Song of the Week: Yip Harburg’s Lydia the Tattooed Lady

I imagine that Yip Harburg is unlikely to be the first name to spring to your lips if asked to name a famous American songwriter from the Thirties.  So you’ll probably be surprised to discover that you know many of his more famous songs, co-written with a number of composers, from Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? and April in Paris in the early 1930s through to We’re Off to See the Wizard, Over the Rainbow, Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead, and the other memorable songs from The Wizard of Oz in 1939.

Possibly less well known (at least if you’re under 50 years of age) is Lydia the Tattooed Lady, co-written with Harold Arlen with whom Harburg collaborated on the songs for The Wizard of Oz. This song, from the Marx Brothers’ At The Circus, was to become Groucho Marx’s signature tune.  Let us share with you the pleasure of a great song by a great songwriter from a great film, performed by one of the greatest comic geniuses of the 20th century!

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