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They Were All Out of Step but Jim

Irving Berlin
Lingua: Inglese


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[1918]
Lyrics & Music by Irving Berlin
Album: Songs of the Great War by Irving Berlin

1918-they-were-all-out-of-step-but-jim-irving-berlin

The second great memorable song to come from Berlin during the War was this one, another novelty work that shows him at his best.
The first recording of this song was done by Billy Murray. The rendition here is a duet between myself and guest artist Peggy Wooden of Anderson, Missouri and is based on a rendition done in 1918 by Gus Van and Joe Schenck. Starting out as a private and eventually making it to Sergeant, Berlin certainly was wise to the ways of the front line soldier. Though he admitted he was not much of a soldier and that it was not his trade, Berlin served well and learned the basics in addition to helping morale of the troops and the folks at home.
Certainly, a joke that has existed since soldiers started marching (such as this group at Camp Upton in 1917) was the idea that when a soldier was out of step, it was everyone else who was wrong. With this song, Berlin codified the concept and since then it has become a standard concept related to anyone being out of step. No doubt inspired by his time in camp, Berlin has created one of his happiest tunes and combined it with some funny lyrics to bring us a song that no doubt brought many a smile to the folks on the homefront. This one is so much fun we've included it as one of this month's printable scores for those of you who want to play it and sing it at home. Enjoy this great Berlin song!
Jimmy's mother went to see her son – marching along on parade
In his uniform and with his gun – What a lovely picture he made
She came home that ev'ning, - filled up with delight
And to all the neighbors, - she would yell with all her might

Did you see my little Jimmy marching
With the soldiers up the avenue?
There was Jimmy just as stiff as starch
Like his Daddy on the seventeenth of March
Did you notice all the lovely ladies
Casting their eyes on him?
It made me glad
To gaze at the lad
Lord help the Kaiser if he's like his Dad
Were you there, –Yes !–, and tell me, did you notice? – What? –
They were all out of step but Jim

That night little Jimmy's father stood – buying the drinks for the crowd
You could tell that he was feeling good – He was talking terribly loud
Twenty times he treated – My! But he was dry –
When his glass was empty he would treat again and cry..

Did you see my little Jimmy marching
With the soldiers up the avenue?
There was Jimmy just as stiff as starch
Like his Daddy on the seventeenth of March
Did you notice all the lovely ladies
Casting their eyes on him?
Away he went
To live in a tent
Over in France with his regiment
Were you there, and tell me, did you notice?
They were all out of step but Jim

inviata da giorgio - 3/5/2012 - 08:58



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