From Which Opera Does Bobby Darin’S Hit Song, Mack The Knife, Come?

From Which Opera Does Bobby Darin
Kurt Weill was the composer of the Threepenny Opera song “Mack the Knife,” which was featured in Berthold Brecht’s play “Threepenny Opera.” Darin was never a one-trick pony (he was well-versed in jazz and swing music), and he always revered older song interpreters such as Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra, which is why the song was constantly on his mind.

Where is the song Mack the Knife from?

The song known as “Mack the Knife” or “The Ballad of Mack the Knife” (German: “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer”) was written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht in 1928 for their musical play The Threepenny Opera (German: Die Dreigroschenoper).

Who had the biggest hit with Mack the Knife?

1. On this day in 1959, Bobby Darin’s swinging rendition of “Mack the Knife,” a song about a killer from The Threepenny Opera, reached No.1 on the Hot 100 chart and remained at the top spot for nine weeks.

What is the song of Mack the knife from Three Penny Opera?

To Whoever You Are, Straight Dope: What exactly is the meaning behind the words of “Mack the Knife”? A radio program that I listened to a few years ago described it as a song about the actual organized-crime scene in Detroit. The report was broadcast in Michigan.

Is the issue truly about the mob in Detroit? Harmon Everett SDStaff Songbird retorts that during the time when the man we know as Mack the Knife made his initial appearance in 1728 in Detroit, there were no gangs or mobs present in the city. In those days, there were only approximately 30 families total residing in the area of Fort Ponchartrain that was close to the Detroit du Herie (also known as the strait of Erie), and none of them were associated with the Purple Gang.

In point of fact, London, not Detroit, is being referred to, and the focus is more on politicians than on street gangs. The character Macheath, who would eventually be renamed Mack the Knife, was introduced for the first time in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1685-1732).

  1. Gay was a well-known English dramatist and poet.
  2. He was also a friend of Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, with whom he worked with.
  3. The Beggar’s Opera was the first of its type, a comedic ballad opera, and it caused a commotion in the London theater scene when it was performed there.
  4. The argument that Gay employs lower-class criminals to mock government and upper-class society is one that has been utilized frequently since since the book was published.
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More than a century and a half later, the title characters in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance make the observation that they are more trustworthy than “many a monarch on a first-class throne.” And in this day and age, wasn’t it Bob Dylan who penned, “Steal a little and they throw you in jail; steal a lot and they make you a king?” Macheath, a rakish crook, is the protagonist of “The Beggar’s Opera,” which is an opera about a beggar.

He has the air of a dashing romantic, a gentleman pickpocket, and the persona of someone like Robin Hood. While he is having an affair with his wife, he has immaculate manners and treats the individuals he robs with respect. He also refrains from using violence. It is generally accepted that the figure is, at least in part, a parody of Sir Robert Walpole, who was a prominent politician in Britain during the relevant time period.

The Beggar’s Opera was a hit from the moment it was first presented in 1728, and it was performed for a considerable amount of time after that. George Washington was a fan of this musical drama, which was the first of its kind to be presented in colonial New York.

We now go forward in time around two hundred years to post-World War I Europe and meet Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), a distant relative of this SDSTAFF member. The arts underwent a profound transformation as a result of the First World War. As a result of the devastation caused by the war, the avant-garde movement came to embrace the idea of the anti-hero.

Gay’s play was performed again in England in the year 1920, and Brecht believed that it might be modified to fit the needs of the current day; after all, who is a better example of an anti-hero than Macheath? Therefore, in 1927 he obtained a German translation and began composing “The Three Penny Opera.” The original title of this work was Die Dreigroschenoper.

Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and Brecht collaborated on the adaptation of the play. He performed a lot more work on the play than simply translate it; he altered it to represent the decadence of the time and the Weimar republic. Brecht was primarily responsible for writing or adapting the words, while Weill was mostly responsible for writing or adapting the music.

It was foxtrots and tangos that took the place of Gay’s ballads from the seventeenth century. Only one of Gay’s tunes was kept for use in the new composition. The play is satirical in nature, making fun of operatic tropes as well as romantic poetry and happy endings.

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Macheath is still the primary character, however in this version Macheath has undergone a transformation. Mackie Messer, also known as Mack the Knife, is his current name. “Messer” is the word for knife in German. Mackie, played by Brecht, is a full-fledged criminal, in contrast to Macheath, played by Gay, who was a gentleman thief.

He is no longer the Robin Hood type; rather, he is a cutthroat in the criminal underground and the leader of a gang of muggers and street thieves. He calls what he does “business” and refers to himself as a “businessman.” In spite of this, the spectator finds themselves feeling some compassion for the main character.

  • We are now at the point in the discussion when we will discuss your song, “Ballad of Mack the Knife” (Die Moritat von Mackie Messer), which is from The Three Penny Opera.
  • It was decided at the last minute to include the song in order to satisfy the tenor Harald Paulson, who portrayed the role of Macheath.

On the other hand, the ballad singer was the one that introduced the character via their performance. The primary message conveyed by the song is as follows: “Oh, look who’s coming onstage, it’s Mack the Knife — a robber, murderer, arsonist, and rapist.” (If the last two sentences have startled you, please have some patience for the next few of paragraphs.) In 1928, the Brecht-Weill adaptation made its debut in Germany, where it was an immediate success.

Within a year, it had reached every country in Europe, from France to Russia, and was being performed. It was translated into 18 different languages and had almost 10,000 different performances between the years 1928 and 1933. Gifford Cochran and Jerrold Krimsky were the ones responsible for the initial translation of The Three Penny Opera into English and bringing it to New York in 1933.

Over the course of its history, at least eight works have been translated into English. In the 1950s, Marc Blitzstein wrote a version of “Mack the Knife,” in which he cleaned up the poem by omitting the final two stanzas, which were about rape and arson.

  1. Lotte Lenya, the widow of Kurt Weill, had her comeback in the play that was revived in New York using the Blitzstein translation.
  2. Lotte Lenya had a role in the performance that was first staged in Berlin in 1928.
  3. The cleaned-up rendition that Blitzstein contributed is by far the most popular rendition of the song in the English-speaking world, and it is almost certain that this is the one you are familiar with.
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It was Louis Armstrong in 1955 who brought its incredible jazz beat to the attention of people all over the world. The track that Bobby Darin made in 1958 spent several weeks at number one on the Billboard charts and was awarded a Grammy for being the greatest song.

Numerous legendary artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney, have rendered it in the styles of ballad, jazz, and rock, respectively. Joseph Papp gave the task of adapting and translating Brecht’s work into another language to Ralph Manheim and John Willett in the 1970s. Papp wanted the work to be “more true” to Brecht.

So, if the idea of rape and arson took you by surprise, here is Willett’s translation of the last two stanzas, which were left out of the Blitzstein version: And the terrible fire that broke out in Soho, Seven youngsters at once; in the crowd, Mack the knife is there; nevertheless, he is not questioned and is unaware of what is going on.

And the kid bride who was wearing her nightgown, the attacker of whom is still at large. Mackie, how much did you charge for violating her while she was sleeping? After reaching such great heights with Louis Armstrong, it is only right that we also chronicle the pitiful lows that were reached in the 1980s with the television jingle for McDonald’s known as “Mac Tonight.” How low have the mighty sunk when it comes to selling Big Macs? Got a question, Harmon Everett? Move to the back of the line, Lucy Brown.

Oh, the line is starting to develop on the right, honey. Since Cecil has arrived back in town at this point. Songbird and Straight Dope Staff of the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board Send questions to Cecil through [email protected] The Straight Dope Science Advisory Board, which serves as CECIL’s online auxiliary, is in charge of writing staff reports.

What is another name for Mack the knife?

Mack the Knife
by Kurt Weill
Native name Die Moritat von Mackie Messer
Genre Moritat
Text Bertolt Brecht
Language German
Published 31 August 1928

Mack the Knife ” or ” The Ballad of Mack the Knife ” (German: ” Die Moritat von Mackie Messer “) is a song written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht in 1928 for their musical drama The Threepenny Opera. Weill provided the music, while Brecht wrote the words (German: Die Dreigroschenoper ).