Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
Lyrics By Oscar Hammerstein II Music By Jerome Kern
Julie and Queenie share their devotion to their respective loves, Steve and Joe. Though composed by Kern and Hammerstein, “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” functions in Show Boat‘s narrative as a traditional tune that would be familiar to Black men and women in America. When Julie, who is biracial but “passing” as white, sings the song, Queenie voices surprise that Julie would know it. The song is reprised throughout the musical, sung by several characters at varying tempos.
Helen Morgan, who originated the role of Julie, became inextricably associated with the song, singing it as her signature number until her death in 1941. Lena Horne sang the song in character in the fictionalized 1946 Jerome Kern biopic Till The Clouds Roll By. Notable cover versions include recordings by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London, Barbra Streisand, Björk and Sammy Davis, Jr., who sang it as “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Gal.”
COVERS & POP CULTURE
“Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine” by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern
©1927 by Chappel & Co., Inc. Copyright Renewed.
Copyright Assigned to Williamson Music and WB Music Corp. for the extended renewal period of copyright in the USA.
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