Category Archives: Audio

THE LYRICS OF YIP HARBURG – 92nd STREET Y – Dec. 14, 2017

Performer, producer and historian Harvey Granat will present “The Lyrics of Yip Harburg,” an afternoon of stories and song celebrating Yip at the 92nd Street Y on Dec. 14, 2017 at Noon. His guests will be Ernie Harburg (Yip’s son) and Deena Rosenberg-Harburg (Yip’s daughter in law).  Jazz musician David Lahm, the son of the great lyricist Dorothy Fields, will perform and play piano.

Harburg Recapitulations

On August 27, 2016 Yip’s great-grandson David Harburg, working with Children Waiting Everywhere, presented CONCERT FOR UGANDA, to raise funds to help build and paint a new schoolroom at the Bishop Magambo Primary School in Uganda. The concert featured new renditions of songs with lyrics by Yip including “Over the Rainbow,” “Old Devil Moon” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?”  The players were David Harburg, Joseph Shelcusky with music on the piano, Ed Wells sharing his originals and Rob Horning on violin. Venue: EMU Alexander Music Building Recital Hall. The tracks are now available on Spotify.

Who’s Line is it Anyway?

These evocative lyrics come from the song “Down with Love” – lyrics by E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and music by Harold Arlen.

The popular song was originally for the Broadway musical Hooray for What! and has been sung over the years by the artists below. 

Vivian Vance (with Ed Wynn) in Hooray for What! She introduced the song on Broadway in that show.

Barbra Streisand’s cover (1963) includes notable lyric additions.

“Because I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me…
I tell them:
You say eether – I say eyether,
You say neether, I say nyther
Eether, eyether
Neether, nyther
Let’s call the whole thing off!”

A year later, Judy Garland performed Down with Love  on “The Judy Garland Show” (1964). Her cover was explosive due, in part, to her suggestively stark lyric adaptation.

“Are we mice or are we men?
Can’t you see the light?
Come you fellow victims lets unite!”

Holly Palmer (& Michael Bublé), 2003
Michael Bublé (& Holly Palmer), 2003