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Lyr Req: You'd Be Surprised (Irving Berlin)

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RoB 15 May 97 - 11:27 PM
Peter Timmerman 16 May 97 - 11:59 AM
Jim Dixon 24 Sep 09 - 10:09 PM
Cool Beans 24 Sep 09 - 11:43 PM
Artful Codger 25 Sep 09 - 04:09 AM
Jim Dixon 25 Sep 09 - 07:39 AM
M.Ted 25 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM
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Subject: LYR REQ: Irving Berlin-'Don't be surprised'
From: RoB
Date: 15 May 97 - 11:27 PM

Don't know if the title is correct but in this song every other line ends with ".....don't be surprised". I believe it is by Irving Berlin. Thanks to all. RoB


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Subject: RE: LYR REQ: Irving Berlin-'Don't be surprised'
From: Peter Timmerman
Date: 16 May 97 - 11:59 AM

At risk, but --

The song is "You'd Be Surprised" and it was Berlin's first big hit, and it was later a big hit for Eddie Cantor. It starts: "He isn't much in a crowd, but get him alone, and YOU'D BE SURPRISED." I don't have the rest of the lyrics to hand. Yours, Peter P.S. I think it came back again in one of those fake Hollywood musical films of the 50's, like Singing in the Rain (but not SITR).


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Subject: Lyr Add: YOU'D BE SURPRISED (Irving Berlin)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 10:09 PM

YOU'D BE SURPRISED
Irving Berlin
New York: Irving Berlin, Inc., 1919.

1. Johnny was bashful and shy.
Nobody understood why
Mary loved him. All the other girls passed him by.
Everyone wanted to know
How she could pick such a beau.
With a twinkle in her eye,
She made this reply:

CHORUS 1: He's not so good in a crowd, but when you get him alone,
You'd be surprised.
He isn't much at a dance, but then when he takes you home,
You'd be surprised.
He doesn't look much of a lover,
But don't judge a book by its cover.
He's got the face of an angel, but there's a devil in his eye.
He's such a delicate thing but when he starts in to squeeze,
You'd be surprised.
He doesn't look very strong but when you sit on his knee,
You'd be surprised.
At a party or at a ball
I've got to admit he's nothing at all,
But in a Morris chair,
You'd be surprised.

2. Mary continued to praise
Johnny's remarkable ways
To the ladies, and you know advertising pays.
Now Johnny's never alone.
He has the busiest phone.
Almost ev'ry other day
A new girl will say:

CHORUS 2: He's not so good in the house, but on a bench in the park,
You'd be surprised.
He isn't much in the light, but when he gets in the dark,
You'd be surprised.
I know he looks as slow as the Erie,
But you don't know the half of it, dearie.
He looks as cold as an Eskimo, but there's fire in his eyes.
He doesn't say very much but when he starts in to speak,
You'd be surprised.
He's not so good at the start but at the end of a week,
You'd be surprised.
On a streetcar or in a train
You'd think he was born without any brain,
But in a taxicab,
You'd be surprised.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You'd Be Surprised (Irving Berlin)
From: Cool Beans
Date: 24 Sep 09 - 11:43 PM

Actually, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (1911) was Irving Berlin's first big hit.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You'd Be Surprised (Irving Berlin)
From: Artful Codger
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 04:09 AM

Madeline Kahn did a charming (if somewhat abridged) rendition of this as part of an Irving Berlin retrospective--clip on YouTube. Inspired me to learn it.

YouTube sound clip of Eddie Cantor (1920) performing the full song.

Sheet music at Indiana University online collection.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You'd Be Surprised (Irving Berlin)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 07:39 AM

Thanks, Artful Codger, for the link to the sheet music. Sorry I forgot to post it myself. That was my source.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: You'd Be Surprised (Irving Berlin)
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM

My daughter wasn't walking yet when this request was made--next year she will be in high school.


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