Song of the Day: Dick Hyman Trio, “Moritat (from The Threepenny Opera)”

Jazz pianist, arranger, composer, organist, and electronic musician Dick Hyman is 96 today. He had a distinguished 70-year career and worked with musicians such as Wes Montgomery, Tony Mottola, and Doc Severinsen. He recorded "Moritat" with his trio in 1956; I remember it best as the "top of the hour" music played by radio station WFMF/WLOO in Chicago, which my mother listened to constantly.

17 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Dick Hyman Trio, “Moritat (from The Threepenny Opera)”

    1. The full name is “Die Moritat von Mackie Messer,” where “Mackie Messer” is “Mack The Knife” and a moritat is “a song performed by a banquet singer (with barrel organ accompaniment) with a mostly monotonous melody, which has a chilling or sentimental story (shown in pictures on a panel) as its content [and ends with an instructive moral].” The original was written by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertoldt Brecht. Louis Armstrong got hold of it in 1955, then Bobby Darin in 1959, then Ella Fitzgerald (who did a hilarious version in Berlin when she couln’t remember the lyrics, so she started making up words and scat singing through it; she won a Grammy for it) in 1962. Eventually, Weill’s wife, Lotte Lenya (who Darin mentions in his song), started doing a one-woman show where she’d sing her husband’s songs. Here’s her version…

      Sorry I talked your ear off. I just love the story behind the song….

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Hi John, I remember this song. My dad had an album with this song on it. I’m not sure if it was just piano, but I have heard it before. Thanks for posting it. It brings back many fond memories! Hope you had a great day! hugs


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