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Oh the shark has pretty teeth dear
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jack-knife has Mac-heath dear
And he keeps it out of sight
When the shark bites with his teeth dear
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves though wears Mac-heath dear
So there's not a trace of red
On the sidewalk Sunday morning
Lies a body oozing life
Someone's sneaking 'round the corner
Is the someone Mack the Knife
From a tugboat by the river
A cement bag's dropping down
The cement's just for the weight dear
Bet you Mackies's back in town
Louis Miller disappeared dear
After drawing out his cash
And Mac-heath spends like a sailo
Did our boy do something rash
Sukey Tawdry, Jenny Diver
Polly Peachum Lucy Brown
O the line forms on the right dear
Now that Mackie's back in town
I picked up a copy the broadway version of Three Penny Opera from the early fifties. I am looking for it in my dusty archives. The music was'nt as jazzy as Darren/Armstrong etc versions. I think it was an earlier interpretation that was more like the original musical/play.
Interesting though because of a different viewpoint.
Brecht and Weill wrote two other operas together, including Mahagonny, source of the famous Alabama Song. Then Weill went on to collaborate with everyone from Langston Hughes to Ogden Nash.
I have a Book-of the Month Club set of recordings by Lotte Lenya and others of pretty much the whole range of his music. It shouldn't be too hard to find used. There are also some good sets of his songs by Martha Schlamme, Teresa Stratas, Ute Lemperer, ... can you tell I'm a little obsessive about this stuff?
I'm going to listen to it tonite.
Credit those crazy lyrics to Marc Blitzstein. For more on Blitzstein, see Tim Robbins' outrageous film Cradle Will Rock.
I saw the original production of 3PO at the Theatre de Lys in Greenwich Village where it ran for several years. Lotte Lenya, Weill's widow, was still in it, along with a stellar cast. Great show. I had 3 copies of the oc recording on MGM, one of which i gave away last week, coincidentally.
Rumored to be inspired by the sensational murder of one 'Mary Rogers' in New York City in the 19th century....
A new study of which :
Author : Stashower, Daniel.
Title : The beautiful cigar girl : Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the invention of murder / by Daniel Stashower.
Publisher : New York, N.Y. : Dutton, c2006.
"... examination of a celebrated murder in 1840s New York City that turned Edgar Allan Poe into an amateur sleuth. The text ably weaves the story of a young woman, celebrated for her beauty and her untimely death, with that of Poe, whose poems and stories often celebrated the deaths of young, beautiful women. Mary Rogers worked behind the counter of a cigar store in Manhattan in 1841; she was so beautiful that the store was jammed with her admirers. On July 28, 1831, three days after Rogers had gone missing, her body was found floating in the Hudson. The press seized on her murder, but the New York police force (depicted by Stashower as completely disorganized) failed to find her killer. One year later, Poe (just after the success of his detective Dupin in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue") proposed to his publisher that he investigate this famous cold case..." (( BookList 2006 ))
Poe eventually crafted his version into his " The Mystery Of Marie Roget ", a fictional re-embroidery of the events surrounding the killing.
And the Weill / Brecht version ---if it is a version---- is said to take on known Berlin demimonde personalities, but sticks with the same watery / bloody death scenario .......
And do you know of the A&M LP "Lost in the Stars". Covers of Weill/Brecht by various people ... howzabout Sting singing "Mac the Knife"!!?? :-)) Or Lou Reed with "September Song"!
BTW, it's A&M SP9-5104.
with Raul Julia and Ellen Green. One of my favorite pieces of music. I found a mint copy of it, and a sealed MGM Lotte Lenya just a month ago or so.
Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht
Und MacHeath, der hat ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht
(I must confess, I learned the German lyrics watching old Ernie Kovacs kinescopes on PBS a long, long time ago)
Yes, that's Brecht himself singing on that clip that Ernie Kovacs used. I have the clip of that recording from an LP of the play Brecht on Brecht.
Haaaaar, me Hardy! When I was just a little shaver, barely old enough to raise my first goatee, I saw the Theatre de Lys production on Christopher Street with Lotte Lenya, the Teutonic Billie Holiday, as Pirate Jenny. I never got over it, and remain a beatnic to this day.
I really envy you. I never did see her myself although I have about a dozen records of her, including her German Dreigrossenopfer on Columbia and the movie soundtrack on MGM.
By the way, Bob Dylan seems to have had a similar experience to yours. In Chronicles he writes about hearing Lotte Lenya sing Pirate Jenny in the Village and thinking in a whole new way about how to structure a song. Listen to "When the Ship Comes In" and you can hear the influence.
I thumbed through Chronicles (Vol. 1) and couldn't find the reference to 3PO. Can you help with an exact page? TIA.
Sure, it's on pages 272-276. He calls it a "presentation of songs by Bertolt Brecht...and Kurt Weil," so maybe it wasn't 3PO. This was 1961 and I guess there was a revue of their songs at that venue.
This thread just inspired me to clean off an LP I have called "Mack the Knife and Other Berlin Theatre Songs of Kurt Weill" on RCA from 1966, by The Sextette of Orchestra USA (Eric Dolphy, Thad Jones, John Lewis, and others). Michael Zwerin created some stunning arrangements and there are some great runs by Dolphy, Thad, et al. Quite a gem.
Many thanks for the reference. It's a fabulous description of 3PO -- really a gem. I need to send that to Eric Gordon, Marc Blitzstein's biographer.
If you like Weill sung by Lotte Lenya, you've got to hear Columbia KL 5229 "September Song and other American theatre songs of Kurt Weill sung by Lotte Lenya" (does that take the prize for the longest record title?)
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