July 22, 2012

Music break: I Won't Dance

Ooh la la.

But what about Sinatra, you ask? Here's my favorite version, and here's a live performance in which, unfortunately, he takes the song too literally and does not dance. I think the audience would have loved it if he had.

About the song:

"I Won't Dance" is a song composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach, for the 1934 London musical Three Sisters. However, Three Sisters flopped and was quickly forgotten, so when the time came to film the Kern-Harbach musical Roberta, the song was interpolated into the film. It became such a hit that it is now included in all stage revivals and recordings of Roberta.

For the RKO film Roberta (1935), Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh changed the lyrics of the song, only keeping the title, which Hammerstein originated. It is the Fields and McHugh lyrics which are best known today.
Another song written by Fields and McHugh is "Don't Blame Me." Very nice.

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