Ta Da! It's the fifteenth of the month AGAIN, ALREADY! You know what that means don't ya? It's time for another BATTLE OF THE BANDS.
Time sure flies when
So whaddaya say we just get on with the BATTLE. But first a little info on the song I've choosen for you today 'Mack the Knife'. Think this is a toe tappin', finger snappin' kind of song. Well, just in case you never actually listened closely to the lyrics, read on and learn yerself somthin'. OK, I have no idea why this
The Threepenny Opera
A moritat (from mori meaning "deadly" and tat meaning "deed") is a medieval version of the murder ballad performed by strolling minstrels. In The Threepenny Opera, the moritat singer with his street organ introduces and closes the drama with the tale of the deadly Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife, a character based on the dashing highwayman Macheath in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (who was in turn based on the historical thief Jack Sheppard). The Brecht-Weill version of the character was far more cruel and sinister, and has been transformed into a modern anti-hero.
The play opens with the moritat singer comparing Macheath (unfavorably) with a shark, and then telling tales of his robberies, murders, rapes, and arson.
The song was a last minute addition, inserted just before its première in 1928, because Harald Paulsen, the actor who played Macheath, demanded that Brecht and Weill add another number that would more effectively introduce his character. However, Weill and Brecht decided the song should not be sung by Macheath himself, opting instead to write the song for a street singer in keeping with the moritat tradition. At the première, the song was sung by Kurt Gerron, who played Police Chief Brown. Weill also intended the Moritat to be accompanied by a barrel organ, which was to be played by the singer. At the premiere, though, the barrel organ failed, and the pit orchestra (a jazz band) had to quickly provide the accompaniment for the street singer. 
"Mack the Knife" was introduced to the United States hit parade by Louis Armstrong in 1956, but the song is most closely associated with Bobby Darin, who recorded his version at Fulton Studios on West 40th Street, New York City, on December 19, 1958 (with Tom Dowd engineering the recording). In 1959 Darin's version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Black Singles chart, and earned him a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Dick Clark had advised Darin not to record the song because of the perception that, having come from an opera, it wouldn't appeal to the rock & roll audience. In subsequent years, Clark recounted the story with good humor. Frank Sinatra, who recorded the song with Quincy Jones on his "L.A. Is My Lady" album, called Darin's the "definitive" version. Darin's version hit #3 on Billboard's All Time Top 100. In 2003, the Darin version was ranked #251 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. On BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, pop mogul Simon Cowell named "Mack the Knife" the best song ever written.
The song has been parodied many times. Steve Martin parodied "Mack the Knife" in his opening monologue to the premiere of Saturday Night Live's third season in 1977. In the mid-1980s, McDonald's introduced Mac Tonight, a character whose signature song was based on "Mack the Knife." American political parodists the Capitol Steps used the tune for their song "Pack the Knife" on their 2002 album When Bush Comes to Shove. (courtesy of Wikipedia - if you can believe them)
Alrighty then. As finger tappin' and toe snappin' as this song might be, it certainly leans to the morbid side of silly. I especially like the idea of the 'Mac Tonight' parody, which BTW was mentioned to me yesterday while discussing this BOTB with a friend.
Well, here they are the two 'originals' (as least according to Wikipedia).
First up Satchmo, or Mr. Louis Armstrong:
Next Mr. Sandra Dee or I mean Bobby Darin:
Now, without a moments hesitation hurry on over to Tossing It Out the home of the inquisitive and controversial Mr. Arlee Bird and Ferret Faced Fascist Friends the home of that 'That Man About Town with an Ace up his Sleeve', Mr. Stephen t. McCarthy, and see what they have cooked up for us in their Battle of the Bands numero ocho!
Check out the comment section for other participants and those of you participating leave a comment to direct others to your site - come on now, just do it, don't be shy.
Just realized that because I'm on a
Now vote and let me know what you think!