Song of the Day: Quintette du Hot Club de France, “Chicago”


Yesterday for Song Lyric Sunday, I pulled a fast one on you and, instead of choosing a song about my home town, Chicago, I chose one that talked about Indianapolis, where I lived for a year as a toddler. I was concerned that there would be a lot of Chicagoans among our little group, and didn’t want to duplicate what anyone else did. Much to my surprise, no one (at least as of 5:15 Sunday afternoon) posted a Chicago song, so that’s what I’ll do this week.

“Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” was written by Fred Fisher in 1922. Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and the rest of the Quintette du Hot Club de France (Pierre Ferret and Marcel Bianchi, guitars, and Louis Vola, bass) recorded this on April 26, 1937, exactly 83 years ago this Sunday. This is an instrumental, but if you’d like to sing along, here are the lyrics, courtesy of MetroLyrics:

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town
Chicago, Chicago, I’ll show you around
Bet your bottom dollar you’ll lose the blues in Chicago
Chicago, the town that Billy Sunday could not shut down

On State Street, that great street
I just want to say
They do things that they don’t do on Broadway, say
They have the time, the time of their life
I saw a man, he danced with his wife
In Chicago, my home town

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Quintette du Hot Club de France, “Chicago”

  1. I know this song so well but didn’t realize when it was created. I thought it was written in the 30s. I love the instrumental with the Guitar?? It sounds like a mandolin or even the zither…see how daft I am with music.


    1. It’s the quality of the recording that makes the guitar sound like a mandolin. That, and the instruments didn’t have the best sound to begin with.


Comments are closed.