Author Topic: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece  (Read 9117 times)

Offline southendmd

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"Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« on: March 20, 2013, 08:47:05 pm »
Don't ask me why--perhaps the coming of Spring--but I've had this song on the brain lately.  

Thanks to the intertubes, there's a lots of research to be done, and I'm happy to share.

It's a favorite.  But, gee, there are so many different versions.  Surely Cole Porter was known for is risqué lyrics, brimming with double entendres and other kinds of naughtiness.  

So, here's a little thread dedicated to this silliness.

(ETA:  I think I know.  I actually cooked shad roe this past weekend and the reference is in the song!)

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 08:53:35 pm »
The song was written in 1928 for the show "Paris" for the French singer Irene Bordoni.


It was later included in the 1960 film "Can-Can".


That's Frank Sinatra, Shirley McLaine and Louis Jourdan

It was also featured in "De-Lovely" with (an awful) version by Alanis Morisette.


And, recently, in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"


Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 08:59:05 pm »
It was the first of his "list" songs, like "You're the Top". 

One has to keep in mind the time frame, because, sadly, there are some racist lyrics. 

The song started thus:

Chinks do it, Japs do it,
Up in Lapland little Laps do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love. 

This was quickly changed to the familiar lines:

Birds do it, bees do it,
Even educated flees do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 09:08:20 pm »
Here's my favorite version, the great Ella:

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aePHkhU5_H0[/youtube]

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 09:11:22 pm »
The lyrics are so varied from version to version, depending on how, um, nasty, one could afford to be!  

Here is a longish version of the lyrics.  Then we'll talk about the variations.  

(opening verse)
When the little bluebird
 Who has never said a word
 Starts to sing "Spring, spring"
 When the little bluebell
 At the bottom of the dell
Starts to ring, ding ding
 When the little blue clerk
 In the middle of his work
 Starts a tune to the moon up above
 It is nature, that's all
Simply telling us to fall in love

And that's why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love
In Spain the best upper sets do it
 Lithuanians and Letts do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
 The Dutch in old Amsterdam do it
 Not to mention the Finns
 Folks in Siam do it--
 Think of Siamese twins.
 Some Argentines, without means, do it
 People say in Boston even beans do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love

 Romantic sponges, they say, do it
 Oysters down in Oyster Bay do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
 Cold Cape Cod clams, 'gainst their wish, do it
 Even lazy jellyfish do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
 Electric eels, I might add, do it,
 Though it shocks 'em, I know,
 Why ask if shad do it?
 Waiter, bring me shad roe!
 In shallow shoals, English soles do it
 Goldfish in the privacy of bowls do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love

(the following are more rarely performed)
 Mosquitos, heaven forbid, do it
 So does every katydid do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
 Dragonflies in the reeds do it
 Sentimental centipedes do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
 The most refined ladybugs do it
 When a gentleman calls
 Moths in your rugs do it
 What's the use of moth balls?
 The locusts up in the trees do it
 Even over-educated fleas do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love

 The chimpanzees in the zoos do it
 Some courageous kangaroos do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
 I'm sure giraffes on the sly do it
 Heavy hippopotami do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
 Sloths who hang down from the twigs do it
 Though the effort is great
Sweet guinea pigs do it--
 Buy a couple and wait!
 The world admits bears in pits do it
 Even Pekingeses in the Ritz do it
 Let's do it, let's fall in love
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 10:42:19 pm by southendmd »

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 09:31:11 pm »
Here's an early version, from 1929.  Tom Barrett, directed by Nat Star.  Totally different lyrics in London then.  


[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT8bl9uUQhs[/youtube]

This is my (not very good) transcript, based on what I can make out.  Fun tempo!

The nightingales in the dark do it,
Larks crazy for a lark do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

(_____) in the house do it,
When they're out of season grouse do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.

The most sedate barnyard fowls do it,
When a chanticleer cries,
High-browed old owls do it,
They're supposed to be wise.

(_______) flocks on the rocks do it,
Even little cuckoos in their clocks do it,
Let's do it, let's fall in love.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 07:59:28 pm by southendmd »

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 09:40:52 pm »
This is wonderful:  Leslie "Hutch" Hutchinson's version from the 1930s.  Very similar to the long lyrics above, but with some British changes.  For instance, instead of rhyming "clerk" with "work", in British "clerk" rhymes with "park".

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HimL5ry-4o&list=FLVbIz1hMp8_ij1Rbw5rB_ow[/youtube]

Also, I fear shad roe isn't well known in the British Isles, so that bit is changed to:

The most refined school of cod do it,
Though it shocks them, I fear,
Sturgeon, thank God, do it,
Have some caviar, dear.

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 09:50:27 pm »
This is from "Can-Can" with Frank Sinatra and Shirley McLaine.  They kept some of the racist lyrics at the beginning.

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxVS8LL4Rsg[/youtube]

Who came up with this bastardization?

The royal set sans regret, did it,
And they considered it fun,
Marie Antoinette did it,
With or without Napoleon.

???

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2013, 10:00:06 pm »
From the "Aeolian Company", here is a piano roll from 1928.

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUa0ysgFv40[/youtube]

Offline southendmd

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Re: "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" Cole Porter's masterpiece
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2013, 10:09:24 pm »
Another nasty version includes these lyrics:

I've heard that lizards and frogs do it,
 Layin' on a rock
 They say that roosters do it,
 With a doodle and cock.

 :o

I'm still partial to the insect verse:

The most refined ladybugs do it,
 When a gentleman calls,
 Moths in your rugs do it,
 What's the use of moth balls?