz.

(Boys, look at that man puttin' on the Ritz)
(You look at him, I can't)

If you're blue
And you don't know where to go
Why don't you go where Harlem flits
Puttin' on the Ritz.
Spangled gowns upon the bevy of
High browns from down the levy
All misfits
Puttin' on the Ritz.
That's where each and every lulu-belle goes
Every Thursday evening with her swell beaus
Rubbin' elbows

Come with me and we'll attend their jubilee
And see them spend
Their last two bits
Puttin' on the Ritz.

Come with me and we'll attend their jubilee
And see them spend
Their last two bits
Puttin' on the Ritz.

Sung by Harry Richman and Fred Astaire in 1929. Fred Astaire sang another version as well (to follow).


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Subject: ADD Version: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Aug 13 - 09:58 PM

PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ (2)
(Irving Berlin)
Sung by Fred Astaire

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, white spats and lots of dollars
Spending every dime, for a wonderful time
If you're blue and don't know where to go to
Why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the Ritz.

Different types who wear a daycoat, pants with stripes
and cut-away coat, perfect fits,
Puttin' on the Ritz.

Dressed up like a million-dollar trouper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
Come let's mix where Rockefeller's walk with sticks
Or umbrellas in their mitts
Puttin' on the Ritz.

Tips his hat just like an English chappie
To a lady with a wealthy pappy (very snappy)
You'll declare it's simply topping to be there
And hear them swapping smart tidbits
Puttin' on the Ritz.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 04:50 AM

Whenever I hear this song, I will think of the Mel Brooks movie, Young Frankenstein. The scene with this song (sung by the monster) was terrific.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 12:15 PM

lulu-belles- women whose appearance is noteworthy. A New York word, no longer used.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 11:16 AM

Q: How did you get those lyrics?by transcribing from the sheet music, or from a recording, or...?

The reason I ask: I wonder if it should be:

"high browns from down the levee"

But is there even a levee in New York? I have no idea.

Wikipedia tells me The Levee was a former red-light district in Chicago, but the song clearly describes New York. (Or is he talking about Chicagoans visiting New York?)

I'm pretty sure there are lots of Levys and Levis in New York, but I don't think that's what is meant!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 12:41 PM

"A levee, levée (/ˈlɛviː/; French: [ləˈve]), dike (or dyke), embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels." wikipedia.

There would have been one in any sea or river port: particularly where Mississippi steamboats would put in: whence it is, famously, where it will be great to be waiting by with Kate for the Robert E Lee.

(Waiting For The Robert E. Lee is an American popular song composed in 1912 by Lewis F. Muir and L. Wolfe Gilbert. The title refers to the steamboat of that name.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 02:33 PM

Jim- I used a lyrics site, but here it is from "The Complete Lyrics...." Kimball and Emmet: Sorry, I mis-spelled levee.

Spangled gowns upon a bevy
Of high browns from down the levee,
All misfits,....

Bloomberg proposes levees to protect NYC- news item, 2013

There are levees in New Jersey (North New Jersey esp.). Superstorm Sandy broke a New Jersey levee, damaging three towns.

New York also has levees on some rivers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 03:15 PM

I'd rather suspect it's shorthand for saying they hark back to New Orleans, or perhaps Missisippi.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 06:11 PM

McGrath, I suspect so too. Migrations from the south into the northern cities was strong after 1900.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 06:43 PM

Urban language- I have found lulu-belles defined as a generic term for Black maids at a couple of discussion sites. No quotes or information given to verify that.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 07:50 PM

Spelling alert --- it's Lenox Avenue, one "n", not two. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenox_Avenue

Also known, since 1987, as Malcolm X Boulevard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: GUEST,MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 02:02 AM

@Q: Your post interested me, so I googled ''lulu-belle slang'' and ended up on the Free Dictionary site which says a 'lulu' is a slang term for a person or thing considered outstanding- similar to your definition of "lulu-belle."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 02:19 AM

Best performance ever of this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q89MQiyunxs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 03:07 AM

Here's another great version, Jim:
clicky


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 05:30 AM

Wonderful Seamus
Irv must be turning in his gravy!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Puttin' On The Ritz (Irving Berlin)
From: Will Fly
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 06:31 AM

Good old Jeeves and Wooster - brilliant!


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