Thursday, April 9, 2009

#92: Everybody Eats When They Come to My House

Have a banana, Hannah
Try the salami, Tommy
Get with the gravy, Davy
Everybody eats when they come to my house

"His High-de-Highness of the Ho-de-Ho," Cab Calloway and his band co-headlined Harlem's famed Cotton Club with Duke Ellington in the 1930s. While Calloway's most famous song may be "Minnie the Moocher," I love the jaunty, rhyme-licious "Everybody Eats," written by Jeanne Burns. Look out for Calloway's Yiddishisms ("do have a bagel, Fagel" or "look in the Fendel, Mendel"), which are not only cute -- but also make transparent the intertwining of Jewish and African-American cultures in this distinctly American art form. While John Lithgow dusted off this song for a kids' album ten years ago, I'd listen to Mr. Calloway in this YouTube clip.

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