Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Songs My Mother Knows Every Word To

Mack the Knife
Bobby Darin

This song is about a fella named Macheath. He stabs the shit out of people. The lyrics compare his knife to a shark's pearly white teeth. It was originally in some German opera about a dude stabbing the shit out of people. Louis Armstrong sung it. Then Bobby Darin sung it. Every family party involving alcohol, a microphone, and my mother I've ever attended has featured my mother singing Bobby Darin's version of this song. "Hey Diana! Sing Mack the Knife!" her parents would shout at her. She would always oblige. She may have even sung it at her wedding to my father. I wouldn't know. I was not there. At one point in the song, various victims of Macheath are named. One of them is Lucy Brown. I don't know exactly why, but growing up I always thought Lucy Brown was Lucy from Charles Schultz' Peanuts. Lucy from Peanuts' name is Lucy van Pelt and did not exist in the same world as Macheath to be stabbed by him, but as an impressionable youth I thought this song had something to do with the demise of Lucy for taking away Charlie Brown's football. I don't think I've ever told anyone this. Maybe an ex-girlfriend at like four in the morning though, I'm not sure. Either way, that's what I thought of the song growing up. Now it's odd to think that a song about stabbing the shit out of people for their money was able to become a big enough hit for my mother to learn the words and for her family to encourage her singing it at their parties. I guess it was all in Bobby Darin's execution. The fella sure could work the mic.

exhibit a


  1. i was hoping exibit "a" would be a picture of pee wee and his bike.