Johnny One-Note

Rodgers & HammersteinBabes in Arms

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Johnny One-Note

Music By Richard Rodgers  Lyrics By Lorenz Hart

This charming novelty number, introduced by Wynn Murray in 1937, tells the story of a forceful, if monotonous, young opera singer. A hit in the stage version of Babes in Arms, “Johnny One-Note” was not included in the 1939 film adaptation, though Judy Garland later sang it in the 1948 Rodgers & Hart biopic Words and Music. A favorite with belters, the song has been recorded by Mary Martin, Blossom Dearie, Ella Fitzgerald, Eydie Gorme, Anita O’Day, Carol Burnett, Shirley Bassey and Barbra Streisand, among others.



“Johnny One-Note” LYRICS

Johnny could only sing one note
And the note he sings was this:

Poor Johnny One-Note
Sang out with gusto
And just overlorded the place.

Poor Johnny One-Note
Yelled willy-nilly
Until he was blue in the face,
For holding one note was his ace.

Couldn’t hear the brass,
Couldn’t hear the drum.
He was in a class
By himself, by gum!

Poor Johnny One-Note
Got in Aida,
Indeed a great chance to be brave!

He took his one note,
Howled like the North Wind
Brought forth wind that made critics rave,
While Verdi turned ’round in his grave.

Couldn’t hear the flute
Or the big trombone.
Ev’ryone was mute.
Johnny stood alone.

Cats and dogs stopped yapping,
Lions in the zoo
All were jealous of Johnny’s big trill.
Thunder claps stopped clapping,
Traffic ceased its roar
And they tell us Niag’ra stood still.

He stopped the train whistles,
Boat whistles,
Steam whistles,
Cop whistles,
All whistles bowed to his skill!

Sing, Johnny One-Note,
Sing out with gusto
And just overwhelm all the crowd.
So sing, Johnny One-Note, out loud!
Sing, Johnny One-Note!
Sing, Johnny One-Note, out loud!